Merced’s Bubba Nelson won an IMCA SportMod thriller and Oakley’s Kellen Chadwick was unstoppable in the IMCA Modified division New Years Night at Antioch Speedway. Both Nelson and Chadwick advanced to Friday night’s IMCA West Coast Nationals at Antioch Speedway.
“That was the idea – qualify for tomorrow’s race tonight,” Chadwick said in victory lane. He was challenged late in the race by Troy Foulger of Martinez.
“It’s hard to pass Kellen – but coming from twelth to finish second – I can’t complain,” Foulger said. “I almost had him but I jumped the cushion and almost tore down the wall.”
Also qualifying for the Antioch West Coast Nationals Modified event were Nick DeCarlo of Martinez, Michael Paul, Jr. of Petaluma, and Les Friend of Galt.
Qualifying for the Merced West Coast Nationals Event were Foulger, Collen Weinbarger of Corbett, Oregon, and Chris Clark of Jackson, Wyoming and John McDougall of Antioch.
Nelson was being challenged by Bakersfield’s Nick Spainhoward on the last lap when the two tangled while passing lapped traffic. Spainhoward broke a spindle, and Nelson charged to the finish line.
“It’s my first win here ever,” said a happy Nelson in victory lane. “I’m happy to be back tomorrow.”
Also winning a guaranteed spot in the Antioch West Coast Nationals SportMod event were Keith Brown, Jr. of Pittsburg, Wayne Dotson of Bakersfield, and Megan Ponciano of Oakley.
Going to the Merced West Coast Nationals SportMod event are Jeremy Hoff of Copperopolis, Nick Spainhoward, Richard Mueller of Jackson, Wyoming, and Michael Shearer of Atwater.
Larry Damitz of Vallejo started his 62nd racing season in the way he is famous for – winning the Limited Late Model main event after battling with Mike Hynes of Susuin.
“I was terrible in the heat race, but we got it right for the feature,” said Damitz.
Hynes, who was side by side with Damitz, congratulated him in victory lane.
“We bumped a couple of times, but Larry keeps his line,” Hynes said. “It’s fun to race with him.”
The IMCA West Coast Nationals for modifieds and SportMods contines Friday night at Antioch and Saturday night at Merced Speedway. The DIRTcar late models join the show on Friday. Hobby Stocks join the show at Merced.