EL CAJON, CA (05/01/04). Twas a shame that neither Jimmy Tartaglia nor Troy Regier ended up in victory lane following the Sid's Auto Body Supermodified Racing League season opener at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. But that's racing. A slight ...
EL CAJON, CA (05/01/04). Twas a shame that neither Jimmy Tartaglia nor Troy Regier ended up in victory lane following the Sid's Auto Body Supermodified Racing League season opener at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. But that's racing. A slight altercation five laps from the checkered flag knocked both out of competition and opened the door defending SRL champ Lonnie Adamson to take home the first place prize money.
All the two did had done was dance, prance, spar, and battle tooth-and-nail for the first 35 rounds of the 40-lapper around the 3/8-mile paved oval as Tartaglia somehow managed to hold Regier at bay. Tartaglia used the track to his advantage and Regier just kept looking for a way past. Adamson actually had the best seat in the house for the fray. Starting eighth, he made it a three-car tussle up front starting about lap 18. He put some moves on Regier as well but was never able to work his way past.
But on lap 35 Tartaglia overcharged turn three just a tad. That left an extra-big hole on the bottom and Regier immediately went for it. The duo was even exiting turn four and then made slight contact on the front stretch. That was all it took. His right rear tire went down and Regier ended up looping it in turn one. Tartaglia's steed started smoking, the victim of a broken oil cooler.
In the final five circuits, Adamson checked out. He was 20-lengths in front of Eric Silsby at the checkered. Jeff Russell came home third ahead of Ricky Otts and Rick Cameron. Those five were the only ones of the 11 starters still on the track.
Mike Jackson and Danny Gay split Grand American modified honors as that local Cajon division ran a pair of 25-lap feaures. Gay also competed in the Allison Legacy cars. Though he dominated that 20-lap affair and led from laps 1 into the final turn, Michael Peace edged him by a matter of inches.
In the supermodifieds, Regier's race almost wasn't. On the initial start pole sitter Ron Burger's car didn't go. Starting right behind him, the inside row stacked up. Regier ended up locking bumpers with Burger and the two of them ended up coasting into the infield. Though Regier's nose wings were damaged, it hardly slowed him a bit once the race got underway for good. For the restart Regier inherited the pole. When the green dropped, Tartaglia got the jump on him however.
There were only two yellow flags. On lap 8 Willie Northammer coasted to a stop in turn two. Under that caution, officials parked defending race winner AJ Russell after they determined he had an oil leak. The battle between Regier and Tartaglia then waged non-stop until that incident at the conclusion of lap 35.
"I was just watching those guys battle and hoping somebody would make a mistake so I could move on through to the front," Adamson told the highly appreciative crowd in victory circle. "On this type of track it's so hard to pass that you go all out and do everything you can. So eventually somebody is going to make a mistake."
"It was awesome. I enjoyed it from my point of view," he then deadpanned.
Ironically Adamson originally wasn't even scheduled to compete in the show. Veteran Kenny Hamilton was scheduled to drive the orange car owned by his son Davey. But a last minute deal put Adamson in the car, a twin to the one he drove to the SRL title a year ago. "I just want to thank Mike Hopkins of MPH Enterprises and my crew, Jeremiah, Brian, and Stan," Adamson noted.
Both Tartaglia and Regier, long time veterans of the supermodified wars, were philosophical about what happened on the track.
"We just ran out of room," Tartaglia sighed. "There's not a lot of room. Initially I was really upset. I still am upset and said a few words. But you know what, we were both racing hard. Actually I thought we were ok. It didn' t feel like it broke anything. But I think something got into the oil cooler and punctured it. I don't think the car is really hurt very bad."
"It should have been a good race to watch," continued Tartaglia, who won here two years ago. "I heard him (Regier) back there. (Because we don't have mirrors or two way radios), you can just hear him back there. Now and then I could see a little shadow on the outside. It's just too bad we couldn't finish."
Parked on the pit slab right next door was Regier, who forced a smile. "It was just a racing deal. We were both racing hard," he offered. "That was my one opportunity. I got a good run where I got on the side of him. I guess it wasn't enough room for both of us. I thought initially that the car was fine. But the contact must have popped the tire off the bead. I was going to try to stay out. But then it came around on me."
Regier mentioned that the initial lap shunt "just tweaked his wing up." "I guess it popped out of gear for him (Burger)," he explained. Burger's car had also died on the warmup laps prior to the race. If there was something that did bother Regier, it was that the officials didn't send Burger, who had the pole, to the back. "Why did they send him up again?" Regier asked, as did many others. "He had a problem. That messed me up a little bit. But I still had a faster car. But it didn't work out man."
PIT NOTES: Thirteen supermodifieds signed in for the show. Rob Carlotto ended up buried in the front stretch crashwall during hot laps. His car got loose in turn four. Carlotto overcorrected and smacked the wall hard on the left front. Last year Carlotto ended up in the turn one barrier during a heat race. -- Whitey Janssen broke a panhard bar in practice and then the contact with the ripple strips tore out his radiator. -- Regier promised that he would break Davey Hamilton's all-time Cajon track record of :13.422. "It' s a done deal," he said before practice started. But he got sucked into the wall exiting turn two during the practice so his crew had to make minor repairs. He ended up sixth quick. -- Adamson had the fastest lap. At :13.738, he averaged 98.26 mph for his quick lap. -- During the main event Tartaglia, Regier, and Adamson were turning consistent laps in the low 14 second bracket. -- Silsby, who has sat out the last couple of years, was pleased with his run though he had nothing for Adamson following the last yellow. Prior to Saturday night, Eric has had nothing but bad luck in his previous Cajon starts. -- Two additional teams had hoped to make the trip to Cajon. High school student Bobby Dalton was parked by his dad for not getting all A 's and B's on his report card. Mike McCann was heading south from Oregon when he received word that his mother had passed away. Everyone at the track sends their condolences to the McCann family.
SUPERMODIFIED RACING LEAGUE
Fast Time - Lonnie Adamson, Salt Lake City, UT; Time - :13.738.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Jim Tartaglia, Reedley; 2. Jim Birges, Fresno; 3. Eric Silsby, Carson City, NV; 4. Lonnie Adamson, Salt Lake City, UT; 5. Ricky Otts, Houston, TX; Time - 1:54.49.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Troy Regier, Dinuba; 2. Jeff Russell, Boise, ID; 3. A.J. Russell, Clovis; 4. Ron Burger, Santa Cruz; Time - 1:51.57.
Main (40 laps) - 1. Lonnie Adamson, Salt Lake City, UT; 2. Eric Silsby, Carson City, NV; 3. Jeff Russell, Boise, ID; 4. Ricky Otts, Houston, TX; 5. Rick Cameron, Santa Cruz; 6. Troy Regier, Dinuba; 7. Jim Tartaglia, Reedley; 8. Jim Birges, Fresno; 9. A.J. Russell, Clovis; 10. Willie Northammer, Sanger; 11. Ron Burger, Santa Cruz; Time - 25:05.27.
GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIED
Fast Time - John Luecht, Chula Vista; Time - :16.415.
1st Main (25 laps) - 1. Mike Jackson, Bonita; 2. John Luecht, Chula Vista; 3. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 4. Hector Leon, Santee; 5. Andy Papp, La Mesa; 6. Mike Salm, Fallbrook; 7. Lou Tompkins, San Diego; 8. Bobby Roland Jr., Jamul; 9. Brian Pusey, Lemon Grove; 10. Marc McGowan, Santee; 11. James Scheel, Lakeside; 12. Richard Townsend, Lakeside; 13. Jimmy Dickerson, El Cajon; 14. Douglas Carpenter, La Mesa; 15. Jeff Thompson, Lakeside; 16. Travis Brozowski, Lakeside; 17. Dan Hildebrand, El Cajon; Time - 14:45.44.
2nd Main (25 laps) - 1. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 2. John Luecht, Chula Vista; 3. Jimmy Dickerson, El Cajon; 4. Mike Jackson, Bonita; 5. Mike Salm, Fallbrook; 6. Douglas Carpenter, La Mesa; 7. Hector Leon, Santee; 8. Jeff Thompson, Lakeside; 9. Andy Papp, La Mesa; 10. Lou Tompkins, San Diego; 11. Bobby Roland Jr., Jamul; 12. James Scheel, Lakeside; 13. Marc McGowan, Santee; 14. Richard Townsend, Lakeside; 15. Travis Brozowski, Lakeside; 16. Dan Hildebrand, El Cajon; 17. Brian Pusey, Lemon Grove; Time - 18:36.11.
ALLISON LEGACY CARS
Fast Time - Michael Peace, El Cajon; Time - :18.960.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 2. Michael Peace, El Cajon; 3. Scott Dannen, Dewey, AZ; 4. Chad Hines, Jamul; 5. John Gravelle, San Diego; 6. Randy Ryden, Escondido; 7. Ryan Gay, El Cajon; 8. Dennis Hines, Jamul; 9. Marcus Smith, Corona; Time - 2:44.09.
Main (20 laps) - 1. Michael Peace, El Cajon; 2. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 3. Scott Dannen, Dewey, AZ; 4. Chad Hines, Jamul; 5. Marcus Smith, Corona; 6. John Gravelle, San Diego; 7. Ryan Gay, El Cajon; 8. Randy Ryden, Escondido; 9. Dennis Hines, Jamul; Time - 6:19.01.