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Merced Speedway 2017 Champions were honored at Half Dome Hall.
From left to right are Jeff Bristow (Valley Sportsman Division), Chris Corder (Mini-Stock Division), Randy Brown (IMCA Modified Division), Kodie Dean (Hobby Stock Division) and Fred Ryland (IMCA Sport Mod Division.) RYLAND DRIVEN TO RACE THE BEST Brentwood’s Fred Ryland made the trek to Merced every race weekend to win the IMCA Sport Mod championship.
“I wanted to race against the best drivers in California – the ones that race at Merced Speedway,” Ryland said. It was the first Merced Speedway championship for the six-time track champ. He hopes to travel for a national ranking again in the coming year.
“I wanted to have one win over Rick Diaz – and I accomplished that.” Ryland also won the biggest Sport Mod event of the year – the John D. “I’ll be traveling a lot, but will make it to Merced as much as possible,” added Ryland.
“It’s nice to win, but it is more important to know that all the drivers in this division are friends. He is working to bring more cars to the division, which was most popular in the 1970’s.
“It’s more about the kids and their activities now.” Brown, from Chowchilla, had to leave the IMCA Oregon tour after racing on a Friday – driving back to Merced – so he would not miss a feature event.
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“I learned that car maintenance is the most important thing needed to be a top contender.” CORDER TOPS MINI STOCKS AGAIN Modesto’s Chris Corder regained his title as champion of the Mini-Stock division.
After three straight championships, Corder finished second in the class last year, losing by a mere point to Merced’s Darren Miguel.
Persistence paid off as his learning curve transformed him into the division’s top driver.