BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
IMCA Modified drivers take to Bakersfield Speedway on Saturday night for their second straight race on the third-mile clay oval.
Brad Pounds started the season with back-to-back wins but since then three different drivers have driven to Victory Lane, including Danny Lauer of Nipomo who raced to his first ever win at Bakersfield last Saturday.
Jeff Streeter and Josh Vogt are the other drivers with victories.
Also in action on Saturday will be Sport Mods, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and California Lightning Sprints.
Billy Simkins and Gary Dutton have each raced to Street Stock wins this year at Bakersfield.
Four different drivers have raced to victory in four Sport Mod features, but the top four drivers in points have yet to win. Nick Spainhoward had a three-point edge over Jared Schweitzer with David Childress four back and Tina McGowan eight behind.
The Mini Stock division also has seen four different winners though four races with the top two in points -- Johnny Winchester and Gary Spiller Jr. -- seeking their first win.
Racing starts at 6.
Kern County Raceway preparing for opener
Hundreds of fans took the opportunity last Saturday to get a look at Kern County Raceway as the track held a Fan Appreciation Day as drivers practiced in preparation for the May 18 opening.
The opening has been twice delayed due to construction holdups but all should be ready for the opener. Enos Lane outside the track has been widened, the main parking lot has been paved and crews were hard at work on Saturday working on various finishing projects on the four story superstructure.
"I'm sure glad I've got two more weeks to straighten out a few things I've found," track president Charlie Beard said last Saturday. "This has been good. This was our dress rehearsal. We've riden around made notes. I'm hoping we get all our permits finaled on Friday and then we can spend the last week putting spit and polish on it."
Pro Late Models, Late Models, Legends, Bandoleros and Mini Dwarfs will be in action on opening night starting at 6 p.m. The two Late Model divisions compete on the half mile with other divisions racing on the quarter mile.
Adult tickets for opening night are $15 for general admission and $20 reserved and can be purchased online at kernraceway.com
The track is located adjacent to Interstate 5 and Enos Lane.
Thorn races to Pro Series West win at Stockton Speedway
Bakersfield's Derek Thorn dominated the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West G-Oil 150 at Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday, leading all 150 laps.
Rookie Dallas Montes of Bakersfield started 11th and finished sixth.
Thorn started on the outside of the front row and edged ahead of polesitter Cameron Hayley to get the lead on the lap and fended off numerous challenges on restarts as there were 10 caution periods.
"There were a lot of restarts -- with caution after caution after caution," said Thorn, who used the inside lane on some restarts and the outside lane on others. "The first 50 laps was a little rough. It was one of those days where everything went in our favor. We were able to get out front every restart and kind of stay there and manage the race ourselves. We didn't have to worry about falling back into second."
Sergio Pena finished second with Hayley third.
The victory put Thorn into the early points lead, four ahead of Hayley.
"These guys really worked hard in the off season to give us this opportunity," Thorn said of his team. "We were good last year and I think we came back with some better stuff this year. Hopefully, it's just a glimpse of stuff to come this year. It's good to fire off the second race of the year and have a win already. I can't thank (car owner) Bob Bruncati enough."
Sears SWT Series at Vegas
Thorn now switches to the Spears Southwest Tour Series for the GoLiveStream.TV - Blackjack 211 on Saturday at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Thorn won six SWT races last season en route to the championship and has started this season with two straight wins. He holds a 20-point lead over Jim Pettit II.
M.K. Kanke of Frazier Park, fifth in points, also will be competing.