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 Press Release

TCS 4 division program full of surprises: Last lap pass, 4 flips and a black cat

Marysville CA - June 21, 2004. Twin Cities Speedway played host to another thrilling 4-division show at the fast ¼ mile of clay. The Speedway Sprint Cars, the BCRA Midget Lites the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars and the TCS Mini Stock Series put on a memorable show.

Drew Barney in his familiar black #28 captured the victory in the very competitive BCRA Midget Lite feature. Barney, from Martinez, was untouchable as he rocketed away from the field. Barney’s only worry came from a late race red flag for a flip with 3 laps remaining. 4th place runner Jared Adams in a bold move for third banged wheels and took a relatively harmless flip in turn 3. Adams actually restarted and finished 10th. When the field responded to the new green, Barney took off again and was never seriously challenged. This was Barney’s first win in BCRA competition.

The opening lap in heat race #1 for the BCRA clan got everyone’s attention. As the pack roared through turn 2 Sam Corso got sideways in front of Jeff Griffin and Tyler Franklin. Griffin and Franklin executed a series of flips, almost in tandem, when they crashed into the spinning Corso. The odd looking double flip resulted in a lot of bent metal but no harm came to the drivers involved. It’s important to note here that since the BCRA has shed the wings, this division’s racing has been closer and more exciting than ever. Saturday’s event was full of passing and the dicing for position was a pleasure to watch. The fastest of the racers parked on the high side and went forward. No one was a match for Barney on this night, but the war going on behind him was spectacular.

The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars were not to be out done as their feature rolled onto the swift ribbon of clay. In a non-stop blast of power and a superb display of driving the dwarf cars completed their main event in 5 min 20 seconds. Just to make it more fun, they threw in an amazing last lap pass.  Modesto’s Al Ghiorso seemed to have finally found the winning combination at TCS. Ghiorso has finished second so many times in the past that, in his own words, “It’s getting to me.”

Ghiorso saw the white flag as the leader and surely must have thought it was his night. Lurking just behind was a fast-closing Zach Hurst. As the pair wheeled onto the backstretch on the final circuit Hurst pulled along side. Hurst was not to be denied. He inched ahead of Ghiorso and claimed the victory as the fans collectively stood for the finish. The appreciative crowd roared it’s approval and Hurst picked up his second win of the year at TCS. This was the most exciting finish in dwarf car competition since the 3-wide side-by-side finish at the 2000 Dwarf Car Nationals. Ghiorso was in good spirits after the event and he’ll be back to try again.

The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars qualified for starting positions for the first time in the history of the club. 4-time champion, Howie Ross led the group with a lap at14.990. Ross drew a 10 pill for the inversion and passed everyone in front of him except the top 2 finishers. Ross was on fire in the feature. He blasted through the field on the high side in an impressive display of driving. After the event Ross was elated, “I needed one…just one, yellow flag and I’d have passed ‘em both!” The yellow flag he needed never came.

Ross, a 15-time winner at TCS also had high praise for the track and it’s many avenues that opened up for passing. “It was a little rough on the top, but once you got used to it you could go so much faster and deeper than the others…I just cruised on by the other guys. I just needed that one yellow!” Like the BCRA race that preceded the dwarf car event, the high side was the fast way around.

In the words of track announcer Ron Albright, “the always unpredictable” TCS Mini Stock Series was next up. The traditional 1st lap crash didn’t happen on this night and the race was close from the get-go. Mel Hall Memorial champion James Castleberry, Kevin Sprague and Greg Prather were the story. Throw in a late race challenge from the defending champ and you have all the ingredients for a great show. Infrequent visitor, Sacramento’s, Ray Fernandez broke into the lead and pulled away. Fernandez held the lead until a broken shock tower forced his retirement. By that time the aforementioned trio with Robert Luster, Shane Stoker and James Gillaspie were at the front having a great dice for the top spots. Sprague and Castleberry hooked up in a splendid duel for the lead. It became evident, however, that Castleberry’s Toyota was able to keep the others at bay. He pulled a 4 car length advantage.

The race was unusually free of slowdowns and proceeded at a brisk pace to its conclusion; with one notable exception. During a lap 17 yellow flag for a minor incident, runner-up in the point hunt Heather Bartlett had to vacate her position on the track and headed for the pits with a flat tire. Sprague’s closest contender for the title was in a bad way and he was 2nd at the new green. Bartlett tagged the rear of the pack.

The last three laps were a walk for the high flying Castleberry. Castleberry’s appearance on the scene makes one wonder how the point chase would look had he been racing all season. That said, Sprague’s great drive to 2nd and Bartlett’s bad luck combined to help expand Sprague’s lead in the championship point battle. Point contender Robert Mull had a dismal night fighting mechanical gremlins and finishing a distant 14th.  Olivehurst’s James Gillaspie continues to impress as the season turns the corner at ½ way. Gillaspie’s ride landed him in 4th position in the main event results.

The Wingless Warriors of the Speedway Sprint Car Series capped the program with some fireworks of their own. For the second time in three tries Oakley’s Daryl Moore rolled into victory lane. Pole sitter Moore outgunned Jake Servin into turn 1 and the race was on. Moore paced the early laps as rookie contender Nathan Johnson pressed Servin for 2nd.

Vacaville’s Steve Stein hoped to return to the winner’s circle but had to start last in the field when he failed to record a qualifying lap due to his late arrival at the speedway. Stein, like Moore, has enjoyed some quick successes in his handful of appearances including his main event win four weeks ago. Stein was the show as he started to carve his way to the front. The Servin-Johnson duel for 2nd was a heart stopper at times. The two rookie contenders showed maturity and poise as they traded the position back and forth.

By lap 7 Stein was knocking on the door for 5th when he and fast qualifier Rick Eversult hooked wheels. Stein’s car headed for the sky and Eversult motored away. Stein hit cage first into the clay and executed a complete flip in mid air landing on his wheels. Stein never left the cockpit and urged corner workers to leave him alone. He wanted to restart the event. He did just that. After changing a left front tire he once again started at the rear of the pack; but not before a most unusual incident slowed the proceedings.

The field had restarted following the Stein incident and was about to take the green when a black cat appeared at the top of the banking in turn 1 and proceeded to walk onto the track in front of the idling sprinters. The red light was turned on and the field came to a stop on the front chute. Then the race really started! As track personnel approached the cat it became frightened and it rocketed toward the infield. It then ran onto the backstretch then back into the infield. Some 10-15 officials and firemen tried to grab the illusive feline to no avail.

The group finally surrounded the cat close to one of the push trucks in the infield. With nowhere to go the cat bolted under the truck and tucked itself firmly in the engine compartment. It was a strange and comical sight watching a large group of highly trained rescue personnel surround the truck and having little luck in rounding up the cat. Finally, backstretch official Tim Dillon secured the frightened creature and headed toward the grandstand where a sympathetic fan took the cat to a new and safer home.

On the restart Moore continued his run to the checkered flag while Johnson, Servin and point leader Chris Magoon struggled for the runner-up spot. Servin lost control with 3 laps left and spun to a stop in turn 4. During this time, Stein was a great show. He got up on the wheel and took his car to 4th place. The final 3 laps were worth the price of admission as Magoon and Johnson slugged it out for 2nd with Magoon getting the spot. Stein was 4th and fast qualifier Rick Eversult was 5th. Eversult timed in at 13.544 to top all qualifiers.

This Saturday night TCS will host the Speedway Sprinters, a return visit of the BCRA Midget Lites, the SORA Sprint 100’s and the TCS Stock Car Series. Pit gates open at 3; the grandstand gates open at 5 with racing at 7.

Visit us on the web at the Official Web Site for Twin Cities Speedway or call (916) 985-2089 to reach the business office. All the latest updates are always posted to the website first.  

JUNE 19, 2004 - POINTS RACE #10

Kenny Bair, Chris Magoon

1. Daryl Moore, 2. Chris Magoon, 3. Nathan Johnson, 4. Steve Stein, 5. Rick Eversult, 6. Kenny Bair, 7. Jeremy Hawes, 8. Jacob Serven, 9. Tim Sherman, 10. Jimmy Steward, 11. Larry Nelson

Heather Bartlett, Kevin Sprague

1. James Castleberry, 2. Kevin Sprague, 3. Jeremy Blackshere, 4. James Gillaspie, 5. Shane Stoker, 6. Robert Luster, 7. Mike Merritt, 8. Damian Merritt, 9. Shaun Merritt, 10. Heather Bartlett, 11. Jamey Ollar, 12. Melissa Bryant, 13. Robert Hunt, 14. Robert Mull, 15. Butch Jefferson, 16. Jeff Prather, 17. Ryan Francis, 18. Greg Prather






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