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Wise Beyond Age_ Day wins 2nd annual Mark Hagopian Memorial in brilliant fashion

day garcia battle.jpg
Corey Day and Guage Garcia waged war on track all weekend. PC: Bryan Lugo

Sprint Car Insider – Driver Exclusive. CLOVIS, Calif. (September 24, 2018) – Corey Day displayed wisdom beyond his age en route to his second Mark Hagopian Memorial victory in as many years.

The Restricted class in California continues to prove that the sport is in good hands. The battle between Corey Day and Guage Garcia on night number two of the MHM was as intense, fierce, and technical as that of world-class professionals. The two battled both nights but night two was for the win and it came down to the absolute wire.

Night number one for Corey Day was decent, but by the standard, he sets for himself, it was less than desirable. He qualified third, followed that up with 3rd in the heat and then fell off the podium in the main with a 4th place finish.

For much of the main Day held steady in the 3rd position but Guage Garcia was able to take it from him in a hard-fought battle. This would serve as a precursor for night two just a few positions further up the leaderboard.

Corey Day drove into night two on a mission. He captured quick time with an 11.935 lap time over night-one winner, Dylan Bloomfield, and the rest of the 23-car field. He followed up that performance with second in the heat.

As the 25-lap Restricted 600 main event took the green flag Corey Day found himself with the early advantage. He led the early going over Gauge Garcia, Eli Bookout and night one winner, Dylan Bloomfield. Garcia was able to drive to the bumper of Day and apply the pressure.

The two began exchanging professional caliber slide jobs. They were driving in as deep as possible and pushing the window to the razor’s edge. Garcia would send it throwing the car deep into three and four and Day would diamond the corner and return the favor in turns one and two. Garcia eventually took the advantage and looked to be in control of the race.

But then there was lapped traffic.

Garcia got caught up with a lapped driver and spun around with 7 laps to go. His spin collected Bloomfield as well and it looked as if Day would reassume the lead. However, the call would be made for Garcia to go back to the front as he did not stop. The field went green and Garcia continued to lead the next two laps before another caution waved with 5 to go.

mhm 17 rest podium

mhm 2017 restricted podium
2017 MHM Podium Corey Day 1st, Garth Kasiner 2nd, Jake Smith 3rd PC: Bryan Lugo 

Garcia led the way but the defending winner of the race, and 2018 Tulsa Shootout Restricted champion, Corey Day, was on his heels.

“I would rather it be any other driver behind him,” said Kim Tarlton-Garcia, Guage Garcia’s mother. “Corey is one of, if not the, smartest driver on the track, I can’t watch.”

As the green flag waved the battle was on. The two separated themselves from the pack and the 2018 Slide Job Showdown continued. This time around they were even narrower. Fans watching collectively gasped and held their breath as each one went in for the move.

“It was like watching a world of Outlaw race,” said one fan. “They’re how old again? Wow!”

Day and Garcia put on the show of the weekend. They did make contact once, but tempers never flavored and the aggression never turned into an altercation. At the end, Day proved Kim Garcia right as he utilized veteran savvy (although he is not much of a veteran) to make the final pass stick and win the Mark Hagopian memorial finale for the second year in a row.

corey day guage garcia sportsmanship
“When the two met each other on the podium it was hugs and high fives all around.”

When the two met each other on the podium it was hugs and high fives all around.

“I know racing Guage I can trust him,” said Day. “I know when he goes in for a move like that he’s not going to clean me out or stop in front of me. I know he’s going to race it out, clean.”

Both drivers noted this as one of the most fun races of their lives. Each called the racing clean and eluded trusting to the skill of the other.

While the racing was certainly jaw-droppingly exciting, it was much more than that. Some very credible, high profile guests, in attendance, were seriously impressed.

“Whoa for a minute there I thought I was at Knoxville. Those young drivers are gonna be great someday; someday very soon.” – Peter Murphy.

day garcia mhm podium
Corey Day wins the 2nd Annual Mark Hagopian Memorial over Guage Garcia (2nd) and Jeffery Pahule Jr. (3rd, not pictured)

Quick Results: Friday, September 21, 2018

2nd Annual Mark Hagopian Memorial

Keller Auto Raceway Plaza Park – Night One

Corey Day #41 – RESTRICTED 600

  • Qualifying: 3rd
  • Heat Race: 3rd
  • Main Event: 4th

Quick Results: Saturday, September 22, 2018

2nd Annual Mark Hagopian Memorial

Keller Auto Raceway Plaza Park – Night two

  • Qualifying: 1st [Quick Time: (11. 935) out of 23 cars]
  • Heat Race: 2nd
  • Main Event: 1st

Season Stats:

  • Wins: 6
  • King of California Points Leader
  • Restricted 600 Tulsa Shootout Reigning Champion
  • 2nd Annual Mark Hagopian Memorial Champion

Follow Corey and his racing personally at

  • https://
  • Facebook: @CoreyDayRacing
  • Instagram: @corey_day_
  • Biggest Accomplishments: 2018 Restricted 600 Tulsa Shootout Champion.

*Editorial note* – In his First attempt too!

Make sure to follow Sprint Car Insider on Facebook, @SCI_updates on twitter or visit our website – for or all of the updates on Corey Day as he continues his assault on the 2018 campaign.

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Catch Corey Day in action this next at –

Budweiser Grand Prix/ Points Finale

Lemoore Raceway – Lemoore, Ca

 Saturday, September 29, 2018

To follow the race be sure to follow: (track/series social)

  • Facebook: @tzonepromotions
  • Instagram: @tzone_lre
  • Twitter: @LemooreRaceway 

On deck: (upcoming races)

  1. Budweiser Grand Prix

– September 29, 2018

– Lemoore Raceway

  1. King of California Rd. 15

– October 5, 2018

– Dixon Speedway

  1.   King of California Rd, 16

– October 6, 2018

-Delta Speedway

On the Horizon:

  1. 2018 California Cup (Cal Cup)


October 12-13, 2018


Lemoore Raceway


Lemoore, CA


  1. Turkey Bowl XVIII


October 26-27, 2018


Delta Speedway


Stockton, CA

  1. 35th Annual Tulsa Shootout

January 1-5, 2019

Tulsa Expo Center

Tulsa, Oklahoma



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Sprint Car Insider is the exclusive print division of DIRT CO Media House. Covering everything from Jr Sprints to the world of Outlaws SCI is your source for behind the scenes information, up to the minute coverage and racing entertainment.

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JJ Cox View All

JJ Cox -
Lead Contributor of Sprint Car Insider.
Sole Proprietor of Prodigy Race Promotions.
Current Freelance Announcer with educated broadcast experience.
Media Relations Advisor.
P.R Practitioner.

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.

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