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MERCED, Calif. — Cody Laney won the final night of the Central California Clash at Merced Speedway on Saturday night and by doing so, clinched the overall six-event title for the IMCA Modifieds.
The Torrance, Calif., driver bested Troy Morris III and Bobby Hogge IV. Laney’s black and yellow No. 5L passed his rival for the title Hogge IV on the sixth circuit of the 25-lap affair.
Laney had also won the previous night’s feature making four wins out of the six features and brought a four-point advantage into the final night.
Hogge IV and Morris III started on the front row of the 20-car field with Hogge quickly jumping to the lead. Josh Combs would slow going into the first turn after starting from the fourth row. Before he could safely pull off the track, he got his from behind and spun around to bring out the race’s first caution.
Soon after the restart, sheet metal would get bent and tempers would flair as Robby Sawyer dropped off the pace on the frontstretch. Sawyer apparently felt Morris III was to blame and as retaliation, drove Morris III into the backstretch wall while under caution. Race officials red flagged the race to get control back and sent Sawyer to the pit area while Morris was given his third position back.
Hogge IV and Laney’s battle would begin on the restart, as the two aces traded slide jobs on each end of the track for four laps before Laney took control. The race would go yellow on lap eight for a minor spin on the backstretch with Laney leading Hogge IV and Morris III.
With a Delaware-style restart, it would be Morris III who would slide job Hogge IV in the fourth turn on the ninth lap. The field would soon start running single file as Laney would slowly build up an advantage. His comfortable lead would end when the caution lights would come on for a backwards spin off the first turn.
Laney survived the race’s final restart and the track would begin to take rubber forcing the field to basically run single file until the checkered flag.
Cody Laney, Troy Morris III, Bobby Hogge IV, Jerry Flippo, Kyle Heckman, Troy Foulger, Rick Diaz, Jim Pettit II, Paul Stone, Cody Burke, Matthew Hagio, Ryan Porter, Michael Paul Jr., Chuck Weir, Aaron Crowell, Brent Curran, Danny Roe, Danny Lauer, Robby Sawyer, Josh Combs
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