It was a big weekend for certain Northern California race car drivers.
At the 42nd NHRA Gatornationals three NorCal drivers qualified to race on Sunday. Brian Thiel of Pleasant Grove was eliminated in Round 1 in the Funny Car class. In Pro Stock Motorcycles, young Katie Sullivan from Corning made it through to Sunday but was also eliminated in Round 1 by eventual Final Round winner Eddie Krawiec. The Northern California racer with the best finish in Gainsville, Florida was Karen Stoffer from Minden, Nevada (almost NorCal). She red lighted in the Final Round on Sunday in Pro Stock Motorcycles. She is now in 3rd place in the points standings.
The John Padjen Classic took place in Chico last Friday night. Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, CA won the USAC and BCRA Midget 30 lap feature. He was followed closely by Bryan Clauson originally from Carmichael. Third was Scott Pierovich of Alamo, CA. Shannon McQueen from Bakersfield was fourth, and Tanner Swanson, Kody’s younger brother rounded out the top five.
In the inaugural USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Series race the top spot went to Bill Rose of Indiana but the rest of the top 5 were all NorCal drivers. Second place went to Kyle Hirst of Loomis. Finishing in third was Colby Copeland from Roseville. Fourth was Andy Forsberg from Auburn and Fifth was Brent Kaeding of Campbell, CA.
The World of Outlaws raced Saturday night at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. There were several NorCal drivers competing. Paul McMahan of Elk Grove came home with a 3rd place finish.
7th – Tim Kaeding of San Jose (winner of the KSE Hard Charger Award)
8th – Jason Meyers of Clovis
10th – Shane Golobic of Fremont
11th – Jonathan Allard of Chico
14th – Bud Kaeding of Campbell
15th – Brad Furr of Santa Clara
16th – Kyle Larson of Elk Grove
18th – Jason Statler of Grass Valley
20th – Bobby McMahan of Elk Grove
22nd – Brent Kaeding of Campbell
Finishing 14th in the B Main was 16 year old Sean McMahan of Elk Grove, son of Bobby and nephew of Paul McMahan. Other NorCal drivers in the B-main were:
1st – Jason Meyers of Clovis
2nd – Tim Kaeding of San Jose
6th – Mason Moore of Princeton
8th – Robbie Whitchurch of Chico
9th – Evan Suggs of Scotts Valley
11th – Cody Lamar of Rio Linda
13th – Billy Strange of Elk Grove
14th – Sean McMahan of Elk Grove
15th – Brenton Nugent of Lotus
16th – Andy Forsberg of Auburn
18th – Tyler Wolf of Redding
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raced at the famous Darlington Raceway. The legendary track took its toll on most of the NorCal drivers. The veteran Matt Crafton ended up with a 4th place finish to maintain his lead in the points standings. The other drivers didn’t fair quite so well at the difficult track.
4th – Matt Crafton of Tulare
22nd – T.J. Bell of Reno, NV
24th – Justin Marks of Rocklin
36th – Brad Sweet of Grass Valley
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series as well as the Grand Am Series had the weekend off. The IZOD Indy Car Series doesn’t start until March 27th.