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Burke, Ryland, Nelson, Odishoo Win Chowchilla Fairtime Races
Taking the lead with a late race pass on Troy Foulger, Cody Burke went on to win the 20 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Sunday afternoon at Chowchilla Speedway. The race was held in conjunction with the annual Chowchlla Fair. Fred Ryland won a duel with Keith Brown Jr. during the first half of the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event and posted his fourth victory of the year at Chowchilla. Bruce Nelson took the lead on the second lap and went on to win his second straight Northern All Stars Hobby Stock 20 lap feature. Alex Odishoo won a mid race battle with point leader Chris Corder to score his first Mini Stock Main Event win of the season.
The IMCA Modifieds ran two heat races, and Foulger won the first heat ahead of Austin Burke. Kyle Wilson won the second heat race ahead of C. Burke. Foulger and K. Wilson shared the front row of the Main Event with C. Burke starting back in seventh. Wilson charged into the lead at the start with point leader Josh Vogt slipping past Foulger for second on lap two. A lap four restart provided Foulger with the opportunity to race past K. Wilson and Vogt for the lead. The shuffled lineup now found C. Burke in second ahead of Vogt. Vogt's hopes for a fourth straight win ended when he got a flat tire and stalled for a lap 11 caution flag. Foulger led C. Burke and Bakersfield Speedway competitor Robby Sawyer on the restart, but a multi car crash in Turn 4 brought out a lap 14 caution flag. Foulger chose the outside for the restart and continued to lead C. Burke and Sawyer. However, a low move in Turn 4 of the 16th lap gained C. Burke the lead from Foulger. By then, 12th starter Paul Stone was up to fourth. Once in front, C. Burke held off Foulger's challenges for the impressive victory. Sawyer was a strong third ahead of Stone, K. Wilson, Bill Egleston, Ray Mayer, Danny Luukkonen, Alex Wilson and Mike Vilanueva.
Ryland won the first Sport Mod heat ahead of Merced point leader Josh Hensley. Brown won the other heat race ahead of Jordon Braaten. A wild first lap of the Main Event saw Marisa Odgers lead the pack down the back straightaway. By the time they exited Turn 4, Brown had the lead. Ryland moved by Odgers for second a lap later. A low move in Turn 4 of the third lap gained Ryland the lead from Brown. John Fore Jr. spun in Turn 4 for a lap three caution flag. Ryland took the outside for the restart and was surprised as Brown exited Turn 2 with the lead. The lead duo ran side by side for the next few laps and exchanged the lead several times. Ryland finally made an outside pass on the front stretch of the eighth lap to reclaim the lead from Brown. A lap later, another outside pass on the front stretch moved ninth starter Brian Zachary into second. A low pass in Turn 1 of the 11th lap regained Brown second from Zachary, but Ryland already had a straightaway lead. Jordon Braaten took third on lap 12, and an inside pass on the back stretch a lap later moved Braaten past Brown for second. A lap 13 caution flag flew for Hensley in Turn 4. Ryland again led Braaten and Brown on the restart. By lap 18, Ryland held another straightaway lead, and Brown spun with right front end damage in Turn 4 of the 19th lap to lose third. He moved, rather than cause a yellow flag, and Ryland was the happy winner ahead of Braaten, Zachary, Paul Espino, Odgers, Nastasia Dodd, Brown, Fore, Hensley and Tim Elias.
The Hobby Stocks got no heat races in order to help get things done in the two hour window given to the races by the Chowchilla Fair. Michael Shearer led just one lap of the Main Event before an inside pass in Turn 3 a lap later moved Nelson into the lead. Robbie Loquaci had settled into third, and a yellow flag few on lap 5 for a Turn 4 crash involving Austin Van Hoff and Dexter Long. Both drivers were eliminated, and Nelson led Shearer, Loquaci, Gary Hildebrand and Kodie Dean on the restart. As Nelson pulled away and Shearer was a comfortable second, Hildebrand was having a side by side battle with Dean for fourth for several laps. Hildebrand eventually won the battle and began to reel in Loquaci for third,. A back stretch pass on the final lap moved Hildebrand into third, and Nelson was the winner ahead of Shearer, Hildebrand, Loquaci, Dean, George Silva and Kevin Joaquin.
The Mini Stocks also got no heat race. Corder raced into the lead at the start of the Main Event, and a smoking Mike Germait was black flagged from second. Tyler Appelbaum retired from fourth on lap four as Corder led with Odishoo in close pursuit. Mike Congdon was a comfortable third. Dennis Copus was finally making some laps in his new car, but he retired from fourth after being black flagged with a flat tire on lap 12. Odishoo was pressuring Corder hard for the lead, and a low move in Turn 3 of the 13th lap gained Odishoo first. From there, Odishoo brought it home to victory as Corder settled for second ahead of Congdon.
Racing resumes at Chowchilla Speedway on Saturday, June 6th with a program that will feature IMCA Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, Dwarf Cars and the Valley Sportsman division. For more information, check the official Oval Motorsports Website.