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Kaleb Montgomery (Joe Shivak photo)

Montgomery Scoots At Hanford

HANFORD, Calif. — Kaleb Montgomery won the 30-lap Kings of Thunder feature event at the Keller Auto Speedway on Thursday night.

Driving the No. 2k for Keller Motorsports, the Templeton, California, shoe bested D.J. Netto and Dominic Scelzi for his first series victory.

Mitchell Faccinto and Austin McCarl rounded out the top five at the Peter Murphy promoted Kings County Fairgrounds facility.

The feature got underway with Corey Day and Montgomery leading the 24-car field. Day quickly took the lead, but the full field failed to make it thru the first turn before Jared Faria and George Tristao Jr got upside down in the first turn causing a red flag stoppage.

Once restarted, Day once again showed his dominance.  The race would only stay green three laps before Ryan Rocha lost his right rear tire and stops over the banking in the first turn.

World of Outlaw invader and local Lemoore native Carson Macedo had moved into the second spot.  He would try several sliders on Day but couldn‘t make a successful pass. The sixth lap would see a caution for a stopped Gauge Garcia who would become the fourth car to retire from the event.

Once restarted, it quickly became clear that it would be a two-car battle between Day and Macedo.  The two would have to maneuver between the slower traffic, allowing at time Montgomery to catch the high-flying duo.

Connor Danell would bring out a caution on the 11 circuit when he bicycled in the first turn, getting three wheels off the ground and coming really close to flipping.

Once restarted, the three front runners remained the same but the best battle on the track was for positions 5 thru 7 as D J Netto, Austin McCarl and Scelzi swapped places multiple times.  With half the race over, Day was still able to hold off several challenges from Macedo‘s black No. 21t fielded by Tarlton Motorsports.

Suddenly things changed quickly for the two leaders on lap 25 when both cars slowed to a stop, bringing out a caution.  Montgomery would inherit the lead with five laps remaining.  His race wasn‘t without some late stages drama as a caution flew just one lap into the restart when J.J. Ringo stopped short of the track exit on the backstretch.

The final caution set up an opportunity for Netto to take one last shot at the leader, but Montgomery remained strong and brought home a win for the newly formed team.

Thirty-six teams signed into the pit area.

Caeden Steele‘s car caught fire during the hot lap session prior to qualifications.  Quick work by Netto who was the first person to get to Steele and the track‘s safety crew, the fire was put out.  Steele however was transported to a Fresno hospital with burns on both lower legs.

Paul Stone won the IMCA Stock Car feature event.

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