Hall outlasts McDaniel; Hawes hangs on
Turn-by-turn, frontstretch to back, Corey Hall could feel his biggest competition.
There's no rearview mirrors in super stock cars, but the sound of the exhaust, a slight tap on a bumper, an ever-so-short glance at a fender is how the track champion knew he was in for a battle.
Ryan McDaniel — veteran driver, winning pedigree, solid equipment — was pushing the Sutter teenager from behind Saturday in the super stock A-main. He was relentless, his pursuit of Hall's white and red No. 56 calculated and clean.
"I heard him the whole time back there," Hall said. "I knew he was coming."
And McDaniel did, mounting a final-lap charge on the leader with a bump-and-run move coming off the final turn. Hall's ride slid up the quarter-mile clay oval and McDaniel darted low in his black No. 111 as the checkered flag waved.
Hall by a nose. After 20 laps of racing, it was decided by a couple feet at full throttle.
"I thought he was going to get me," Hall said.
He certainly thought that way when the yellow flag came out with one lap to go. It means a quarter-mile shootout, and McDaniel, who Hall lauded for "racing (him) clean," finally made contact when it was absolutely necessary for a shot at victory.
"I tried ...," McDaniel said to the crowd during the post-race celebration. As Hall took his victory lap, the Marysville racer parked his car by the start-finish line and hopped out so he could congratulate his foil.
Afterward, while Reyna Kruger was ru ning to eventual victory in the Pacific 360 sprint feature, the duo hung out together by their haulers in the pits and recounted the race.
"Thankfully he raced me clean," Hall said, conceding he would have tried the same move McDaniel put on him. "It was a lot of fun and a good show for the crowd."
The fendered cars didn't provide all the last-lap excitement, though. Jeremy Hawes won the wingless sprint A-main after surviving the evening's first last-lap shootout. Like the stocks, a car that was a non-factor in the race brought out a yellow with one to go. Hawes, who steers his high-horsepower ride with one hand, executed a smooth final lap to hold off Brett Youngman.
It was a strong finish following a tumultuous start for Hawes, who was up on two wheels at the start and nearly flipped right after the green flag was dropped. He maintained balance and rallied to third, where he benefited from a crash between leaders Tony Richards and Terry Shank, a pair with experience who usually avoid wrecking.
"Those guys don't make many mistakes," Hawes said.