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Tom Macht/ Special to The Californian

Brad Pounds, left, battles Michael Johnson in an IMCA Modified heat race in August at Bakersfield Speedway.

Defending IMCA Modified track champion Brad Pounds will be gunning for his second straight victory on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.

Pounds was derailed by mechanical problems in the season-opening race on March 8, but bounced back with a win on March 15.

However, he has a lot of ground to make up in points as he is sixth with 61.

Consistency has Jay Marks (a second and sixth) and R.C. Whitwell (third and fourth) tied for the points lead with 75. They are followed by Kyle Heckman, Bryan Clark and Robby Sawyer.

Also in acton on the third-mile clay oval will be Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and California Lightning Sprints.

Kevin Irwin won the first Hobby Stock race of the season and Tina Bell won the first Mini Stock race.

Racing starts at 6.

Open practice at Kern Raceway

Kern County Raceway Park is holding its final testing session and open house Saturday in preparation for the season-opening race April 5.

All three tracks -- the half-mile, quarter-mile and eighth-mile -- will be open for testing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Grandstand admission and parking is free for fans.

The concession stand, ticket booth and merchandise trailer will be open for business.

The Spears SRL Southwest Tour kicks off the track's second season on April 5, with the DC's RV Center 100.

Harvard grad wins West race

Patrick Staropoli of Plantation, Fla., took the lead on a lap 137 restart and drove to victory in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Irwindale Speedway on Saturday night.

It was just the sixth career start for the Harvard graduate, who is currently enrolled at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Bakersfield's David Mayhew edged out points leader Greg Pursley for second. The next race is May 3 at Stockton 99 Speedway.

Quick shifts

* Bakersfield's Shannon McQueen opened her sprint car racing season with a second-place finish Friday night at the Bay Cities Racing Association 30-lap race at the 3/8-mile Stockton 99 Dirt Track.

McQueen started seventh and was leading before losing power due to overheating and oil pressure issues. The next race for McQueen is April 26 at Placerville.

* The West Coast Hot Rod Association opens its season Saturday and Sunday at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

The first two NHRA Summit Racing Series events will take place in conjunction with the race.