Chad Nichols claims BCRA Ukiah victory
The midget racers of the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) continued their 78th year of providing racing excitement throughout the state of California with a stop at Ukiah Speedway located on the grounds of the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds along together with a contingent of BCRA vintage midgets.
In time trials Chad Nichols set a torrid pace of 12.496 seconds in the orange Shanoian Esslinger to lead all qualifiers, trailed by David Goodwill at 12.666 seconds for second fastest, and Maria Cofer in the Arata Racing #88 third at 12.913 seconds. Floyd Alvis is his #1 Buick powered machine was the fourth fastest as JR Williams Fontana-powered #74 rounded out the top five qualifiers.
The #88 of Trophy Dash winner Maria Cofer
Maria Cofer jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag for the trophy dash and led all four laps to claim a popular victory while Floyd Alvis repelled David Goodwill’s repeated passing attempts to claim second place, while Chad Nichols came home in fourth place.
Ms. Cofer again grabbed the point at the start of the heat race and led the first three circuits until the Arata #88 midget pushed high out of the groove in turn two which allowed Nichols and Goodwill to slip past her. At the drop of the checkered flag after six fast laps, Nichols claimed the win over Goodwill, Cofer, Alvis and Williams.
The BCRA drivers met the fans at Ukiah
Form top to bottom Chad Nichols, David Goodwill and Maria Cofer
During the track intermission before the feature race, many fans took advantage of the opportunity to meet and get the autographs of BCRA drivers Chad Nichols David Goodwill and Maria Cofer. In the BCRA vintage feature, Norm Gray’s car refused to fire and Bob Pena claimed the trophy over Doug Shanoian.
Once again, Ms. Cofer took the point at the start and held off repeated attempts by second-place runner Goodwill to pass her using the upper groove of the slightly banked paved ¼-mile track. These efforts nearly resulted in disaster on lap 5 as Goodwill slid high out of the “groove” in turn one and onto the dirty part of the racing surface. As Goodwill masterfully fought for control through turn two, Nichols slipped past and led duo stretched out a 10-car advantage over Goodwill’s black #3g machine.
The machine of winner Chad Nichols
On lap 13, leader Cofer encountered lap traffic as she entered turn three and she tried to pass the slower cars of Alvis and Williams on the high side of the race track, but she lost momentum out of the “groove.” Chad Nichols pounced and made a nifty set of moves to pass Cofer and then clear the lapped traffic. Over the final 11 laps, Nichols stretched his lead to more than five car lengths at the checkered flag over Cofer, with a fast-closing Goodwill in third, and Alvis fourth as JR Williams failed to finish.
The BCRA dirt midgets return to action in an action-packed back-to-back weekend of races which begins Friday June 9 at scenic Ocean Speedway and concludes the next day with BCRA’s first visit of the season to Petaluma Speedway.
all photos by the author