A report from California's Watsonville Speedway, in the NASCAR Winston Racing Series Pacific Coast Region (which actually stretches as far east as Missouri), followed by results from Antioch Speedway and Sunbelt Region competition at San Jose Speedway:
WATSONVILLE -- Los Gatos racer Dave Byrd recently has had a Grand- American Modified Division record akin to what defending champion Scott Busby used to have. Byrd won his fifth feature race of the season Friday night at the Watsonville Speedway. The impressive mark is that he's won four of the last five races on the quarter-mile dirt oval. The streak of first-time winners in Street Stock Division action ended, but it was a pair of the new victors who battled to the line, with San Jose's Jay Baer just edging out Joe Antonetti. Fred Lind beat out the beat-up Jim Gillespie for his fourth Figure 8 victory of the season, as those two remain the only drivers who have won in that division this year. The speedway announced that it will host another non-sanctioned event for Late Model Stock Cars, next Friday night. If Byrd had not missed the first month of competition, he may have had the point lead at the speedway now. His five victories makes him the winningest Grand-Am competitor at the track this year. He got past Busby on an early restart, and never gave up the lead, although Busby was right behind him for much of the distance. However, he didn't know it until the last few laps. ``I was running so much faster than I was last week, and I had such a big gap last week,'' Byrd said. ``But, boy, Scott came underneath me out of the blue. I had no idea he was that close to me. That's when I decided it was time to go -- enough of being careful.'' Bad luck continued for Salinas' Bobby Hogge III. The 1989 regional champion blew his engine in qualifying. He took over the car of Jim Beck for the remainder of the night. Because he didn't qualify the car, Hogge had to start the feature race from the rear of the field. He brought it up to a fifth-place finish. Watsonville's Dave Robe made his Grand-Am debut in a car purchased from Paul Larsen. He started out exceptionally well, with a heat race victory, but struggled in the main event. Baer and Antonetti started on the front row of the Street Stock race, and kept the lead to themselves. Antonetti led the first half, then Baer took over on the race's only restart. Getting his second victory affirmed to Baer that he is over a ``mechanical hump,'' and is ready to become a regular contender at the speedway. The division with the closest battle in the points championship is the Figure 8, owing to the low car count and dominance of two drivers. Gillespie, with eight victories, leads Lind by just 18 points. However, with only an average of nine cars in each race, even the last-place finisher scores 10 points to the leader's 26, so Gillespie's point margin is not quite as narrow as it sounds. It would take some serious bad luck to befall Gillespie more than once to knock him off the top spot. Friday almost saw it, as Gillespie took a lick while racing Matt Medina to a yellow flag. As Gillespie and Medina were side by side, John Keldsen came toward the intersection from the other way. Keldsen pitched his car sideways to avoid a serious crash, but Gillespie's car still was hit hard on the side. Nevertheless, Gillespie's Camaro was able to continue after changing the left front wheel. He then started the car in the Street Stock feature, and finished sixth. Results from Friday's NASCAR Winston Racing Series at Watsonville Speedway: GRAND-AMERICAN MODIFIEDS Fast Time -- 16.575 seconds; Bob Hansen, Danville Trophy Dash, 4 laps -- 1:05.71 1. Ray Morgan, Watsonville 2. Scott Busby, Martinez 3. Hansen 4. Steve Hendren, Santa Cruz Heat Race 1, 6 laps 1. Busby 2. Dave Byrd, Los Gatos 3. Ken Nott Jr., Watsonville 4. Ken Pedersen, Kentfield Heat Race 2, 6 laps -- 1:40.38 1. Dave Robe, Watsonville 2. Bobby Hogge IV, Salinas 3. Hansen 4. Louis Davis, Mountain View Main Event, 25 laps 1. Byrd 2. Busby 3. Davis 4. Steve Hendren, Santa Cruz 5. Bobby Hogge III, Salinas 6. Nott 7. Hogge IV 8. Ron Parker, Soquel 9. Pedersen 10. Robert Brumit, Watsonville 11. Hansen 12. Kent Bickford, Antioch 13. David Furia, Healdsburg 14. Lonnie Lacy Jr., Watsonville 15. Morgan 16. Robe 17. Rick Fisher, Cupertino 18. Dennis Furia Sr., Healdsburg 19. Troy Speers, Fremont STREET STOCKS Fast Time -- 18.050 seconds; Dan Wagner, Salinas Trophy Dash, 4 laps -- 1:12.71 1. Don Silva, Salinas 2. Wagner 3. Chris Araujo, Santa Clara 4. Andy Clark, Prunedale Heat Race 1, 6 laps 1. Tom Phipps Jr., Pescadero 2. George Penney, San Jose 3. Ed Jacobs, Salinas 4. Cindy Clark, Prunedale Heat Race 2, 6 laps -- 2:03.48 1. Peter Reinero, Santa Cruz 2. Mike Yannone, Watsonville 3. Steve Roberson, Scotts Valley 4. Ralph Sampson, Pescadero Heat Race 3, 6 laps -- 1:52.71 1. Tony Keldsen, Watsonville 2. Jay Baer, San Jose 3. Carlos Jimenez, Las Lomas 4. Dennis Pelphrey, Los Gatos Heat Race 4, 6 laps -- 1:53.58 1. Tim Hamilton, San Jose 2. Silva 3. Darrell Hughes, Salinas 4. Peter Petracca, Felton C-Main Event, 8 laps 1. Vern Niewald, San Jose 2. John Ralston, San Martin 3. Michael Jimenez, San Jose 4. Phipps B-Main Event, 12 laps 1. Yannone 2. Chuck Harrell, Hollister 3. Penney 4. Kyle Wade, Santa Cruz Main Event, 20 laps 1. Baer 2. Joe Antonetti, Santa Cruz 3. Araujo 4. Doug Hagio, Prunedale 5. Silva 6. Jim Gillespie, Santa Cruz 7. A. Clark 8. Ken Pelphrey, Los Gatos 9. Petracca 10. Hamilton 11. Yannone 12. Fred Lind, Morgan Hill 13. Steve Wallace, Carmel 14. T. Keldsen 15. Hughes 16. Wagner 17. D. Pelphrey 18. Scott Fuhrman, Marina 19. C. Jimenez 20. Harrell FIGURE 8 Main Event, 15 laps 1. Fred Lind, Morgan Hill 2. Jim Gillespie, Santa Cruz 3. Matt Medina, Santa Cruz 4. Steve Wallace, Carmel 5. Mike Finlen, Watsonville 6. Bob Ford, Boulder Creek 7. John Keldsen, Castroville 8. John Ralston, San Martin 9. Tony Keldsen, Watsonville Saturday's results from Antioch Speedway:
GRAND-AMERICAN MODIFIEDS Main Event, 25 laps 1. Tim Stratmeyer, Martinez 2. Brad Coelho, Hayward 3. Bud Walberg, Corning 4. Dennis Furia Sr., Healdsburg 5. Bobby Hogge IV, Salinas
Saturday's results from San Jose Speedway:
LATE-MODEL STOCK CARS Main Event 1, 20 laps 1. Ed Sans Jr., Santa Clara 2. Steve Hendren, Santa Cruz 3. Ken Haskell, San Jose 4. Vance Beltran, Morgan Hill 5. Shawn DeForest, Hayward
Main Event 2, 20 laps 1. Hendren 2. Sans 3. Haskell 4. Kimberly Myers, Half Moon Bay 5. Beltran
Rick Martin won in 410 sprint cars, and Mark Chaves won in 360s.
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