Manke catches Mouse At Cajon EL CAJON, CA. On June 23, John Manke finished a close second to Danny Gay at Cajon Speedway. After the race, Sid Rodriguez, Manke's benefactor, told Gay that one of these nights Manke would finally outrun Gay in the...
Manke catches Mouse At Cajon
EL CAJON, CA. On June 23, John Manke finished a close second to Danny Gay at Cajon Speedway. After the race, Sid Rodriguez, Manke's benefactor, told Gay that one of these nights Manke would finally outrun Gay in the late model sportsman feature. Well it only took one week for Rodriguez to gain his credentials as a prophet. Saturday night Manke worked Gay hard for many laps before finally inching past into the lead in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge contest. Manke went on to score his third feature triumph of the year on the 3/8 mile paved oval.
Gay held onto second in the 40-lap event. Jeff Seifert pressed him hard in the closing stages. Rounding out the top five were pole sitter Stephen Peace and Claude Bell. It was a big payday for Manke. The race was one of six designated by Rodriquez as a "Sid's Auto Body race". So Manke picked up the $800 usual first prize money plus the $250 bonus from Sid plus $200 for being the Sid's Auto Body Hard Charger of the night for earning the most passing points.
Michael Morrisey Jr. of Reno, Nevada made his first visit to Cajon Speedway a winning one. He paced all 20-laps of the legend feature. Eric Ferguson was victorious in the street stocks. Ed Hale prevailed again in the pony stocks. Scott Brown outran his Uncle Ron in the modifieds.
Gay and Manke were running one-two after 15 rounds of the sportsman main event. The pair had started in the second row. But while Gay moved forward quickly, Manke got bottled up in traffic and dropped back just a bit at the start. But once Manke gained second, he mowed down Gay's advantage. By lap 23 he was on the leader's tail. The he went to work. He got by on lap 27 when the pair came up on a lapped car. But the lapped car was squeezed into the wall on the backstretch and the yellow flag was brought out. So the pass was erased. After the restart, Manke went to work again. This time he inched his way forward and was even with Gay by the time they exited turn two on lap 32. By the time they got to turn three Manke was in front to stay.
"We qualified second so got the qualifying a little better," Manke pointed out. "We got by Danny tonight. We didn't' get by him in points (Gay's lead over Manke shrank a bit to 87). This was one of the nights we have to have to catch him. He has to be a little off and we have to be really on."
"On the start our line was going. I was so excited that our line was going that I bumped (Bob) Wickey," Manke explained. "So I cut down and he save it and we ended up like fourth or fifth. Then I saw Danny out there running away. I'm thinking it's going to be another night of chasing a mouse around. So we kept picking off the people in front of us. When I got into second he was probably about a straightaway ahead or maybe not quite that much. I tried a couple of different lines. I dropped a little lower in the corner and we gained on him (quickly). Now I'm like now we can catch the mouse."
Scott Brown took over the lead in the modified 25-lap finale when Lou Tompkins pitted on a lap 3 yellow flag. Once in front Scott went unchallenged the rest of the way. The modified main event was the only one with yellow-flag problems. Five were necessary in this race alone though none of the incidents was serious. The other four features saw a combined total of six slowdowns. Chasing Scott and his Uncle Ron at the end were Mike Salm, who fell to 54 points behind the younger Brown in points. Brian Pusey and Carol Kirby Williams rounded out the top five.
Eric Seene was the class of the street stock field for 16 laps. But the event was a 25-lapper. He was running away from the competition when the car just looked like it went away in the north turn on lap 16. A yellow flag on lap 17 erased his comfortable lead. The 21-year-old was doomed on the restart with veterans Rob Freeman, Eric Ferguson, and Rich Green ready to gobble him up. Seene's car appeared just a tad better when the race resumed. But by lap 20 Ferguson was by him and Green dropped him to third on lap 21. That is the way it ended with Brian Collins in fourth and Freeman in fifth. It was a bad night for Richard Hinze, who is chasing Green atop the divisional points. His motor exploded big time in the heat race and he has dropped to 123 points behind Green now.
Yes Virginia, Ed Hale can be passed at speed in the pony stock main event. Hector Leon proved that after the two diced side-by-side during the middle stages of the 20-lap feature. "Smilin Ed" gained the lead just three laps in with Leon right behind a round later. But Ed left the door open on the low side and Hector took full advantage. By lap 8 Hector was in front. But then he made a fatal mistake and let Hale get back into the low groove. On lap 10 Hale pinned Leon behind a lapped car as they came off turn two and motored back to the front. Hector managed to stay close to Hale until a lap 17 yellow. Following the restart Hale pulled out to a five-length margin. Chasing Leon at the finish was Marty Schmidt, but he was penalized one position for jumping a restart. That put George Behlman into third ahead of Schmidt and Mike Weimann.
Morrisey had someone on his bumper all the way in the legend contest. For the first 15 rounds it was Art Nevill. But he was sent to the rear when part of the exhaust fell off his car to bring out a caution flag on lap 16. For the final five circuits, Brent Jones took up the chase. But Morrisey was not to be denied.
PIT NOTES: On Saturday night, July 13, the first 2000 ticket holders (1500 on the east side and 500 on the west side) who come through the gates will receive a Cajon Speedway cap courtesy of Advertising Edge. So come early that night. -- Ironically Manke was wearing his Looney Tunes 01 boxers Saturday night. -- Jerry Gay had to sit out the June 29 races. He was suspended for "actions detrimental to auto racing" after he hit Jeff Seifert 's car following the June 22 late model sportsman main event. Rick Chavez was put on probation for his participation in the wreck that put Jeff Wright in the hospital.