Gummus Grabs First NASCAR Championship of 2000
By Derrick Shannon
Portland, Or. June 30. Kenny Gummus of Vancouver, WA locked up his first track championship and the first NASCAR championship of the 2000 season with a conservative run last Friday night in the Exide Shortrack Limited Sportsman division at the historic Portland Speedway.
Gummus rallied from an early incident to bring the Robins Automotive/Nutter Racing Engines Chevy home to a sixth place finish. After the event an excited Gummus thanked his crew and family for all their hard work and dedication throughout the season. The evening stated off with a bang as Brad Stanwood, second in the points, blistered the old track record and made a statement that he was not out of the title fight. His new mark of 23.086 will stand in the record books as the fastest lap on pavement for the Limited Sportsman. Stanwood picked up 8 points on Gummus after the Trophy Dash and Heat Races, which cut the margin down to 23 at the start of the main. Heat races were won by Chris Evans, Scott Winebarger, and Brad Stanwood. Early season title contender Robert Eubanks won the final Trophy Dash. Twenty Three cars lined up for the 40 lap main event with Reese Blahuta taking the pole after the 8-car invert. Things got exciting on lap for when Blahuta, Ross Roberts, Dale Holland got together in turn two, the incident took Stanwood out of title contention . Gummus made it through the carnage and stayed out of trouble the rest of the way. The race came down to a green/white/checker battle to the finish between Winebarger and Eubanks as the two raced each other hard the final two laps. Winebarger bested Eubanks in the final turn to collect his third victory of the season. Eubanks was second with Mike Evans in third, Mike Graham in fourth, and Ron Prevost coming home in fifth. The final point standings have Gummus winning the track championship, Brad Stanwood in second followed by Dale Holland, Winebarger, and Eubanks.
The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Cars lined up 18 beautifully prepared machines for their second to the last race. The championship fight saw three drivers that could win it all. Brandon Riehl held a 18 point lead over Jody Tanner, with Tony Schmidt one point back in third. Schmidt's title hopes went crashing down to earth when he was involved in a lap 13 incident with the lapped car of Jim Clair. The wreck left brand new NAPA Chevrolet of Schmidt on the hook and out of the race. The championship now became a two-car battle between Riehl and Tanner. C.J. Miller established the early lead in the race and never looked back as he dominated the 50-lap event to score his third win of the year. Dan Obrist had his best run of the season coming home in second with Jody Tanner holding off Riehl for third. Eric Sayre rounded out the top five. Going into the final event on July 4, Riehl holds a slim 9 point lead over Tanner with Tony Schmidt in third, Sayre in fourth, and Dan Obrist moving up to fifth.
Thirty-six Accel Street Stocks checked in with point leader Ray Elwess out in front by 30 points. At the conclusion of the evening racing action Elwess found himself in third place in the point standings looking to claw his way back at the final event on Monday July 3 after leading the championship race since week one. Title contender Scott Puncochar picked up a few points by winning the Trophy Dash and placing second in his heat race. Wes Maxwell, Charles Culpepper, Bill Edgar, Loren Wade, and Sonny Sayre All picked up wins in the heat races. Susan Nelson picked up the 15-lap "C" main event win, with Michael Crase taking the 20 -- lap "B" main event win and transferring to the "A" main with James Feijo. Elwess was looking to continue his consistent run of top five finishes but that all came to an end after a lap 3 stop and go penalty from the NASCAR Officials from an on track incident. Elwess would race the rest of the event 2 laps down and finish 15th, dropping him to third in the point standings. Brad Tanner won the 25-lap event with Scott Puncochar finishing second, Don Jenner in third, Sonny Sayre in fourth, and Loren Wade rounding out the top five. Tanner assumes the point lead by 3 markers over Puncochar with Elwess dropping to third 16 points out. Jenner and Nusom round out the top five.
The always-exciting Bumpin bombers put on two dazzling main events with Christopher Michael and Jeff Brookshire sharing wins in the best of show class. Brookshire holds a 37 point lead of Danny O'Neil Jr. going into the final event on the Monday July 3 Crash-Bang EXTRAVAGANZA.
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