Merced County Times Newspaper
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Albright, Rodriguez, Short win at Merced Speedway

Dakota Albright won the 20 lap BCRA Midget Lites Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. The occasion was the Seventh Annual Wayne Albright Memorial race, honoring the past BCRA champion. The win also paid $1,035 from the increased purse. The field also included several top competitors from the Southern California based California Lightning Sprint group.

Albright had his hands full, despite starting on the outside front row of the Main Event. Bobby Michnowicz started inside the second row in his quest for a fourth win in this big race. It was a good battle at the front of the pack, joined by past BCRA Midget Lites champion Scott Kinney. When the checkered flag waved, Albright got the win ahead of Michnowicz and Kinney. Craig Holsted came from 10th to finish fourth, followed by Jacob Williams, Hunter Kinney, Jimmy Riddell, James Turnboll, Jeff Dyer and Doug Nunes. Eight lap heat race wins went to Hunter Kinney, his father Scott Kinney and Terry Bergstrom.

Three-time Street Stock champion Darren Thomas finally made his season debut in the 25 lap Hobby Stock Main Event, but it was multi-time division champion Raul “Showtime” Rodriguez picking up the win. Thomas drew the pole for the Main Event, but he faced some intense competition from Rodriguez, 2016 champion Michael Shearer and point leader Shannon Nelson. Rodriguez ended up taking the lead and holding off Nelson for the victory. Shearer finished third, followed by rookie Timmy Crews, Donnie Shearer, Allen Neal, Thomas, John Hensley, Kristie Shearer and Austin Van Hoff. Heat race wins went to Thomas and Michael Shearer.

Dwayne Short won the 20 lap California Sportsman Main Event. Short also won the eight lap heat race ahead of division point leader Rick Elliott, putting the duo on the front row for the Main Event. Short charged into the lead and would hold off Elliott for his first win of the season. Two-time division champion Mike Friesen settled for third, followed by Jeff West, Gary Hildebrand and reigning champion Jerry Cecil.

Riley Jeppesen won the 20 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event. In the process, he snapped a three-race winning streak for Timmy Crews. Jeppesen raced into the lead at the start, but it was Crews who ended up giving him the pressure in the second position. Jeppesen would still hold on to beat Crews as Jeremiah Enriquez, Logan Clay and Carson Guthrie completed the Top 5. Enriquez captured his first eight lap heat race win.

Fireworks At Speedway

The speedway will be dark this Saturday night, but they are coming back for a special Fireworks Spectacular event on July 6. In a tradition started by past promoter Chuck Griffin, the grandstands will be free for the fans. The IMCA Sport Modifieds will be competing along with the Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and the California Sharp Mini Late Models. For further information, go to: mercedspeedway.com.

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