BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, American Stocks and Mini Dwarfs will be in action Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.
Two-time winner Brad Pounds continues to lead the IMCA Modified points race, but consistent finishes by Jay Marks, who is seeking his first win, has put him just four points behind Pounds. Larry Hood, who has a first and fourth in his last two outings, trails by eight points.
Four races have produced four different winners in the Hobby Stock division, but Tyler Johnson, who has a win and has finished no worse than eighth in his other three races, has distanced himself from the pack. Johnson has a 24-point lead over his brother, Chad Johnson, and Joe Humphrey, who are tied for second.
Four top-seven finishes with a best of second have Marcus Wankum atop the American Stock standings. Wankum leads Teena Childress, who also seeks her first win, by eight points.
Fans at Saturday night's race have the opportunity to catch a five-lap ride with former Late Model track champion Dick Shepherd in a two-seater Late Model. Fans can purchase raffle tickets for the opportunity to ride along with Shepherd and two winners will receive the rides. Proceeds go to the Fight For Life organization. The car will be at several other Bakersfield Speedway events this season in a continuing fundraiser for Fight for Life.
It is also Johasee Rebar Family Night with a wide-range of activities for youngsters, including a basketball shoot hoop and face painting.
Racing starts at 6.
Fun Ford weekend at Famoso
If you are a Ford guy, or gal, Auto Club Famoso Raceway might be the place for you this weekend as the track hosts its first ever Fun Ford Weekend.
The weekend starts with open testing for all types of cars Friday (3-7 p.m.), with Fords taking center stage Saturday and then a Fords-vs.-the-World bracket race Sunday. To add more spice, the event also features the The West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association, featuring full-bodied cars that run through the quarter-mile in the 5.7-second range at 250 mph.
"Our goal is to build this event so it's sort of a combination race right now," said track Vice President Blake Bowser. "But Saturday it's almost all Fords. We've got a car show with tons of awards, a Mustang challenge, a class for street cars ... if you've got a Ford and it can passs NHRA tech, we've got a class for you."
Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Fans can find a link to print a free ticket (good after noon on either day) at www.famosoraceway.com
Reed strong in Nationwide debut
Bakersfield's Ryan Reed had a strong NASCAR Nationwide debut Friday night at Richmond International Raceway, finishing 16th after making a run toward the top-five late in the race.
Reed was running sixth on a restart with 23 laps to go but clipped the wall soon after and faded to 16th as the laps wore down. Still, his run throughout the race garnered a good deal of attention by ESPN, which sought him out after the race.
"It was a good, solid run and I definitely can't be disappointed in my debut, but with about 20 to go there we were a top-five car there," Reed said on camera. "We had a top-five car on my debut. I haven't seen the replay yet so I don't know what happened, I gave and took all race long and I think I got taken a little bit of advantage of there at the end. I don't know what happened so I'm not pointing fingers whether it was my fault or someone else's fault. These guys (his Roush Fenway team) deserved a top 10, maybe be top five. It was a fun, fun race."
Reed is scheduled to compete in four more races for Roush Fenway this season.
Fellow Bakersfield driver Derek Thorn, looking to make his Nationwide debut, did not qualify.
Open house at Kern County Raceway
Fans can get a free sneak preview of action at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday as drivers participate in a practice session at the new track.
Drivers in all divisions will be practicing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday in preparation for the scheduled opener May 18. There will be concessions available throughout the day, a merchandise booth will be open and tickets (for individual races or the season) will be available for purchase.
K&N West Series heads to Stockton
After starting the season two months ago in Phoenix, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West resumes Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway for the G-Oil 150. Greg Pursley is coming off a win at Phoenix and has the early points lead. A whopping 32 drivers are entered for the race, which will start 24 on the quarter-mile oval. Among those are Bakersfield's Derek Thorn (fourth at Phoenix) and rookie Dallas Montes (24th at Phoenix). Montes was running in the top 10 late in the Phoenix race when he drifted up the track and hit the wall.
Newberry in ARCA race at Talladega
Brennan Newberry of Bakersfield will compete in the ARCA Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday. Practice and qualifying takes place today, with the race getting under way at 1 p.m. on Friday. Newberry is competing full time on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season while participating in select ARCA races. He finished sixth in the ARCA race at Daytona in February.
Flat track motorcycle racing Sunday
The West Coast Flat Track Racing Series for motorcycles starts this weekend at Willow Springs International Raceway's Walt James Stadium.
Practice will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, with racing starting at noon Sunday on the 3/8-mile, banked dirt oval.
For more information, call (661) 944-1184.