VISALIA, CALIFORNIA (June 30, 2018) – Round three of the fourth annual California Speedweek hit Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park on Friday night, with Jake Hagopian earning his second bear trophy of the week with the Super 600 victory. The $1000 win closes Hagopian within just 16 points of Michael Faccinto with the championship race Saturday at Lemoore Raceway.
James Ringo and Ryan Rocha also were victors out of the 112 entries before a strong crowd in Visalia, California.
Ben Worth won the Bakersfield Karting Experience fast time in Super 600 but it was Jake Andreotti drawing the pole in the redraw after heat races. Andreotti and Hagopian went side-by-side at the start with Hagopian taking the lead on lap one.
Raio Salmon used the bottom to challenge Faccinto for third. Lapped traffic approached on lap 12 while the top-three cars ran nearly nose to tail. Heath Duinkerken spun in turn two with Caden Sarale driving over the top of him for a caution on lap 12.
Faccinto slid Andreotti for second into turn two on the restart to take the position but Andreotti nosed ahead of him and slid him back on the next approach into turn two. The duel grew to three-wide when Salmon stuck her nose inside as well. The caution flew again when Duinkerken spun in turn two and Mitchel Moles retired to the infield as well.
Faccinto drove to the bottom and Hagopian went downstairs as well. Hagopian found the bottom and middle lines to his liking while Faccinto searched across the race track for a groove. Hagopian went on for a comfortable victory over Faccinto while Salmon narrowly topped Andreotti for third. Kingsburg, CA driver KJ Snow was fifth. Arizona’s Colton Hardy drove from 19th to 12th for the Hoosier Tires Hard Charger.
The Non Wing feature was a roller coaster ride with James Ringo emerging on top. Ringo used the outside line to swoop past Caden Sarale for the lead on lap one. Tyler Smith slid up in third with the top-four all on the high side.
Smith tried a slider in turn two on Sarale but couldn’t make it work. Justyne Hamblin tried the low line to get fourth from Oak Farm Vineyards fast timer Mitchel Moles as well. Bakersfield’s Brody Fuson spun in turn four and collected Adam Kaeding of Campbell, CA, sending him upside down for a red flag on lap three. Austin Stone stopped as well trying to avoid the melee.
Moles went down on the restart to block the momentum of Hamblin, allowing Ben Worth to go past them both for fourth. Meanwhile Smith made a slidejob on Sarale work for second on lap seven. Smith immediately charged towards Ringo and tagged the wall on lap 11 trying to get past him.
Moles took fourth back from Worth before a caution flag for Gunner Bowden of Oklahoma stopped in turn three. A three wide battle developed for fifth place but Worth was able to maintain the position. Hamblin bounced the curb hard in turn two on lap 14 and lost several positions. Moles then passed Sarale for third. Australian born Danny Carroll slid sideways through turn three on lap 18 and collected Stone to end his night early with a second caution.
Sarale bounced the curb in turn two on the restart as well and fell back to sixth.
Smith slid Ringo for the lead on lap 21 in turn four but Ringo crossed him over. Down the backstretch they remained side-by-side with Smith leading lap 22. Ringo slid him into turn three, however, to take it back. This allowed Moles to nose in briefly from the inside as well.
Ringo made a strong maneuver to slide Smith coming down to two to go, with the contact dropping Smith back to fourth. Ringo held on for his second career Speedweek feature win for $1000 over Moles and Worth with Smith settling for fourth. Sarale was fifth while Colton Hardy again won the Hard Charger honors presented by Hoosier Tire driving from 18th to sixth.
McKenna, Washington’s Lane Taylor led the opening laps of a Restricted 25 lap feature punctuated by two major crashes. The first incident was a result of jostling in the pack, ending when cars bounced across the track. The contact shot Nebraska’s Chase Brown and Tyler Martin into the tires at the top of turn four.
After a red flag, the restart saw Corey Day spin in turn one sending Caeden Steele into a side over side flip that sheered the side panel of the wing off for another red flag.
Colby Thornhill of Enumclaw, WA moved from the 17th position up to 11th place and continued to move forward from there. Race leader Taylor was facing three-wide traffic in front of him and opened up the bottom for Ryan Rocha to peek inside. The duo made contact in turn one sending Taylor spinning for a lap 21 caution.
Jake Smith tried to get inside Caden Stoll for third but couldn’t make the pass stick with six to go. Day worked his way back up into the top-ten by the conclusion of the main event. Rocha pulled away from two-time 2018 Speedweek winner Dylan Bloomfield with three laps to go.
Rocha went on for his first career Restricted victory during the biggest week of the year, topping Bloomfield, Smith, Stoll, and Ashyln Rodriguez for the $1000 prize.
The California Speedweek championships will be crowned Saturday night at Lemoore Raceway. Pit gates at noon with drivers meeting at 3:30 p.m. and racing to follow both nights.
Race fans who can not attend the California Speedweek in person can view the action through streaming partner Fast Four Media. The championship night will be offered for $20. Bullet Impressions will have event merchandise available all week as well.
California Speedweek information is available on CASpeedweek.com Facebook and Twitter
The 2018 California Speedweek is presented by: Elk Grove Ford, Van De Pol Petroleum, Driven Performance, Bullet Impressions, Engler Machine, 26 Promotions, Bakersfield Karting Experience, Hoosier Tires, Oak Farm Vineyards, Schoenfeld Headers, CSI Shocks, Keizer Wheels, Wilwood Brakes, Security Race Products, Salmon Motorsports, MyChron Tom, Dirt Co. Media House, Motivated Racewear, and Fast Four Media.
Super 600 (37 cars)
Bakersfield Karting Experience Qualifying: #44 Ben Worth
CSI Shocks Heat 1: #1au Liam Williams
Keizer Wheels Heat 2: #7p Jake Andreotti
Bakersfield Karting Experience Heat 3: #21 Raio Salmon
SRP Heat 4: #88 Joey Ancona
Feature (30 laps): 1. 14-Jake Hagopian, 12:06.465; 2. 19-Michael Faccinto, 12:07.503; 3. 21-Raio Salmon, 12:08.003; 4. 7P-Jake Andreotti, 12:08.199; 5. 34-KJ Snow, 12:08.540; 6. 88A-Joey Ancona, 12:09.361; 7. 44-Ben Worth, 12:10.443; 8. 1AU-Liam Williams, 12:11.856; 9. 12-Cody Christensen, 12:12.194; 10. 73-Nikko Panella, 12:12.238; 11. 21H-Ty Hulsey, 12:12.898; 12. 41-Colton Hardy, 12:13.817; 13. 9-Chase Randall, 12:14.176; 14. 39K-Kaitlyn Hammer, 12:14.868; 15. F4-Koen Shaw, 12:15.251; 16. 83C-Chance Crum, 12:15.573; 17. 18-Grant Champlin, 12:16.277; 18. 17-Dillon Horsley, 12:17.206; 19. 12X-Alex Panella, 12:18.647; 20. 01-Mitchel Moles, 06:06.595; 21. 79-Heath Duinkerken, 06:06.864; 22. 24-Caden Sarale, 02:51.950
Non Wing (36 cars)
Oak Farm Vineyards Qualifying: #01 Mitchel Moles
Schoenfeld Headers Heat 1: #14 TJ Smith
CSI Shocks Heat 2: #51 Brody Fuson
Wilwood Brakes Heat 3: #8H Justyne Hamblin
Hoosier Tires Heat 4: #15 Cody Key
Feature (30 laps): 1. 37T-James Ringo, 16:03.379; 2. 01-Mitchel Moles, 16:04.032; 3. 10J-Ben Worth, 16:04.875; 4. 14-Tyler Smith, 16:04.935; 5. 32-Caden Sarale, 16:05.703; 6. 41-Colton Hardy, 16:06.257; 7. 26-Chad Laughton, 16:06.500; 8. 1C-Danny Carroll, 16:07.277; 9. 55-Brandon Carey, 16:07.449; 10. 21H-Ty Hulsey, 16:07.711; 11. 15-Cody Key, 16:09.244; 12. 1-Koen Shaw, 16:09.381; 13. 3E-Bryce Eames, 16:10.631; 14. 3L-Jimmy Leal, 16:10.905; 15. 75-Dan Mognaga, 16:11.131; 16. 51-Brody Fuson, 16:11.312; 17. 87-Kelvin Lewis, 16:12.789; 18. 87P-Jacob Tuttle, 16:13.642; 19. 8H-Justyne Hamblin, 10:52.558; 20. 29-Austin Stone, 10:53.650; 21. 8-Gunner Bowden, 06:11.373; 22. 3M-Adam Kaeding, 00:48.452
Restricted (39 cars)
Hoosier Tires Qualifying: #12b Dawson Faria
Wilwood Brakes Heat 1:#2c Caden Stoll
CSI Shocks Heat 2: #73 Katey Syra
Schoenfeld Headers Heat 3: #121 Caeden Steele
SRP Heat 4: #5R Ryan Rocha
Feature (25 laps): 1. 5R-Ryan Rocha, 19:31.362; 2. 33-Dylan Bloomfield, 19:31.909; 3. 28-Jake Smith, 19:32.074; 4. 2C-Caden Stoll, 19:32.379; 5. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez, 19:32.745; 6. 73-Katey Syra, 19:33.076; 7. 44X-Jeffery Pahule, 19:33.582; 8. 41-Corey Day, 19:34.029; 9. 34-Devon Courtnier, 19:34.112; 10. 5-Mattix Salmon, 19:34.361; 11. 19-Colby Thornhill, 19:34.559; 12. 88R-Ryder Laplante, 19:34.826; 13. 4G-Brian Gilbert, 19:35.139; 14. 21H-Jeremy Holz, 19:35.584; 15. 24-Jordi Meese, 19:36.065; 16. 19B-Brody Armtrout, 19:36.553; 17. 55-Chase Brown, 19:36.884; 18. 02-Tyler Martin, 19:37.467; 19. 21X-Scotty Milan, 19:37.657; 20. 4L-Lane Taylor, 16:25.853; 21. 14J-Jade Avedisian, 11:50.523; 22. 121-Caeden Steele, 04:57.546
NON-WING: Hoosier Tire Hard Charger – Colton Hardy, Bakersfield Karting Experience Hard Luck – Ryan Fernandes
RESTRICTED: CSI Shocks Hard Charger – Jake Smith, Keizer Wheels Hard Luck – Brandon Sampson
SUPER 600: Hoosier Tire Hard Charger – Colton Hardy, CSI Shocks Hard Luck – Ryley Mayer