Dotson masters Merced, Bannister also hits California IMCA Speedweek gold at Merced

Ethan Dotson was a two-time winner for the second straight night in California IMCA Speedweek action, topping IMCA Modified and IMCA Sunoco Stock Car features at Merced Speedway. (Photo by Tom Macht,

By Stephanie Deatherage  

MERCED, Calif. (May 3) – The California IMCA Speedweek presented by Hoppes Motorsports kept rolling northwards and Ethan Dotson kept rolling with two more feature wins Monday night at Merced Speedway. 

Dotson won his second straight IMCA Modified main event and fourth straight IMCA Sunoco Stock Car outing, while Jason Bannister became a first-time Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod Speedweek winner. 

When the green flag dropped for the 25-lap Modified feature, Cody Laney rocketed out to the point and went straight to work on building a sizable interval over the rest of the pack. 

As the long green flag run continued, Dotson closed in and as the pair entered lapped traffic maneuvered his mount underneath Laney, took the lead on the 15th circuit.    

Dotson remained in front to the $1,000 checkers for his sixth Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory of 2021. Oregon’s Collen Winebarger, Darrell Hughes II, Laney and Nevada’s Jake Pike completed the top five. 

After an early restart, Garrett Corn beat out Nicholas Johnson to set the pace on the opening circuit of the Stock Car main.  

Dotson, pulling double duty yet again, tracked down and overtook Corn on lap eight. The race stayed green the rest of the distance and Dotson went to score his fourth win in as many nights. Nicholas Johnson was second with Cody Johnson, Austin Van Hoff and Corn next across the stripe.

Chuck Weir was lightning quick and pulled away from the rest of the Northern SportMod field before cau­tions on laps eight, 10 and at midway. Bannister scorched around the high side and into the lead on lap 13 after a three-car battle. 

Jason Nation made a late bid to the front, but Bannister was quick to quell his assault. Nation was second to the line with Fred Ryland, Tyler Bannister and Andrew Pearce rounding out the top five. 

Jason Bannister raced to his first Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod California IMCA Speedweek victory Monday at Merced. (Photo by Tom Macht,

The California IMCA Speedweek presented by Hoppes Motorsports will take a day off Tuesday before returning to action Wednesday, May 5 at Antioch Speedway.