Sunday, August 11, 2019

Nowlin, Kuecker Set Fast Time And Win In Modifieds, Bombers

Jeremy Nowlin on his way to his second modified victory at Lakeport Speedway Photo By Lisa Dahlgren

Via Nadine Strauss/NCRA Media

August 10, 2019…… Lakeport, CA….. Two new faces and one familiar face visited the winners circle Saturday night during the Northern California Racing Association’s auto races at the Lakeport Speedway. In the modified class it was Jeremy Nowlin of Kelseyville who set fast time of 12.720 and went on to collect his second season victory in NCRA’s premier division.

Forrest Kuecker of Lakeport also set fast time of 14.083 in the Taco Bell Bombers, started at the back of the pack, and crossed the finish line first to take home his first win of the year. And on his inaugural outing in 2019, Johnny Barker of Upper Lake led wire-to-wire to bring home the bacon in the AAA Energy Systems Pro-4 Modifieds.

Plus the Pro Drifters put on a spectacular show with their out-of-control display of horsepower, handling and speed.

With Robert Schmidt electing to start in the rear, Visiting North State Modified Series driver Rick Avila of Pleasanton started on the pole of the modified feature, but it was outside starter Ian Elliot who took the early lead followed by Kevin Coburn and Chris Salmina.

Coburn moved his mount to the high side and assumed the lead from Elliott on lap four. Nowlin came from seventh to third quickly and swapped places with Elliot on the fifth go-round. Nowlin continued his outside run until he found himself out in front on lap seven. Salmina followed Nowlin’s line and drove around Coburn the following round.

The only yellow flag came on lap 11 when Anthony Esberg spun in turn two. When racing resumed Nowlin charged forward as points leader Eric Johnson moved into fourth place. Johnson moved to the outside lane, and at the half-way point of the 30 lapper, Johnson inched by Coburn to take over third. Next Johnson set his sights on Salmina where the duo ran side-by-side for three laps before Johnson completed the pass for second.

Nowlin and Johnson ran the remaining distance nose-to-tail with Nowlin the happy winner. Johnson finished second ahead of Salmina, Coburn, Elliott, Schmidt, Darrin Sullivan, Anthony Esburg, Avila and Thomas Esburg. Heat wins went to Elliot and Sullivan. Johnson won the trophy dash.

Taco Bell Bomber points leader Lauren Snider jumped into the John McCullough bomber after his orange #6k broke a crank shaft in hot laps. But that didn’t slow him down much as he stole the lead away from Evan Smith on lap five of the bomber feature. But Kuecker was on a mission and drove around Snider for the lead two rounds later.

The races was slowed on lap 12 when Mike Sullivan, driving the RJ Randall bomber, was leaking fluid on the track. Donovan Cox drove under Snider for second on the restart. Four laps later the yellow flew again when Trevor Abella, also in a borrowed car, lost power and stalled on the front stretch.

Rick Jelton drove by Snider in the final circuits, and at the checkered flag if was Kuecker, Cox, Jelton, Snider, Smith, Seth Chew, Amber Portlock, Abella, Sullivan and Davey Jones. Kuecker also won the fast heat race. Smith was the other heat winner and Cox took home trophy dash honors.

In Pro-4 action Barker forged ahead of pole setter Ron Portlock as the drop of the Johnny Miskill green flag, and for the first 20 laps was challenged on every lap by heat race winner Chris Straka, driving the Curt Lewis #87. However, Straka lost control and spun his car on lap 22 to bring out the yellow flag. At the same time Portlock’s car lost a rear-end which started a small engine fire.

Straka rapidly moved back to the front, but was no longer a threat to Barker who claimed the win. Straka finished second ahead of fast qualifier (13.567) Andy Leuzinger, Mike Peterson, Portlock and Doug Rivera. Ashley Aceves broke in the heat race and did not start the main event. Portlock won the trophy dash.

The next event at the Lakeport Speedway will feature the popular “Boat Races.” It will be the final points race of the 2019 season for the NCRA modifieds and the Taco Bell Bombers. Also on the racing card will be the Legends Cars and Bandoleros. Gates open at 5 pm with racing at 6 pm.

NCRA races at Lakeport Speedway are presented by Hillside Honda, Anderson Logging, Taco Bell, D & P Pools, Lake County Tribal Health, Lake Parts, Carlton Tires, Don Anderson Law Firm, Clearlake Redi-Mix, Steve Taylor Construction, Detail Plus, , KXBX 98.3 FM, Lake County Welding, Perkins Pumps, Sheldon Signs, and 707 Graphics.