MADERA, Calif. — Darin Snider won Sunday’s Smokey Hanoian Classic midget race that was co-sanctioned by the Bay Cities Racing Ass’n and the USAC Western States Midget Series at Madera Speedway.
The 30-lap midget feature began with a bang as polesitter Nick Chivello and outside starter Jake Swanson made contact going into the first turn with Chivello spinning. This put Chivello’s Beast/Esslinger to the rear and moved Darin Snider’s Stewart Sesco onto the pole position for the complete restart. with Swanson’s Beast/VanDyne remaining of the outside.
Snider quickly jumped into the lead on the restart with Swanson slipping in behind ahead of brother Michael Snider and fast qualifier Chad Nichols aboard his Beast/Esslinger. At the conclusion of the first round Stockton winner Alex Schutte, subbing for regular driver Kevin Morris in the Morris Beast/Esslinger, held fifth over Gary Conterno, rookie Jarid Blondel and Chivello, who had gained three positions from his last-place restart.
Snider quickly pulled out to an eight-car lead as Swanson and Michael Snider diced for second, crossing the line for several laps side-by-side. Snider outbraked Swanson into the first turn to take second behind his brother on the fifth circuit.
On the eighth lap, Nichols moved into third and Chivello had gained several spots to run sixth after battling Blondel for the position. Exiting turn four on the ninth lap Blondel moved under Chivello to attempt a re-pass and made contact, sending himself into a spin and a yellow caution flag. With the green flag displayed, BCRA Champion Floyd Alvis came to a stop on the track and was pushed off-track for a DNF and another caution flag. Off again and Snider again paced the field with a commanding lead as Nichols challenged the leader’s brother, taking the second spot on the 13th round. Schutte held fifth at this point over Chavello.
Blondel nearly brought out another yellow on the 16th lap as he exited turn four and produced a half spin towards the inside security wall, regaining control, and losing one position to Gary Conterno. Three laps later Mark Maliepaard spun his Beast/Esslinger between turns three and four for a yellow. Upon the restart Swanson spun in turn one with Michael Snider veering to the topside, nearly hitting the wall, and managed to regain his composure without losing his third-place position. Swanson was unable to restart.
Over the final ten laps, Darin Snider held the field at bay as Nichols was unable to pull him in. Schutte and Chivello battled steadily for fourth with Chivello claiming the spot on the 25th circuit as Conterno and Blondel waged a battle for sixth with Blondel coming out on top for good on the 28th lap.
Snider took the checkered flag over Nichols by 0.505 seconds, followed by Michael Snider, Chivello and Schutte.
Darin Snider, Chad Nichols, Michael Snider, Nick Chivello, Alex Schutte, Jarid Blondel, Gary Conterno, Mark Maliepaard, J.R. Williams, Jake Swanson, Floyd Alvis, Scott Pierovich.