James, Comer, Bryant gain first-night wins at Douglas County

By Ben Deatherage

ROSEBURG, Ore. (May 10, 2024) – The newest track in the Pacific Northwest to gain IMCA sanctioning, Douglas County Dirtrack formally opened its 2024 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing season on Friday.

The Douglas County Fairgrounds 3/10-clay oval hosted the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods, and the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts. Track and state points were on the line, as well as Shaw Race Cars Western Region for the Modifieds.

Bricen James stormed the castle with a brilliant last-lap move in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified main event. The Albany racer reeled in Grey Ferrando in the last few laps and masterly timed an overtake move to get by him at the drop of the checkers.

Ferrando had a speedy piece and stormed towards the front on the first lap. Ferrando was relatively quick but did have to negotiate some slower traffic, which allowed James to give chase.

Ferrando was a respectable second, with Lebanon driver Carter Patterson third.

The Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod main event was a caution-slowed. Still, despite the stoppages, it turned out to be a thriller. Things began with defending state champion Trevor Points, who took control of the top position on the initial start.

He would have to deal with five restarters as the pacesetter but the Salem teenager would lose the lead on lap six.

Austin Petray got around Points but was docked two positions on the next restart for getting going a little early on the previous restart.  This would hand the top spot to Dustin Comer.

Comer battled fiercely with Petray and the two exchanged first place on multiple occasions. Petray briefly regained the lead on lap 10 only for Comer to blast past him on the 12th trip past the flag stand. As the race ended, Comer outdueled his opponent to grab the victory when the double-checkers waved.

Petray placed second, while David Schmidt took third. 

Chris Moloso rose to the occasion in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact finale.  The race had just a single caution on lap two, and the balance of the distance was a showdown between the North Bend runner of Moloso and Burnie Bryant.  Bryant started challenging for the lead on lap four and eventually got around Moloso on the fifth circuit.

The two would struggle for first for the majority of the remaining laps. Moloso regained the point on lap nine, but Bryant countered on circuit 11. With about five to go, Bryant got in a good groove, created some space, and was first to the line.

Moloso held off a hard-charging Jack Vicari to get second.  

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