To the ones who seek truth and to the ones who seek fabrication and fantasy, the latter will be in awe of this empire of a facility. California Speedway is back! Dave Miller and Zach Michael share the front row with 17 cars averaging 190+ miles per hour. A sight for sore eyes for the west coast crowd in definitive need of Extravaganza oval racing.
Dave Miller took the green flag atop the heap and led 12 of the first 15 laps. Rick Jackson and Ryan Heuser nabbed their five bonus points early, with Heuser taking the top spot outright on lap 16. He would lead past the first caution flag.
Lap 63 saw Rick Jackson fly by Heuser on the frontstrtech and take his second lead of the day. He would remain at the top through lap 100, giving way for Craig Lee to win the halfway bacon bonus to refuel the car. The high horsepower duo of Heuser and Jackson seemed to be back in full swing for 2022.
The first caution of the night came on lap 48. Randy Dobbins and Zakk MIller made heavy contact exiting turn 4, sending them both for a spin across the frontstretch. Johnny Reed Foley, Jonathan Skrabacz, Scott Jackson and William Perry were all involved in the high-speed melee. Perry would be the first to fall out of the event.
After the lap 100 pit stop, Rick Jackson misread Craig Lee's yield to pit as Jackson slammed head-on into the rear of the #101. Jackson destroyed the engine, falling out and finishing 41st after a perfect first-half of the event. Lee would limp to 23rd place, the final car on the lead lap. On lap 117, Adam Crapser blew an engine to bring out the third caution flag. He would finish in 40th position.
An enormous accident on lap 126 was initiated by contact between Mark Heron and Cristian Torres. Torres came down and clipped Ken Joynt, turning Heron into oncoming traffic. Tim McDonnell slammed the #01 on the passenger side, flying up into Dan Johnston who careened the #22 hard into Zakk Miller. Michael Henson and Craig Lee failed to slow down in time and mashed the rear-end of Miller's #30, while Bill Werkheiser and John Tharp crashed below trying to avoid the still-spinning Heron. Jonathan Skrabacz, Tony Long and Scott Jackson were also involved in the accident. There was only 31 cars remaining by the lap 131 restart.
Dalton Lucas pitted early under green and found himself second on the restart behind new leader John Battista. He would manage to lead one lap, looking to gain on his early-found points lead to begin the season. Unfortunately, his Little Ceasars chevrolet would blow a piston on lap 149, ending his day in the 31st spot.
Dave Miller found his way backwards after winning the pole only to fly back through the field and take the lead away from Battista. He would lead for four laps before a Heuser-Sheets freight-train on the bottom sailed the #138 into the promise-land. Him and Miller would swap the lead several times before Heuser took it outright with 40 laps to go.
John Battista dropped to the 8th postion before a right-front tire blew after crossing the start-finish line. Matt Raboin knocked the Wendy's machine around for a full-cycle spin into the outside wall. Raboin would fix his front end damage to finish 7th, while Battista limped home to 21st after leading 35 laps.
A restart with 31 laps to go saw Alan Nesfeder on a no-tire strategy to the finish. He was disposed of quickly, with Heuser, Donald Stewart, Matthew Dominique and Tony Pizzaro flying by in a conga-line for the victory. Pizzaro was able to dive past all of them on the inside lane, taking the lead on lap 176 and pulling away from the pack.
A debris caution with 12 laps to go pulled the field back together in hopes of catching the Fenway Frank machine. Tony Pizzaro would take it home with ease, winning his first race of the 2022 season and fourth of the last six and California Speedway. Congrats to Tony, crew chief Neil Justice, and the entire Race-2-Win crew for an excellent victory!
2022 Power 400 Video