Doug Butterfield scored a thrilling victory in the 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event Saturday night at Orland Raceway. Butterfield is a past Mini Stock champion who has competed in several different divisions at the track through the years. This was Fan Appreciation Night, which meant the fans got to meet the racers and check out the race cars before the show.
In his hopes over overttaking Denny McNary in the championship chase, Tony Richards set the early pace ahead of Butterfield and Tyler Rockwell. Josh Tucker grabbed third just before a lap five yellow flag slowed the pace. Butterfield surprised Richards by racing into the lead on the restart, but Richards made a low pass in Turn 2 a lap later to regain command. Richards began to stretch his advantage to a straightaway over Butterfield and Tucker, who had a close battle going for second. Richards was soon working slower traffic, but a spun car in Turn 3 forced a yellow flag with two laps remaining. Butterfield surprised Richards again by taking the lead on the restart, and a thrilling four-car battle ensued on the final lap. Butterfield led them to the checkered flag, and past champion Josh Jacobo made a last turn pass on the inside for a season best second. Tucker beat Richards back to the line in a close race as Rockwell, Jeremy Langenderfer, McNary, RJ Baker, Jerry Douglas and James Taylor completed the Top 10. Rockwell, Butterfield and Richards won the eight lap heat races.
Wes Smock won the 20 lap Pure Stock Main Event. Despite having a front row start, this wasn’t an easy win for Smock as Kevin Pendergrass made him work for it. Smock led four laps before a yellow flag slowed the pace. Pendergrass charged into the lead on the restart, but Smock continued working the high side and beat Pendergrass back to the line a lap later to regain the lead. The two leaders ran several side-by-side laps, but it was Smock leading the all important final lap for the victory. Pendergrass settled for second ahead of Phil Spencer, Thomas Pavlik, Maurice Merrill, John Camper, Zack Thornton, Rocky Wagner, Paul Stephens and Keith Ross.
Eight lap heat races were won by Smock, Stephens, Pendergrass and Pavlik. Camper won the 15 lap B Main. James Taylor led six laps before contact in Turn 2 sent him spinning into the infield. Tony Quinones led one lap before Camper went racing by on the inside in Turn 3. Thornton caught Camper late and made a challenge, but Camper prevailed at the checkered flag. Quinones finished third.
Tom Davis won the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event. Davis has won all but two of the Main Events as he has clinched his third-straight championship with the win. Davis charged into the lead at the start ahead of Rick Etchison. A fire on the rear end of the Jason Libbee car forced a lap six red flag. Davis continued to lead Etchsion on the restart, but Etchison spun in Turn 2 for a lap 13 yellow flag. Davis led Dusty Hills on the restart as Barbara Crain settled into third. Davis pulled away to the victory, and Hills held off a challenge from Crain for second. John Kirkpatrick finished fourth, followed by Tammy Whicker, Etchison, Eric Hammond and Libbee. Davis and Hills were the eight lap heat race winners.
Tyler Rockwell won the 20 lap 600 Micro Sprint Main Event. Heat race winner Colby Greig led a lap before contact between he and Rockwell sent him spinning. Greig retired and Rockwell led David Worley on the restart. Krya Michelet was lapped, and Worley pitted from second with mechanical issues as a yellow flag waved. Michelet unlapped herself as Rockwell slowed during the final three laps. Rockwell still took the checkered flag to win ahead of Michelet.
The official finish of the Wingless 250 Micro Sprint Main Event was not official at press time. Incoming point leader Mike McCarthy led the race from the start ahead of James Barnes. Previous feature winner Ronnie Heyer moved past Barnes for second on lap seven, but a low pass in Turn 2 of the 12th lap regained Barnes second. Barnes steadily reeled in McCarthy until catching him with two laps to go. Coming out of the final turn, Barnes attempted an inside pass for the win, drifted up and there was contact. McCarthy hit the front wall and flipped as the red flag was displayed seconds after the checkered flag. Heyer and Lester Elsey had been running behind the two leaders in third and fourth, respectively.
Sept. 28 is Championship Night at Orland Raceway. The Pure Stocks are back along with the Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks, 600 Micro Sprints and California Hardtops. For further information, go to the Orland Raceway Facebook page.