Santa Maria Raceway
Daly grabs another victory at Santa Maria
By Stephanie OdomSanta Maria Speedway
SANTA MARIA, Calif. (July 23) — Clay Daly of Watsonville, Calif., picked up where he left off in Super Late Model action at the Santa Maria Speedway on Saturday night. Daly, who won the June 25 event at the third-mile oval, found himself back in victory lane after overtaking early race leader Dino Napier of Corona, Calif.
Daly took the checkers ahead of former track champion Steve Drake of San Luis Obispo, Calif., fast qualifier Mike Kirby of Torrance, Calif., and Napier.
"The first win is the hardest to get and it's nice to get another one tonight. Beating Steve Drake at Santa Maria is not an easy deal," said the 22-year-old Daly, who earned a Crate Late Model victory the previous night at Watsonville's Ocean Speedway. "To make both car owners happy in one weekend is awesome."
Napier and Tony Toste led the 17-car field to the green flag in the 30-lapper with Toste and his teammate Jason Papich giving chase. Papich passed Toste for second on the second lap with Kirby and Daly dropping Toste further back.
Kirby applied pressure on Papich until the first caution of the night was brought out by a spinning Chuck Barfoot, making his second career Late Model start. On the restart, Papich ended up against the backstretch wall after contact with Kirby, ending Papich's race on the sixth lap.
Kirby was next to have trouble with a flat tire on the restart. He pitted and rejoined the field while Daly moved into the second spot behind Napier with Anthony Restad, Drake and Toste holding top five spots.
Daly and Napier raced side-by-side down the frontstretch with Napier pulling away exiting turn two. Daly looked to the bottom through turns one and two on the 11th lap and made the pass when Napier hit a rut, but Daly's move was erased when a caution flew for a tangle between Rob Sanders and Kirby.
Napier's reprieve didn't last long. He hit the same rut and Daly was there to capitalize.
After Andy Obertello slowed to draw a lap-19 caution, Drake kept making progress while, further back, Kirby did his best to rally for the third time. Daly stayed out front for his eighth victory overall of the season.
Santa Maria Speedway: (1) Clay Daly, (2) Steve Drake, (3) Mike Kirby, (4) Dino Napier, (5) Tony Toste, (6) Anthony Restad, (7) Nick Bartels, (8) Tommy Malcolm, (9) Robert Sanders, (10) Bill Bartels, (11) Randy Shafer, (12) Chad Reichenbach, (13) Donnie Hampl, (14) Chuck Barfoot, (15) Andy Obertello, (16) Carla Laney, (17) Jason Papich. Fast qualifier (among 17 cars): Kirby, 14.880 seconds. Heat race winners: Malcolm, Kirby, Daly.