BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Eric Richardson made a bold statement by sweeping both NASCAR CITGO Lubricants Twin 35s during KGET TV Night at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday night. Richardson steered his Rick Pak No. 44 Chevrolet to wins ahead of points leader David Mayhew in both events and added the trophy dash win as well.
“You just don’t get nights like this,” Richardson said. “I can count how many times I’ve had a car like that. After loosing to Mayhew this year, all these guys on my team dug down and we got better!”
Other winners on the night included Racin Vernon in his first career Mini Stock win, Joel Courage in his NASCAR Spec Mod debut, and Mini Dwarf wins for Kyleigh Forester and Jerry Flippo.
Mayhew led the opening four laps of the first 35 lap event from the outside pole ahead of the 15 car field. Richardson moved past Brian Richardson in lapped traffic and turned his sights on the race leader.
The caution flag came out for Mike Lansing spinning in turn four on lap 11, and that allowed the battle for the lead. Brian Richardson was shuffled back to fifth on the restart.
Richardson dove inside Mayhew on lap 12 and they went side-by-side for the next three laps. Finally on lap 15 Richardson edged forward by a nose and took off with the lead.
Mayhew attempted to close down in lapped traffic several more times but was unable to take the lead. Richardson led Mayhew, Johnny White, Gary Elmore, and Brian Richardson to round out the top-five.
Eric Richardson started on the pole for the second feature and the caution came out in turn four for White spinning. On the complete restart, White made daring moves from the rear to pass eight cars in a single lap.
Richardson paced Mayhew and Brian Richardson nose-to-tail for the rest of the feature while White tried to close down on Elmore. Elmore slowed with mechanical failure on lap 31 to end an otherwise promising run. Richardson took a one second win over Mayhew, Brian Richardson, White, and Kyle Heckman in his debut.
In the 30 lap NASCAR Mini Stock event, Racin Vernon started tenth with a backup engine and stormed through the pack to run with the leaders by lap nine. Points leader Billy Lay paced a close pack of Vernon and new track record holder Dylan Baker throughout the race.
Vernon used the outside groove to take the lead position while Lay and Baker dueled for second. Vernon took a 3.4 second win in his first career Mini Stock win, topping Baker, Lay, Justin Fine, and rookie Chris Joslin.
The 25 lap NASCAR Spec Modified race was a war of attrition with the top two in points Chris Dalton and Bailey Thompson both falling the way side with mechanical problems. For Dalton, the problems struck while challenging for the race lead near the halfway point.
Modesto’s Joel Courage, Jr., a regular at Stockton 99 Speedway, took advantage to win the seven car event by .791 seconds over Eric Brust. Bakersfield’s Justin Tuey crashed hard in turn one on lap 19 but by attrition still was scored third in the end.
Both Mini Dwarf races went caution free on the one-eighth mile speedway, with the most striking win being seven year old Kyleigh Forester in the Jr. Mini Dwarf. Forester lapped all but second place Kabe McClenny in a great performance for her third straight win, with Troy Morris III finishing third.
The Sr. Mini Dwarf race was more of a shootout, as Jeremy Clark led the first six laps with three wide racing up front. Points leader Jerry Flippo went wide down the backstretch for a huge head of steam to the lead on lap nine from Anthony Balcazar. Flippo never looked back in scoring his fourth consecutive win in the division, while Balcazar went three-wide across the line with Andrew Orlando and Jeremy Clark for second.