KCRP Dalton

Chris Dalton of Bakersfield missed much of last season with an injury. He won the last three races in 2018 and will be gunning for a Super Stock title at Kern County Raceway this year. 

Kern County Raceway Park kicks off it’s regular season this weekend with a rare doubleheader with action on both the dirt and pavement tracks.

Action kicks off Friday night at The Dirt Track and picks up again Saturday in the main pavement facility.

The only other time the track will feature a doubleheader is at the end of the season.

“Running back-to-back races is hard on the staff and we want to make sure we put our best foot forward every race this year so we’ve backed off on the number of those,” said track general manager Larry Collins. “But like a movie, you want a good start and a good ending, and that’s why we scheduled back-to-back races to start and end the season.”

Non-winged 360 Sprint Cars, POWERi BCRA Midgets and Hard Tops will be action at the The Dirt Track. All of the regular half-mile divisions — Late Models, Super Stocks and Modifieds — will be in action on Saturday night along with Hot Stocks, Bandoleros, Skid Plate and Mini Dwarfs on the smaller tracks.

There have been changes at both the dirt and asphalt tracks.

The smaller infield track at The Dirt Track (where Mini Dwarfs and some other divisions compete) has been reworked a bit and the pit grandstand (which had been located outside the turn one wall) has been moved to the end of the front straight.

“We didn’t like the location of the old grandstand so we installed a bigger grandstand in an area we think is safer,” Collins said. “We just weren’t comfortable where the old grandstand was.”

The Dirt Track will feature more open wheel events this season and will be utilized four times for Golden Empire Flat Track motorcycle events.

The big change on the asphalt track is the reconfiguration of the quarter mile track.

“We have the ability to move the (inside) wall so we’ve moved it about 12 or 15 feet into the infield area,” Collins said. “We’ve started a Hot Stock division with full size cars and we needed to open up the track a little bit. We feel it will work better fo the Legends as well.”

The asphalt track will be in operation fewer dates this year (both tracks are dark in July and August to avoid the heat) and Collins said the emphasis to make each event a big one.

“The days of local racers wanting to run 20 times a year are pretty much done,” he said. “We think the key to success is to put the quality out there, make each event the best it can be for the racers and the fans.”

Racing stats at 7:30 p.m. at The Dirt Track on Friday and at 7 p.m. at KCRP on Saturday.

Quick shifts

The USAC 360 Sprint Car series headlines five divisions of racing on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway. Also in action will be IMCA Stocks, American Stocks and California Lightning Sprints. Racing starts at 7.

The NHRA Summit Racing Series kicks off this weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway with the first two of eight events. Full racing programs take place on both Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday.

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

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