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Thomson A Double Winner
In Hardtops At Calistoga
Grabbing the lead on the opening lap both nights, Tommy Thomson went on to win both California Hardtop Association Main Events at Calistoga Speedway on Labor Day Weekend. Tommy is the son of past Vallejo Speedway Hardtop champion Chet Thomson, and he drives the car he won the final Hardtop Main Event with at Vallejo Speedway. After winning both features, Tommy was quick to thank Rob Waldrop's car owner Bill McLaughlin for loaning him the gears that helped him beat Waldrop in both races. The Hadtops were honored to be a part of the big Louie Vermeil Memorial Weekend for USAC Midgets and Sprint Cars.
Thomson finished second to Zack Frazer in the Saturday night heat race, but he charged into the lead at the start of the Main Event. A four time Main Event winner this year, Waldrop raced past Frazer at the start and took up the pursuit of the flying Thomson. Frazer and John Philbert had a good battle for third early on.
Thomson set a good pace up front and earned a checkered flag for his first win of the season. Waldrop was a strong second in the Bill McClaughlin car. Frazer held off Philbert for the third place finish. Russ Kraft crossed the line a lead lap fifth ahead of Ken Clifford and Joe Hopp, in his first dirt start of the season. Mike McClure and early spin victim Steve Cloyes grabbed the checkered flag in eighth and ninth, respectively.
Cloyes and Clifford were done after Saturday, and Thomson raced past John Philbert for the early lead on Sunday. Frazer fell out on the opening lap. Waldrop ran a close second as Philbert ran third. Hopp and Kraft battled for fourth. Thomson ran a good race and was rewarded with another victory. Waldrop enjoyed another runner up finish ahead of Philbert. Hopp held off Kraft for fourth as McClure and Frazer rounded out the finishing order.
The CHA Hardtops ran seven dirt events with two each at Calistoga and Placerville and one each at Marysbville, Chico and Antioch. Waldrop won both Placerville races as well as Marysville and Chico and placed second at Antioch. Waldrop is the top performer on dirt in the unofficial rankings. With three seconds and a third, Frazer is second.
With a fourth and a fifth as his best two finishes on dirt, Ken Clifford will rank third, just ahead of Dan Whitney, who has a third and two fourths as his best finishes. Thomson had no worse than fifth in his four starts and had a third at Antioch before the big Calistoga weekend. That put him fifth in the unofficial rankings.
Ray Wins Hobby Stock Feature At Orland,
Stevens Gains Point Lead
Brad Ray impressed with a 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event victory Saturday night at Sacramento Valley Speedway in Orland. A past Mini Truck champion, Ray had three Top 3 finishes in his previous four starts this year, but this was his first win. Paul Stevens used a second place finish to take the point lead from the struggling Steve Martin. Meanwhile, Tony Richards used his fifth straight Wingless Sprint Main Event win to move into a tie with Bill Hopper for the point lead. Point leader Nick Vidovich used his sixth Mini Stock feature win of the season to break that point race wide open. Likewise, Keith Ross used his sixth Mini Truck feature win to maintain a huge point lead in that division.
The Hobby Stocks produced another double digit car count, and Jeremy Langenderfer won his heat race. Stevens began a good night by winning his heat race. Ray's feature triumph made him the seventh different winner in ten races in the highly competitive division. Stevens is the only multi time winner with four wins, and he used his third second place finish to take the point lead over Martin. Martin had his best finish in the past four races in third, but it was not enough to keep his rival at bay. Langenderfer and Bill Hampton rounded out the Top 5 finishers. Travis Comer's sixth place finish was his best in four starts as Earl Adams, Paul Newman, Shannon Collins and Leonard Burrows made up the remainder of the Top 10. Stevens holds a 5 point lead over Martin while Collins is 85 points back in third.
Richards has been making up for lost time ever since missing the Wingless Sprint Car season opener. He opened the night up with his fourth straight heat race triumph before winning his fifth straight Main Event. Mark Michelet had his best finish of the season as he held off Hopper for the second place finish. Ryan Owens and Gerald Webber rounded out the Top 5. Richards and Hopper are tied for the point lead with Michelet leading Owens by just 15 points in the battle for third.
James Foster made his Mini Stock season debut by winning his heat race, but the Main Event belonged to the flying Vidovich. Mini Stock veteran Olin Crain gave chase before matching his season best effort with a second place finish ahead of past champion John Kirkpatrick and Foster. With Tom Davis missing from the roster, Kirkpatrick has moved into second in the standings. However, Vidovich leads Kirkpatrick by 105 points. Davis is 20 points behind Kirkpatrick in third.
Keith Ross continues to dominate the Mini Trucks as he won his heat race and then claimed another Main Event triumph. Ross Vige settled for his third second place finish ahead of Dan Webster and William Fogle. Ross has a comfortable 145 point lead over the tied Vige and Webster.
Racing resumes on September 19th with Hobby Stocks back in action along with Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, 600 Mini Sprints and 250 Mini Sprints. For further information, check out the official Sacramento Valley Speedway Website.
Miguel Snaps Plumlee's Win Streak
At Rocky Hill Speedway
Having visited earlier this season and won both the $1000 Main Event and $200 Dash For Cash, Merced point leader Darren Miguel returned to Rocky Hill Speedway in Porterville and won the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event Saturday night. Miguel ended the winning streak of point leader Jared Plumlee, who settled for third. Super Mini Stock point leader Roy Atchison extended his win streak to six in their Main Event. Point leader Raymond Noland Jr. grabbed his third Hobby Stock feature win. In Mini Dwarf action, it was Trenton Eurto winning the Junior Dwarf feature and Sunnie Simkins winning the Senior Dwarf Main Event.
Miguel is locked in a tight battle for the Mini Stock championship at Merced, but he took the opportunity to head back to Porterville due to an off night at his home track. Miguel was the class of the field in victory. It was Clifton Massey enjoying his best finish of the season in second as point leader Plumlee settled for third. Andrew Bachtelle followed up his third in the previous race with a fourth this week as Andrew Boydstun rounded out the Top 5. Clinton Massey was sixth, and Robert Jackson was back for the first time in several weeks with a seventh place finish. Jason Cook, Jake Daniels and Brandon Tice rounded out the Top 10.
Atchison continues to roll towards the Super Mini Stock championship with his latest victory. William Hughes enjoyed a second place finish for the fourth time this season, but he gained little on second ranked Adell Shelton, who finished third. Kit Murphy and Steve Golden rounded out the Top 5.
With four second place finishes this season, point leader Raymond Noland Jr. has consistently been running up front in the Hobby Stocks. This was his third win of the season, and it came ahead of a season best second place finish for George Ramirez. American Stock racer Brian Bartlett was third as Merced Sport Mod point leader Josh Hensley and Karl Noland Jr. rounded out the Top 5.
Trenton Eurto won the Junior Mini Dwarf Main Event ahead of Mallory Myers, Nathaniel Edwards and Alley Jung. Fourth generation racer Sunnie Simkins won the Senior Dwarf Car feature ahead of Madison Meyers and Ryley Millard.
The September 19th program is the Seth Patterson Memorial race and will wrap up the 2015 point season. The loaded program will feature Mini Stocks, Super Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Okie Bowl Hardtops, Central Valley Tanks and Junior Dwarf Cars. For further information, check out the official Rocky Hill Speedway website.