Opening their doors in 1937 Calistoga Speedway is a track full of history promoting open wheeled racing on the fairground’s horse track. This past Saturday night San Luis Obispo’s Steve Drake added his name to Calistoga Speedway’s history book winning the first ever Super Late Model feature event on the big scenic half-mile. The West Coast Shootout Late Model Series joined forces with the DIRTcar Western All-Star Series and All Pro Series to turn what was once talk of Late Models hitting the track into reality.
Salinas’ Bobby Hogge IV and Torrance’s Mike Kirby led the field to the green flag for thirty laps of continuous action. Hogge jumped to the point with Kirby, Drake and Clay Daly filling in the top four. Corona’s Tommy Malcolm made a move past Nick Bartels to complete the top but wouldn’t hold the spot for long. Charging forward was Lompoc’s Mike Johnson moving past modified winner Richard Papenhausen and continued moving forward closing in on Malcolm. Running door to door through turns one and two Johnson took over the spot entering turn three.
In front of them race leaders approached lapped traffic with Mike Kirby running on the bottom and Hogge on the top racing down the back stretch. Hogge was able to hold off the former series champion with Steve Drake taking over second place. Daly made a pass by Kirby for third and Drake closed in on Hogge who ran the middle groove through one and two allowing Drake to get underneath him for the lead. Daly entered turn one too high and Johnson capitalized moving into third place.
Drake diced his way through traffic with Hogge following and Johnson closing in. Exiting turn four Hogge made contact with the wall allowing Johnson to move into second place. Hogge regained his composure and held onto third place with fourth place runner Clay Daly half a track behind. With the laps winding down Johnson looked as if he would have a chance at Drake. Lapped traffic got in the way however allowing Drake to go uncontested for the $2,000 and first victory at the Napa County half-mile.
“It was a great track for our first time here and there was great racing. We’ll come back,” stated Drake in a post-race interview.
Daly held onto fourth place with Nick Bartels, Tommy Malcolm, Rob Sanders, Trevor Glaser, Chris Shannon and Tony Toste completing the top ten.
For more information on the series and results visit them on the web at westcoastlatemodels.com.