Factory Stock Enduro Update: EL CAJON, CA (07/06/02). Vernon Gilmore was declared the winner of the July 4 factory stock enduro at Cajon Speedway. The team of Matt Arnold and John Krempp actually crossed the finish line first though they had ...
Factory Stock Enduro Update:
EL CAJON, CA (07/06/02). Vernon Gilmore was declared the winner of the July 4 factory stock enduro at Cajon Speedway. The team of Matt Arnold and John Krempp actually crossed the finish line first though they had originally been listed as being third.. But they were penalized for gaining track position on the lap 132 red flag. However in the interest of fairness, both Gilmore and Arnold/Krempp will each be paid the $1000 first prize money. Ryan Gay, who had originally been reported as second, was actually fourth behind Jim Tucker. Again to be fair, both Gay and Tucker will be paid the $500 third prize money.
Ferguson wins from the back this time at Cajon Speedway.
EL CAJON, CA (07/06/02). The last time Eric Ferguson won a main event at Cajon Speedway, he started on the front row. He had engine problems and had a slow qualifying time. Saturday night he earned a much more rewarding victory. He came from tenth starting position after being the sixth fastest qualifier to capture the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge street stock main event.
Ferguson was 20 lengths ahead of rookie Kenny Hall at the conclusion of the 25-lap affair on the 3/8 mile paved oval. That marked the best finish to date for Hall, who was rookie of the year in the pony stocks, in 2001. Veteran Ivan Harrison ran third ahead of Richard Hinze and Todd Phelps.
Hector Leon outran the pony stock field. Ed Reed led the Pro-4 modified parade. Randy Wallace was almost a pole-to-pole victor in the bomber stocks. Troy Decuir once again showed his mastery of the Cajon Speedway pavement. He was victorious in the 75-lap Mechanix Wear Speed Truck main event. Decuir, the night's quick qualifier, started sixth and overhauled pacesetting Lee Hatch on lap 59. He went on to take the checkered flag ten lengths in front of Hatch. While it marked the first victory at the track in a Speed Truck by the defending series champ, it was his tenth win at the track. The other nine came in mini-stockars.
Hall looked out of place in the street stock field. His early model Ventura got the jump on the all the late model chassis machines when the race started. But a pair of mid-race caution flags undid his victory-ride. They left Ferguson on his bumper and he whistled past on lap 15. Ferguson then ran away from the field despite another pair of slowdowns. Ferguson, the 1997 street stock champ, now has 30 wins in that division to go with the six he earned during his four years spent in sportsman. The race could have been a costly one for point leader Rich Green. He lost several laps making repairs following a lap six shunt. Then he brought out a lap 13 yellow when his car died on the backstretch. Still he ended up tenth and only lost 27 points of his huge margin to points runner-up Richard Hinze. Green's lead is still 96 markers.
Leon won a marathon grind in the pony stocks. Though the race was only 20-laps, it took more than 40 minutes to complete. One restart and then five yellow flags slowed the pace. Ed Hale was involved in a pair of those shunts, but still crossed the stripe in second place. Third went to another ageless one, George Behlman. Tim Beeney and Chris Vaughn rounded out the top five. It marked Vaughn's first top five finish. Beeney set the pace for the opening four circuits before yielding to Victor Clark. Clark then was out front until Leon, who started 13th in the 22-car field and was the division' s quick qualifier, motored past on lap 12 with a low pass in turns one and two. Hale gained second when Clark and Marty Schmidt banged together for the upteenth time and spun on lap 15. Hale tried valiantly to get around Leon during the final quarter of the 20-lapper, but fell short in his quest for his 50th pony stock win.
There were two big wrecks in addition to four more caution flags that extended and extended and extended the race. On the first lap, it was "the big one" when 12 cars stacked up in the middle of turns one and two. Somehow everyone was able to take the green flag for the restart though several cars were missing hoods or had front iron that was badly bent. Then on lap 3 Mike Weimann made a left turn on the front stretch and hooked Hale. Both cars veered towards the wall but Weimann taking the brunt of the cement.
While it was Leon's first victory at the track, it was the third time he had crossed the finish line first. The other two times, he got disqualified at the scale. "I'm crossing every t and dotting every I," the 41-year-old Leon smiled after his first victory after six years of trying. "One of them (the disqualifications) was for ride height when I filled in for Tony (Cortes) two years ago. I weigh about 60 pounds more than he does and I was about an eighth of an inch too low. We never thought about the ride height. This year we had a brand new motor. We just got it the day of the race. We had no idea that when the rings took a seat, it just went too high (so the motor had too much compression)."
"But we've been doing our homework," Leon went on. "The car was working good tonight. I knew we were going to get Ed tonight because we gave him a good run last week. After that restart towards the end (on lap 15), my car went away. But before that, we were there."
Leon then explained about his car, which is new this year. "We finished building it the day of the first race," he pointed out. "In fact we finished building it here at the track right before qualifying."
Wallace failed to lead only the first four laps of the 20-lap bomber stock finale after starting on the pole. Scott Denton got the jump on him when the green flag was unfurled. But it was just a matter of time until Mr. Sandman got back in front. That he did on lap 5. Then Randy, the 1999 divisional champ, sat back, set his Chevelle on cruise control, and cranked up the 8-track. He was getting ready to take the checkered flag when third running Rodney Shaw got into second place Pat Garity just after the white flag. That meant it was green-white-checkered with current point leader Mark Holland getting a shot at the win. Wallace maintained his cool and was one length ahead of Holland at the line. Denton held on for third ahead of Hayden Smith and Mr. Consistency Greg McCown. McCown, who has now finished fifth in five of the ten bomber main events this year, has moved up to second in the points.