Cajon Speedway report 2001-07-07

EL CAJON, CA. Fathers and sons don't win too many races at Cajon Speedway on the same night. But that was exactly the story Saturday night at the 3/8 mile paved oval as Ron and Rob Overman both made their ways to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series...

EL CAJON, CA. Fathers and sons don't win too many races at Cajon Speedway on the same night. But that was exactly the story Saturday night at the 3/8 mile paved oval as Ron and Rob Overman both made their ways to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series victory lane. Ron Overman outran the late model sportsman field to gain his third win of the season and cement his position in second place in the point standings. A persistent Rob Overman picked up his first street stock main event trophy in that division's 25-lapper.

Sharing victory lane were Jeff Coskey in the bombers and Michael Wright in the Pro-Four modifieds. It marked Coskey's first victory. The pony stock main event turned into a non-race. It was called about four rounds due to the 11:00 pm curfew; no points were awarded.

The elder Overman was a full straightaway in front of Jerry Gay when the checkered flag fell on the 40-lap late model sportsman feature. Point leader Mike Mendenhall was on Gay's bumper for third. Rookie David Arzola was awarded fourth after Danny Gay was black flagged for spinning Todd McLauchlan in the final corner while that duo battled for fourth. McLauchlan crossed the line in fifth after the last turn incident which was actually caused by a very slow lapped car running in the groove and then dropping down into the path of the two faster cars. The victory also resulted in Overman erasing half of Mendenhall's point lead. That margin shrunk from 46 to 23 because Mendenhall was unable to post a qualifying time. His car failed to meet the decibel limit at the track. Overman also picked up the $200 True Line Hard Charger Award for picking up the most passing points.

Overman, who is 58 years young, started third and overhauled pole sitter John Manke on the third circuit. He went unchallenged the rest of the way. Danny Gay stayed close for a while. But he had to pit during a lap 16 yellow flag when a small fire broke out under his hood. Jerry Gay inherited second at that point. McLauchlan ran third most of the way. But Mendenhall pinned him behind a lapped car four laps from the finish to gain that third position.

"None of them are really easy," Overman explained after his run. "All of them have their difficulties because the guys following you are very good. Danny was right on my butt. He had a very good racecar until he had mechanical problems. Mendenhall had a little problem tonight and had to start at the back. Everybody knows how fast he is. Jerry was right there - he was just a little tight in. It just happened to be our night."

"Our car was a very good car for the first five laps," Overman expanded. "It was one of the better cars we've had (this season). Then it started loosening up and we had to use the racetrack up. I had to drive way up high, diamond (the corner), and then use the long straightaway approach because it was hooked up off. So the longer the straightaway was, that was our advantage tonight."

"The only that screws us out here anyway are the stinking corners," the winner laughed. "We're very good on the straightaways. Maybe we could just run down Gillespie Field, then stop and have pizza at the other end, and then turn around and come back."

Son Rob Overman did not have quite as easy a task as his dad. For a long time Brian Collins looked to be on his way to his initial triumph. Lap after lap the 39 year-old Overman dogged him, waiting for the third year racer to falter. But Collins had a flawless drive until he ceded the top lane to Overman six laps from the checkered. Overman took full advantage of the high grooved and finally edged out front on lap 21 after running alongside Collins for two rounds.

"Finally, finally," Overman sighed. He had seen victory lane a couple of times while winning the pony stock championship in 1999 but had been denied after graduating to the street stocks last year. "The guys got the car working great. I just can't say enough about Major (Schmidt) and Donny (Tunnell). They busted their butts on this car. Tom Carver helped us out a ton on it (this week). We've been struggling all year long. We finally got it dialed in and it showed obviously. It's a lot of fun to drive now."

Overman purchased his car during the off-season from Danny Gay. Gay drove it to 14 main event wins and the street stock championship last year. But all Overman could manage this year, until Saturday night, was a third and a pair of fifths.

Overman admitted he had a hard time getting around Collins. "There were a couple of times I was trying it high or low," he pointed out. "I didn't want run into him from the rear so I dove underneath him. Then we got into the corner and ran out of straightaway (I guess Rob wants them longer too) and I was just standing on the brakes because I didn't want to touch him. But it turned out that my car was getting a lot better bite coming off the corner. So I just kept on the outside and kept in the throttle and told myself it's either pass him or get in the wall."

Coskey, who started 14th, passed race-long leader Arne "Sandman" Knufman on the final lap to take the 20-lap bomber stock victory. Coskey found himself in second place on lap 9 after an incident took out Rodney Shaw, Allen Basile, and Bob Wickey. At that point teammates Shaw and Basile were running side-by-side while Wickey tried everything to find a way past. Finally in desperation Wickey, the current point leader, went low off turn four and made it three wide. Shaw ran Wickey down in the infield. Wickey got back on the track in turn one where Shaw finished him off. Basile got caught up in the melee and had to pit as did Wickey. Shaw was sent to the back of the pack. On lap 11 Eric Seene hit hard in turn two. The youngster was taken to the hospital for observation after complaining of neck and back pain. Meanwhile Coskeya member of the United States Navy, was looking for a way around Knufman. He dogged him lap after lap. Finally on the last circuit, Coskey got underneath Knufman in turn two. They ran even down the backstretch and through the final corner all the way to the line. Coskey prevailed with well-deserved victory by about a foot.

RACERS REACHING OUT: Racers Reaching Out is donating $200 each week in the name of the trophy dash winner to a charitable organization. Recent contributions were made to the Stephanie Taylor Benefit in the name of Mike Salm and the Burn Institute in the name of Mark Holland.

PIT NOTES: Gary Tamborelli won both main events at Orange Show Speedway Saturday night and has moved into the points lead there.

At Las Vegas last Wednesday night, Jason Allen barely held off Chuck Trickle to win his first late model main event. Trickle was the night's quick qualifier and opted to start at the back of the 75-lap feature to try to claim a $5000 bonus. Trickle had a shot at his young protege in both the first and third corners of the final lap and was sideways going across the finish line. Allen regained the point lead with his drive. Congratulations to both Jason and Chuck.

-CS

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jason Allen