King of the West sprint car series driver Tyler Walker scored his first victory since returning to racing this year following a drug relapse and conviction.
Walker passed Fresno-based Roth Motorsports driver Kyle Hirst on the last corner to win Saturday night at Stockton Dirt Track at the San Joaquin County fairgrounds.
Walker, once a rising star nationally in NASCAR and World of Outlaws sprint cars, has battled drug issues for several years. This winter, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, probation and fines as the result of a 2013 high-speed chase across Nevada, Arizona and Utah that resulted in charges including drug possession.
Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi missed his first race since being injured July 25 at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway. Scelzi was leading the King of the West points standings when a flip in last week’s main event left him with several compression fractures in his upper and lower back as well as one in the base of his neck. Scelzi figures to be sidelined six to eight weeks.
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DJ Netto of Hanford finished third Saturday night at Stockton. Series points leader Bud Kaeding in the Oakhurst-based Williams Motorsports car was fifth, Craig Stidham of Fresno eighth, Scott Parker of Coarsegold ninth, Carson Macedo of Lemoore 15th and Mitchell Faccinto of Hanford 17th.
Faria wins in Hanford
Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton led the last 11 of 30 laps to beat a 10-car field Saturday night in the U.S. Auto Club West Coast 360 Sprinters feature at Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford.
Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia was third and his twin brother Jace was seventh.
Other feature winners: Blake Robertson of Visalia (Western RaceSaver Sprints), Ron Hurt (Stocks), Sonny Huber (Mini Stock).
Aguirre wins in Madera
Jason Aguirre of Atwater won the 40-lap Late Model stock car feature Saturday night at Madera Speedway, beating a six-car field.
Other feature winners: Tyler Herzog (MSTs) and Jason Lawton (combined Toyota Sedans/4-Bangers).
Kody Swanson leads USAC Silver Crown series
Kody Swanson of Kingsburg continues to lead the USAC Silver Crown national sprint car series following his fourth-place finish Friday in Belleville, Kansas.
Kody and his brother Tanner shared the podium with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman on July 23 in Brownsburg, Indiana.
Tanner, an asphalt-track specialist, rallied to beat Kody in the Rich Vogler Classic, with the one-time USAC star Newman third in a rare appearance.
The series’ next race is the Tony Bettenhausen 100 Aug. 22 in Springfield, Illinois.