Motorsports

Thursday, Aug 09 2012 10:56 PM

Speedway is heating up

BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

This month is billed as "Hot August Nights" at Bakersfield Speedway and the heat will definitely be turned up on Saturday Night at the third-mile clay oval.

The temperature by late afternoon is expected to be around 109 degrees and the action should be hot on the track as the two fastest divisions -- Late Models and Street Stocks -- headline the show.

The Late Model race will be the final appearance for the drivers until the Budweiser Nationals Oct. 12-13.

John Lowrey of Bakersfield raced to his first win of the season on July 21 and will be looking to make it two in a row.

Clay Daly of Watsonville is the only two-time winner and has three top-five finishes in five races. Andy Obertello and Nick Bartels also have three top-five finishes with both drivers looking for the first win.

Street Stock drivers will be racing for added cash as well as double points in a West Coast Street Stock All-Star race.

As was the case for the last Street Stock race, $1,000 has been added to the purse, including $500 to the winner for a $1,000 payday. Also, once again any driver who has not raced at the track this season will get two free pit admissions.

Lee Jensen of Bakersfield raced to victory in the last Street Stock feature.

Also competing on a busy night will be Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Hard Tops. Racing starts at 6.

Ryan Reed of Bakersfield finished sixth in a 125-lap ARCA race at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. It was his third straight top-six finish and fourth straight top 10. Reed, however, will not compete again on the ARCA series until the season finale in October. Reed, working on a package for 2013, will keep busy with some Super Late Model races at Las Vegas and will be a guest at Bakersfield Speedway on Sept. 1 as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Reed might also compete in a Hobby Stock race that night.

Corey LaJoie raced to victory last Friday as the East Coast drivers dominated a combination East/West race at Iowa Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. The top eight drivers were all from the East Series.

Leading the way for the West was eighth-place finisher Michael Self.

Bakersfield's David Mayhew finished 19th and 29th, respectively. Greg Pursley, who finished 20th overall and fifth among West drivers, leads that series by seven over teammate Dylan Kwasniewski. Mayhew is third, 31 behind with Thorn fourth, 39 back.

Bakersfield's Shannon McQueen extended her USAC Western States Midget championship lead with a fifth-place finish last Saturday night at Santa Maria Speedway. It was her seventh top-five finish of the season. McQueen leads Nick Chivello by 73 points heading into an Aug. 19 race at Victorville.

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