Cody Laney topped the Merced Speedway Dirt Nationals on Saturday night. (Joe Shivak Photo)
Cody Laney topped the Merced Speedway Dirt Nationals on Saturday night. (Joe Shivak Photo)

Laney Cops Merced Dirt Nationals Cash

MERCED, Calif. – Cody Laney won the 30-lap IMCA Modified portion of the Merced Speedway Dirt Nationals tribute to John Fore Jr. and Bob Smith on Saturday night.

The Torrance, Calif., veteran led the entire way in his black No. 5L mount and crossed the finish line 10 car lengths ahead of runner-up D.J. Shannon.

Shannon spent most of the race battling Randy Brown on a rubbered down track. Brown settled for third in the No. 16B, just ahead of Jim Pettit II and Troy Foulger.

The race was slowed three times for minor incidents. Each Texas style restart allowed leader Laney to be the sole car out front while the remaining contenders had to scrap for positions on the slowly deteriorating track.

Laney’s only threat came late in the race when the previous night’s winner Robby Sawyer and Bobby Hogge IV collided on the frontstretch, with Hogge making contact with the wall, but both drivers were able to gather their cars back up and no caution was called for.

As the track continued to blacken, Laney remained on the high side and neither the track conditions or lapped traffic would deter the determined driver from collecting the $2,000 first place prize.

The companion 25-lap Sport Mod feature was won by Ethan Dotson for the second night in a row. He bested Jason Nation and double duty drivers Foulger and Hogge.

The 20-lap Hobby Stock feature was won by Nicholas Johnson over Cody Johnson and Ricky Childress Jr.

Dotson also won the 20-lap IMCA Stock Car main event, becoming the night’s only repeat winner.

David Wolford Jr. took home the victory in the 20-lap Mini Stock main event over Mathew Herod and Chris Corder.

The finish:

Cody Laney, D.J. Shannon, Randy Brown, Jim Pettit III, Troy Foulger, Ethan Dotson, Dylan Thornton, Robby Sawyer, Jerry Flippo, Bobby Hogge IV, Paul Stone, Darrell Hughes, Gavyn Manning, Josh Combs, Justin Dunn, Bryan Clark, Shane DeVolder, Troy Morris III, Ryan Porter, Kellen Chadwick.