Lowrey Victorious at The Nationals

by Stephanie Odom
May 28, 2012 John Lowery became the third different West Coast Shootout Late Model feature event winner in just as many races this weekend at Chris Kearns’ Santa Maria Speedway for The Nationals.  The Bakersfield native took advantage of an outside pole position leading wire-to-wire for the series biggest purse of the season at $5,000. Mike Kirby led the field to the green flag after a dominating performance on Saturday night setting fast time, winning his heat and walking away from the field in the qualifiers main event.  His pole position was not enough to chase down Lowery however as the two-time West Coast Shootout Late Model and CRA champion ran second early on. Santa Maria’s Jason Papich chased down Kirby and made the pass after multiple laps of side-by-side racing. Papich quickly caught Lowery as the duo closed in on lapped traffic. Coming out of turn four on lap fourteen, Lowery went above a lapped car with Papich sticking to the bottom and rear-ending Torrance’s Carla Laney. The hit resulted in damage affecting his steering and spun in turn two bringing out a caution ending his impressive night. Kirby inherited second place again and chose the bottom line for the restart. Papich’s teammate, Tony Toste, challenged Kirby and was successful on lap sixteen. El Segundo’s Nick Bartels followed with Kirby quickly falling back and Johnson moving into the top five. Kirby brought out a caution on lap twenty-two as he came to a stop exiting turn two with throttle issues. Lowery, Toste, Bartels, Johnson and defending West Coast Shootout Champion Clay Daly completed the top five. When green flag racing resumed, Andy Obertello brought out a caution the following lap after being caught in a scramble on the front stretch.  The Hollister native went to the hot lane before rejoining the tail end of the field. When the green flag flew Obertello once again brought out the caution flag as he spun exiting turn two and faced the wall ending his night. El Segundo’s Nick Bartels quickly ran down Toste when racing resumed taking over second place. Behind them Bakersfield’s Rob Sanders and Hesperia’s Cody Barnett battled for sixth. Salinas’ Bobby Hogge IV was in the mix as well as Corona’s Tommy Malcolm. Hogge moved to the top of the track and quickly found his way around as he moved into sixth with ten laps to go. A caution for debris set up a five lap shootout with Lowery going uncontested for his first Nationals win. Pass Time’s “Big Schwagg” interviewed Lowery in victory lane. “I was just worried about messing up,” stated Lowery discussing starting on the front row and leading wire-to-wire. He lost a race in Tucson, Arizona during the Wild West Shootout earlier this season due to mechanical issues. “The only thing that can beat you is yourself.”“Kid Harley” Nick Bartels ran second. The soon to be twenty-four year will be competing with the nation’s premier drivers in this year’s Hell Tour. Tony Toste, Mike Johnson, Clay Daly, Bobby Hogge IV, Rob Sanders, Cody Barnett, Tommy Malcolm and Anthony Restad completed the top ten.The West Coast Shootout Late Model series next event will be August 4th when they return to the historical Napa Valley half-mile of Calistoga Speedway for their second time in history. For more information visit www.WestCoastLateModels.com.Chris Kearns Presents and the West Coast Shootout Late Models would like to thank Shannon Pump Company, Drake Farms Transportation, Toste Construction & Paving, Indiana Truck Salvage, Papich Construction, ProPower Engines, Integra Shocks, West Coast Boring, Pearsons Auto Wrecking, Victory Circle and RoadRunner Fabrication for their support this season.

Contact: Stephanie Odomodom.stephanie@ymail.com(805) 268-1393

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