(Photo by Cameron Hageman) LEMOORE, Calif (August 27, 2018): Fans on hand for the 12th Micro Sprint points race of the season at Lemoore Raceway became witnesses to an instant classic Saturday night as a photo finish stole the show.
As Lemoore Raceway’s Micro Sprint season winds down, a championship battle is heating up between two of the young guns in the restricted division. The pressure is mounting, and a sense of urgency is setting in among drivers to find victory lane before seasons end.
Coming into Saturday night, Hanford’s Guage Garcia, held a mere 35 point lead over Clovis’ Caeden Steele in the Restricted class. After a side by side duel the previous weekend, at Delta Speedway, in Stockton, Garcia came out on top. Saturday night the duo was ready for round two. This time around Garcia would have his work cut out for him rolling off from the 8th position with Steele on the pole.
From the drop of the green flag Steele looked to be in command. With Steele firmly In command it looked as if things were beginning to come unraveled for the points leader on lap 10. The caution waved as Garcia came to a stop on the back strait away as a wheel detached from the car.
A conglomeration of fathers and crew chiefs rushed to Garcia’s aid and were able to get the car back together safely and Garcia would rejoin the field.
This stoppage in the action marked a transition at the front of the pack. Bakersfield’s, Brandt Twitty now had Steele in sight. Urgency mounts as the young driver is still in search of his first victory. As the white flag was set to wave, Twitty put his pedal to the floor and slid up the track in front of Steel in turn three.
As the two came off of turn four Steel diamonded off the corner and they raced side by side past the white flag. Steele took his inside positioning and slide up in front of Twitty in turn one and two. But this time it was Twitty who diamonded off the corner and took the momentum down the back stretch.
Steele let Twitty barrel into the corner as he ducked underneath him and went for the bold slide job. Steele put the pedal to the floor around the inside as Twitty diamonded under him once again and they raced side by side to the finish, Twitty on the inside, Steele on the outside in an all out drag race.
As they crossed the stripe it was Caeden Steele by just eight one-thousandths of a second, or (.008).
“Everybody told me last week I should have went for the slide job on Guage,” said Steele in victory lane. “I really let one get away last weekend and I wasn’t going to let that happen again. Last week I was being too cautious thinking about that championship, this time I just went for it.”
Cash Lovenburg lead the field to green with series point’s leader Dalton Parriera to his outside in the 20-lap Jr. Sprint feature. The race went green from wire to wire as did leader Cash Lovenburg on his way to grabbing his first career victory and dethroning nine-time victor, Dalton Parriera.
Next up was the 30-lap Super 600 feature lead by point’s leader Joey Ancona, of Concord. With five wins to his credit in 2018 and a healthy point’s advantage, Ancona sought to increase his 91 point margin with a win from the pole. Another non-stop green to checker race saw Ancona grab his sixth win of the season at Lemoore Raceway. Poised to attempt a full time sprint car season next year Ancona is now in prime position to wrap up the title.
In the final event of the evening, the Non-Wing 600 class, Fresno’s Tyler (TJ) Smith came into the night with the furthest point’s margin of all four classes at over 121 points. Having amassed over 15 total wins on the season and six at Lemoore Raceway, he is poised to wrap up another championship in 2018. Smith went wire to wire again Saturday night and picked up his seventh win at Lemoore Raceway this season.
On track action returns to Lemoore Raceway Saturday, September 8th, for race 13, in conjunction with the King of California Micro Sprint Series. For more information go to www.lemooreraceway.com or follow us on Facebook @tzonepromotions.
Restricted 600: 1. 121-Caeden Steele, 12:43.304; 2. 4B-Brandt Twitty, 12:43.312; 3. 7T-Logan Trevino, 12:43.674; 4. 14J-Jade Avedisian, 12:44.478; 5. 73-Katey Syra, 12:44.602; 6. 61-Eli Bookout, 12:45.163; 7. 41-Corey Day, 12:45.796; 8. 5-Mattix Salmon, 12:46.329; 9. 4G-Brian Gilbert, 12:47.218; 10. 21-Gauge Garcia, 12:47.535; 11. 5R-Ryan Rocha, 12:47.659; 12. 15B-Bryson Bettencourt, 12:47.885; 13. 2-Brody Petrie, 12:47.954; 14. 22-Robert Rios, 12:48.744; 15. 88-Reilee Phillips, 12:49.101; 16. 61B-Wyatt Bookout, 12:49.350; 17. (DNF) 54-Maverick Myrick, 09:46.967; 18. (DNF) 7D-Drew Mowry, 02:01.722
Jr Sprint: 1. 21-Cash Lovenburg, 04:35.287; 2. 51-Dalton Parreira, 04:38.065; 3. 3D-Caleb Debem, 04:38.743; 4. 55-Jett Barnes, 04:40.825; 5. 7A-Andi Jones, 04:44.055; 6. 63-Colton Key, 04:44.779; 7. 4-Teagan Moles, 04:49.806; 8. 01T-Ty Lovenburg, 04:42.161
Super 600: 1. 88A-Joey Ancona, 05:50.012; 2. 57-Austin Warmerdam, 05:54.176; 3. 73-Derek Galante, 05:56.139; 4. 4-Garrett Twitty, 05:58.050; 5. 21-Raio Salmon, 05:58.677; 6. 10J-Ben Worth, 05:59.174; 7. 749-Chris Martin, 06:00.743; 8. 15-Cody Key, 06:01.206; 9. 02-Tyler Martin, 05:53.035; 10. 711-Tyler Hester, 05:53.934; 11. 2J-Jenna Mynderup, 05:54.996; 12. (DNF) 15W-Garrett Williams, 02:22.881
Non Wing 600: 1. 14-Tyler Smith, 21:07.245; 2. 01-Mitchel Moles, 21:08.425; 3. 81T-Andrew Tamariz, 21:11.167; 4. 15-Cody Key, 21:13.228; 5. 161-Tyler Hester, 21:13.241; 6. 3L-Jimmy Leal, 21:14.266; 7. 4R-Alexandria Raiskup, 21:14.364; 8. 44M-Carson Myrick, 21:15.055; 9. 0-A.J. Burgin, 21:15.515; 10. 63-Ryan Delisle, 21:16.356; 11. 8-Michael Manhire, 21:16.945; 12. 7M-Jeremy Mattos, 21:09.074; 13. 68K-Blaine Slayton, 21:09.185; 14. (DNF) 24-Kyle Clark, 09:39.802; 15. (DNF) 10J-Ben Worth, 09:41.104
JJ Cox -
Lead Contributor of Sprint Car Insider.
Sole Proprietor of Prodigy Race Promotions.
Current Freelance Announcer with educated broadcast experience.
Media Relations Advisor.
Fresno State Bulldog - Broadcasting and Public Relations.
Grew up going to 50+ Sprint Car races a year and Raced Motocross for 10 years.
Die Hard Dirt Race Fan
Just a rolling stone.