Pettit Tames Kern County Oval

Jim Pettit II (18) battles Donny St. Ours on Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park. (Ricky Bassman Photo)
Jim Pettit II (18) battles Donny St. Ours on Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park. (Ricky Bassman Photo)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Current SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour points leader Jim Pettit II led the final 46 laps to win the NASCAR Pro Late Model feature during Monster Energy Night at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday night. Pettit’s win made him the seventh different winner in the seven events held thus far.

Pettit defended a late race charge from July 13 winner Donny St. Ours in the final 12 laps to take the .710 second victory. Pettit’s win also positions himself nicely for the upcoming September 7th SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour 100 lap event at the half-mile speedway.

New Braunfels’ Texas driver Kevin Thompson, the points leader, led the opening two laps from the outside pole position. St. Ours took the lead in a three-wide battle on lap four with Pettit sliding into second.

Pettit dove underneath St. Ours in turn three two laps later to take the lead and dart to a large lead. Dan Holtz worked his way underneath Tim Smith for the third position, but coming out of turn two spun to make hard contact with the inside backstretch wall.

Holtz was uninjured but the caution flew with 12 laps remaining to eliminate Pettit’s lead. St. Ours attempted several challenges with both cars running 17 second laps, but Pettit was strong enough to take the win with St. Ours and Smith rounding out the top-three.

In the NASCAR Spec-Mods, Chris Dalton won a caution-free 25 lap event to take his fourth win in the first five races. The points leader set a new track record earlier in qualifying and led all 25 laps after starting third. Newcomer Sid Payne had a strong run in second and stayed within a second of Dalton throughout the event, with Bailey Thompson rounding out the podium.

The INEX Thunder Roadsters made their debut on the half-mile with nine cars primarily from Las Vegas. The field was fully inverted for the 25 lap race and Dana Point’s Morgan Schwert from fourth led the opening three laps.

Las Vegas points leader Ian Anderson charged from dead last to the lead by lap four, and the race was stopped for a prolonged cleanup when Michelle Williamson lost her engine on lap six.

The remaining event went caution-free with Anderson winning comfortably over Fontana’s Nick Degidio and Las Vegas’ Paul Licata rounding out the lead lap finishers.

NASCAR Mini Stock action saw points leader Billy Lay return to victory lane for the fourth time. Lay led 28 of the 30 laps but was hounded by Racin Vernon and Dylan Baker for the entire event. Vernon got tangled up with lapped traffic on lap 24 and made hard contact with the front stretch wall to eventually end his night, and Lay drove away from Baker on the final restart.

Lay crossed the line with a .513 second lead over Baker, and Lee Stoops to round out the top-three.

The Jr. and Sr. Mini Dwarfs were a repeat of a week ago with the points leaders winning yet again. Troy Morris III led the opening two laps of the Jr .Mini Dwarf main before Kyleigh Forester took over. Morris eventually dropped out after a hard crash on the second lap in lapped traffic. Forester never looked back to top Kabe McClenny and Kale McClenny.

On the Sr. Dwarf side, Jerry Flippo took the lead from Andrew Orlando on lap two to never look back. Anthony Balcazar fended off Jeremy Clark for second.