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Haines takes another Pro-Stock win
As it turns out, a meatloaf is what inspired Joe Haines to pull off another stunning win at Cocopah Speedway during Saturday night's Fan Appreciation Night presentation, which was also Round 4 in the Cocopah Speedway Racing Series.
The last time Haines was on the track, he thrilled the crowd by winning the first feature event of his career, taking the checkered flag in the Pro-Stock Division finale.
If there were any doubters about what Haines was able to do that night, he made believers of them Saturday night by out-dueling a field of eight with another near-perfect ride around the Somerton oval.
Afterward, a jubilant Haines said he is now expecting a meatloaf from Tracy Rosevear, the wife of Kent Rosevear, who Haines credits with helping him set up his car.
“Tracy Rosevear makes the most awesome meatloaf in the world,” said Haines. “She said if I win tonight she was going to give me one, so now she owes it to me.”
In other racing action Saturday night, Imperial's Lance Mari drove off with the feature event win in the IMCA “A” Modified Division, Yuma's Ty Rogers kept his series win streak going in the IMCA Sport Modified Division, Yuma's Adolfo Noriega won his third straight Street Stock Division feature event, and Alpine's Patti Rebello became only the third woman in the history of the track to win a feature event, taking home the trophy in the Factory Stock Division.
Haines' winning another feature event did not appear to be in the cards when the night started, hitting the track for his heat race and driving horribly. A spin finally sent him back to the pit before the race was over.
There, “I had to gather my thoughts, settle myself down and get back in my game and I did,” said Haines.
He also explained that he missed the setup badly for the heat race, “and I was all over the place.”
Plus, a broken brake line didn't help. But with Kent Rosevear's assistance, Haines got the car back to where it needed to be. “I hit it right on, and just motored away,” he said.
“I can't thank Kent Rosevear enough for helping me with the setup. He did an awesome job helping me.
“And I loved the track. When it's smooth like this it's fast, it's perfect, and they can't out-motor me.”
Haines started outside the front row in the feature and diced it out for a few laps with Brawley's Roy Daffern before breaking away. Later Mike Lerwill, from Lakeside, Calif., reeled in Haines but the Yuma driver again refused to flinch.
Lerwill settled for second place, Daffern was third, current division point leader Brett Simala, from Yuma, was fourth, and Brawley's Jason Hickingbottom rounded out the Top 5.
In the Factory Stock feature, once Rebello got the lead she drove a steady, flawless race to the checkered flag. Not even a brief challenge from her brother-in-law, Wayne Rebello, broke her determination.
“He got to me momentarily,” said Patti Rebello with a laugh.
On the 15th lap, headed to the checkered flag she said she asked for some help from above.
“On the last lap I always talk to God you know, I'm asking, I'm begging for the white and I'm begging not see any paint at all before I see the checkers, especially dark blue (Wayne Rebello's car).”
Rebello said she was honored to be only the third woman to win a feature event at the track, “and to be able to do that on fan appreciation night.” The other women to win a feature event are Brawley's Amy Teague and Yuma's Lenna Miller.
But winning is not new for Rebello, who won three feature events in 2012 at Barona Speedway outside San Diego. She also holds the distinction of being the first woman to win a main event at that track.
Finishing second behind Rebello on Saturday was Yuma's Jason Beshears with Wayne Rebello finishing third, current point leader Miles Morris, from Yuma, in fourth and Yuma's Matthew Sharrar in fifth.
In winning his second IMCA “A” Modified feature event of the 2013 season, Mari said he feels he finally has his racing program back at peak performance. He had not won since the season opener at the end of January.
“We really are back on our game, and it took awhile to get it,” said Mari from victory lane. “This is my second win, but I should probably have five, especially here. But things break, stuff goes bad, hearts get broken, whatever it is … sounds like a country song.”
Three weeks ago Mari was on the track, out front and pulling away from the field before a broken flywheel ended his night.
“We had them covered the last time we were here, and luckily we were able to bring the exact same thing back just with a better flywheel, one that didn't fall apart,” said Mari.
Saturday night's win also moved Mari to the top of the board in the IMCA “A” Modified series standings.
Mari started Saturday night's feature outside the third row but moved to the front on the opening lap where he said he “danced” briefly with Yuma's Bobby Horton before moving out front and never looking back.
Finishing second Saturday was North Dakota's Marlyn Seidler, with Horton in third, Imperial's Duane Rogers in fourth and Brawley's Russell Allen in fifth.
Noriega's drive to his third Street Stock Division feature event win was not as easy as it looked, at least not mentally. He said he was trying out a new motor, “and it popped at little bit at the top in the high rpm range and it really started to concern me. But it stayed together. It was intermittent, it did disturb me, but it wasn't enough to slow me down too much.”
Second place went to Brawley's Steven Daffern, the current point leader, with Yuma's Jimmy Davy finishing third, Yuma's Pat Stuebs finishing fourth and Mike Harlan, from Alpine, finishing fifth.
The IMCA Sport Modified feature winner, Rogers, said that while he's always happy to get to the checkered flag first, he'd rather see more cars in the division. Only six started the feature event.
Second place went to Yuma's Timmy Reese, with Yuma's James Dupre in third, Brawley's Cody Daffern fourth and Holtville's Chris Toth in fifth.