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Hot start to season slowed

Mark Hall had seen better days behind the wheel.

The Grass Valley-based driver had posted four top 10 “A” Main in the California Sprint Car Civil War Series finishes in his first five outings this year ” including a win in Chico April 16 ” but fell short of a fifth at the Calistoga Speedway Saturday.

Hall, who took third in Heat No. 2 to qualify for the “A” Main, found himself stuck at the back of the pack en route to a 12th-place finish.



“We started 13th and we finished in 12th. We just got strung out there and drove around (all night),” Hall said. “It went decent, but it could have gone a lot better.”

Hall pointed to Calistoga Speedway’s half-mile track as the main reason for his bad night.




“We (normally) race on 1/4 mile tracks, (so Calistoga) is a lot bigger than we’re used to,” he said. “You have to run a lot faster, so the car reacts differently. Some driver liked it, some struggled. We struggled.”

Brad Sweet, also of Grass Valley, rebounded from last week’s 18th-place “A” Main finish at the Twin Cities Speedway in Marysville.

The 2004 graduate of Bear River High School, followed a fifth-place finish in Heat No. 4 with his second “B” Main win of the season.

Sweet, who along with Hall were the only area racers top make the cut for the “A” Main, took eighth for his third top 10 finish of the season.

Colfax’s Colby Weisz took sixth in Heat No. 2, but didn’t make it out of the “B” Main. He was ninth.

Grass Valley’s Robert Stice began the night in a hole due to a seventh-place finish in Heat No.4. He then climbed back into contention with a second-place finish in the “C” Main.

The good times didn’t last.

Stice’s night ended with 13th place finish in the “B” Main.

Billy Wallace, also of Grass Valley, didn’t advance from Heat No.4 due to a 10th-place finish.

Points Standings

Hall, who was tied with Weisz for second after last week’s race, moved into sole possession of the runner-up spot at 403 points.

Weisz fell into a tie for fourth with Sweet (381).

Foresthill’s David Robinson leads the pack with 433 points.

Despite the bad day, Wallace maintained his top 10 status. Wallace, who was seventh last week, dropped to ninth with 302 points.

Stice is 33rd overall.

Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey Jr. (148) and the Lake of the Pines’ Richard Brace Jr. (54), who didn’t compete Saturday, are 32nd and 52nd respectively.

If you have motor sports news on local drivers, contact sports reporter Keith Jiron via e-mail at keithj@theunion.com or by phone at 477-4244.


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