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

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 [Read More]


On a rail, Bannister outruns ‘fast guys’ for Miller Memorial win at Merced

MERCED, Calif. (April 17) – Leader Jason Bannister knew “those fast guys” would be coming as the laps clicked away at Merced Speedway’s Al Miller Memorial main event. Bannister was faster, though, and took home Saturday’s $5,000 Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod feature win ahead of Fred Ryland and Tom Fraser. “It was awesome. To be competitive and win a race like this is really exciting,” the Bakersfield hotshoe said. “We hit the setup and we were on a rail. This was my biggest win and the biggest payday of my career.” He’d passed Fraser for the front spot on lap three and Ryland took over the second spot just before a multi-car pileup on the backstretch brought everything to a halt on lap 10. The race stayed green from that point, with Ryland chasing Bannister in traffic as the 35-lapper wound down.  He cleared two lapped cars and was cutting into Bannister’s lead but ran out of laps to catch the leader. “I knew Fred was back there,” said Bannister, the Friday night runner-up. “I’d [Read More]


Al Miller Memorial this weekend at Merced

MERCED, Calif. – The newest addition to the 2021 schedule at Merced Speedway is also one of the biggest.  Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods race for $5,000 to win and a minimum of $200 to start at the fourth annual Al Miller Memorial, set for Saturday, April 17. IMCA Modifieds are on the same card, running for $2,000 to win, $100 to start and a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars run for $1,200 to win and $75 to start. There is no entry fee and the Miller Memorial will be broadcast by IMCA.TV. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Shaw Race Cars Western and EQ Cylinder Heads Southern region, KMJ Performance State and track points will be awarded.  Pit gates open at 2 p.m. Hot laps are at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m. A practice night will be held Thursday, April 15 at Merced with the regular weekly race program on Friday.  Miller was the father of IMCA drivers Robert and Randy Miller. Information about the Miller Memorial [Read More]


Merced’s Shannon Tribute wins go to Laney, Bannister

MERCED, Calif. (March 27) – Cody Laney won for the fourth time already this season while Tyler Bannister won for the first time in his brief IMCA career Saturday at Merced Speedway’s Tribute to Jerry Shannon season opener.  Laney started 11th, had the lead before halfway in the IMCA Modified feature and outran Ethan Dotson to the $2,000 checkers. The rookie Bannister started from the pole and swapped the front spot with Fred Ryland before pulling away from a field full of West Coast Karl Kustom Northern SportMod heavyweights. Thirty-eight Modifieds and 32 SportMods contended at the inaugural event.  Already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, Laney posted the second fastest qualifying time and won his heat before lining up inside row six for the 30-lap main event. He passed Jim Pettit II and then Kellen Chadwick for the front spot. “The bottom was the fastest and I knew Kellen wasn’t going to move off it,” Laney said. “I caught him on the backstretch, rolled around him on top and moved back to the [Read More]


Merced starts season with Jerry Shannon tribute race

MERCED, Calif. – Merced Speedway opens the season March 27, paying IMCA Modifieds $2,000 to win and a minimum of $150 to start the Tribute to Jerry Shannon main event. The Shannon tribute is a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier and the Modified driver with the fastest time in qualifying nets another $200. Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods run from $750 to win and $50 to start. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Shaw Race Cars Western Region, KMJ Performance State and track points will be awarded. The event will be broadcast by IMCA.TV. Pit gates open at 1 p.m. and the drivers’ meeting is at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 6 p.m. and racing gets underway at 7 p.m. Pit passes are $40. Admission to the fan/family pit area is $20 for adults, $10 for kids ages 3-10 and free for two and under. Fans and family can bring their own food and beverages but no glass or alcohol.


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

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 [Read More]


Six tracks host California IMCA Speedweek shows

MERCED, Calif. – California is the place Modified and Northern SportMod drivers will want to be, for the inaugural California IMCA Speedweek Aug. 10-15. IMCA Modifieds race for $1,000 to win their Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying fea­tures while Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods chase $750 top checks each night.  The inaugural California IMCA Speedweek presented by Hoppes Motorsports opens next Mon­day at Placerville Speedway, then travels to Petaluma Speedway on Aug. 11; to Antioch Speed­way on Aug. 12; to Merced Speedway on Aug. 13; to Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford on Aug. 14; and to Bakersfield Speedway for the Aug. 15 finale. All events are draw/redraw. Modified features pay $100 to start, Northern SportMod features $75, with IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Shaw Race Cars Western Region and KMJ Performance State points, in addition to series points at stake.  Top five drivers in standings for each division receive point fund shares, in increments of $1,000, $400, $200, $100 and $100 for the Modifieds and $700, $300, $200, $100 and $100 for the North­ern [Read More]


Inaugural California IMCA Modified Speedweek dates announced

By Ben Deatherage  MERCED, Calif. – Something exciting is around the bend in the California IMCA Modified scene. Doug Lockwood, promoter at Merced Speedway, has put together the first-ever Modified Speedweek in the State of California.  The series will race from Monday, Aug. 10 to Saturday, Aug. 15 at six different racetracks in as many nights.  The racing extravaganza will be open to both IMCA Modifieds and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods. Each race will feature a 20-car main event for $1,000 to win and $50 to start for the Modifieds while SportMods will race for $600 to the winner and $40 to start. Modified features are Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying events. Point funds will be up for grabs in both divisions, with $1,000-$400-$200-$100-$100 shares being paid in the Modifieds and $600-$300-$200-$100-$100 shares paid in the SportMods. The whole party kicks off at Placerville Speedway on Aug. 10, before the tour travels west to Petaluma Speedway on Tuesday.  Wednesday will be spent at Antioch Speedway while the Thursday date is reserved for Merced Speedway.  The series continues its southern [Read More]


IMCA Stock Cars have four Saturday dates at Merced

MERCED, Calif. – Four Saturday dates for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars are on the 2020 schedule at Merced Speedway.  The full-bodied class runs May 9, June 27 and Aug. 1 and 22 at the quarter-mile clay California venue. “We have had a number of drivers ask about adding Stock Cars here. If they support us, we’ll add more dates next season,” promoter Doug Lockwood said. “We really like IMCA. Their rules make everybody’s job easier and guys who have been racing at other tracks in California can come to Merced and know their cars will be legal when they get here.”  Merced will be part of IMCA’s EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region. Stock Cars points earned there also figure toward IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National and E3 Spark Plugs California State standings. The IMCA Modifieds and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods return to regular weekly programs at Merced. Both divisions headline the June 10 fair special, the June 20 Ed Parker Memorial and the pre-holiday special on July 3, which features free grandstand admission and [Read More]


Foulger figuring out Merced, IMCA Modified checkers at Ed Parker Memorial pay $2,028

MERCED, Calif. (June 15) – Slowly but surely, Troy Foulger is figuring out the nuances at Merced Speedway. Foulger raced from sixth starting to win Saturday’s Ed Parker Memorial IMCA Modified main event. His third victory of the season at the Central Valley oval paid $2,028, plus lap money, and landed him on the ballot for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. “It was awesome,” said Foulger, who split leader Randy Brown and a lapped car to take the front spot on the 19th of 30 circuits. “We ran in traffic most of the way and I tried to get through it as quick as I could.” After an early caution, the race stayed green all the way to lap 27. Foulger pulled away again in beating Brown and Robby Sawyer to the checkers. “I ran the top side most of the way,” he said following his ninth start of 2019 at Merced, “but I could go about anywhere to get through traffic.” Cody Burke and hard charger Trevor Fitz-Gibbon, who’d started 13th, rounded out the top [Read More]