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Evrage earns first career feature win; Ortega outlasts Jones in Modified photo finish

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March 28, 2021  |  by Chris Stepan

The second event of the 2021 season at the state-of-the-art Vado Speedway Park was held on a chilly March evening with a five-division program on tap. 99 competitors were on hand in the USRA Modifieds, B-Mods, Stock Cars, Legends and Super Trucks for the Saturday night event.

After qualifying races were complete, the USRA B-Mod main event was the first feature of the night, and saw 6th starting Mingo Jauregui quickly storm to the lead early in the 20-lapper and proceed to run out front uncontested for his first victory of the 2021 racing season. Jauregui was the class of the field as he raced comfortably out front for the majority of the race, while 8th starting Dustin Smith continued his early season success, racing into the runner up spot and coming home with a solid second place finish. Aasa Flores, Greg Gorham and 16th starting Lucas Ward rounded out the top five finishers at the checkered.

Defending track champion Bryan Bennett topped the first appearance of the USRA Stock Cars of the 2021 season after starting on the outside of the front row and driving off into the early lead and never looking back. Bennett began the defense of his track title in dominant fashion, crossing the finish line in first over pole sitter Shane McNutt and fourth starting Devon Jobin. Jonathan Burton stormed from his 17th starting position to cross the finish line in fourth with Fred Gibson rounding out the top five on the opening night for the Stock Cars.

The Super Trucks were up next on the running order and outside polesitter Cliff Evrage took the lead at the drop of the green flag and withstood three mid race cautions to outrun the 20-car field and visit Western Tech victory lane for the first time in his racing career. 5th starting Lloyd Duffey chased Evrage to the finish line, while Devan Smith, last week’s winner Christy Barnett and polesitter Jaime Bejarano rounded out the top top five finishers.

Josh Jackson outlasted Aydan Saunders to win the Legends main event after a race-long spirited battled between the duo, who started on the front row together. Saunders took the lead early, but Jackson was able to wrestle it away from him before the mid-point of the 20-lap affair. Saunders was up to the challenge and stormed back around Jackson’s #37 car to the top spot and reassumed the lead. Six cautions slowed the action throughout the event, but the battle out front continued on every restart. Jackson was finally able to make the winning pass in lapped traffic and put his machine in victory lane. Saunders came home second with 12th starting Dave Smith crossing the line in third, ahead of 11th starting Eric LaCroix and Eric Masterson, who came home fifth.

The final event of the night lived up to the billing as 28 USRA Modifieds took to the speedway for their 25-lap finale. Jonathon Ortega and Philip Houston paced the field to the green flag and Ortega was able to edge out front on the opening lap. Ortega and Houston battled in close quarters for the top spot, while Ricardo Olague Jr, Austin Adams and Terry Tipton were hot on their heels. Several three wide battles ensued early in the event with Ortega out front and the rest of the hungry pack trying to chase him down. Several mid race caution flags kept the field bunched up and racing action hotly contested. On the second restart, all eyes were on 28th starting Nick Rivera and 17th starting Bumper Jones who were both working their way through traffic with ease and both appeared in the top ten before the mid-point of the event. The race for the lead continued to be entertaining, with Ortega still sitting out front with Houston in tow. Rivera suddenly stormed into the top five and began putting pressure on the top runners as laps began to wind down. The final restart of the night with five laps remaining set up a dynamite five lap dash with Ortega continuing to lead following by charging Rivera and Jones. Bumper was able to clear into third and immediately jumped to the cushion and began screaming around the top side of the Vado Speedway Park and pulled alongside of Rivera for second with two laps remaining and then showed himself to the outside of Ortega as the white flag flew. The duo circled the speedway door to door on the final lap with Ortega nipping Jones at the finish line by 0.009 seconds in a true photo finish. Rivera completed his 28th to 3rd run with Houston and Jimmy Ray, who restarted at the tail after an earlier spin, coming home in fifth.

Full results: https://www.myracepass.com/events/350766/races

The Vado Speedway Park will be back in action this Saturday, April 3rd at 7:30pm with the track’s EgggStravaganza Easter Celebration event. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to meet and greet fans of all ages from 5p-7p and kids will be able to participate in an easter egg hunt on the concourse at 6pm as well. Pits open at 4pm with the grandstand opening at 5.

For fans not able to attend in person, all events held during the 2021 season at the Vado Speedway Park will also be live streamed online by PayPerView at www.WatchFYE.tv.

For upcoming schedule information and tickets, visit www.VadoSpeedwayPark.com.