«

Sept. 23: Matt and Glass Cancer Fundraiser – Hobby Stock Championship On the Line in Season Finale

(090917) Merced Speedway  -  (Merced, CA)

Garret Corn, left, and Kodie Dean, right, reflect on a fun season in the Hobby Stock division. The battle for the championship will be settled Saturday night with Dean just six points ahead of Corn.

By Mike Adaskaveg

Merced Sun-Star

When the 2017 Merced Speedway racing season began, young Hobby Stock Division drivers Garrett Corn and Kodie Dean made a vow to each other: They would finish the season ranking first and second in the point standings.

“We decided it wouldn’t matter who was first and who was second – as long as it was one of us in each position,” explains Corn.

That goal could be achieved, as Corn, from Catheys Valley and Dean of Chowchilla traded the top spot in the point standings all season long. On Saturday night, Corn, who is six points behind leader Dean, will have one last chance to snatch the championship from his best racing friend

To complicate matters for Dean, the race is a double point event for the Hobby Stock division. Dean has calculated and recalculated the different scenarios for Saturday’s season finale.

“I have to finish two spots behind Garrett (Corn) to win the championship,” Dean explains. “If I finish three positions behind him it will be a tie for the championship.”

Of course, Dean can finish ahead of Corn and clinch the championship.

”I’m gong to go out and do the same thing I have done all season long – race for a win,” Dean says.

Corn will do likewise.

“I’m racing to win, and hoping to get a top three,” Corn says. “‘I will be just as happy if Kodie wins the championship and I finish second.”

(090917) Garrett Corn takes the inside lane with Dexter Long outside during the John Fore, Jr. Memorial two weeks ago.

 Garrett Corn takes the inside lane with Dexter Long outside during the John Fore, Jr. Memorial two weeks ago. Corn was later collected in a crash, damaging his car. 

SAVE A CAR, ALMOST LOSE A CAR 

Dean did not want to sacrifice his car when he competed in the John Fore, Jr. Memorial event two weeks ago. He dusted off his old Camaro, took it to the track, and kept his new car in the garage.

“The John Fore, Jr. Memorial was big money race, and drivers drive over the heads when there is extra money to win,” Dean explains. “I wound up getting put into the wall during the feature, so driving the old car was the right decision.”

Corn decided to drive his one and only car in the John Fore, Jr. Memorial race. He did not fare as well.

“My car got collected in a wreck when a visiting driver spun out,” Corn explains. “After that I noticed the rear end of the car was not performing well.”

Corn had to rip the rear end out of his stock car and Dean was right there to help him this week. While Dean’s car was sitting ready for this Saturday’s event, Corn’s car needed work and was the focus of both drivers.

“We’ve had good battles all season long and haven’t wrecked each other,” says Dean, who has raced in mini-stocks and hobby stock cars for five years. “We’ve had so much fun I don’t want it to end.”

(081217) Merced Speedway  -  Kodie Dean battles Michael Shearer during the Hobby Stock feature event during Legends of Merced Speedway.

Kodie Dean (7) battles Michael Shearer during the Hobby Stock feature event during Legends of Merced Speedway.

Corn, a racer since he was four years old, has been in a hobby stock for two years. He’s excited about Saturday’s big race.

“We’ve both given each other a lot of intense competition all year – and we want it to continue on Saturday night – so we’re working together on the cars,” Corn says. “We are just one big happy racing family.”

The two drivers will park next to each other in the pits, sharing pit crewmembers and helping make both cars be in tip-top shape for their final battle of 2017.

`           “I don’t care if Garrett (Corn) is in my rear view mirror or right in front of me – as long as I see him there,” says Dean. “It’s been a fun year.”

(081217) Garrett Corn (29) and Kevin Joaquin duke it out in Hobby Stock Action.

 Garrett Corn (29) and Kevin Joaquin duke it out in Hobby Stock Action.

THIS SATURDAY NIGHT AT MERCED SPEEDWAY

 

The IMCA Modified, IMCA SportMod, and Hobby Stock divisions will be featured in Saturday night’s final race of the season. Randy Brown of Chowchilla has a commanding lead in the IMCA Modified division, 55 points ahead of Bruce “Bubba Nelson” of Winton. Fred Ryland of Brentwood is untouchable with a 65-point lead over Jeremy Hoff of Copperopolis.

All three divisions will have a complete program of qualifying races and a feature event.

 

Gates Open: Pit Area – 1 p.m., Grandstand 5 p.m.

 

Racing: Starts at 7 p.m. ending at approximately 10 p.m.

 

Admission: Adults $12.00; Children 6-12 yrs. old $5.00; Family Four Pack of tickets is $30. Children less than six years old are free.

 

Location: Merced Speedway is within the Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Merced, Calif.