If there was a camera at the finish line, it would have been a photo finish.
But there is not, so Roger Holder emerged victorious in Super Stock competition on Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park by computer timing.
Officially, Bakersfield’s Holder beat Craig Rayburn of Simi Valley by 0.000 seconds. Holder’s car was listed in position No. 1 by the computer with Rayburn in position No. 2.
“I thought I won,” said Rayburn, who did a victory donut in celebration.
“That was an exciting race, you see that type of timing in drag racing but not (stock car) racing,” Holder said.
Holder led all 30 laps, but many of those were spent in side-by-side battles, first with Paul Ebersbacher and then Rayburn.
Holder and Rayburn were in a side-by-side duel when a caution flew on lap 23, setting up a two-lap dash to victory.
Holder edged ahead at the white flag but the two were-side-by side again as they headed down the backstraight, through turns three and four and all the way to the finish line.
“We’ve been struggling a little but, been trying some different things,” Holder said. “This time we got it close. We couldn’t get it down to the bottom, I was running the top. It was a handful to stay up there and run against the guys on the bottom. It was a damn good race.”
Ebersbacher, who dropped back to sixth at one point after battling with Holder, came back to edge out Ron Cross for third.
In Late Model action, Derek Thorn came out to play and left with a pair of trophies.
Thorn is the all-time winningest driver on the Spears Southwest Tour with four championships to his credit, has won a NASCAR K&N Pro Series west title and is leading the points in that series after a win in Colorado last week.
So what was he doing Saturday night in Late Model at KCRP?
Having some fun and testing a car owned by David Haagsma.
“I’ve gotta thank David Haagsma for letting me drive this thing,” Thorn said after racing to victory in the first of twin 35 lap features. “We went through this car in the off season and haven’t had time to race it
“We had good track position (started sixth). The car was OK. We’ve got a little more to do with it.”
Thorn took the lead on the eighth lap and pulled out to a several car lengths lead before Jones closed in. The two ran side-by-side (Thorn on the outside and Jones on the inside) for three laps before Thorn edged back in front en route to a four-car length victory.
“It’s very tough to pass, especially when the guy in front of you is little faster,” Jones said.
Trevor Huddleston finished third, followed by David Ross, who led the first seven laps, and Logan Seavey.
Thorn started 10th in the second feature and charged into the lead on the 31st lap, two laps after a restart.
“I was feeling pretty good about getting up to (Jones) but didn’t know if I could get by him. That last restart, I went into the corner, over drove the (heck) out of it and it stuck”
Jones and Huddleston were headed toward second and third-place finishes when they got together and spun in turn four on the final lap.
Logan Seavy wound up second with Zackary St. Onge third.
In Spec Mod competition, Eric Brust took the lead at the drop of the green flag and cruised to his third victory of the season.
“I’ll tell you what, I have to give it up to my crew,” Brust said. “We’ve lost some power in the engine but these guys nailed the set up. It was awesome to drive.”
Jim Coffey finished second, 3.3 seconds back, followed by Ed Coffey, Anthony Barket and Jason Galvin.
“The car is getting faster, it’s getting better every week,” Jim Coffey said.
Legends opened the racing with Josh Ayers winning a pair of quick-paced 15-lap features that had just three cars.
“I really wish we had more than three cars, I don’t know what’s going on,” said Ayers, who now has five wins and moved ahead of Colton Page and into the points lead.
Page was second in both race with Christian Bazen third.