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Follow me boys: McGriff leads the way to big payout

Tucson Speedway

Mariah McGriff takes the trophy and the check Saturday following the 50-lap Pro Stock main event at Tucson Speedway.

TUCSON — A field of 15 Pro Stocks took the green flag Saturday for their shot at $1,500 at Tucson Speedway.

A pill draw intro for the top eight qualifiers, which incorporated young fans as co-pilots and a frisbee toss into the grandstands, landed Brian O’Brien on the pole for the start of the 50-lap race. Mariah McGriff shared the front row.

O’Brien pulled to the early lead, holding off McGriff until lap five. Don Zoll Jr. followed her into second.

A three-wide battle for third sent O’Brien bouncing off of Mike Vaughan and Dustin Jones. O’Brien saved the car from spinning, but fell to fourth. Vaughan had the better of a drag race with Zoll for second and set his sights on McGriff.

As Vaughan and McGriff separated themselves from the pack, Ray Mros maneuvered his way through the field taking third from O’Brien on lap 32.

A caution on lap 35 for Richard Dorman who spun on the frontstretch regrouped the field. Vaughan took the lead on the restart, but drifted high out of turn four, handing the lead back to McGriff.

Going for second on lap 40, the right front on Mros’ No. 29 cut down and he drifted into Vaughan, sending him spinning into turn three. Vaughan recovered from the spin, sparing the caution.

Coming off the track to change the tire, Mros was hit in the left front by Barry Levitt, cutting down Levitt’s right rear tire. Levitt spun going into turn one and hit the wall.

George Murphy slammed the brakes and spun to the high side of the track avoiding Levitt.

Jeff Halstead, running behind Murphy, hit the brakes, kicking his No. 77 sideways, crashing his back end into Levitt.

Halstead was then hit in the right front by Ken Terkelsen as he tried to make his way through the carnage.

Of all involved, Murphy and Mros were the only drivers to return to the race.

McGriff and O’Brien again had the front row for the restart. McGriff took charge of the field. Vaughan reclaimed second. Mros worked his way from the back of the pack to take third away from O’Brien. Jones rounded out the top five.

With her win, McGriff also took over the points lead for the division with five points over Vaughan in second.

Thunder Trucks

The Thunder Truck division ran two feature races Saturday with a back-to-back winner.

Cody Cambensy took the early lead from Zane McKissick in the first feature race and pulled away from the field.

A caution on lap six for spinners on the backstretch bunched the field up. Cambensy again took charge of the field on the restart.

Cambensy continued to open up his lead with each lap finishing the race with a quarter-lap gap over Jake Boyle in second.

Sara Houston had the pole in the second main event. Cambensy would have to work his way up the field from eighth.

By lap seven, Cambensy had reached the front of the pack to challenge Bob Santa Maria for second. Cambensy took the lead from Houston on lap 13, cruising his No. 22 truck to its second victory of the night. Daniel Doherty finished second, Houston third.

Bandit Bandoleros

Eight-year-old Gage Jarvis was the Bandit Bandolero quick qualifier with a 21.475-second lap, an average speed of nearly 63 miles per hour, putting him on the pole for the main event.

Jarvis pulled away on the start and dominated the 10-lap feature race for his first win of the season. Jeffrey Erickson took second and points leader Devin Jones finished third.

Outlaw Bandoleros

With a 20.342-second lap, just under 67 miles per hour, Adam Farr was the quick qualifier in the unrestricted Outlaw Bandolero division.

Starting on the pole for the main event, Farr held off a charge from Anika O’Brien for the lead and pulled away from the field. O’Brien went high into turn one opening up second for Keirstin Jones. O’Brien finished third.

Farr led the field to his fifth win of the season.

Legends

James Webster and Michael Webber led the Legend field to the green flag. On the start, Boddie Parker made it a three-wide battle for the lead.

Parker had the better of the battle but would have to hold off points leader Bradley Erickson, who had followed him into second.

Erickson had the better of a drag race for the lead on lap six. Michael Anderson followed Erickson into second. Erickson pulled away from the field for his third win of the season.

Hobby Stocks

Jacob Corneliusen led the Hobby Stocks to the green flag for the 20-lap main event, but lost the lead to Don Zoll Jr. on lap two.

John Slade made it to the front to battle for the lead. Points Leader Eddie Benson looked on in third.

Meanwhile, from ninth, Shannon Tutt worked his way to fourth. As close as chainlink, the top four separated themselves from the rest of the field.

Drifting high into turn one, Zoll gave up the lead to Benson. Zoll and Slade made contact sending Zoll spinning out of turn one. Tutt and Benson had the front row for the restart.

Tutt pulled ahead and led the field to his second win of the season. Benson finished second.

Modifieds

Dusty Gauthier and Brian Harrington Jr. led the Modifieds to the green flag.

Harrington quickly pulled away from the field. Brandon Bonnett and Austin Stewart passed Gauthier for second and third, respectively.

Closing the gap on the leader, Bonnett made his move for the top spot on lap nine. Bonnett and Harrington raced door to door until lap 12 when Bonnett cleared Harrington for the lead.

Stewart cleared Harrington on lap 17 and began closing the gap on Bonnett. Rod Hiestand followed Stewart around Harrington.

Three-wide for the lead with two to go, Stewart and Bonnett made contact sending Bonnett spinning out of turn three. Stewart was sent to the back on the restart for his involvement.

Hiestand took over the lead, Harrington inherited second and Gauthier third.

Harrington made a final charge for the lead coming out of four on the final lap, but it was Hiestand who would take the checkered flag and his second win of the season.

The winner’s purse, courtesy of The Award Store, Park Avenue Jewelers and 1 Off Auto Bodies and Chasis, was complemented with additional payouts for the rest of the field provided by Kelly’s Transmission, Second Amendment Family Gun Shop, Mirror Image Hair Designs, Kristi’s Kreationz, Andy Hubble Long Real Estate, Jeff and Karen Halstead, Sierra Cycles, Rincon Vista Landscaping, Red Eye Radiator, DPF Specialists, Paul and Renee Doherty with Tierra Antigua Realty and Ray Perzee.

Next race

Tucson Speedway is back in action Aug. 31 with the Silver Bullet featuring the NASCAR Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Outlaw Late Models, Hornets, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. Racing begins at at 6:30 p.m. For information, visit www.tucsonspeedway.com.

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