It was déjà vu all over again in Sunday night’s IMCA Modified feature at Merced Speedway Alex Wilson of Salinas was chased across the finish line by Atwater’s Ryan Porter. It was Fred Ryland of Brentwood holding off a late charge by Bruce “Bubba” Nelson of Turlock in the IMCA SportMod feature.
Five divisions raced as part of the special “Legends of Merced” program. Some of the greatest drivers in the Speedway’s history drove Valley Sportsman cars to the start finish line and were interviewed in front of the crowd.
Wilson Repeats Last Week’s Strategy
“I stayed on the bottom of the track, just like last week,” explained Wilson. “Why change something that works.”
His taking the inside lane was to Porters dismay, as he tried in vain to get the traction necessary to pass Wilson.
“I was stuck on the high lane,” Porter said. “Another caution could have made the difference.”
Troy Foulger from Martinez recovered from an early crash to come home third, followed by Bakersfield’s Robbie Sawyer.
Nation Surprises Ryland and Nelson
Bakersfield’s Jason Nation put the pressure on Ryland for most of the SportMod feature.
“He’s from Bakersfield, he can drive on a slick track,” Ryland said of the newcomer’s challenges. “I quit looking at him and concentrated on where I was going.”
Nation and Ryland traded positions for the lead while Nelson worked his way through the pack. He picked off Nation to take second with a lap to go.
“I raced him like he raced me – a little rough, but clean,” Nelson said.
Nation had no comment after the race except to say he was “not good.”
Fourth went to Chowchilla’s Rick Diaz, who was followed by Merced’s Darrin Thomas.
Haussmann Returns To Win
Shane Haussmann came back from two years parental leave and returned to a familiar place – victory lane.
“Having twins is a life changing experience,” Hausmann said in victory lane. He drove his overheating Hobby Stock to victory over Merced’s Mark Key, whose car was also steaming on the final laps of the feature.
Kevin Joaquin of Sonora finished third, chased by Kristie Shearer of Los Banos.
Corder Sputters to Another Win
Chris Corder’s Mini Stock sputtered to the checkered flag after waging a side-by-side battle with Merced’s Mike Germait. Corder, from Modesto, inherited the lead after Balico’s Darren Miguel saw his car sidelined after an engine failure midway through the feature.
“I thought I could beat Chris (Corder). It was a good battle,” said Germait, who was in his second race of the season. Jennifer Corder finished third, followed by Merced’s Jimmy Stockton and Miguel.
Eric Seeley Wins in Valley Sportsman Division