EL CAJON, CA. Through nine visits of the supermodifieds to Cajon Speedway, no driver had managed to win more than one main event. That all ended Saturday night. And it only made sense that five time champion Troy Regier became the first two-time...
EL CAJON, CA. Through nine visits of the supermodifieds to Cajon Speedway, no driver had managed to win more than one main event. That all ended Saturday night. And it only made sense that five time champion Troy Regier became the first two-time winner for the "fastest short track cars in the country" on the "fastest 3/8 mile paved oval on the west coast."
Regier outdistanced the 11 car field in the Sid's Auto Body Supermodified Racing League event. Such was Regier's domination that only three cars were on the lead lap at the conclusion of the 40-lapper, which was only slowed one time. Fast qualifier Eric Silsby ran second. He was over a quarter lap back at the stripe. Early leader Jim Birges took third. Kenny Hamilton and Scott Schmidt ran fourth and fifth; both were one-lap in arrears. All eleven starters were running when the checkered fell.
Mike Salm captured the companion 30-lap Grand American modified feature. He bested Scott Brown and Ron Brown in that oft-slowed contest. Mike Jackson and Dave Williams rounded out the top five.
Regier and Silsby started in the third row of the Supermodified feature. Silsby had been the fastest qualifier with Regier just a tick slower for number two. Each came from last to first to win their heat race by nearly a half a lap. In fact Silsby went from third to first in the second heat with first a great move on the high side around Hamilton and then dipping low under Bill Wilker in turn two on lap 3. The main event figured to be settled between the two - whoever got through traffic first would come home in front. But it didn't work quite that way. Regier had other plans.
Front row starters Birges and Hamilton paced the field through the first four rounds of the main event. Silsby got the jump on Regier and was third after two laps while Regier was stuck back to fifth. The fifth lap brought the only caution flag of the event. Silsby lost his right front wing after bumping Hamilton while trying to gain the second position. That may have cost him a the victory.
When the race resumed, Regier went on the prowl. He drove hard into turn three and powered past Silsby on the high side into third. On lap 8 he made a similar move to take second from Hamilton. Birges managed to hold Regier at bay for only two more circuits. On the eleventh round, Regier dove low into the first turn and powered off turn two in front. Once in the number one position, Regier went unchallenged.
His only close call came about lap 33 when he had to maneuver through five cars he was lapping. He had put fifth place Schmidt down one lap on lap 29 and Hamilton was included in the lap 33 pack. But Regier made short-order of those rivals and cruised to the stripe. After ceding the top spot to Regier, Birges had his hands full with Silsby. Silsby finally slipped past into second when they came up to lap the five cars on lap 35.
It marked Regier's 12th win of the season in 16 starts. Previous victories came at Las Vegas, Nevada, Madera, California (3 times), Boise, Idaho, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dodge City, Kansas, Salt Lake City, Utah, Tracy, California (2 times), and Wenatchee, Washington. He was only denied visits to victory lane in Carson City, Nevada, Twin Falls, Idaho, one of two nights in Boise, Idaho, and at Richland, Washington.
"It's unbelievable," Regier said of 2001 season. "And my car owner (Dave Biswell) is having a birthday today and he said I had to win tonight (Dave was 56 years young). I said it will be tough - there's a lot of fast guys here tonight. This one is for him. A big thanks to them. They've been great car owners. And also to my crew. They work hard to make this thing fast."
"I thought it was pretty much over then (when Silsby got the jump on the green)," Regier continued. "But we had forty laps and things just worked out. Everyone was running good."
"Sometimes you just have to go in there and have faith that the thing will hold," Regier replied when asked about his daring pass of Silsby on the high side. ."Sometimes you don't know. It's kind of fun doing it. These cars are awesome to drive."
"I got in there ahead of them and thought I had them covered," Silsby said of Regiers's pass. "All of a sudden he came around the outside of me. The car was still pretty good (after losing the wing) but not enough to catch Troy. We'll keep chasing him as long as he's around."
Salm's triumph was his sixth of the season. Even though he won more often than any other driver in the division, he still had finished second in the season long points race, which had ended two weeks ago. The season finale saw five yellow flags though none of the incidents was serious. Scotty Brown ran second to Salm and was a couple of car lengths behind him the entire race. Ron Brown, who took home the seasonal championship, was third ahead of Mike Jackson and Dave Williams. Wills was in the former Ron Overman-Ron Esau ride after purchasing the car from Overman.
It was an ironic night for Ron Brown, who uncharacteristically spun out twice - all by himself. He first looped it on his first qualifying lap. Then on lap 6 of the feature he brought about the first slowdown when he went around again.
PIT NOTES: Our very own Gary Tamborelli, who ran at Orange Show this year (come home Gary, come home) ran second to Ken Sapper in their season-ending 125-lap open competition race Saturday night. Gary won the title there.