Drake Wins West Coast Shootout Gary Jacob Memorial at Kings Speedway

by Stephanie Odom
HANFORD, CA (April 6) – San Luis Obispo's Steve Drake led wire-to-wire en route to his sixth career West Coast Late Model Shootout victory at Kings Speedway on Saturday night. Twenty-one cars checked in to the event paying tribute to Gary Jacob. Jacob was a long time reporter dedicated to the motorsports community up until his passing in June of 2006. The win was Drake's first with the West Coast Late Model Shootout since Calistoga Speedway on June 11, 2011 and puts him one win behind all-time career wins leader Bobby Hogge IV.

Drake's night started strong topping the qualifying charts with a 15.967 lap around the 3/8 of a mile clay oval and winning his heat race. Drake finished second to Hogge in the dash setting him up with an outside pole position for the thirty lap feature event.

Drake jumped to the early lead until a caution came out for Dennis Souza and Paul Guglielmoni on lap one resulting in a complete restart. The second attempt had the result with Drake taking the top spot and Hogge settling in for second. Morgan Hill's Jeff Decker moved into third with Nick Bartels pressuring. Mike Kirby completed the top five until he ended his night pulling into this pits.

Drake and Hogge pulled away from the field, dicing their way aggressively through lapped traffic until a caution came out on lap sixteen for Guglielmoni. On the restart Jason Papich took over fourth place but could not hold on with Nick Bartels overtaking the spot and Hollister's Andy Obertello cracking the top five.

The leaders pulled away from the field again methodically working their way through lapped traffic. Hogge pulled within a striking distance but could not make the pass for the lead as he trailed Drake across the line for the checkered flag. Jeff Decker, Nick Bartels, Andy Obertello, Jason Papich, hard charger Larry Childress, Billy Griffin, Rob Sanders and Tony Toste completed the top ten.

Drake's win was awarded with a $2,000 check as well as $750 in bonus lap money. Businesses, individuals, race teams and race tracks joined together in an effort to make this years Gary Jacob Memorial unlike any other West Coast Late Model Shootout event that will be held this season. All thirty laps received a $50 sponsorship with the lap leader receiving $25, second receiving $15 and third receiving $10. Bobby Hogge IV maintained second the entire event and was awarded with $450 while Jeff Decker held onto third all thirty laps worth $300. Bakersfield's Larry Childress received the $75 hard charger award advancing to seventh from seventeenth.

The West Coast Late Model Shootout will return to action Memorial Day weekend, May 25th and 26th at the Santa Maria Speedway for The Nationals with two complete shows. For more information you can visit www.WestCoastLateModels.com or follow them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WestCoastLateModelShootout or Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WCLMShootout.

The West Coast Late Model Shootout and Chris Kearns Presents would like to thank the following for their support this season: Taffera Jewelers, RoadRunner Fabrication, Pearsons Auto Wrecking, Drake Farms Transportation, Toste Construction and Paving, Papich Construction, Victory Circle Custom Fabrication and Machining, West Coast Boring, Hoosier Tires, Five Star Grafix and VP Racing Fuel.

They would also like to thank the following for sponsoring a lap towards the Gary Jacob Memorial: Papich Construction, MR1 Promotions, Jean Ruppert, Lawrence Motorsports, Five Star Grafix, Jennifer Biggs, Megs Sweet Machines, Vogt Family Racing, Toste Construction, West Coast Boring, Drake Farms Trucking, Van Iderstine Racing, Condon Motorsports, Finish Line Promotions, Santa Maria Speedway, Blade Kearns Productions and Lorinda Janes, Alan and Max Compton, RaJin Racewear, Papich-Toste Racing, Blake Welding, Sandie Simkins East West Series, Obertello Racing, Beau Simmons Promotions and Dacotah Speedway, North Dakota, Drew Layous Facbraction, Canyon Speedway Park, Central Coast Copy and Fax, Dennis Coster, McBride Performance and "In Memory of Gary Jacob."

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