Merced, CA…May 12…Kodie Dean won the 25 lap Hobby Stock Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. This was the third win of the season for the reigning track champion as he closes in on the point lead. Dean chased George Silva for two laps before taking the lead, and two-time division champion Bruce Nelson settled into second on lap three. Austin Van Hoff at times made it a three-car battle for the lead throughout the race. But the biggest competition for Dean was given to him by Nelson, who searched high and low for a way around. However, Dean kept his cool under pressure and scored a well-earned victory ahead of Nelson and Van Hoff. Michael Shearer made a late race pass on incoming point leader Shannon Nelson to finish fourth as Donny Shearer Jr, Kristie Shearer, Mike Germait, Katie Briggs and Kaleb Shelton completed the Top 10. The three eight lap heat races were won by Shelton, Nelson and Dean.
The BCRA Midget Lites made their first of two scheduled appearances at the speedway. Dean Alexander came up from the California Lightning Sprint group and went flag-to-flag for the victory. Only one slow down in the race occurred with a lap 12 yellow flag, and Alexander maintained command on the restart. Scott Kinney wasn’t too far back in second as the checkered flag flew. Hunter Kinney was a solid third ahead of Dakota Albright, Aidan Lange, Bradley Dillard, Eric Greco Jr, Steve Brown, Terry Bergstrom and Danika Jo Parker. The division also had time trials, and Scott Kinney set the fast lap of 12.925 to beat the 12.975 of Alexander. Hunter Kinney and Albright were eight lap heat race winners.
Three-time reigning Mini Stock champion Chris Corder bested the 20 car Mini Stock field to win his second Main Event of the season. Corder started back in the fourth row and worked his way up to battle his sister and current point leader Jennifer Corder for the lead. Chris Corder made the late race pass for the lead on the front straightaway and went on to victory. Jennifer Corder settled for second ahead of Shawn DePriest, Robert Jackson, Allen Neal, Lucy Falkenberg, Friday night Watsonville winner Kelly Campanille, Bryant Desaire, Lee Ragsdale and Jason Belton Jr. Belton also won one of the four eight lap heat races with Jennifer Rodgers, Chris Corder and DePriest winning the other three.
Jesse Burks won both the eight lap heat race and 15 lap Main Event for the California Sharp Mini Late Models. Burks had the pole for the Main Event and led most of the way to win with point leader Tim Crews a close second. Riley Jeppesen, Carson Guthrie and Ian Shearer rounded out the finishing order.
Racing resumes next Saturday night at Merced Speedway with a program headlined by the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds. Mini Stocks will be back in action along with the Valley Sportsman division. For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.