DEMING - Jared Gunderson finally had his day.
Gunderson, the 2013 defending champion with six total victories, had not won a feature race in 2014 until he took the checkered flag in the 1,200 A-Main on Friday, July 11, at Deming Speedway's Midseason Championships.
Kevin Wilkinson won the 600 open class A-Main in a breathtaking finish ahead of Austin Sheridan. It was Wilkinson's first feature win on the season and first win ever at Deming speedway.
Tanner Holm took the win in the 600 Restricted division A-Main ahead of Eli Schmidt and Spencer Constance.
The Midseason Championships act as a precursor and training race for most racers in preparation for Clay Cup, an event that draws sprint racers from around the world. Two racers, Lachland Cates and Brock Hallett, flew in from Australia for the Cup and participated in the 600 Open division. Hallett is the Australian national champion in the 600 open class and looks to make noise at the Clay Cup, which runs Thursday, July 17, through Saturday, July 19.
Gunderson, third in the point standings for the 1,200 class, dominated the whole race. He sustained leads of a full straightaway for most of the way, though multiple cautions brought him back to the pack, though he would only separate himself again. The last caution found 1200 class points leader Tyson Cross and Brock Lemley, second in points, close behind. Gunderson once again separated himself from the pack to take the checkered flag.
"I just kept looking up and there was a 10 and a 72 moving up the board and I got those five laps in and the checkered flag," Gunderson said.
Lemley flipped through the first turn in the fourth lap after catching the front end of Clennon Holloway. Lemley appeared to have caught the front end of his car on the wall coming out of a caution in the third lap, and his car looked to veer along the straightaway, finally catching Holloway and bringing out the red flag. Lemley did his best to recover, weaving his way through the pack for the next 26 laps to take fourth. Liam Ryan, last year's Clay Cup winner for the 1200 class, took second, and Ross took third.
Holm, second in point standings for the 600 Restricted, followed up his first feature win last week by finishing first in the 600 Restricted A-Main after leading for all 30 laps. Holm faced his biggest challenger in Eli Schmidt, who sits third in the point standings, as Schmidt held close to Holm's bumper throughout the last 10 laps. Schmidt attempted an inside pass on Holm on coming around the fourth turn on the 22nd lap, bumping tires, but ultimately falling back. Spencer Constance took third in the race.
In the Juniors, the top two points leaders Peyton Hagen and Haley Constance finished 1-2 with Tyler McCleod taking the third spot. Hagen led all 20 laps, which featured four cautions and one red flag. Chase Stuart got tangled around the fourth turn of the tenth lap, flipping over and finishing his race.