Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hood, Pounds set for another IMCA clash

Wednesday, Jul 31 2013 11:20 PM

Hood, Pounds set for another IMCA clash

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    By Tom Macht
    In a recent IMCA Modified heat race at the Bakersfield Speedway, Larry Hood (2) battles with Bryan Clark (51B).
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By BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer
Drivers Larry Hood and Brad Pounds are locked in a dead heat with three races left to determine the IMCA Modified championship at Bakersfield Speedway.
Twelve races into the season, the two have accumulated 435 points apiece, putting them comfortably ahead of third-place Justin Schweitzer.
Pounds has won the past two races and is batting .500, having won a total of six times.
But the IMCA points structure awards consistency more than winning as just one point separates each finishing position, with the winner earning 40.
Pounds got off to a great start, winning the first two races, with Hood falling 17 points behind. But Hood raced to his lone win in Week 3 and then finished ahead of Pounds in five of the next seven races to take the points lead.
Now, with back-to-back wins, Pounds has clawed his way into a tie, setting the stage for what could be a dramatic championship battle.
The two will be back on the third-mile clay oval Saturday night, and when the 30-lap feature concludes one of them will have the advantage.
Pounds has the momentum on his side but Hood’s strong suit all season has been consistency — nine top-four finishes. Pounds has just one other top-five finish, a fifth, to go with his six wins.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Also in action will be Sport Mods, Mini Stocks and Mini Dwarfs.
The Sport Mods also feature a close race as Jared Schweitzer holds a four-point edge over John Piker. Schweitzer has six top-fives, including a win, while Parker has five top fives and leads the divisions with three wins.
Racing starts at 6. All fans will receive a ticket for a free Coke.
Kern County Raceway
Legend and Bandolero drivers will have a busy weekend at Kern County Raceway Park with both divisions competing on the quarter-mile oval on Saturday and Sunday nights.
On Saturday night the Legends and Bandoleros will be the support divisions for the Late Models and Pro Late Models, which race on the half-mile. On Sunday, the Legends and Bandoleros take center stage as they compete for regular track points as well as a guaranteed starting position in the 2013 Nationals on the East Coast.
Buddy Shepherd, 13, has won back-to-back Legends features and is the track point leader. Tyler Bannister has won all but one Bandolero race.
Eric Richardson swept twin 35-lap Late Model feature races last Saturday night and wil be looking for win No. 4 on Saturday. David Mayhew has seven wins, leads the division in points and is third in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state title race.
The Pro Late Model division has had five different winners in five races.
Racing starts at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Thorn wins again
Bakersfield’s Derek Thorn qualified on the pole, sat out a long rain delay, then led all but two laps in racing to victory in the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway on Saturday night.
It was Thorn’s second straight victory in the series and third of the season. He increased his lead in the championship standings to 13 points over three-time winner Michael Self, as the series heads to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, for a combination East-West race on Friday.
There have been eight different winners in the eight previous East-West events at Iowa Speedway, with Self getting the win in a race there in June.
Bakersfield’s David Mayhew, who won at Iowa in 2010, will also be competing. He will fly back to Bakersfield after the race to compete in a Late Model on Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park.

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