Two tracks, two races in two days and an extra $2,500 for the racers.
That’s the crux of the Motor City Throwdown United Series for Sport Mods, which takes place Friday at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway and Saturday Bakersfield Speedway.
The concept is the brainchild of John Petrie, Chief Operating Officer at Motor City GMC. Petrie wanted to get the two tracks, both featuring third-mile clay ovals, working together with some bonus to the drivers.
And one weekend wasn’t enough. Another $2,500 in added payouts will be up for grabs again under the same format on Aug. 18-19.
The driver with the best overall finish at each track, determined by finishing points at both tracks with added passing points at Bakersfield Speedway, will take home an extra $500.
Nine different drivers have won feature races at the two tracks this season.
Four divisions at Dirt Track
Pro Stocks, Hard Tops and Mini Dwarfs will also be competing on Friday night in addition to the B-Mod (Sport Mods).
There has yet to be a repeat winner in the B-Mod class as Gary Dutton, Cody Johnson, Garrett Jernagan and Michael Johnson have each driven to a victory.
Doug Thornton won the only Pro Stock race held at the track this year.
Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
Six divisions at Speedway
IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, Pro Stocks, American Stocks and Mini Stocks will be in action on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.
Dutton won five straight Sport Mod races earlier this year, a record for consecutive wins, before blowing a motor in his next outing. Jason Nation had two wins and leads the points. Five other drivers have a single win.
Three-time winner Robby Sawyer is atop the Modified points, followed by two-time winner Brad Pounds and Ethan Dotson, who has four wins. Cody Laney is the only other driver with a win.
After starting the season in a hole with back-to-back 15th-place finishes, Loni Spiller has won six of the last nine races, including two straight, to tighten up the points race. Spiller, the defending track champ, now trails Misty Warren by just two points — one finishing position on the track.
Chad Johnson is atop the IMCA Stock Car points race. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
A flat tire cost Bakersfield’s Derek Thorn a chance at victory Saturday in the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe Wash. Thorn set fast time in qualifying and was leading when a flat right front sent him to the pits where he lost two laps, ending his shot at victory. Former Frazier Park resident Preston Peltier led 165 laps of the 200-lap race to win $25,000.
“It was frustrating for sure,” Thorn told Speed51.com.
“These guys work too hard to have stuff like that happen. It’s just bad luck. We got another flat right rear tire coming in with only four pounds of pressure at the end of the race. It just wasn’t our weekend I guess. I had everything go our way until lap 25 or 30.
Bakersfield’s Buddy Shepherd will be looking for another win at Madera Speedway in the $5,000-to win RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model 125-lap race on Saturday night. Shepherd, the 2015 Madera Speedway champ, won Pro Late Model races there in April and May and was taken out in turn four while leading on July 1. He is coming off his first career Spears Southwest Tour win at Madera on July 15.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West teams converge in Newton, Iowa Saturday for a 150-lap race at Iowa Speedway. Reigning West champion Todd Gilliland has been running both series this season and leads the West standings by 11 points and is second in the East standings, 14 points behind leader Harrison Burton.
Gilliland, who is coming off an East win at New Hampshire, won the Iowa race last year. Blaine Perkins of Bakersfield is eighth in the West standings heading to Iowa.
Mike Griffith can be reached at 661 395-7390. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeGriffith54.