Thursday, March 24, 2016

Noland Opens Rocky Hill Speedway Season With Win

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Noland Opens Rocky Hill Speedway Season With Win

It may be a new era with new management at Rocky Hill Speedway in Porterville this season, but there are a few things that haven't changed.  For starters, Karl Noland opened the season with the victory in the Hobby Stock Main Event.  Roy Atchison picked up right where he left off with a win of his own in the Super 4 Mini Stock feature.  Jason Cook impressed with a win in the Mini Stock Main Event, while the Mod Lite feature win went to Brian Puckett.

The Noland's have been a force at Rocky Hill Speedway for many years, and last season saw the family sweep the podium in the Hobby Stock point standings.  Actually, Karl Noland dominated with several feature wins, but he missed some races to drop to third in the final rundown.  If anybody thought he was slipping a little, the crafty veteran served notice by opening the season with a Main  Event triumph.  Not surprisingly, it was defending champion  Raymond Noland Jr. giving chase before settling for second.  Dave Schuyler gave it a good effort in finishing third.  Recent Bakersfield Speedway winner Michael Scruggs finished fourth as Monte Ince rounded out the Top 5.  Mini Stock gradate Clint Massey was sixth ahead of Karl Noland Jr., 2015 American Stock champion Jeff Lloyd, Jake Peters and Gene Glover.

Last season. Roy Atchison dominated the Super 4 Mini Stocks with the lion's share of the feature wins to roll to the championship.  With big trophies on the line for the season opening winners, Atchison had to work for it.  William Hughes could be Atchison's biggest threat as the third ranked driver from last year gave it a good run before settling for second behind the flying Atchison.  Steve Golden was a late season addition to the class last year and would finish a solid third on Saturday ahead of division mainstay Kit Murphy and Darren Eastermann.  Larry Ramirez was sixth as Barbara Hughes and Jared Tinker rounded out the finishing order.  Past champion Dudley Reed was a Main Event scratch

With 2015 champion Jared Plumlee out of the picture in Mini Stocks, "The Dirt Dog" Andy Boydstun is hoping he can move up one position and claim the championship.  He had a win in his sights on Saturday, but Jason Cook put an end to those plans with an impressive charge to flagman Keith Coburn's checkered flag for the victory.  Boydstun settled for second as Josh Nichols grabbed the final podium position ahead of Matt Heard.  Coming off of a sold fourth place point ranking last year, Justin Moore started off the season with a steady effort that earned him fifth at the checkered flag.  Larry Ramirez settled for sixth ahead of Candy Soares, Shawn Schwartzenberger, Steve Scott and D.J. Hughes.  Lance Gonzales was a feature scratch

The Mod Lites were part of the season opener and proved popular enough to be invited back for the next race.  These motorcycle engined, scaled down versions of DIRT Modifieds drew seven cars with Brian Puckett grabbing the win ahead of Roy Maynard and Kaden Cochrun.  Longtime Mini Dwarf competitor and champion  J.D. Brown has moved up in classes and finished fourth in his division debut ahead of Anthony Balcazar.  Jerry Flippo was a Main Event scratch.

Racing takes a few weeks off before returning for the Memorial Cup race on April 16.  Hobby Stocks, Mini Socks, Mini 4's and American Stocks will be joined by another visit from the Mod Lites.