On a perfect Saturday evening for racing at the Merced Fairgrounds Speedway, 17 Midget Lites signed in for the Bay Cities Racing Ass’n, (BCRA) sponsored 4th Annual Wayne Albright Memorial Race.
Qualifying in groups of 4 on the well prepared 1/4 mile dirt track, Craig Dillard set fast time at 13:104 followed by Emilee Lindgren of Elk Grove: 13:249, Doug Nunes: 13:404, Danika’Jo Parker: 13:410, & 5th fast Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita with a 13:432.
The first heat had 9 cars with veteran racer, Marshall Sexton on the pole with High School Sophomore Aiden Lange from Lakewood on the outside. Well, it didn’t take veteran CLS racer Michnowicz long to take the lead over Lange & fellow racer Chris Dickey from Murrieta. The 8 lap heat finish was Michnowicz, Lange, Dickey, Doug Nunes from Kingsburg, & in 5th was Dillard, the Oakdale former champion of the BCRA Lites.
The second heat started 8 cars with Rockstar Jon Robertson from Bass Lake on the pole and Downtown Steve Brown on the outside. Brown took the early lead over Charlie Caraccilo & Dakota Albright. Brown continued his lead until lap 6 when Caraccilo made an inside pass in turn 2 & held on to take the win over Brown & the crowd’s favorite Dakota Albright. Finishing 4th was rookie Jackson Dukes of Fresno, and in 5th was cutie Danika’Jo Parker in her immaculate 13 machine.
With a pill draw inversion of 8, Dakota Albright was awarded the pole starting position with Chris Dickey on the outside. At the green, Albright took an immediate lead followed by Caraccilo, who started 3rd, followed by Dickey, Parker, & Nunes. Yellow flags on lap 3 & 4, didn’t deter Albright who continued his strong run in front of Caraccilo, with the top 2 cars opening a gap between them & the rest of the field. During this time, Sexton, followed by Michnowicz drove to the pits with mechanical gremlins. Another victim of the hard racing was Jackson Dukes, who was towed to the pits with damage that ended his rookie run. On lap 12, the yellow flag was shown for a two car tangle in turn 2, resulting in the single file restart with the lineup reverting back to the transponder recording of the last green flag lap, which was lap 11. On lap 11, the transponder recorded Caraccilo slightly ahead of Albright on the front straight. To the crowd’s dismay as well as the surprise of Albright, the racing was to restart in that order. At the green, Caraccilo showed his strength and continued his lead. On lap 17, Brown became acquainted with the back straight wall and tipped over for a red flag condition. Brown was OK, but his car was done for the night. On the restart, Danika’Jo Parker and another car made contact in turn 1, with Parker flipping hard, ruining her night along with the front & top wings. The next restart went smoothly, Caraccilo showed his skill in driving to the victory over Albright, Nunes, Dickey, & Lange.
BCRA wishes to Thank track promoter Ed Parker, & Race Director Doug Williams for being great hosts and providing a racy track all night long. Also, BCRA wishes to thank the following for their contributions to boost the purse for the 4th annual Wayne Albright Memorial Race: Steve Brown Mobile Diesel Repair, Power-Up Concrete Pumping. (Cameron Beard), Doug Nunes, Marshall Sexton Trucking, Browning Motorsports of Sacramento, Roza Motorsports of Oakdale, and the many fans who supported this race, & especially the CLS owners/drivers who made the long tow to support this race.
Catch the Midget Lites this coming Saturday at Antioch Speedway and the BCRA National Midgets at the Big Stockton Dirt Track on August 26.
Heat 1: Michnowicz, Lange, Dickey, Nunes, Dillard, Jesse Burks, Steve Roza, Jerry Cisco, Marshall Sexton.
Heat 2: Caraccilo, Brown, Albright, Dukes, Parker, Robertson, Lindgren, Wayne Hansen.
Main: Caraccilo, Albright, Nunes, Dickey, Lange, Dillard, Cisco, Roza, Robertson, Burks, Hansen, Parker, Brown, Lindgren, Michnowicz, Dukes, & Sexton.