Motorsports

Wednesday, Jun 12 2013 09:37 PM

Racing notebook: Funny Cars to take spotlight at Famoso

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Roger Garten has the throttle wide open as he leaves the line in funny car eliminations at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

There will be a healthy level of nitromethane swirling through the air at Auto Club Famoso Raceway on Saturday night as the first of three Saturday Night Nitro shows takes place.

Upwards of 16 Funny Cars, along with four front-engined Top Fuel dragsters, some altereds and even nitro-powered Harleys will be on hand.

"This is the perfect number of nitro cars for what we're trying to do -- a Saturday night show," said Blake Bowser, Famoso Vice-president. "We're throwing a party and they're coming."

Bowser said the Saturday night shows (others are July 13 and Sept. 7) are designed to give owners and drivers an opportunity to run their nostalgia Funny Cars a bit more on the West Coast.

"For these guys it's like taking their boat to the lake for the weekend," he said. "It's just to put on a little show and give them a chance to drive their cars."

This is the second year for the Saturday Night Nitro shows and, in the interest of time, Bowser has condensed the program to two sessions.

All the Funny Cars get a timed run down the track starting at 8:30 p.m. The quick eight from that session return at 10:30 and the winner from those four races with the quickest run will be declared champion.

The rest of the nitro cars and bikes will make runs in between Funny Car sessions. The Nostalgia Pro Comp Association (6.90 cars) are also putting on a show and there will be a number of other cars testing.

A pair of jet dragsters will thunder down the track following the final Funny Car round.

Late Models in action at Bakersfield Speedway

Late Models headline Saturday night's racing at Bakersfield Speedway as they take to the third-mile clay oval for the second time this season.

Bakersfield's Rob Sanders drove to victory in the first race of the season and was fourth last time out as Clay Daly of Watsonville got the win.

Also in action will be Hobby Stocks, American Stocks and Mini Stocks.

The Hobby Stock race is the first round of the 1-800LoanMart Challenge Series between drivers at Perris Auto Speedway and Bakersfield Speedway (two at each track).

The race pays $100 just to start and $1,000 to win. Plus, drivers from the away track get $100 for tow money. At the end of the four-race series, the highest point earner collects an additional $1,000.

Chad Johnson is atop the points standings at Bakersfield Speedway while Luke Dodd leads the way at PAS.

Racing starts at 6.

Pro Late Models at Kern County Raceway

Pro Late Models make their second appearance of the season Saturday at Kern County Raceway Park.

David Mayhew raced to victory when the Pro Late Model cars made their first appearance on opening night, March 18, but is not expected to compete on Saturday night.

Among those expected is Bakersfield's Derek Thorn, who set fast time on opening night at 17.989 seconds.

Other drivers slated for the 100-lap race on the half-mile paved oval include Donny St. Ours, Dan Holtz, Kevin Thompson and Kenny and Tim Smith.

Also in action will be Spec Mods (on the half-mile) and Mini Stocks (on the quarter-mile).

Racing starts at 6.

Self has hot hand in NASCAR West Series

Michael Self is on a hot streak in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and has moved ahead of Bakersfield's Derek Thorn by a point in the battle for the series championship.

Self, of Park City, Utah, swept a pair of races last weekend to run his winning streak to three. He won a combo East-Race at Iowa Speedway on Friday and doubled up with a victory at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo., on Sunday. Those came on the heels of a win at Brainard, Minn., on May 25.

Thorn struggled at Iowa, finishing 18th overall, but bounced back for a fourth-place finish at I-44.

The series returns to action with the Cameros 200 on June 22 at Sonoma.

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