Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Diaz, MacDougal Share Spotlight At Merced Speedway

 First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Also, what could be a series of informative books...

Short Track History Project at Gofundme

More on the Short Track History Preservation Project and the first book planned by clicking here.

Once again , I'm throwing something together for Merced Speedway to complete my weekend's effort.  Check the official Oval Motosrports Website as I'm sure there will be a nice article there shortly.  Also, I did another DCRR Racing Radio Show talking about Merced Speedway, Antioch Speedway and more.  It's linked beneath this article.

Diaz, MacDougal Share Spotlight At Merced Speedway

The green flag dropped and the 2015 season continued at Merced Speedway Saturday night with a four division program that offered plenty of thrills and spills to the fans of the 66 year old quarter-mile dirt oval.  The headliners were the IMCA sanctioned Modified and Sport Modified divisions, and they featured a new winner and a familiar face.  Coming off of a double Top 5 season in IMCA sanctioned and Northern All Stars sanctioned Modifieds at Antioch last season, John MacDougal won his first career IMCA Modified race at Merced.  Defending IMCA Sport Mod champion Rick Diaz snapped a four race win streak for Fred Ryland to win that feature.  In the Northern All Stars sanctioned classes, Kristie Shearer won the Hobby Stock Main Event, while past Watsonville champion Dan McCabe won the Mini Stock feature.

The IMCA Modifieds ran two heat races with Alex Wilson holding off newcomer Clarence Holbrook to win his heat, while Marysville area racer Les Friend won the other heat ahead of past champion Jim DiGiovanni.  As luck would have it, MacDougal drew the pole for the Main Event, but past Merced champion Bill Egleston and Friend would make his win anything but easy.  However, MacDougal remained cool under pressure and hit his marks as he picked up a hard earned victory ahead of Egleston and Friend.  Alex Wilson and DiGiovanni rounded out the Top 5 at the checkered flag.

Counting his starts at Chowchilla and Marysville and a previous Merced appearance, Antioch racer Fred Ryland was riding a four race winning streak coming into the night's IMCA Sport Mod race.  Ryland gave no indication that things would change as he won one of the two heat races ahead of three time Merced Street Stock champion Darren Thomas.  Diaz set the stage for the showdown as he won the other heat ahead of Antioch racer Keith Brown Jr.  Diaz had the front row for the feature, but third row starter Ryland was quick to gave chase.  However, Diaz was not to be denied as he brought it home to victory ahead of Ryland.  John Gish collected a solid third place finish ahead of Mark Squadrito and Thomas.

A nice turnout of Mini Stocks saw the need for two heat races, and 2014 champion Chris Corder won the first heat ahead of recent Chowchilla winner Darren Miguel.  Mat Schlessinger used his front row start to win the other heat race and McCabe came from the third row to place second.  C. Corder had the pole for the feature, but he was going to have a champion's duel with McCabe for this win.  In the end, McCabe drove an impressive race and was rewarded with a hard earned victory.  C. Corder settled for second ahead of Schlessinger, double division racer Jennifer Corder and past Merced Mini Truck champion Kevin Lockerby.

The Hobby Stocks proved to be a battle between recent Chowchilla winner Kevin Joaquin and Kristie Shearer.  Joaquin won the heat race, but he had to charge from the last row to do it as Shannon Nelson was second ahead of Shearer.  As the runner up in points last season, Shearer is hoping to take things up a notch, and she had to work her way past Joaquin to score this feature win.  At the checkered flag, it was Shearer  picking up the victory ahead of Joaquin, long time Merced competitor Ty Shelton, Nelson and Dexter Long.

With a few of the Valley Sportsman racers fielding Sport Mods, only two Sportsman competitors showed up.  Marcus Lung beat Jeff Bristow in both the heat and Main Event.

Racing resumes at Merced Speedway next week with a five division show featuring IMCA Sport Mods, Northern All Stars Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and the Valley Sportsman class.  For official information, check the Oval Motorsports Website.

The DCRR Racing Radio Show

DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 19 by GenWhat