1 of 1
By John Harte / The Californian
BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian
Just before the drop of the green flag of Saturday night's Spec Mod feature at Kern County Raceway Park, Tim Esmay was forced to drop to the back of the field for not having a working radio in his car.
That technical snafu, which was eventually resolved, turned out to be only a speed bump for the Arroyo Grande driver, who rallied from his poor starting position to win the 30-lap race.
"Things certainly turned around for me tonight," Esmay said.
Sid Payne was second to the checkered flag, 0.769 seconds behind Esmay. Points-leader Chris Dalton was third. Dylan Hagar finished fourth and Bailey Thompson took fifth.
Payne lead the race's first five laps but had to give up the top spot to Esmay during an unrelated lap-six caution because of a flat left rear tire.
It took Payne just two laps after the ensuing restart to get back up to third. One lap later Payne made a pass for second place.
However, that was as close to regaining lead Payne would get as Esmay kept him at bay for final 25 laps.
Donny St. Ours had little trouble winning the 30-lap Legends main event.
St. Ours grabbed the lead on the second lap and never lost it during the caution-free race.
Buddy Shepherd finished second and was St. Ours closest challenger throughout the entire race.
Arguably the biggest challenge for St. Ours was working his was around lap-traffic late in the race.
Jonathan St. Ours was third. Pole sitter Eddie Garone took fourth. And Eric Olson finished fifth.
"It was a good race," Donny St. Ours said. "I got out to a pretty good lead there in the beginning of the race. And I saw Buddy. He was pretty quick. He was catching me. I think he had a little bit better car than I did. But just with the lap-traffic and that little bit of a lead I got early in the race really saved me."
Ryan Vargas out-dueled Tyler Bannister to win the 20-lap Bandolero car feature.
Driving with a cast on his right arm, Bannister led the first half of the race.
But on lap No. 11 Vargas dove hard to the inside of Bannister in turn three and took over the lead.
From there the La Mirada driver remained up front the rest of the way, taking his second straight main event victory.
Bannister, the points leader, finished second. Colton Page was third and Anthony Balcazar took fourth.
"It just feels so great," Vargas said. "I think I got the birthday love or something. My birthday is on Monday. This is the best present I could have."
Jerry Flippo cruised to an easy victory in the 20-lap Senior Mini Dwarf main event.
Starting on the outside of the front row, Flippo took over the point position on lap two and never looked back.
The win makes Flippo seven-for-seven in feature races this year.
Anthony Balcazar was second followed by Jeremy Clark, Ryley Millard, and Trenton Millard.
Kyleigh Forster continued her domination of the Junior Mini Dwarfs.
The seven-year old led all but the first two laps of the division's 20-lap feature en route to winning her sixth main event in seven races this year.
Starting in the back of the field, Forster quickly worked her way to the front, passing Kabe McClenny for the lead on the race's third lap.
McClenny ended up being the only other driver in the seven-car field to finish on the lead lap.