Lawless Allen held off Tim Huddleston to win the split 80-lap Late Model feature on Friday night at Kern County Raceway.
The first 40-laps were the first event of the night and Lawless, who started fifth, took the lead early in the final 40-lap segment.
Huddleston, who won all but two races at KCRP last season, chased Lawless the entire final segment but wound up two car lengths short. Brandon Weaver of Bakersfield was third.
“The first 40 we were just chilling out saving the tires,” said Lawless. “We hit the invert just right (to start the second 40-lap segment on the pole). It was partly the right set up and part luck.”
Jager Jones finished fourth and early leader Dylan Garner fifth.
Bakersfield’s Roger Holder started the 2018 racing season way he wound up 2017: with a win.
Holder led all 31-laps in the Super Stock feature, which was extended a lap due to a late caution.
“I was kind of worried,” Holder said of the late race caution, which erased a huge lead.
It was close, but Holder kept the lead and held on to beat Paul Ebersbacher by a couple of car lengths. Kyle Fife finished third with Anthony Mainella fourth.
Holder won the championship last year in his first full year of pavement racing and looks to be the driver to beat once again.
“We got a good start to 2018, well see what happens,” he said.