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Santa Maria Raceway

Papich wins first at Santa Maria's Simkins Memorial

September 4, 2012, 8:40 am
By Stephanie Odom
Jason Papich (91P) heads to victory at Santa Maria Speedway. (Jon Paquet)
Jason Papich (91P) heads to victory at Santa Maria Speedway. (Jon Paquet)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (Sept. 2) — Jason Papich of Nipomo, Calif., made his first career Super Late Model victory a big one, capturing the 19th annual Danny and Sandie Simkins Memorial at Santa Maria Speedway.

Papich topped many of California’s top Dirt Late Model racers for the prestigious victory, realizing he had no room for error in the caution-free feature.

“I thought they would be there,” Papich said. "I was waiting to be pushed out of the way.”

Pole-starting Steve Drake of San Luis Obispo, Calif., jumped into the early lead with Papich challenging from the outset. Papich worked his way into the lead on the fourth lap and built a comfortable lead before lapped traffic allowed Drake to close in.

Mike Johnson, Rob Sanders and Papich’s teammate Tony Toste were in pursuit as the frontrunners worked through the slower cars. Papich stayed in control, taking the checkers over Drake, Johnson, Sanders and Toste at the checkers at the third-mile oval.

Notes: Papich’s No. 91P is sponsored by Papich Construction, Total Telco Specialists and Asphalt Coatings Engineering. ... Papich picked up a trophy from the original collection of Dan Simkins, the late California standout. ... Fourth-place finisher Rob Sanders of Bakersfield, Calif., debuted a new Victory Circle Chassis. ... The event drew 142 race cars overall. ... Super Late Models return to Santa Maria on Sept. 22.

Danny and Sandie Simkins Memorial: (1) Jason Papich, (2) Steve Drake, (3) Mike Johnson, (4) Rob Sanders, (5) Tony Toste, (6) Nick Bartels, (7) Clay Daly, (8) Tommy Malcolm, (9) Jason Selvidge, (10) Bill Bartels, (11) Larry Childress, (12) Chad Reichenbach, (13) Joey Yantis, (14) Carla Laney, (15) Dino Napier, (16) Jerry Stewart, (17) Mike Kirby. Fast qualifier (among 17 cars): Daly. Heat race winners: Papich, Johnson, Drake.

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