The race was only slowed once in the early stages, and Dalton held court from the get-go. Shepherd made waves with a strong fast-time effort in qualifying and battled for many laps with fellow teenage rookie sensation Racin Vernon.
Shepherd broke free from Vernon past mid race and made several looks inside Dalton that were unsuccessful. Dalton took the non-points win by .420 seconds over Shepherd and Vernon, while Paul Ebersbacher won a race long duel with Donny St. Ours for fourth.
The first ever back-to-back champion in KCRP history was decided as INEX Bandolero standout Tyler Bannister won his eighth race of the year to clinch the series title with still one round left to be contested. Bannister started fourth in the 15 lap feature and carefully worked his way past Braden Rogers to take the victory. Alexis Mann finished third to round out the podium.
Other action on the quarter-mile included a second NASCAR Mini Stock win for Terry Pettit, who persevered over numerous challenges from points leader Randy Smith in getting the victory. Pettit debuted a new Acura Integra that also was good enough for quick time on the night. Pettit took over the lead from Eric Aldridge on lap two, and Aldridge came together with Dylan Baker on the following lap to end both of their races prematurely.
Pettit’s victory pushes the points battle with Smith mathematically into the division’s final in October, although Smith’s lead is likely insurmountable. Stacy Evans finished third.
Another strong field of 12 NASCAR Spec Modifieds were on hand for the 30 lap contest on the half-mile speedway, with fast-time qualifier Gary Dutton and recent standout addition to the field Johnny White both starting at the rear after full inversions.
Eric Brust started fourth but was into the lead by the opening lap and held the point until Dutton took over on lap five. Dutton brought White and eventually 2013 champion and points lead Chris Dalton into the top-three positions.
Dalton challenged White for second on several occasions taking over the position briefly with a pass on the outside on lap 11. White was able to get back around Dalton and made his decisive pass on lap 16 to take the lead from Dutton.
Despite a caution-free event, 10 cars finished on the lead lap with White taking his second official victory over Gary Dutton, Chris Dalton, Brock Thompson, and Jim Coffey.
The 911 Racing Series returned to action as part of the 9-11 Tribute and also to compete in another 15 lap feature event. Shafter Police Department Detective Josh Stephens spun early in the race event, and still managed to work through the field to take the race victory. The win also gives Shafter sole possession of the points lead. Kern County Firefighter Eaamon Sullivan started last but finished second ahead of David Driskill from Kern County Probation.
Saturday Night Supermoto returned for a pair of feature races on a specially designed track utilizing the quarter-mile speedway along with the half-mile frontstretch and a steel ski jump. Ernie Lyles won an abbrieviated Open Amateur feature that was halted when Scott Nanamura came off his KTM on the short cute coming off of the half-mile. Nanamura was awake and alert when transported to Mercy Southwest.
Supermoto USA points leader Casey Yarrow, from Vacaville, CA, used a strong pass on lap two to take the lead and never look back in the 12 lap Open Pro feature. David Lucas ran second while Steven Davies was third in both features.
Kern County Raceway Park continues its 2014 season next Saturday night with the Budweiser Night at the races including NASCAR CITGO Lubricants Late Model Twin 35s, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Legends, and Mini Dwarfs.
Major marketing partners at Kern County Raceway Park include Budweiser, CITGO Lubricants, Monster Energy, Advance Beverage Company, Coca Cola, DC’s RV Center, Three-Way Chevrolet, and Whelen Engineering.
For marketing information on Kern County Raceway Park, contact Steven Blakesley by email at [email protected] or by phone at (661) 835-1264, ext 3203.
Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, CA
1) 5 Chris Dalton, 2) 22s Buddy Shepherd, 3) 51 Racin Vernon, 4) 1 Paul Ebersbacher, 5) 22 Donny St. Ours, 6) 12 Bailey Thompson, 7) 14 Dylan Baker, 8) 13 Josh Horn, 9) 81 Tommy Gibson 19:46.753
NASCAR Spec Modified – 30 laps
1) 17 Johnny White, 2) 25 Gary Dutton, 3) 5 Chris Dalton, 4) 2 Brock Thompson, 5) 8 Jim Coffey, 6) 55 Matt Lewis, 7) 4 Eric Brust, 8) 21 Dylan Hagar, 9) 78 Anthony Barket, 10) 12 Ed Coffey, 11) 33 Ralph Morgan, 12) 20 Mark Allan 10:28.251
NASCAR Mini Stock – 30 laps
1) 15 Terry Pettit, 2) 41 Randy Smith, 3) 22 Stacy Evans, 4) 5 Sam Peasha, 5) 8 Cherie Layton, 6) 51 Racin Vernon, 7) 14 Dylan Baker 14:03.570
INEX Bandolero – 15 laps
1) 51 Tyler Bannister, 2) 29 Braden Rogers, 3) 66 Alexis Mann, 4) 40 Sam Richardson 4:03.965
Saturday Night Supermoto
Open Amateur Main (6 laps): 33 Ernie Lyles, 10 Michael Birtchfield, 466 Steven Davies
Open Pro Main (12 laps): 10 Casey Yarrow, 32 David Lucas, 70 Steven Davies
911 Racing Series – 15 laps
1) 4 Josh Stephens, 2) 57 Eaamon Sullivan, 3) 7 David Driskill, 4) 21 Michael Dobbs, 5) 17 Adrienne Villarreal, 6) 3 Steve Hamblet, 7) Don Cegieski 8:55.700