Merced County Times Newspaper
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Jones, Falkenberg, Shearer collect Speedway Victories

Reigning champion Shawn Jones won his second Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series Main Event.
Reigning champion Shawn Jones won his second Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series Main Event.

Shawn Jones scored the victory in the 25 lap Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. This was the first visit to the speedway by the series, which is now in their 10th season. Jones is the reigning series champion and one of the top drivers on the Dwarf Car circuit.

Jones had a front-row starting spot with point leader Jake Morgan lined up in the third row. Morgan was looking for his third win of the season, but once he moved into second, he found Jones to be a bigger challenge. Jones held off the advances of Morgan to score his second win of the season. Morgan settled for second, followed by Cody Spencer, Shayna Sylvia, three-time series champion Terry Schank Jr, Scotty Clough, Bob Newberry, Scott Chapetta, Craig Swim and Jimmy Christian. Eight lap heat race wins went to Matt Stewart, Jones and Spencer.

Chris Falkenberg won the 25 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Falkenberg led much of the way in the previous race before losing a photo finish on the last lap. This time around, Falkenberg was able to grab the victory with Chase Thomas finishing second. State point leader Guy Ahlwardt came from the 10th starting position to finish third, followed by Jack Aguiar, Cody Parker, Nick Tucker, incoming point leader Fred Ryland, Kelly Wilkinson, KC Keller and Chuck Weir. Ryland, Aguiar and Tyler Thomas won the eight lap heat races.

Michael Shearer won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. This was the first win of the season for the 2016 champion, and he kept the pressure on point leader Shannon Nelson. Austin Van Hoff had a front row start for the race and made his biggest challenge yet for a win. However, Shearer and Nelson would both get by him. Shearer held off his teammate Nelson for the well-earned victory. Van Hoff settled for third, followed by multi-time champion Raul Rodriguez Sr, Kristie Shearer, John Hensley, Dustin Donathan, George Silva, Allen Neal and Steve Torres. Rodriguez and Race Shelton won the eight lap heat races.

Carson Guthrie won the 12 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event. He battled point leader Timmy Crews to get his first win of the season as Crews settled for second, followed by Riley Jeppesen, heat race winner Logan Clay and Emali Van Hoff.

Merced Speedway has another exciting open-wheel event lined up for this Saturday night. The USAC Western States Midgets will be in action, joined by the IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks and the Valley Sportsman division. For further information, go online to: mercedspeedway.net.

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