By Kevin Triplett
In a rare mid-week appearance, on Wednesday night August 21, the POWRi Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) midgets took part in the Gold Country Showdown at Placerville Speedway along with the King of the West sprint cars.
Fifteen cars and stars took part in the event, as Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson posted the fastest lap in time trials, followed by 2017 BCRA champion Maria Cofer, Shane Golobic and Chase Johnson with Robert Dalby the fifth fastest qualifier.
Front row starter Cory Elliott jumped into the lead at the start of the first heat race, with Michael Faccinto in hot pursuit. By lap 3, Larson had moved into the top three trailed by Golobic and Dalby, but none of the pursuers were able to close on the fleet Elliott machine. At the checkered flag the finishing order was Elliott, Faccinto, Larson, Golobic, Dalby, BCRA points leader Robert Carson and Marvin Mitchell. JR Williams did not start due to throttle issues.
Maria Cofer was victorious in the second heat followed to the flag by Robby Josett, Chase Johnson, Cody Swanson, Dylan Ito, and rookie driver Colton Raudman. Beau Lemire did not start due to mechanical issues.
After passing points from the heat races were totaled, Cofer and Elliott shared the front row for the start, with Larson and Faccinto in the second row and Josett and Johnson in the third row for the start of the 25-lap feature event.
At the drop of the green flag, Cofer shot into lead into, but her lead proved short-lived as Kyle Larson powered past in his father’s #1K Finley Farms-sponsored Toyota-powered machine on the backstretch on the second lap. On lap three, Chase Johnson coasted the Del Morris-owned #71R up the hill and into the pit area due to brake issues. On alp five, the race’s first caution flag flew as Dylan Ito spun to halt in turn two. After a push to restart, Ito rejoined the tail of the field.
As the field took the green flag for the restart the top five runners were Larson, Cofer, Elliott, Faccinto and Golobic. Deeper in the field Robert Dalby tried the high side as most of the field including leader Larson remained glued to the bottom of the race track. Before the race’s second caution flag flew on lap 11 for the stopped Robert Dalby #4D machine, the NASCAR star Larson had built up a straightaway lead over his pursuers.
Following the restart, Larson went back to work and built up another sizable lead by lap 20 when second place Maria Cofer spun to a stop at the exit of turn two. After the race restarted with Cofer at the tail of the field, Maria moved to run the high side and paid the price as she hooked the tall cushion in turn four and her #57 SR-11 powered machine rolled over and came to stop upside down. Maria was unhurt, but her night was finished, and Bakersfield’s Cory Elliott moved into second place behind Larson for the restart but was unable to catch the flying #1K machine over the final five laps.
Kyle Larson grabbed a popular victory over Elliott, Faccinto, Swanson, and Golobic. Sixth place went to Robby Josett, followed by Colton Raudman, Dylan Ito and Marvin Mitchell. Maria Cofer led the non-finishers in tenth, followed by Dalby, Robert Carson, Johnson, JR Williams and Lemire.
The POWRi BCRA midgets return to action on September 14th at Madera Speedway for the Harvest Classic, which should be an interesting event with the scheduled debut of a new challenger.