UKIAH, CA — 2014 Pacific Challenge Series champion Mike Beeler of Modesto became only the second repeat winner of 2016, and first back-to-back winner, taking a thrilling win in Saturday’s round #8 at Ukiah Speedway. The PenneyLawyers.com-sponsored series produced an intense race on Fan Appreciation Night.
Lodi’s Matthew Wendt won the Sunoco Fuels Fast Time award after tying Beeler in qualifying with a 12.645 lap around the quarter-mile asphalt oval. The American Racer Tire dash proved his undoing as he only finished seventh while Loomis’ Chris Scribner got the win for a set of tires and the pole for the feature.
Scribner elected for the outside for the initial start and Manteca’s JR Courage used that to his advantage to take the initial lead. Wendt wasted little time charging forward and was up to fifth by the fourth lap of the race.
Courage took off for a small lead before Leytonville’s Corey James and Beeler reeled him in. Courage consistently fought a loose condition forcing him to give up the bottom line to James. James finally jumped inside Courage down the backstretch on lap 28 but Courage shut the door hard to keep the lead.
Shasta winner Tracy Bolin found a way to get around Wendt for fifth which dropped Wendt into a battle with Sacramento’s Michael Roman. The battle got physical with lots of contact before they slammed doors in turn three and Roman took the position at the conclusion of lap 34.
Wendt eventually escaped to the pits with a flat tire on lap 42. He was able to return to the race a short time later however.
Roman spun off of the track in turns one and two for the first caution on lap 46 that set up a spectacular crash on the restart. Courage picked the inside line and raced side-by-side with James for half a lap, before James fell back into the clutches of Beeler. They raced side-by-side through turn four before James bounced off the wall, collecting both Bolin and Grass Valley’s Don Swartz. Bolin suffered heavy front end damage that caused a fire under the hood as well.
After a brief red flag, Roman, Wendt, and James all returned to the track but Swartz and Bolin were eliminated. Mike Beeler took his challenge to Courage on the restart and swept past him on the outside at the conclusion of lap 49.
Beeler saw his lead ebb and flow by a car length to upwards of three car lengths all the way to the checkered flag, while Courage took on Scribner for second in a great battle.
Beeler scored win number two of 2016 in a back-to-back victory to go with his win on July 2nd at Stockton. Courage, Scribner, Roman, and James rounded out the top-five. Beeler also won the Penney Racing Supply Hard Charger as well.
The Pacific Challenge Series will roll into Madera Speedway on August 13th for a 75 lap feature to be televised on MAVTV. Madera Speedway is a one-third mile asphalt oval located on the Madera Fairgrounds.
-Pacific Challenge Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Patriot Media