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Speed and Vickers take top two spots at Chicago

POSTED July 10, 2009 9:31 p.m.
Ontario’s Jason Bowles scored his third consecutive win on his home track of Toyota Speedway at Irwindale by capturing the 4th of July King Taco 200 for the NASCAR Camping World Series West last weekend.
Bowles, who won two series races at the half-mile track last year, led 132 of 200 laps and now vaults into the lead in the championship standings by a 1,364 to 1,340 margin over Escalon’s Eric Holmes who finished the race in sixth.
Elsewhere last weekend Frazier Park veteran MK Kanke posted his third win in four races en route to his victory in the SRL Southwest Tour race at Madera Speedway and 16-year-old Jacob Gomes of Manteca picked up his second career win in a late model by taking the checkered flag over a 21-car field in the Tri Holiday 150 at Stockton 99 Speedway. Gomes swapped the lead in the race with Manteca’s Guy Guibor, the 2006 track champion, several times before securing the top spot for good on lap 143.
Although the Madera Speedway will go dark this weekend, there is still plenty of local racing on tap.
If you are a dirt track racing fan, then tonight is the Holy Grail of racing as the Chowchilla Speedway will host the top three forms of racing offered on the clay today, Winged Sprint Cars, Non Winged Sprint Cars and the Super Late Models. These are all 700 to 800 horsepower ground pounding monsters! The Spec Sprint non-winged cars are also on the schedule.
Stockton’s 99 Speedway will host the NCMA Sprint Cars, along with the Legends of the Pacific, Street Stocks, Mini-Stocks/Mini-Trucks and Basically-4-Cylinders today. The Figure-8s will also be making their season debut on today.
It will be Christmas in July tonight at Merced Speedway when kids 15 and under get in free by bringing an unwrapped toy. Also Santa Claus will be making an appearance (hopefully wearing a cool suit). The California Limited Sportmods, Hobby Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks and Valley Sportsman will be racing.  
Last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, Manteca’s Scott Speed pulled double duty making his debut, along with teammate Kyle Busch, in a Rolex Grand Am Prototype and also competing in that night’s Sprint Cup race in his regular #82 Red Bull Toyota. After finishing 10th in the Grand Am race, Speed ran as high as 15th in the Sprint Cup feature before getting caught up in a late race accident with eight laps to go and finishing 31st.
“We were competitive the entire race, and I could really do whatever I wanted with the car,” Speed said. “The race ran like textbook for us. This is exactly how I’d like us to run in all of our races, just with a better final result.”
That result may come today as Speed and his teammate, Brian Vickers, made Red Bull Racing Team history on Thursday when the pair took the top two spots in qualifying for today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. It marks the best combined qualifying effort in the team’s short history.
No. 83 driver Brian Vickers won his series-leading fifth pole of the season, and 10th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career, by turning a lap of 29.322 seconds and 184.162 mph, while Speed was just a tick slower at 182.958 mph (29.515 seconds) to lock himself in the second starting spot.
“Brian’s lap was incredible,” said Speed. “I didn’t really think that we had a shot to beat that, but I knew we had a shot to be at the front. We also knew we had to make the race, so we needed to be smart about our run. It was a nice solid lap and the car was handling great. It’s a really good start to the weekend.”
The Lifelock.com 400 can be seen live beginning at 4:30 p.m. today on TNT.
It is not too late to enter a car in either of this year’s Destruction Derbies at the Stanislaus County Fair. The Turlock Lions Club is still looking for cars to fill out its fields for “Traditional Turmoil” Destruction Derby I on Aug. 3 and “Metal Mayhem” Derby II on Aug. 4.
The Aug. 3 Derby I consists of three preliminary rounds with up to 18 cars each and one consolation round for the survivors. The top five cars from each of those rounds, judged on hits and aggressiveness, will advance to the final round. The rewards for Derby I include a purse of $4,100, nine trophies and best of all — bragging rights for a year.
Derby II consists of various separate “one-shot” classes including subcompacts, powder puff (females only), lightweight (1980 and newer), ‘60s and ’70s heavyweights and a new class for pickup trucks and SUVs. Drivers and cars that survived Derby I can also participate on Tuesday.
For more information contact event director Carl Mikkelsen at lionsderby@sbcglobal.net or visit the fair Web site at stancofair.com.
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