Kyle Wood

Kyle Wood was one of a handful of drivers who decided to go "topless" last August at Bakersfield Speedway, shedding the roof of his Hobby Stock during the Hot August Nights promotion.

BY TOM MACHT For The Californian

It takes a bold person to go topless on a Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.

No many do, but those brave enough to shed their tops give others something different to see. That’s for sure.

It is Hot August Nights at Bakersfield Speedway which means for the next four Saturdays drivers in all divisions can remove the roofs from their cars and go topless if they desire.

“It was a tradition that was at the Speedway before I took over,” said track owner Scott Schweitzer. “And we kind of keep it going. It’s kind of a cool view for the fans and the racers.

“We give them the month of August where they can remove the roofs off the cars and let the fans see what it’s really like going on inside the car.”

On tap this Saturday will be the Race Saver Sprint Cars, Hobby Stocks, Mod Lights, Mini Stocks and NMRA Three-Quarter Midgets. It is a fundraiser for Second Star to the Right and Race Saver Sprints will be on display and an autograph session will take place from from 5-6 p.m. Racing starts at 7.

Cherry on the mend

Fourteen-year old Carter Cherry, who suffered a broken leg in a Mini Stock crash Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway, called into the Power Hour show Wednesday with an update.

“I broke my tibia and fibula and shattered my growth plate,” said Carter from home where he is recovering after a few nights in a hospital.

Carter was all alone on the track, low in the corner when he his car snapped hard to the right and powered into the wall.

“I’m pretty sure that my right axle broke because I had no control of it,” he said. “It was rough.

The impact smashed in the front of the car and also caused facial injuries.

“My steering wheel pushed up and went sideways right into my face,” he said.

Injuries aside, Cherry, who was fifth in points heading into last week’s action with a best finish of second, is already looking forward to getting back in a race car.

“I have like two to three months in a cast, hopefully I’ll make it to the last race,” he said.

If so it will be in a different car.

“My car’s totaled,” he said.

Red List Group at Famoso

Auto Club Famoso Raceway will host its second Red List Group Series event of the year Saturday night.

Jesse Iwuji, who just ended active duty as a Naval Lieutenant in May and is now in the reserves, started the series a few years ago and explained what it is all about on Tuesday’s Power Hour show.

“Anything under the sun can pretty much come and run, as long as it’s legal to run at an NHRA track,” he said. “We don’t have brackets. Everyone gets to run against anyone you want to all night long. If you want to run by yourself you can.”

There is an overall winner ($1,000) determined by a point system which awards points for such things as reaction time, 60-foot times and if you are quicker than the person you’re running, Iwuji said.

Obviously, the quicker cars will be in contention for that, but Iwuji wanted to spread the wealth and thus there are a variety of cash awards such as closest to 10.00, 11.00, 12.00 and 13.00 as well as for quickest reaction time and more, such as quickest E.T. domestic and import.

Racing starts at 6.

Shepherd logs another Madera win

Buddy Shepherd of Bakersfield led all but the first three laps to win $5,000 and the 125-lap Summer Speedfest Saturday night at Madera Speedway.

Shepherd, the 2015 Late Model Madera track champion, qualified No.1 and started the feature fifth. It was his third win in five races Late Model races at the the track this year. Shepherd also raced to his first Southwest Tour win at Madera last month.

Quick shifts

Todd Gilliland raced to victory in a combined NASCAR Pro Series East and West race at Iowa Speedway last Friday, leading all but the first two laps of the 150-lap race. Gilliland, of Sherrills Ford, N.C., won the West title last year and is looking to win both the West and East titles this year. He is 18 points up on Chris Eggleston in the West Series and trails Harrison Burton by six points in the East Series. Blaine Perkins of Bakersfield finished 21st.

Mike Griffith can be reached at 661 395-7390. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeGriffith54. 

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