Fitz tops next level competition for IMCA Modified Clash on the Coast win

Trevor Fitz was first to the checkers, in a fast-paced Clash on the Coast feature for Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds Tuesday at Northwest Florida Speedway. (Photo by Byron Fichter)

BAKER, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2024) – Trevor Fitz made the move to the Midwest from his native California looking to race with and win against next level Friesen Performance IMCA Modified competition.

He did just that Tuesday, in Florida.

The transplant to Marshalltown, Iowa, won the night two installment of Clash on the Coast at Northwest Florida Speedway, earning $1,000 and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility.

Fitz chased leader Tanner Barnhart into what quickly became lapped traffic. He was in the right place at the right time, running second when Barnhart couldn’t avoid hitting a spun car and the resulting chaos on lap 12.

Fitz inherited the point, lead the pack after another restart on lap 13, then held off opening night winner Jeff Larson as the race stayed green the last 12 circuits.

“I was hoping for lapped traffic but when I got it, I messed up,” said Fitz, who more than had his hands full with Larson. “I ran for my life. I knew he was back there and I saw his nose a couple times. I didn’t expect to run away with it.”

“It was pretty cool to get this win. We’ll try to do it again at Southern Raceway.”

The checkers put Fitz on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible list. He’d motored from 20th starting to 10th in the Monday main event at Baker, which he said had the same character as tracks in California and same shape as Cortez in Colorado.

Defending speedweek champion Austen Becerra was third, Jadin Fuller fourth and Collin Thirlby fifth. Jason Barnhill paced home state drivers with his sixth place run.

A night after becoming the winner of the first-ever IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature in Florida, Gage Neal found traction on the bottom line and became the first driver to win back-to-back features in The Class Too Tough To Tame in the Sunshine State.

In contrast to his 23rd to first run on Monday, Neal started fourth and led the first three laps.

Elijah Zevenbergen took charge the next 11 times around the track before getting sideways coming out of turn four. Neal restarted up front and that was all she wrote as he outran hard chargers Devin Snellenberger from 23rd starting, Dallon Murty from 21st, John Oliver Jr. from 12th and Mike Albertsen from 18th.

Neal’s Tuesday win also paid $1,000.

One hundred and forty IMCA entries were in the pits for night two at Baker.

With impending weather in the weekend forecast, both divisions are Southern Raceway bound for a Wednesday night practice with races at Milton moved to Thursday and Friday, Feb. 29 and March 1.

All start times and gate admission rates remain the same. Both race programs will be broadcast on IMCA.TV.

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