Cajon race notes 2003-06-21

EL CAJON, CA (06/21/03). For someone who had not planned on running a full season ins 2003, David Beat is having a dream season in the late model sportsman clas5 at Cajon Speedway. And Saturday night even David had to admit he had one of those ...

EL CAJON, CA (06/21/03). For someone who had not planned on running a full season ins 2003, David Beat is having a dream season in the late model sportsman clas5 at Cajon Speedway. And Saturday night even David had to admit he had one of those nights where everything went his way on the 3/8 mile paved oval.

"This thing was bad to the bone tonight," Beat pointed out as he helped his crew load his Mueller Concrete Chevrolet Monte Carlo into the hauler after the races. "This thing was actually a pleasure to drive tonight."

All Beat had done was set fast time, come from last to first in his 8-lap heat race, and then dominate the 40-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series main event. The victory was worth $1050, including the night's Sid's Auto Body Hard Charger award for earning the most passing points. In addition Beat picked up a free case of Valvoline Racing Synthetic Engine Oil courtesy of Valvoline. About the only bad luck Beat had all night was that his name was not picked as one of the two weekly winners for free Trick Racing Gasoline. But David was obviously willing to let that one slide.

Eric Ferguson denied Dave Arce his first career triumph in the street stocks. Marty Schmidt inherited the victory in the shortened 17-lap pony stock main event. Perry Humphries had the bomber stock trophy in his hip pocket until he bobbled in turn two of the last of the 20 laps and handed the win to Hayden Smith. Art Nevill prevailed in the legend car contest. Like Beat, all the main event winners received a case of Valvoline Racing Oil; in fact that award went to the top five finishers in each main event.

Beat started fifth in the 21-car, 40-lap Dodge sportsman main event. He got a break at the beginning of the race when the inside row was able to move forward while the outside row had no racing room. By the conclusion of the third circuit Beat was out front to stay. At the stripe he was about five lengths in front of defending champion Danny Gay. John Manke, Stephen Peace, and Jeff Wright rounded out the top five. The event had to be stopped on the eighth go-round when Ben Carver, debuting his new car, tangled with Dan Roberts. That duo crashed into the turn three tire barrier. Neither driver was injured. That incident and two other slowdowns allowed Gay the opportunity to challenge Beat for the victory. But following each restart the current point leader would move his blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo out to the comfortable margin and then turn on the cruise control.

Beat couldn't help but smile after the race. "Last week I made mistake with tires when I ran the same four (as the previous week) again. I abused them the week before when I ran second to John (Manke). Tonight we put tires on it and we made some adjustments on the car during the week because I had a feeling about the weather (which was cool and damp). It was just on," he explained.

"The car was good. There is nothing else I can say," Beat went on. "The luck definitely went my way in the heat race. There was like three spins in front of me and I missed them all. Then we got into the main event. Jack (Lee, who started on the pole) did a good job. He held his line (on the start) and everyone got sorted out."

Beat said he would be back next week for the twin main events. He also finally opened the door to running the rest of the year when he talked about the NASCAR Sunbelt Regional Standings. Because Cajon starts the faster cars in the back of the pack for the main events, the track is at a disadvantage in that chase that compares the point leaders of nine different tracks. Currently Beat is ranked ninth based on percentage of wins and top five finishes.

"This track needs a high finishing region car," Beat explained. "When you start the fastest cars in the back, that is the hardest thing to do. But if everything keeps going like this and I get lucky, we might be able to do something like that. I want to be the one to do it for Steve (Brucker, Cajon 's promoter who was murdered two months ago). He and I had an on-off relationship. But right now I know the way I'm using my head, the way I'm being patient -- he would be going, I told you. He's always been there for me saying 'hey kid, look what you just did.' People like Steve influenced my driving years ago to where I am now."

Schmidt took the checkered in the pony stock feature after pacesetting Ty Tipton skated into the crashwall exiting turn four when Shawn Muscat dumped oil all over the third and fourth turns. Tipton had led the contest from the fifth circuit after starting ninth in the 22-car field. Russ Gregson led early before yielding the number on spot to George Behlman. Point leader Hector Leon fared no better than 12th. He had moved up to fourth after starting 11th, but was black-flagged for leaking fuel on lap 7. Earlier in the night Leon had equaled his division's record, set by Bryan Nelson back in 1995, with his eighth consecutive fast time. Trailing Schmidt as the field took the checkered flag under the caution were Douglas Wright Jr., George Behlman, Russ Gregson, and Ken Wikoren.

Ferguson regained the number one spot in the street stock standings with his second win of the season in the street stocks. Ferguson is just a single marker ahead of Arce, who continues to knock on the door of victory lane. Arce had worked his way into the lead past Kenny Hall after starting eleventh on lap 13. But a lap later Hall looped it in turn three all by himself and Arce found his rear view mirror full of Ferguson on the restart. On lap 18 Ferguson edged in front. Arce maintained his second place ahead of Gordon Anderson, rookie Mark Holland, and Rob Freeman, who debuted his brand new Monte Carlo.

It looked for nearly all of the 20 lap fetaure as if there would be a first time winner in the bombers. Humphries and Thomas Osborne battled back and forth for the lead. In third most of the way was Bob Blew, another racer seeking that elusive first win. The race was clean with only a single slowdown that came five laps from the finish. Humphries got back past Osborne on the restart while Smith was still back in fourth. He passed Blew on lap 17 and slipped by Osborne on the next to the last lap. Only that fateful bobble by Humphries in turn two of the final round allowed Smith to get past and gain his third career win. But Smith became the seventh different driver to find his way to victory lane in the division this year. In a three wide scramble to the finish line, Blew took second with Osborne in third, and Humphries in fourth. Rick Hagen got back by Greg McCown into the point lead by finishing fifth. McCown was ninth.

The legends had a fierce battle at the front between Nevill and Tom Landreth until lap 12 when their nearest pursuers got caught up in a multi-car stackup in turn one caused by a blown engine. For the remainder of the way, the veteran Nevill stayed just a couple of lengths in front of Landreth. Bob Landreth was third. Eric Brett ran fourth. Micah Nourse took fifth.

-cs-

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Series NASCAR , Stock car