Moore, Hoogge Win at Calistoga Speedway
Mason Moore continued his mid-summer hot streak, winning the main event for the Civil War sprint cars Saturday at Calistoga Speedway. The Calistoga Cup victory was Moore’s third consecutive win in a month and his first career win on the half mile oval at the Napa County Fairgrounds.
Prior to the sprint car feature, veteran driver Bobby Hogge IV made a clean sweep of the West Coast Late Model Shootout , winning the 30 lap main event from the pole after setting the quickest qualifying time and winning his heat race and a dash to determine the line-up for the 30 lap main event.
Moore won the drag race from the pole at the start of the 25 lap sprint car feature and quickly jetted to a muliti-car length lead on the field while hometown driver Mike Benson and six time Civil War series champion Andy Forsberg ran a tight duel for the runner-up spot. Near mid-race, Forsberg pounced on a small opening to nose past Benson as the pair ran wheel to wheel through turn two, but he was no match for Moore, who repeatedly pulled away from the field on three restarts following yellow flag caution periods.
In the closing laps, Forsberg began to gain ground as Moore was rolling the car through the corners to save tires. “I saw Andy’s crew clapping in the pit area and I knew he was coming and after that I pretty much stayed on the throttle all the way around the track,” said the driver from Princeton, Ca.
“This is a huge win for all of us,” said Moore. “It is awesome, since we only come to this track once a year.” The win was an exclamation point on a torrid month for Moore, who has won his last three races, including a national championship event in the American Sprint Car Series. “We can’t miss right now,” said Moore. “We’re getting ourselves in the right spot and driving the way we’re supposed to.”
Forsberg, who won the Calistoga Cup last year, conceded that having to race in traffic may have put him at a disadvantage, but that ”Moore was better than we were tonight.”
Benson, 2007 winner of the event, said “we made a mistake and Andy got by us,” for the runner-up spot. “I really wanted to win tonight but these are all quality drivers and I’m honored to run with them.”
Hogge also jetted out to multi-car length leads in the companion stock car event and led all 30 laps to the checkered flag, “I love these big race tracks,” said Hogge, who has also won a pair of modified feature races on the Calistoga half-mile. Driving them is all about keeping your momentum, and “usually, if you slow down, you get out of your rhythm,” he said, in explaining how he maintained such a large lead over the field.
Ryan McDaniel, who started on the outside of the second row, dove to the bottom of the track at the drop of the green flag and followed Hogge through turn one before dueling throughout the race to hang onto the runner up spot. In the closing laps, several cars behind him shuffled positions and Nick Bartels finished third while defending series champion Clay Daly wove through traffic from his eighth starting spot to finish third and retain his lead in this year’s title hunt.
Calistoga Speedway, Civil War sprint cars (Sat.). Fast time qualifier: Sean Becker, Roseville (19.810 sec). Heat 1 (8 laps): Koen Shaw, Fresno; Colby Wiesz, Colfax; Bill Anton, Benecia; Bradley Terrell, Penngrove; Becker; Nick Green, San Jose; Brandon Mansfield, Marysville. Heat 2: Steve Tatterson, Perth, Western Aus.; Jeff Parady, Pope Valley; Andy Forsberg, Auburn; Mason Moore, Princeton; Cody Lamar, West Sacramento. Heat 3: Greg DeCaires, Elk Grove; Matt Sargent, San Jose; Herman Kline, Sacramento; Billy Butler, Sacramento; Richard Baily, Napa; Dusty Green; Pleasant Hill; Nick Davis, Stockton. Heat 4: Robert Stice, Grass Valley; Mike Benson, Calistoga; Jason Toft, Petaluma; Jimmy Steward, Colfax; Adrien Betourney, Stephen Allard, Cameron Park; Jeff Griffin, St.Helena. Semi-main (12 laps): Becker, N. Green, Bailey, D. Green ; Betourney. MAN EVENT (25 laps): Moore, Forsberg, Benson, Becker, Kline, N. Green, DeCaires, Bailey, Terrell, Weisz, Anton, Butler, Stice, Parady, LaMar, Sargent, Betourney, Shaw, D. Green, Toft, Steward.