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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon McQueen of Bakersfield wanted the victory, but she'll settle for the championship.
McQueen set fast time in the USAC Western States Midget race Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway and led the most laps before having to settle for a runner-up finish in the 101-lap Johnny Soares Classic.
The second-place finish was good enough to lock up the overall championship with two races remaining. It is the second straight championship for McQueen, who won the Bay Cities Racing Association title a year ago.
"We wanted this win, but we are excited to have clinched the championship," McQueen said. "I'd like to thank all our wonderful sponsors as well as my dad, Duane, who gives me such strong engines, and my crew chief Ty Hindman for giving me a great car every week."
McQueen led 67 laps and picked up a $500 bonus for leading at halfway, as well as the $100 award for setting fast time with a lap of 15.110 seconds.
Shane Golobic passed McQueen on the 94th lap.
"We hoped to bring home a win for our fans and sponsors, but we are in a championship battle and could not risk it going for the win," said McQueen, noting that Golobic had the better car in the final laps.
The overall championship combines all of the pavement and dirt races and McQueen is 151 points ahead of David Prickett. Prickett leads McQueen by 29 points in the dirt championship points race.
The Western States season concludes with the running of the 73rd "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at Perris Auto Speedway, a race also offering USAC Mopar National Midget points.
McQueen has amassed four heat race wins, 10 top-five runs, two fast time awards, and 14 top 10s on the year.
Bud Nationals this weekend at Bakersfield Speedway
Bakerfield Speedway winds up an eight-month racing season Friday and Saturday nights with the 27th annual Budweiser Nationals, featuring more than $60,000 in prize money.
Drivers from throughout the West will compete in the event, which features six classes of racing: Late Models, Modifieds, Sport Mods, Super Street, Hobby Stocks and American Stocks. The Late Models and Modifieds run complete programs both nights. Late Models have a $2,000-to-win 30-lap feature Friday and a 50-lap feature that pays $3,000 to win on Saturday night. The Modifieds have 40-lap features both nights, which pay $1,500 to win.
The American Stocks compete on Friday only, culminating with a 25-lap feature. Super Streets will compete on Saturday only, winding up with a 40-lap feature.
Hobby Stocks and Sport Mods run preliminary events on Friday and features on Saturday.
Derek Thorn of Bakersfield will be looking for his second straight win and third of the season Saturday as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West heads to All American Speedway in Roseville.
Returning to action in the series will be Bakersfield's David Mayhew, who missed the last race as he was competing in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. Dallas Montes filled in for Mayhew in the last race, qualifying second and finishing second in his series debut. Montes will also be competing at Roseville, but in a different car.
Defending series champion Greg Pursley leads Dylan Kwasniewski by 14 points in the championship battle, with Derek Thorn 37 points out of first.
The beat goes on at Auto Club Famoso Raceway, which has featured some sort of racing for five straight weekends. Up this weekend is the American Nostalgia Racing Association finals, featuring a wide variety of nostalgia-style cars.
The biggie is Oct 19-21 when the 21st annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion takes place.
The event combines a reunion, nostalgia racing (including Funny Cars and front-motored Top Fuel Dragsters), a swap meet, car show and manufacturers midway and, of course, the much-anticipated cacklefest, in which restored and recreated dragsters are push-started in front of the grandstands.
"TV Tommy" Ivo is Grand Marshal of the CHRR and the Brissette Brothers, Bob and Jim; the Mallicoat Brothers, Gary and Jerry; Jim Nicoll, Marv Ripes, and Ed Sigmon are this year's honorees.
Tickets, $65 for a three-day pass, are available at nhratix.com or by calling (800) 884-6472. Tickets also will be available at the gate on race weekend.