Matt Hagio wins Sport Mod portion of Pombo/Sargent Classic

Matt Hagio wins Sport Mod portion of Pombo/Sargent Classic

Hagio takes first IMCA Sport Mod win of 2016

By Sean Stanish

Watsonville, CA – Prunedale’s Matt Hagio, the defending track champion in the IMCA Sport Mod division, drove to victory for the first time this season Friday night.  The ten-car field was broken up into two eight-lap heats, with Shane DeVolder of Pacifica grabbing the first.  Point leader Jim DiGiovanni of Morgan Hill, Matt Hagio, San Martin’s Justin McPherson, and San Jose’s John Ferro completed the field.  In the second heat, Prunedale’s Igor Gandzjuk held off Dennis Simunovich of Hollister for the win.  Adriane Frost of Watsonville, San Jose’s Charlie Hunter, and Atwater’s Josh Hensley rounded out the field.  In the 20-lap main event, John Ferro led the first lap before being passed by Shane DeVolder and subsequently dropping through the field.  The first yellow came out on lap three for a wheel cover that was found on track.  Officials quickly cleaned it up and were back racing, with rookie Shane DeVolder at the head of the pack.  DeVolder edged away from the field while numerous drivers battled for the runner-up spot, going three and four wide on occasion.  By the halfway point, DeVolder’s lead evaporated and Matt Hagio had the top spot in his sights.  Shane DeVolder slipped up just a little coming out of four and that was all the invitation Hagio needed.  Matt Hagio then cleared DeVolder for the lead on lap eleven.  DeVolder then had pressure from Dennis Simunovich, but soon after, Simunovich would lose the handle and spin in turn two, collecting Justin McPherson.  On the restart, Hagio continued to lead, but another caution on lap 14 for Dennis Simunovich forced the field to bunch up once again.  Matt Hagio gapped the field in the final stint, while Shane DeVolder and Jim DiGiovanni fought over second.  At the front, Matt Hagio took the checkered flag by nearly three seconds over Jim DiGiovanni.  Shane DeVolder settled for third after an impressive run, with Adriane Frost and Igor Gandzjuk completing the top five.  The track will be dark for the July 4th weekend, and all the track’s weekly divisions, including the Ocean Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, American Stocks, 4-Bangers, and Dwarf Cars return July 8th for a jam-packed night of racing.

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