BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Brian Richardson kicked off the NASCAR CITGO Lubricants Late Model season in a big way, sweeping both 35 lap features at Kern County Raceway Park during Monster Energy Night on Saturday.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series opener also saw wins by Chris Dalton, Brandon Weaver and Tyler Bannister.
Both wins by Richardson came after exciting battles with Lance Wilson. Wilson, in the Taylor Motorsports No. 15, led 34 of the 70 laps but was unable to get to victory lane.
“(Lance) is tough to get around man! Once we got the lead (in the first 35) we checked out,” Richardson said. “We only have a hundred laps on this car so I can’t say enough about the guys. I have to dedicate this win to my mom…I love you and this one is for you.”
Wilson took the lead of the first 35 lap race from the outside pole on Brian Richardson. Richardson and cousin Eric Richardson stayed closely in tow throughout the event, before action picked up in lapped traffic.
Wilson and Brian Richardson banged doors while working past a lapped car in turn three, allowing Richardson to take over the lead on lap 24. Richardson took a .723 second win with Wilson topping Eric Richardson by a nose at the stripe for second. Buddy Shepherd and Cole Adamo rounded out the top-five.
The second 35 was led to green by the rookie Shepherd, who led the opening lap under heavy pressure from Eric Richardson. Richardson took the lead on lap two with Wilson and Brian Richardson following him past Shepherd.
Wilson moved into the lead on lap nine and had a great battle with Eric Richardson for the next 10 laps. The battle finally boiled over with a tangle in turn two on lap 18, and two laps later Brian Richardson capitalized to take the lead.
Brian Richardson checked out to a 2.123 second win with Wilson again narrowly taking second. Shepherd and Adamo rounded out the top-five again for a duplicate top-five.
Another close NASCAR event took place in the NASCAR Spec-Modifieds, where despite a short field the drivers put on a great event. 2013 division champion Chris Dalton took the lead from Jim Coffey on lap four and led him through the final 26 laps for a scant .524 victory. Brock Thompson rounded out the podium.
Brandon Weaver won his first career INEX Legends race, defending a late charge from Eddie Garone for the win. Weaver took the lead from Blaine Perkins on the seventh lap of the race. Opening night winner Eric Olson won a race long battle with Perkins for third while rookie Colton Page finished fifth.
Despite a strong three wide maneuver by rival Ryan Vargas at the start, 2013 champion Tyler Bannister took a comfortable win in the INEX Bandolero race. Vargas set quick-time for the second consecutive race but the result was the same as a week ago.