Decker wins at Merced after Hogge's flat tire
MERCED, Calif. – Jeff Decker of San Jose, Calif., took advantage of Bobby Hogge IV’s flat tire with three laps remaining and ducked underneath Richard Papenhausen of Chico, Calif., to score a $3,000 victory in Sunday night’s Budweiser Fall Classic at Merced Speedway.
Decker’s victory came in the second leg of the two race event for the Western Allstars DIRTcar Late Model Series, which also included a $3,000-to-win event Saturday night at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway won by Pappenhausen.
Hogge’s misfortune became Pappenhausen’s problem as he checked up to avoid hitting him, allowing Decker to sneak by both drivers en route to the victory.
“Christmas came early,” Decker said in victory lane. “I was in the catbird seat all race long, trying to find that line.”
Hogge of Salinas Calif., battled a weekend of bad luck in the Budweiser Fall Classic doubleheader. It looked like he was on his way to upsetting Pappenhausen. Leading most of the way, Hogge had Pappenhausen chasing until the tire let go.
When Decker took advantage of the situation it was too late in the race for Papenhausen to make a comeback. He settled for the runner-up finish, while A.J. Kirkpatrick brought home third place. Trent Elliot was fourth with Paul Guglielmoni rounding out the top five. Hogge was eighth in the final rundown.
Budweiser Fall Classic: (1) Jeff Decker, (2) Richard Papenhausen, (3) A.J. Kirkpatrick, (4) Trent Elliot, (5) Paul Guglielmoni, (6) Johnny Cardoza, (7) Mike Meazell, (8) Bobby Hogge IV, (9) Clay Caly, (10) Dennis Souza, (11) Matt Michelle, (12) Tom Sullivan. Heat race winners: Decker, Pappenhausen. Dash winner: Papenhausen.