Triplicate Staff

Howard Ford kept his firm grasp in North State Challenge Series racing, placing third at the Lakeport Speedway on Saturday night.

Ford, of Crescent City, currently has a 138-point lead in the NSCS points standings.

At first, Ford and his Rumanio racing team struggled a bit and was in the middle of the pack during three afternoon practice sections. Ford and his team qualified seventh in the 15-car field.

At the start of the race, Ford grabbed the early lead before being passed by the eventual winner, Mike Doss, at lap 31, in the 75-lap race.

Doss is currently second in the NSCS standings.

andquot;I felt pretty good about the race for the first 20 laps or so,andquot; said Ford in a press release. andquot;I knew Doss would be coming; I just didn't know when. I had a bleeder stick on the right front tire and I built up too much air pressure. The car wouldn't turn like I wanted it to.andquot;

Ford has a short week to prepare for his next race.

On Saturday, he will compete in NSCS race action at Shasta Raceway Park in Anderson.

For the season, Ford has placed first three times in a row and had a second place finish his first race of the season.

His lowest finish of the year was eighth in Roseburg,Ore. last month.