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By TOM MACHT
BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian
Cody Swanson did a wheel-stand and then a couple of celebratory laps after winning the 30-lap USAC Western Dirt Midget feature Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.
The Norco driver had plenty to be happy about following a dominant performance in which he led wire-to-wire despite being pressured by runner-up Ronnie Gardner for most of the race.
Jake Swanson took third. Ryan Bernal finished fourth and David Prickett was fifth.
Swanson was able to keep Gardener behind him even after suffering a broken rear sway bar late in the race
"That was a tough race," Swanson said. "It was a lot of fun battling with those guys."
Kenny Wiley of Sunland edged Chuck West by half a car length to win the 15-lap NMRA Midgets A-main event
"I wasn't sure I had (the car) right tonight, but it worked out," Wiley said.
Michael Black was third followed by early race leader Don Kiefer and West Evans.
Wiley, the 2007 series champion, took over the point from Black with a handful of laps remaining and then pulled away until the final time around the third-mile clay oval.
That's when Evans made his charge, driving his car hard into turn three and then drag racing Wiley off the final turn to the flag stand.
Darren Sherman of Tehachapi held off Bakersfield's Doug Shepherd in green-white-checkered finish to win a caution-filled Mini Stocks A-main.
The race was originally scheduled for 20 laps but was shortened to 15 because of five yellow flags.
Tina Bell was third, followed by Dylan Baker and Johnny Winchester.
"It's taken a lot of hard work to get here," Sherman said after his first-ever win in a Mini Stock. "It's a good feeling."
Billy Lay started on the outside of the front row and held the point until turn four of the sixth lap when his right front tire went flat. That allowed Sherman to take over the lead.