McClish masters Stockton 99, claims USAC Western Sprint win – By Bobby Gerould –
Mike Murgoitio shared the front row for the main-event with
Tim Barber. As the two led a 17 car field to the green flag, their cars touched,
and Barber smacked the front chute wall, setting off an ‘accordion effect’ on
the cars behind them. Drivers hit the binders and a chaotic mess ensued in turn
one. Brad Bumgarner, Michael Trimble, and Anthony Simone all crashed together
with Bumgarner getting the worst of it. The
The race restarted with Murgoitio sharing the front row with Nick Rescino Jr. Tim Barber was relegated to the rear of the field for work done on his car during the red flag. The work was necessary for Barber to continue after the wheel-banging on the initial start. Rescino got the jump and immediately opened a sizeable lead. Destiney Hays went low in turn four on lap two to take second spot from Murgoitio. McClish meanwhile was moving forward. He dropped Hays to third with an overpowering run down the back straightaway on lap six.
As Rescino and McClish held the two top spots, a battle royale was taking place for third between Hays, Kody Swanson, and Tony Hunt. Swanson’s #75 contacted the rear of Hays’ #28 as the two drove past the start-finish line to complete lap 12. The contact sent Hays sideways and into the wall just shy of turn one, bringing out the first caution flag of the event.
By lap 21 Rescino appeared to be losing traction as he had repeated ‘loose moments’ in turn four. McClish closed quickly and was on Rescino’s rear nerf looking for a way around. Swanson and Hunt caught the top two and suddenly a four car race for the lead was pleasing the fans. As Swanson ventured to the high groove to try to pass McClish, he opened the door for Hunt who gained third on lap 24. In his haste to gain back the spot lost, Swanson spun in turn one on the next lap. With 26 laps remaining, Rescino restarted as the leader with McClish, Hunt, Barber, and Scott Hansen right behind him. Shauna Hogg dropped from the race with a mechanical failure on lap 24.
The lead changed hands on lap 26. McClish blew by Rescino on the front chute, and on the next lap Hunt did the same. The remainder of the race was a battle of Hunt trying to reel in McClish. On lap 45, the pair now running nose-to-tail, hit traffic. McClish darted while Hunt diced and at the checkered flag McClish withheld Hunt by a car-length. The win was the second career USAC sanctioned triumph for McClish. “I want to thank all of my sponsors, and my family.” said the happy winner. “I respect Hunt and Rescino, and they raced me clean. That’s all you can ask for.”
Barber rebounded fantastically from the opening lap incident
to finish fourth. Hansen was fifth followed by Murgoitio, Veenstra, Chris
Petersen, Audra Sasselli, and Peter Gobel. Sasselli was making her sprint car
USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS:
Hays, 28, Hays-13.403; 5. Tim Barber, 14, Pierson-13.431; 6. Chris Peterson, 18, Petersen-13.461; 7. Mike Murgoitio, 80, Murgoitio-13.443; 8.
Kody Swanson, 75, Swanson-13.497; 9. Audra Sasselli, 3x, Finkenbinder-13.581; 10. Scott Hansen, 3F, Finkenbinder-13.627; 11. Michael
Trimble, 15, CTR-13.640; 12. Brad Bumgarner, 88, Bumgarner-13.652; 13. Rick Hendrix, 97, Hendrix-13.680; 14. Cody Veenstra, 07, Veenstra-13.713; 15.
Anthony Simone, 10, Simone-13.843; 16. Shauna Hogg, 5, Hogg-13.936; 17. Peter Gobel, 27, Gobel-14.129.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Trimble, 2. Barber, 3. Simone, 4. Rescino, 5. Murgoitio, 6. Sasselli, 7. Hendrix, 8. Gobel, 9. McClish. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bumgarner, 2. Hansen, 3. Swanson, 4. Veenstra, 5. Hogg, 6. Hays, 7. Peterson, 8. Hunt. NT
SEMI: (10 laps) 1. McClish, 2. Hays, 3. Murgoitio, 4. Hunt, 5. Petersen, 6. Hendrix, 7. Sasselli, 8. Hogg, 9. Gobel. NT
FEATURE: (50 laps) 1.
8. Chris Peterson, 9. Audra Sasselli, 10. Peter Gobel, 11. Destiney Hays, 12. Kody Swanson, 13. Shauna Hogg, 14. Rick Hendrix, 15. Michael Trimble,
16. Brad Bumgarner, 17. Anthony Simone. NT
**Bumgarner flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-26 Rescino, Laps 27-50 McClish.
NEW USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Hunt-299; 2-Swanson-290; 3-Barber-285; 4-Murgoitio-246; 5-Bumgarner-246; 6-McClish-223;
7-Trimble-214; 8-Veenstra-207; 9-Hogg-197; 10-Peterson-161.
NEXT USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR RACE: July 9