BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – David Mayhew took a narrow three one thousandths victory over Brian Richardson in a sliding duel to the finish to end the NASCAR CITGO Lubricants Late Models 50 during LKQ Auto Parts Night at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday night. Second in points Eric Richardson slid underneath them to finish third by a scant .054 seconds as well.
The finish was slow close that some observers placed the victory to Brian Richardson, but Mayhew was credited with the win by race control and by the transponder scoring system. The finish is the closest in track history at the brand-new half-mile speedway.
“I was driving for all I had,” Mayhew said. “(That win) was by the tape on my nose. It was not much. We just flew back from Iowa last night so this is a great win for us!”
Dallas Montes led the field to green while they went three wide around outside polesitter Johnny White. Eric Richardson was shoved up the race track coming out of turn two but was able to save his Richpak Chevrolet.
With White and Eric Richardson out of the top-five, Mayhew leapt from fifth up into second and took the lead from Montes on lap two.
Mayhew stormed to a three second lead by lap 12 until the caution came out when Ryan McDonald hit the turn two wall rear end first. McDonald was uninjured and on the restart, Eric Richardson and Brian Richardson battled for second. By lap 37, Brian Richardson had reeled in Mayhew and the battle was on.
In the final two laps, Richardson and Mayhew went side-by-side and coming to the finish Eric Richardson slid to the inside in a spectacular door-banging three-wide finish. Johnny White and Gary Elmore rounded out the top-five finishers.
On the NASCAR Pro Late Model side of things, Bakersfield’s Tim Smith led all 50 laps to become the sixth winner in six races. Through the field, the action was between Dan Holtz, points leader Kevin Thompson, and July 13th winner Donny St. Ours.
St. Ours went side-by-side with Thompson into turn three on lap 24, and washed up the race track with Thompson spinning. The caution came out and on the restart St. Ours pulled to the pits with damage on the right rear of the car.
Smith pulled away to a 3.126 second victory while Thompson paced his teammate Holtz in the battle for second.
Smith celebrated his first Kern Raceway win with a smoky burnout for the fans. “This is what makes it all worth it,” Smith said. “I am really proud of my guys.”
The opening of two days of INEX racing on the quarter-mile speedway saw the points leaders extend their points leads. The Legends win went to 13 year-old Buddy Shepherd for his third straight victory, topping a 16 car field. Brandon Weaver led the first four laps before loosing the lead on a restart to Ricky Schlick.
Shepherd took his time coming from sixth place, to pass Schlick on lap 12 and lead him through lapped traffic for the win. Johnathan St. Ours finished third ahead of Blaine Perkins and Weaver.
Bannister’s sixth win came after he inherited the lead on lap nine restart, then fought off Las Vegas Bandolero Bandit points leader Caden Carlin in the closing stages for the win. Karson Sylvester finished third, while Ryan Vargas overcame a midrace mix-up with Ricky Lewis to run fourth ahead of Tony Lamas.