BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The NASCAR CITGO Lubricants Late Models returned to Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday night, with the $1000 to win, 35 lap features being split by Bakersfield drivers Brian Richardson and David Mayhew on a hot night both on and off the track.
The races paid track, state, and national points under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at the brand-new half-mile speedway west of Bakersfield. Richardson’s win came on the comeback trail in the first start aboard his No. 4 Rick-Pak Chevrolet since a hard crash at the finish of the second 35 lap event on May 25th when coming to the finish.
Lance Wilson started on the pole in Saturday’s first 35-lap contest and led the opening lap before slowing dramatically down the backstretch. Mike Lansing got out of shape trying to avoid and tagged the backstretch head-on to end his night.
Wilson elected to restart at the rear, which handed the lead to Richardson. The restart on lap two saw Johnny White, Mayhew, and Greg Szot go three wide into turn one, with Szot and Mayhew making contact to bring out the caution. Mayh’ew team made quick repairs to front end and radiator damage and he rejoined the field at the rear.
Mayhew navigated through the field quickly and after a lap-18 caution he found himself in the fourth position. A caution on lap 28 for Josh Horn stalling setup a shootout but Brian Richardson was able to get the best of Eric Richardson to take a narrow victory, with Mayhew overhauling his teammate Johnny White for third.
“I have to thank my guys,” Brian Richardson said. “They took their time getting this thing back together over the last month. We have a great team!
The second 35-lap race had a wild scramble at the start that had Mayhew shooting up into the lead on the opening lap. Eric Richardson went by Brian Richardson for second on lap four and tried to reel in Mayhew while White passed Brian Richardson for third on lap nine.
A big crash on lap 13 included Szot and Horn, with Horn backing into the turn two wall and Szot continuing on with right front fender damage. White pressed Eric Richardson throughout the rest of the contest while Mayhew stormed to a 1.470 second win. Brian Richardson finished fourth and Gary Elmore rounded out the top-five.
The $250 to win NASCAR Mini Stock main event on the quarter-mile track was dominated by Billy Lay, who will now have a share of the track points lead with third place finisher Johnny Wood. Newcomer Kyle Hood won the Trophy Dash and led the first four laps in the feature.
Hood and Justin Fine came together on lap five in turn four, with Hood spinning but the race staying green. Lay took over the lead from Fine on the following lap and never looking back, with a 1.005 second win ahead of Pierre Peasha, Wood, Fine, and Racin Vernon.
The split Jr. and Sr. Mini Dwarf features were a tale of two different races. In the Sr. event, Jerry Flippo and Andrew Orlando put on a side-by-side duel all the way to checkered flag. Flippo narrowly edged Orlando for the win to go three-for-three on the 2013 season.
The Jr. Mini Dwarf 20 lapper saw Kyleigh Forester take her second straight dominating win, this time lapping up to second place! Kabe McClenny was the only other lead lap car with opening night winner Troy Morris, Kason Sylvester and Mason Ratcliff the top five.
Only five NASCAR Spec-Mods turned up for a 20 lap feature paying $500 to win and Chris Dalton extended his perfect season with a track record in qualifying and his third straight feature win. Bailey Thompson and Santa Maria’s “Dirty” Doug Thornton locked horns for second place throughout the event, until it boiled over on lap 15 with the two making contact in turn one. Thornton hit the wall and both cars were eliminated.
Dalton led Eric Brust and Orcutt’s Mark Allan across the line as the only finishers in the event.