Seven and 11 were Grant Duinkerken’s lucky numbers on Saturday night during the seventh annual Richie McGowan Memorial race at Bakersfield Speedway.
Duinkerken, while leading, just missed a spinning car in turn four on those laps and went on to a convincing win in the 25-lap Western Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car feature.
Duinkerken had a big lead on the seventh lap when Anissa Curtice spun in turn four just as he was getting ready to lap her. Four laps later, with duinkerken already having pulled out to a big lead after a restart, Curtice spun in the same place just as Duinkerken was getting ready to lap her.
“Close,” Duinkerken replied when asked how close he came to hitting her.
Duinkerken started fourth in the feature and powered into the lead when he jumped to the high side in turn two and went from third to first before diving into turn three on lap four.
“We weren’t sure what to do (set-up wise) with the car because they worked the track but it worked out,” he said of his dominating performance.
Duinkerken finished a full straight ahead of Michael Pompo, who just edged out Albert Pombo for second. Chris Ennis was fourth and Monte Ferreira fifth.
Levi Kiefer led from start to finish the 25-lap Sports Mod feature.
It was the first Sport Mod race of the year for Kiefer, who had been racing a Modified with his son, Austin, driving the Sport Mod.
The two switched divisions before the race and dad will be in the Sport Mod the rest of the season and son in the Modified.
Kiefer started on the front row and heeded the advice of his son.
“He said to just put it up on the cushion and it’ll be good,” the elder Kiefer said.
It was as Kiefer ran the high side the entire race and easily edged ahead of the competition on five restarts, the last resulting in a one-lap dash to the checkered flag.
Zack Forster edged out Garrett Jernagan by .009 of a second for second.
“I’ve gotta thank my whole crew, this only the third time for me in that car,” Forster said.
Jernagan came off the cushion and made a run in the middle of the track to come up just short in a bid to get by Forster.
“”It’s hard to see (who got to the line first) when it’s that close and you’re in the cockpit,” he said. “It was a drag race to the finish.”
Kyle Wood was fourth and points leader Nick Spainhoward ran fifth.
An aerial fireworks show followed the Sports Mod feature.
The Hobby Stock and IMCA Modified features were not compete at print deadline.