After 13 races and more than 400 laps of racing, the Super Stock championship at Kern County Raceway Park on night came down to a drag race down the front straight on Saturday night.
Roger Holder was high in turn four, Paul Ebersbacher drew nearly even down low but Holder won the race to the checkered flag for his sixth win and second straight championship.
Holder won the championship by one point. If Ebersbacher had prevailed in the 35-lapper, he would have won the title by three points.
“The car was a little loose and with about 12 laps to go it started getting really loose and I was just hanging on for dear life,” Holder said.
Holder took the lead from Ron Cross on the 12th lap with Ebersbacher moving past Cross to take second.
From that point on the two staged a memorable duel.
They ran side-by-side for several laps with Ebersbacher, down low, leading laps 15 and 16 by inches.
A caution on the 24th lap cooled the battle and Holder got a better jump on the restart. But Ebersbacher battled back and was right there for the final four laps.
“Not much to say,” said a disappointed Ebersbacher. “If I could have got in front my car was faster but it’s so hard to pass here. I got loose out of (the last corner) but I never let off.”
Cross finished a distant third.
In Spec Mods, Jim Coffey won his second straight track championship with an exclamation point.
Coffey had a nine-point lead on Jason Galvin, who started on the pole, and could have comfortably cruised in the top for and sewed up the title.
Instead, after moving to second, he engaged in a three-lap side-by-side duel for the lead with Galvin, finally powering ahead on lap 13. He then pulled away for his sixth win of the season.
“I won the championship last year and finished third (in the final race) and was kind of bummed out,” Coffey said. “When I was catching (Galvin), I said, championship or no championship, I’m going for the win.”
Certainly having a fast car gave Coffey confidence.
“This car has been money since July,” he said. “It’s been the class of the field and as long as I didn’t screw up I knew we had the car to beat.”
Galvin finished third, 2.7 seconds back, followed by Brady Melo with a career-best third.
In Legends competition, Josh Ayers started on the outside of the front row and led all 30 laps for his seventh win and first track championship.
Ayers started the race three points behind pole sitter Colton Page and needed only to finish right behind him to secure the championship.
“I thought we could just get behind him, stay behind him and we’d win the championship,” Ayers said. “I didn’t think we could get (Page) on the outside but we did.”
Page finished second with Braden Rogers third.
The Late Model championship went to Jagger Jones as soon as the green flag fell in the second of twin 35-lap features as he entered the night with an insurmountable points lead.
Jones would have locked up the championship in the first race as he crossed the finish line first. However, he did not get the win and instead was placed last due to contact with leader Trevor Huddleston in turn three on the final lap.
Huddleston got loose and sideways right in front of Jones, who had nowhere to go and nudged him as he powered past and Huddleston continued to slide up the track.
Zackary St. Onge, who led early but was running third when the turn three incident occurred, was credited the win, his third of the year. Lawless Alan was second and Brittany Zamora third.
Jones took care of business the the second feature, taking the lead on the opening lap and going on to his fifth win of the season. Alan was second and Huddleston third.
“We just had to put (the first race) in the back of our minds and go out there and show them how to race,” Jones said. “I’m super stoked to win the championship.”