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Ziehl Zooms to Non-Wing Sprint Car Victory on Kids Night

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August 27, 2022  |  by Chris Stepan

Rick Ziehl won the Sunset Grill POWRi Non-Winged Sprint Car main event.

Rick Ziehl won the Sunset Grill POWRi Non-Winged Sprint Car main event.

The annual Kid’s Bike Night was upon us at the Vado Speedway Park where 108 bikes were given away at intermission to some lucky kids, plus candy tosses, a water balloon fight and other fun activities dotted the night’s schedule.

Sean Salazar picked up right where he left off a week ago and raced to his second straight Hulsey Racing INEX Legend Car victory from his 8th starting spot. Cale Riggs took the lead on the start from polesitter RJ Garay and led early with Salazar and Aydan Saunders working their way toward the front. Salazar got to the lead, but got loose exiting turn four mid-race and spun, collecting Saunders and 12th starting Zach Rodriguez in the process. Salazar would be able to restart at the tail and would work his way through the field to overtake new leader Dave Smith for the top spot late in the race and race to his second straight victory. Jacob Masterson ran a solid second with Jerod Candelaria, who started 13th, crossing the line in third, just ahead of Smith and Mike Money, who ran inside the top five all feature long.

Jake Gallardo hopped behind the wheel of the Pete Vargas-owned #777 Stock Car for the third time this season and everything came together as he battled for much of the race with Jonathan Burton for the top spot and was able to overhaul Burton on a restart to take the lead and race to his first ever S&J Automotive USRA Stock Car win at Vado. Burton ran second the entire race and ended up crossing the line with runner up honors, just ahead of Rob Moseley, who had an intense, side-by-side battle with Bryan Bennett for much of the 20-lapper for the third position. Bennett crossed the finish line in third, just ahead of 12th starting Sherman Barnett, who ran fifth when the checkered flag flew.

Third in the feature order was the Sunset Grill POWRi Non-Winged Sprint Car feature event and it saw an intense battle through lapped traffic between leader Rick Ziehl and second place running Caleb Stelzig during the closing laps of the 25-lap event. Polesitter Colt Treharn got out front at the start of the event, but Ziehl, who started 4th, made a cross over move to take the lead early in the race and drove off to a comfortable lead for the majority of the event. Stelzig, who started 8th, worked his way into the top five early and then once he got into second, he stormed after Ziehl out front, making a last lap attempt to steal the win on the final corner, but Ziehl was able to hold on and race to the checkered flag. Stelzig ran second, followed by Treharn, 12th starting Caleb Saiz and Don Grable in the top five.

The Rancho Milagro USRA Modifieds had the biggest car count of the night with a 25-car field taking the green for the 25-lap event. After a pair of lap-one incidents shuffled the starting lineup, Philip Houston was able to race into the lead from the outside of the front row and drove off out front, while Fito and Jake Gallardo were trying to give chase. Fito got to second and tried to chase down Houston for the top spot, while Jake, Jimmy Ray and Christy Barnett were having a great battle inside the top five as well. Several more caution periods kept the field close but Houston was able to hold the lead on each restart until Fito was able to get by as the laps wound down and was able to run away with the victory for his efforts. Houston crosse the line with a second-place finish, just ahead of Jake Gallardo, who held off Ray and Barnett for third.

Hector Barraza led the opening lap of the Anthony Sosa Roofing Late Model main event and then battled inside the top three with Shane McNutt, Eric McNutt and Jeremy Stamper early, while Devan Smith and Mercedes Abercrombie were working their way forward from their 4th row starting spots. Smith was able to use the bottom of the trace to his advantage and race into the lead after a three-wide pass off turn four with Abercrombie racing into second at the same time. Mercedes was then able to track Smith down for the lead and overhaul him to take the top spot, which she held to the checkered flag for her third straight Late Model win at Vado. Smith crossed the line in second with Stamper finishing just ahead of Shane and Eric McNutt, who ran fourth and fifth.


The Vado Speedway Park will be back in action twice next weekend when the POWRi 360 Desert Wing Sprint Car Series makes it second and final stop of the season on Friday and Saturday, September 2nd and 3rd. Gates open at 5 and racing begins at 7:30 each night.

For fans not able to attend in person, all events held during the 2022 season at the Vado Speedway Park will also be live streamed online by PayPerView at WatchFYE.tv.

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