(PETERSEN MEDIA-Aptos, CA)- Stepping away from the Wingless Series presented by Joe Hunt Magnetos for an extended period of time, 2014 series champion, Tommy Laliberte, made the most of his first start of 2016 as he fended off Klint Simpson to win the Howard Kaeding Classic at the Ocean Speedway.
With Laliberte and Jimmy Christian leading the field to green on Saturday night, it was Christian getting the jump initially, but Laliberte would lead the first lap officially as he made a big time move in turns three and four.
With Christian and Laliberte setting up an exciting battle for the race lead early in the feature, the caution would fly on the race’s second lap slowing the field and setting up another restart.
As the green flag was displayed to the field, Klint Simpson would get around Christian and take over the second spot, before he briefly took the race lead on the fifth lap, only to see Laliberte answer the call one lap later and reclaim the top spot on lap six.
While the top two battled hard, the red flag would be needed on the seventh lap, as Nick Larsen would come into contact with a fellow competitor and his machine would flip violently down the back stretch though he would escape uninjured.
Back under way, Laliberte, Simpson, and Christian entertained the crowd with an exciting battle up front, but Simpson would drift high in turns one and two and give up some ground to the lead duo.
Laliberte would shake his challengers as the race reached the halfway point and open up a comfortable lead. Though out front, Klint Simpson would get back into the second spot and take a liking to the cushion as he slowly closed Laliberte’s gap.
In the final stages of the race, Simpson would find himself in the mix and would be all over Laliberte with the white flag in the air. Looking to duplicate his last lap move that he pulled off at this race in 2015, Simpson would come up short as Lalitberte would fend him off and score his first win of the 2016 season.
“To come back out and beat a driver like Klint Simpson who is at the top of his game right now is really cool,” an emotional Tommy Laliberte said. “To have my little boy in the stands tonight and win, I am kind of speechless.
Simpson would finish in the second spot, while Cody Fendley would make a move on lap 16 to claim the final spot on the podium. Jimmy Christian would finish in fourth, while Terry Schank would overcome a tangle on lap two to round of the Top-5.
Klint Simpson would get things started on Saturday night by setting the standard in qualifying time trials, as Simpson and Fendley would pick up heat race wins on this night, with Jimmy Christian winning the Dash.
August 13th– Petaluma Speedway (Soares Classic)
August 20th– Ocean Speedway (Johnny Key Classic)
September 7th– Silver Dollar Speedway (Gold Cup)
September 17th– Petaluma Speedway
November 4th– Stockton Dirt Track
ON TAP: The Wingless Series Presented by Joe Hunt Magnetos will return to action on August 13th at the Petaluma Speedway as they take part in the coveted Soares Classic.
WINNERS: Klint Simpson (June 11th Petaluma Speedway), Terry Schank (June 25th Calistoga Speedway), Terry Schank (July 11th Stockton Dirt Track), Tommy Laliberte (July 16th Ocean Speedway).
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with the series by clicking over to www.racepmg.com.
WINGLESS SPRINT CAR SERIES PRESENTED BY JOE HUNT MAGNETOS- Joe Hunt Magnetos’ Roger Gleason brought the traveling concept to non-wing sprint cars by popular demand in 2010. Over the years, the Joe Hunt Magnetos Sprint Car Series has ran a limited schedule at select tracks around the state. In 2016, the series will again operate under the direction of the Prentice Motorsports Group competing in 11 races scattered at five different tracks.