The 4th Annual E & K “Winter Challenge” concludes this weekend with a pair of events at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz. Races are scheduled Friday and Saturday nights at the 3/8-mile dirt oval.
Dave Darland enters the final two “Winter Challenge” events with a 10-point lead over Brady Bacon in the series points after scoring a third and a pair of seconds in last week’s three openers at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.
Bacon won Friday night’s 30-lap race at Peoria, wheeling the Josh Ford Motorsports entry to victory. He started third in the USAC West Coast/Southwest Sprint feature and caught early leader Mike Martin on lap six. Bacon led the rest of the way but faced a strong challenge from USAC Western Classic Champ Ryan Bernal for several laps before Bernal flipped. USAC Southwest Champ R.J. Johnson finished second ahead of Darland, Charles Davis Jr. and Stevie Sussex
In one of the closest race finishes in USAC history, Bernal captured Saturday night’s 30-lapper at Peoria. The Hollister, Calif. driver trailed Darland until the final few feet, then scored a photo-finish victory in his Tri-L Mandarin Ranch machine. The final margin was a scant .005 seconds after Bernal came from 10th in the starting lineup to beat Darland, Johnson, Bacon and Davis.
Bernal returned Sunday night to lead all 30 laps enroute to another win over Darland, Davis, Bacon and Johnson. The Friday and Saturday wins were worth $2,000-to win and Bernal’s victory Sunday was worth $4,000.
WINTER CHALLENGE POINTS: 1-Darland-197, 2-Bacon-187, 3-Johnson-186, 4-Davis-176, 5-Bernal-174, 6-Gabbard-152, 7-Martin-149, 8-Sussex-139, 9-Ziehl-121, 10-Dykes-106.
-USAC Press Release -Photo Credit: USACRacing.com Photo