Prickett claims Ocean victory June 9, 2017

By Kevin Triplett BCRA Midget Media Director

Fresno racer David Prickett claimed victory as the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) mighty midgets made their only 2017 season appearance at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville California on Friday night June 9, the first night of a back-to-back weekend of midget racing. Thirteen cars took to the ¼-mile banked dirt oval in groups for time trials, and Michael Faccinto in Mike Sala’s #19W Spike obliterated the old midget track record set by Ron Marshall in 1996 with a best lap of 13.332 seconds. Alex Schutte in his family’s Esslinger-powered Spike chassis was just whisker behind at 13.334 seconds. Shannon McQueen had the misfortune to have a rocker arm break in her Esslinger engine after just ¾ of lap, but she still managed to post the ninth fastest qualifying time.

Following a scratch by scheduled pole-sitter Terre Rothweiler, Prickett moved to the inside pole starting position and led the first four laps of the first eight-lap heat race before Cory Elliott up from his third starting position powered past into second place. Elliott led the rest of the way to take the heat race win trailed by Prickett, Shannon McQueen (after some fast pit-side engine repair work by Duane McQueen), and Atascadero’s Randi Pankratz.

In the second heat race, pole-sitter Terry Nichols powered into the lead at the drop of the green flag and led wire-to-wire ahead of a furious battle for position behind him. For the first two laps, fellow front row starter Maria Cofer held down second place, but entering turn three on lap 3 Schutte up from his sixth starting spot slide by to claim second place. Cofer hung on to third place despite repeated challenges from Mason Daniel, while Danny Carroll battled an ill-handling Spike chassis to finish fifth. Chad Daniel’s car unfortunately suffered a broken rear end in the heat race and thus was unable to take the green flag for the evening’s feature race.

Terry Nichols started from the pole position for the 25-lap BCRA main event with Prickett alongside and the pair streaked away with Nichols leading Prickett for the first four circuits until Alex Schutte claimed second place on lap six and began to close the gap on the leader. By the end of lap ten, Schutte was pressuring Nichols for the lead, and as the pair exited turn number two side-by-side on the eleventh lap, they tangled.  The incident left Nichols stopped on the back straightaway but Schutte was able to continue, although his #28 machine had sustained some damage.

On the restart, Schutte’s car hesitated which created a traffic jam entering turn one, and David Prickett emerged from the pack with the lead trailed by Elliott and Faccinto as Schutte fell to fourth place. Over the next few laps Prickett, Elliott and Faccinto distanced themselves from the rest of the field comprised of Pankratz, McQueen, Carroll, Cofer, Nichols, Rothweiler, Floyd Alvis, Tom Doherty and JR Williams.

On lap 20, Schutte joined Williams in the Ocean Speedway grass infield as he could not continue due to brake damage the #28 car had suffered in the earlier collision with Nichols. Over the final laps, Elliott tried gamely to pass Prickett, but the wily veteran and 2009 BCRA champion repelled Elliott’s charges to claim the victory. Michael Faccinto finished third, trailed by Randi Pankratz in fourth with Shannon McQueen in fifth place and Danny Carroll finished sixth.  The BCRA teams loaded up and left Watsonville bound for the North Bay and Petaluma Speedway, the site of Saturday night’s scheduled race.

 

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