Sawyer tops IMCA Modified thriller at Merced, Jernagan posts fourth straight Speedweek win

Robby Sawyer won an IMCA Modified thriller, and $1,000, in the California IMCA Speedweek Thursday night show at Merced Speedway. (Photo by Tom Macht,

By Stephanie Deatherage

MERCED, Calif. (Aug. 13) – In a word, the IMCA Modified feature in the fourth installment of California IMCA Speedweek presented by Hoppes Motorsports was a thriller.

Robby Sawyer collected the $1,000 checkers and 2021 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth by all of half a car length Thursday at Merced Speedway.

Sawyer passed Justin Dunn for the front spot on lap eight, during a lengthy green-flag run.  A lap 23 caution brought about the only stoppage of the contest and despite a constant barrage of challenges, Sawyer held on by a slim margin to become the fourth different Modified winner in as many Speedweek races thus far.

Shane DeVolder hit the line an extremely close second but was penalized two positions for jumping the start and scored in fourth. Bobby Hogge IV was promoted to second and Troy Foulger to third. Dunn completed the top five.

Garrett Jernagan extended his Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod streak to four in a row with his latest $750 victory.

Dave Pearson and then Cory Hemphill held the lead as Jernagan worked his way up from 10th starting. The final restart came on lap 16 and Jernagan passed Hemphill for the top spot four laps later.

He pulled away from the pack from that point, winning ahead of Hemphill and Chuck Weir.

Fifty-three IMCA Modifieds as well as 35 Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod drivers competed at Merced.

The fifth round of the California Modified Speedweek presented by Hoppes Motorsports is Friday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, on Friday. Speedweek events have lap to lap coverage courtesy of FloRacing.

Feature Results

Modifieds – 1. Robby Sawyer; 2. Bobby Hogge IV; 3. Troy Foulger; 4. Shane DeVolder; 5. Justin Dunn; 6. Collen Winebarger; 7. Jerry Flippo; 8. Jake Pike; 9. Kellen Chadwick; 10. Jim Pettit II; 11. Danny Wagner; 12. Bryan Clark; 13. Trevor Fitz; 14. Troy Morris III; 15. Mike White; 16. Gavyn Manning; 17. Danny Lauer; 18. Nick DeCarlo; 19. Austin Kiefer; 20. Paul Stone.

Northern SportMods – 1. Garrett Jernagan; 2. Cory Hemphill; 3. Chuck Weir; 4. Fred Ryland; 5. Nick Spainhoward; 6. Nathan Rolfe; 7. Brent Curran; 8. Timothy Allerdings; 9. Doug Hagio; 10. Tanner Thomas; 11. Jarrod Mounce; 12. Markus Frazier; 13. Jason Bannister; 14. Tyler Thomas; 15. Sheyne Bradley; 16. Andrew Pearce; 17. Dave Pearson; 18. Aaron Farrell; 19. Ethan Killingsworth; 20. Justin Gonzalez.