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Ryan Rocha (5) races under Ryan Delisle at The Dirt Track at Kern County. (Joe Shivak photo)

Rocha Rules Kern RaceSaver Sprint

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Ryan Rocha won the 25-lap IMCA Western RaceSaver 305 sprint feature at The Dirt Track at Kern County on Saturday night.

Rocha held off Ryan Delisle, who won the previous night, with Richard Weddle filling the podium.

Rocha and Weddle brought the 10-car starting field to the green with Rocha taking command going into the first turn. The race would only last two laps before Orry Stevens would spin and bring out the race’s first caution.

Once restarted, Delisle took little time getting around second place Weddle.  Lane Taylor, who started eighth, would make his march to the front when he passed Kevin Barnes on the next lap.

Much like the previous night, high flying Rocha was quickly building up a comfortable lead.  That lead was negated when Brandon Emmett brought out the caution for his flat right-rear tire. He would go to the work area but never returned to the track.

On the restart, Taylor would pass Delisle in the first turn for second. The next caution would come out on lap 10 when Barnes did a single car spin in the third turn. Stevens would also spin, but in the second turn. He would pull off the track and become the second car to retire.

Trouble for Taylor as his car wasn’t as fast after the restart as it was before the caution. Delisle would pass him on the back stretch and take back the second spot.

Shades of the previous night with Rocha and Delisle the two cars out front.  Rocha had chosen the bottom of the track to run, while Delisle picked the top. By the 20th circuit the two had caught the soon to be lapped car of Phil Heynen. Rocha was able to pass him clean and without losing ground but Delisle wasn’t as fortunate.

With only five laps remaining, Delisle decided it was time to turn up the heat on Rocha. The two raced side by side, with Rocha staying low and Delisle rim riding the top. His strategy paid off as he was able to get around Rocha in the first turn only to have the caution come out when third place Taylor spun in the fourth turn.

The final restart set up a three-lap shootout for Rocha and Delisle but with a clear track Rocha prevailed.  The win avenged the previous night’s loss as it looked to be on his way to winning.

The finish:

Ryan Rocha, Ryan Delisle, Richard Weddle, Lane Taylor, Kevin Barnes, Phil Heynen, Brandon Stidham, Tyler Gray, Orry Stevens, Brandon Emmett

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