Portland, Ore. Eric Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. showcased a determined performance this past Friday by winning the final NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified event at Portland Speedway in his pursuit of a dirt championship at the ...
Portland, Ore. Eric Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. showcased a determined performance this past Friday by winning the final NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified event at Portland Speedway in his pursuit of a dirt championship at the historic North Portland facility . Sayre's valiant effort was for not as Tom Pinkowsky, by virtue of his fifth place finish, was able to edge Sayre for the Championship by a mere two points. The championship was Pinkowsky's fourth championship at Portland Speedway, but his first title on dirt . Brad Tanner of Clackamas, Ore. won for the seventh time in NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman competition, but the title went to the wiley veteran Martin Stanwood of Portland who used consistency and patience to win the title. Willy Thom won for the second time this season in the Street Stock class as Scott Puncochar won the divisional championship for the second consecutive year. Dan Cherington of Vancouver, Wash. added to his war chest of hardware another Figure 8 crown by winning the final race of the season in dominating fashion.
Richard Whiteman, a two-time winner on the season, established a new track record in qualifying with a time of 15.689 seconds to pace the field. The four-lap Trophy Dash saw Don Jenner of Vancouver, Wash. take home the hardware. Gary Morris of Boring, Ore., Ray Elwess of Portland, and Dan Fox all show their strength by taking the checkers in the 8-lap Heat Races prior to the 35-lap main event.
The 35-lap feature was slow to get going as seven cars tangled on the first lap bringing out the red flag. Donnie Martin careened hard off the turn four wall collecting the cars of Sonny Modaff, Chris Quinn, Dan Fox and others. On the restart, original front row starters Mike Obrist and Eric Sayre led the field to the green flag. Obrist lost the lead on lap three when he spun coming out of two handing the lead over to Sayre who would control the pace the rest of the event. Sayre lost the lead only once as the car of Jesse Williamson used the inside line to grab the top spot coming out of turn. Sayre grabbed the point right back using the outside groove.
Six caution periods slowed the going as Sayre did everything he could to put the icing on a championship, but title rival Tom Pinkowsky has been in championship races before and even though he started towards the rear of the field he managed to work himself into the top five by races end, a move that made the difference in the championship. Sayre won for the sixth time this season and was followed to the line by Gary Morris, Jesse Williamson, Ray Elwess, and Pinkowsky rounding out the top five. Pinkowsky has not been known as a dirt racer, but with this championship under his belt there is no challenging his expertise on both racing surfaces.
Twenty-seven cars made it out for the final NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman race and it was Scott Winebarger of Portland, Ore. breaking his own track record set one week earlier in qualifying. Winebarger paced the field as he toured the third-mile Bud Bowl in 17.040 seconds, a record that will stand all winter for competitors to eye as they wait until next season. Trevor Brother picked up the win in the 4-lap Trophy Dash, with Ross Greiff, Andy Church, and dale Holland picking wins in Heat Race action. Bob Hays and Larry Brookshire transferred to the "A" main after finishing in the top two spots in the "B" main event.
Jeremy Brookshire and Jay Estes started on the front row and led the field of 18 cars to green. Brookshire led the first 4 laps before the Chevy of Dale Holland took the point and led the next 8 laps when Tanner asserted himself and took the point on lap 14. Tanner controlled the pace holding off challenges from fast time setter Winebarger over the closing laps. Jay Estes rebounded from last weeks mishap to work his way into the top five. At the finish it was Tanner winning over Winebarger, Estes, Brad Stanwood, and Darrell Smith rounding out the top five. Martin Stanwood finished sixth, one position ahead of title rival Holland, the finish was enough for the veteran to secure the championship. Hal Farness grabbed the Rookie-of-the-Year crown in the Sportsman stock car class.
Forty-four Street Stocks checked in for the finale and did not disappoint the enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,500 spectators who came out to celebrate America in the wake of the tragedy in New York and Washington D.C. this past week. the Oregon Army National Guard presented a patriotic Open Ceremony complete with a cannon salute to our military heritage. American flags and a sea of Red, White, and Blue adorned the grandstands as a testament to our unity and resolve to let Freedom reign and support of our government and military.
Dave Cannon and Pat Schwartzkopf led the field to green in the 30-lap feature event. Cannon quickly established himself at the point as the car to beat and led the first 26 laps until a determined Willy Thom of Dundee, Ore. put on a classic slid job to take the point on lap 27. Thom led the final three laps in route to his second victory of the season. Thom was followed to the line by Cannon, Tracy Jones, Curt Nusom, and Brad Tanner rounding out the top five. The next five were led by Rookie-of the-Year winner Brian Puncochar, Mike Aubrey, Dennis Krohling, Wes Maxwell, and Grand Baker. Scott Puncochar finished a disappointing 15th, but just by starting the main event he secured his second divisional crown in as many years.
Dan Cherington showed his mastery of the busiest intersection in Portland by winning another Figure 8 main event and in the process sealing his fourth divisional championship. The Figure 8 class starts with a complete field invert by points which means that Cherington has to work his way to the front from the back each and every week. This past week was no different as the Figure 8 veteran shows no fear as he negotiates traffic and the intersection of "doom" Cherington collected his forth title in five years at Portland Speedway. finishing behind Cherington in the 15-lap feature was john Mayfield, Joe Cherington, Rookie-of-the-Year John Schave, and Ron Henderson. Cherington beat his brother Joe for the championship. The Cherington's have one the Figure 8 title each year the division has competed at Portland.
The final event of the 2001 season is Friday and Saturday, September 21 & 22 as NAPA Auto Parts hosts the 2nd Annual Dirt Stock Car Open presented by Don-Frank Floor Covering Company. This event will feature the lightning fast exotic Outlaw Dirt Late Models, Modified stock cars and Street Stocks all competing on the "monster" half-mile clay oval. This special two-day event will feature the best dirt racecar driver s from all of the West coast competing for more than $27,000 in posted awards. Qualifying and Heat Races will take place on Friday, September 21 with main events and a special race for the "Topless 10" on Saturday, September 22. The 10 fastest "topless" Outlaw Late Models will battle in a 10 -lap dash for cash with the winner picking up $1,000 if he or she can win from the rear of the field. Spectator gates will open at 5 pm on Friday and 4 pm on Saturday, with racing action beginning at 6:30 pm. Advance tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.portlandspeedway.com Adult admission is just $19.