EL CAJON, CA. Rick Hagen only had about 1-1/2 hours sleep before climbing into his racecar at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. But having returned late from a vacation in Hawaii made no difference to the street stock driver because he cruised to a...
EL CAJON, CA. Rick Hagen only had about 1-1/2 hours sleep before climbing into his racecar at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. But having returned late from a vacation in Hawaii made no difference to the street stock driver because he cruised to a relatively easy victory in the 30-lap main event on the 3/8 mile paved oval.
Hagen took the checkered flag 20 lengths in front of Rob Freeman in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series contest. Late arriving Scott Moses finished third. Brian Collins and Rob Overman mixed it up on the track before Collins grabbed the fourth position ahead of his rival.
Douglas Wright Jr. passed Ed Hale on the final round of the 25-lap main event for pony stocks. The two had been glued together virtually the entire race before Wright worked his way past in turn one after taking the white flag. Andy Papp closed fast and was on Hale's bumper at the checkered. Marty Schmidt took fourth ahead of early leader Victor Clark. The show was supposed to include the American Race Trucks, but they welshed on their agreement (needless to say they won't be back).
Only eight of the 18 starters survived the ordeal some thought was the street stock main event. Rich Green, who had entered the evening first in points, broke a rocker arm on the final lap of his heat race. Green made the call for the main event, but was never a factor. In fact he pitted early on, returned, pitted again, returned again, and pitted for good about lap 6. He was credited with 16th position. Hagen, who entered the night 27 points in arrears to Green, picked up enough markers to gain the number one spot in the Exide Shortrack Series standings at Cajon. He now leads by a dozen.
Before the main event Hagen commented that he was worried about polesitter Neil Rodvold. But Bill Sanchez managed to gain the advantage when the green came out. Sanchez led until he blew water all over turn three on lap 6. Rodvold inherited the top spot and was running away from the field until Hagen moved in. Hagen had his car working well and eased past Rodvold on lap 23. Rodvold quickly faded and ultimately pitted with brake problems. Once in front, Hagen pushed his seat back, stretched out, and relaxed - something he hadn't done all day. Rob Freeman moved into second on lap 23 but couldn't catch the high-flying leader. At the stripe Hagen was some 20 lengths in front. The drawn-out contest last 40 minutes with lengthy slowdowns to clean up the Sanchez mess and then the blown motor of Dave Arce. Arce had a fine ride going until his engine grenaded in turn one on lap 24.
"I wish all my vacations were like this," Hagen said after his second win in as many weeks. "You win a main event. You go to Hawaii. You come back at ten o'clock in the morning with an hour and a half sleep and win a second main."
"We qualified poorly because we made some changes. We were trying to make the car qualify better. But it takes a while to tune it up when you make changes. It was not looking like a good night after qualifying seventh or eighth (actually it was ninth). But trust the crew. At the last minute Brian (Pusey, the crew chief) says give it a try and drive it like you stole it."
"The car was awfully good low," Hagen continued. "I don't know who could have beat me low."
Wright and Hale came from 12th and 10th starting positions in the pony stock feature. Every time Hale looked up, Wright was in his rear view mirror as they threaded their way through traffic in tandem.
Clark led the opening six rounds from his outside front row starting position. Hale dipped underneath him in turn one of lap 7 and Wright followed the new leader into the second spot. Wright tried several times to pass Hale and nearly spun on the 15th circuit. But he bided his time and saved his tires. It was Wright's second win of the season.
"I was letting Ed heat up his tires and cooling mine down," Wright offered of his strategy of waiting until the last lap. "He was staying too low so I decided to stay up high and let my tires cool down. I was trying to do it with two laps to go. But I didn't get a good run off of two on the 23rd lap. He was a little bit faster in the first part of the corner. I was a little bit faster down the straights. That just made it even-steven."
When asked about nearly spinning on lap 15 in the middle of the first and second turns, Wright smiled. "Ed just came down a little early when my bumper was there. That's racing. I probably would have done the same thing on him. He's a great driver. I should have been done right there, but somehow it stayed straight."
Like their street stock brethren, the pony stockers dragged their event out as well. It took nearly forty-five minutes to complete their 25-lapper. That included one restart and five yellow flags. None of the incidents was serious. The one that may have led to the most interesting discussion occurred when a couple of United States Marines (Tim White and Shawn Connelly) bivouacked in turn one on lap 7. Both are rookies in the pony stocks. Connelly was making only his second start. But the focus the entire race was on the Wright-Hale tussle.
PIT NOTES: Art Nevill dominated the four car Thunder Roadster action. ... Two $100 hard charger awards were given to the drivers who earned the most passing points. Scott Moses pocketed the street stock cash while Douglas Wright Jr. padded his check in the pony stocks. Many thanks to Truck In Stuff for donating the additional prize money. ... Danny Gay was hoping Scott Moses would get stuck at work. Danny hot-lapped Moses' street stock and was itching to get behind the wheel for the night because Moses had to work. ... Once again the Firefighters' DD was one to remember. Over 20 representatives participated in the crashfest with Forrest Kuhn from Lakeside prevailing. Second went to Patrick Dotson from Alpine while Joel Bush from the Federal Firefighters placed third. More importantly boocoo bucks were raised for the Burn Institute through this 10th annual affair. ... John Jensen will have his Cajon Speedway trailer at Del Taco in Santee on Friday. Stop by his trailer before you eat and pick up some Del Taco discount coupons. ... Finally on a sad note, Bob Spradley passed away recently. He was active with the Fire and Rescue crew and the Ambulance team at Cajon for many years. In fact he became a race fan because of his work at the track. Cajon Speedway offers their deepest condolences to his family.
<pre> CAJON SPEEDWAY NASCAR WEEKLY RACING SERIES RESULTS
Fast Time - Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; Time - :17.841.
Dash (4 laps) - 1. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 2. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 3. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 4. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; Time - 1:12.77.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Neil Rodvold, Lakeside; 2. Bill Sanchez, Santee; 3. Randy Buell, San Diego; Time - 11:20.73.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Rick Hagen, Alpine; 2. Rob Freeman, Santee; 3. Ivan Harrison, Santee; Time - 2:24.30.
Main (30 laps) - 1. Rick Hagen, Alpine; 2. Rob Freeman, Santee; 3. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 4. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 5. Rob Overman, El Cajon; 6. Randy Buell, San Diego; 7. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 8. RJ Stockman, Lakeside; 9. Neil Rodvold, Lakeside; 10. Dave Arce, Santee; 11. Keith Donahou, San Diego; 12. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 13. Bill Sanchez, Santee; 14. Ivan Harrison, Santee; 15. Josh Green, San Diego; 16. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 17. Todd Phelps, El Cajon; 18. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; Time - 35:46.00.
Fast Time - Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; Time - :18.408.
Dash (4 laps) - 1. Mike Weimann, Temecula; 2. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 3. Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; 4. Andy Papp, La Mesa; Time - 1:15.40. 1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Lou Tompkins, San Diego; 2. Victor Clark, Lakeside; 3. John Swink, Lakeside; Time - 2:35.70.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 2. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 3. Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; Time - 2:32.15.
Main (25 laps) - 1. Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; 2. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 3. Andy Papp, La Mesa; 4. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 5. Victor Clark, Lakeside; 6. Mike Weimann, Temecula; 7. Debi Urioste, Poway; 8. Pete Franke, Lakeside; 9. John Swink, Lakeside; 10. Lou Tompkins, San Diego; 11. George Behlman, Santee; 12. Carole Schacher, San Diego; 13. Kenny Hall, Lakeside; 14. Tim Beeney, Escondido; 15. David Pardo, Encinitas; 16. Shawn Connelly, Batesburg, SC; 17. Ken Wikoren, El Cajon; 18. Tim White, San Clemente; 19. Gene Street, El Cajon; 20. Frank Stangler, El Cajon; 21. Robert Parenteau, El Cajon; Time - 38:41.89.
Fast Time - Art Nevill, Acton; Time - :18.461.
Dash (4 laps) - 1. Art Nevill, Acton; 2. Bill Everett, Fontana; 3. Dave Phillips, San Clemente; 4. Mike Face, Yucaipa; Time - 1:14.13.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Art Nevill, Acton; 2. Bill Everett, Fontana; 3. Mike Face, Yucaipa; Time - 2:30.19.
Main (15 laps) - 1. Art Nevill, Acton; 2. Bill Everett, Fontana; 3. Dave Phillips, San Clemente; 4. Mike Face, Yucaipa; Time - no time.
FIREFIGHTERS' DESTRUCTION DERBY - 1. Forrest Kuhn, Lakeside Fire Department; 2. Patrick Dotson, Alpine, Fire Department; 3. Joel Bush, Federal Fire Department.
ATTENDANCE - 2844