Fireworks will light the sky Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park, but not before plenty of racing action on all three asphalt tracks.
The Lucas Oil Modified Series cars and Super Stocks will be in action on the half-mile oval; Bandoleros compete on the quarter mile and Mini Dwarfs take to the eighth mile.
A 2,300-shot aerial fireworks show will go off following all the racing for Super Stocks, Bandos and Mini Dwarfs. The 75-lap Lucas Oil Modified feature will follow the fireworks show.
“This is one of our biggest races of the year, said KCRP’s Steve Hughes. ”And this year we’re throwing in the Lucas Oil Modifieds, one of the top touring divisions in the United States.”
This is the second stop this season at KCRP for the Modifieds, but the first points-paying event.
The Modifieds competed as a companion race to the Super Late Models in a special non-points event during last February’s Winter Showdown with Austin Barnes coming away with the win.
Saturday night’s Lucas Oil race marks the midway of the season for the series with Taylor Milnch coming in with a 39-point lead over Dylan Cappelo. Blake Rogers is third in points with Travis Thirkettle, who won a points race last fall at KCRP, and Jason Irwin tied for fourth.
Roger Holder leads the Super Stock points race, Kercie Jung is atop both the Bandolero and Senior Mini Dwarfs points with Noel Armstrong leading the pack in Junior Mini Dwarfs.
Racing starts at 7.
Heat prompted postponements
The record heat wave of last week, where temperatures were 109 or higher for four days, prompted both Kern County Raceway Park and Auto Club Famoso Raceway to cancel events.
KCRP pulled the plug on its races on Wednesday and Famoso followed suit the next day, postponing the American Nostalgia Racing Association Spring Nationals, which were set for Saturday and Sunday.
“Everyone pits on asphalt, spectates on asphalt, (the) staging lines are on asphalt … there’s no where to seek coverage,” Famoso’s Blake Bowser said, noting it was the first time races have been postponed due to excessive heat.
The high temperature on Sunday was 108 with a heat index of 109.
“It’s just too dangerous, Bowser added, noting the death of Bakersfield attorney Benjamin Green following a 5k run in 107 heat on the evening of June 20, made everyone become more aware of heat-related problems.
Both tracks plan to make up the lost dates but neither event has been rescheduled as of yet.
Harvick on top of the West
Bakersfield native Kevin Harvick returned to his roots so to speak on Saturday as he jumped into an NASCAR K&N Pro Series West car and drove to victory at Sonoma.
Harvick, who won the 1998 West championship, led the final 23 laps of Saturday’s 64-lap race to beat Will Rodgers for his eighth win in the series. On Sunday he doubled down, by winning his first Cup race of the season.
Bakersfield’s David Mayhew had a solid run, finishing third as did Blaine Perkins, who came home seventh for his best finish of the year. Derek Thorn of Bakersfield qualified fourth and was running in the top five when engine failure sidelined him just 22 laps into the race.
Speedway dark this weekend
Bakersfield Speedway will be dark this weekend for its usual Fourth of July break from racing.
A big crowd was on hand last weekend for the annual fireworks show and Richie McGowan Memorial race, which concluded 17 straight weeks of action on the third-mile clay oval.
The track is back in action July 8 for eight straight weeks of racing before taking a break on Labor Day weekend.
Brendon Frye of Taft raced to victory in the A/Gas class in a NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series event in Sacramento on Sunday. It was his second win in three HRHS races this season.
Auto Club Famoso Raceway is dark for the next two weekends and resumes action on July 15 with a Street Tuners event for street-legal cars and bikes.