Clovis News: Sports

Meyers, Schatz battling for lead

Jason Meyers of Clovis trails series leader and three-time defending champion Donny Schatz by 19 points heading into this weekend's final races of the World of Outlaws sprint car season.

The three-day show at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., starts today with qualifying.

Through 63 events, Schatz has 12 A-main wins and 8,614 points. Meyers has eight wins plus a preliminary feature win and 8,595 points. Third-place Joey Saldana is 46 points behind Schatz.

Saturday's racing will be live on Speed at 5 p.m.

Hamblin wins at Kings

After having her share of bad luck early in the season, everything broke right for Justyne Hamblin in the final race of the West Coast Sprinters wingless 360 sprint car series Saturday at Kings Speedway.

Trailing Rusty Carlile by four points for the WCS title and 13 for the track championship, Hamblin overcame both deficits on a night where she was second in qualifying, won her heat race and captured her first main event victory of the season.

"It was pretty awesome," said Hamblin, the 19-year-old daughter of former racer Steve Hamblin. "I didn't think I could pull off three awesome things in one night."

While becoming the first champion for the WCS, a 24-race series that ran in Hanford, Santa Maria and Bakersfield, Hamblin also is the first female sprint car driver to win a Kings points title.

"This is big for California and the local community," Kings Speedway promoter Frank Dias said. "She works hard, is a good kid and is a patient driver, very smooth. She has all the qualities of a Danica Patrick, but unfortunately, we're a small community where it's hard for her to get noticed."

Hamblin had motor problems that kept her out of one race and forced her to scratch from two other mains. She also missed a race after surgery.

But on Saturday, it was Carlile who had the bad luck. He was involved in a hard crash in qualifying and wasn't able to finish his heat. He started eighth in the main and moved his way up to first, where he led for 10 laps.

This was Hamblin's third season in a 360 sprint car. She was third in the Bandits series last season.

In addition to the wingless 360s next season, Hamblin plans to race occasionally with a wing, and, if her team can secure a motor, in some 410 races.

Crafton solid in second

Tulare's Matt Crafton finished 10th in last weekend's NASCAR Camping World Trucks race at Talladega. That helped him shave a little off Ron Hornaday Jr.'s imposing points lead.

Hornaday, who crashed late and finished 17th, enters Friday's race in Texas with a 202-point lead.

Crafton has a 125-point lead over third-place Mike Skinner.