PETERSEN MEDIA: Saturday night in Merced, CA, Justin Sanders was able to avoid a late race tangle to finish eighth in the feature event and keep him atop the early season Sprint Car Challenge Tour points lead.
“We had a good car all night long, but the track was really hard to pass on, so we took what we could and salvaged a decent night,” Sanders said. “We had a close call in the feature, but luckily I was able to keep the car under power and keep our spot inside the Top-10.”
A robust 52-car field checked in at the central CA bullring on Saturday night, and in his qualifying group, Sanders timed the Farmers Brewing/Mittry Construction/North County Plastering backed No. 2x entry in third fastest in his group.
Finishing second in his heat race, the Aromas, CA native would punch his ticket into the impending 35-lap feature event where he would find himself back in the 12th starting position.
With the track deteriorating and getting touched up during various periods of the night, one final track prep session was needed prior the feature event and it would create a fast racing surface that put on some exciting racing, but made passing difficult.
As the race came to life, it would turn into a near non-stop affair after the initial start was waived off. From the sixth row, Sanders would actually slip back to 13th initially before taking the 12th spot back over on the third lap.
Getting into 11th on lap five, Sanders would slip back to 12th on the 10th lap as things moved at a very fast pace of the tight confines of Merced Speedway.
Slipping back to 13th on the 24th lap, Sanders would become involved in an incident in turn two on the 27th lap, but able to keep his machine under power he was able to escape trouble and take his spot in line in 12th for the race’s lone restart.
The restart would be just what Sanders needed to get his machine moving in the right direction as he quickly took over the 11th position when the action resumed, before making his way into the Top-10 a lap later.
With time running out, Sanders would then move into ninth on the 29th lap, before taking eighth, where he would finish, with just three laps to go in the race.
“That restart was what we needed to gather ourselves back up and salvage our night with a decent finish,’ Sanders said. “Thanks to this Mittry Motorsports team, and I am looking forward to a couple of nights in Chico, CA this weekend.”
Justin and his team would like to thank Farmers Brewing, Mittry Construction, North County Plastering, Alkaline88, Andy’s Construction, Roadside 24hr Service, Wicked Cushion, Roger’s Diner, Factory Kahne, BG Labels and Tee’s, Walker Performance Filtration, Dixon and Son Tires, Ernie’s Service Center, East Lake Village, FK Rod Ends, Triple X Race Co., DMI, Keizer Wheels, Wings Unlimited, Ti64 Titanium, AIS Heating and Sheet Metal, Fred Lint and Family, JonSan Racing, Sandblast Service, G&N Construction, Steitz Towing, Durden Construction, Ernie’s Service Center, and Steve Duppman Racing for their continued support in 2022.
ON TAP: Sanders will be in action on Friday and Saturday night in Chico, CA.
BY THE NUMBERS: Races-12, Wins-4, Top 5’s-8, Top-10’s-11
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Justin Sanders by visiting his website, www.teamsandersmotorsports.com.
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