Morris Masters Modified Field in Portland Win
Portland, Ore. Gary Morris of Boring, Ore. picked up his first win of the season in the competitive NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified division Friday evening over a determined Chris Quinn. Brad "The Tornado" Tanner of Clackamas, Ore. pulled off a double by winning the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman main event as well as the Street Stock feature, while Dan Cherington cruised to another win in the criss-crossing Figure 8 class.
Tom Pinkowsky of Vancouver, Wash. set fast time for the Grand American field with a quick lap of 16.857, but found himself starting the 30-lap feature in the eighth position due to the invert. Zoe Minsker of Clackamas started the race on the pole along side of outside front role starter Sonny Sayre. Before the field could complete the first lap, Hal Farness of Portland got loose coming out of turn four which sent the field scrambling for open ground. The field was set for a complete restart with the exception of Minsker who had mechanical problems. Sonny Sayre led the field of 17 cars to the green flag. The racing action was slowed for the second time when David Burkhardt of Portland hit the outside turn four wall hard crippling the right front suspension of his ride.
Sayre again lead the field to the green and maintained the lead through lap 10 when the cars of Farness, Eric Sayre, and Ray Elwess got together in turn two. All three were able to continue but had to drop to the rear of the field. Sonny Sayre maintained the advantage over the field, but the cars of Donnie Martin and Gary Morris were applying pressure as the trio went three-wide through the corners for several laps. Sayre lost the lead as the tandem battled side-by-side on lap 24. Meanwhile, Pinkowsky had moved his car up to the third position ahead of Don Jenner, Chris Quinn, and Richard Whiteman. The top four were no nose to tail as they maneuvered through the lapped traffic. By lap 31 Pinkowski was able to move his car to the outside and began to pressure Morris for the lead. Each time Pinkowsky made a move, Morris slammed the door to hold off the former three-time Asphalt Late Model track champion.
On the final lap, Quinn made a daring move on the outside of Jenner and then Pinkowsky coming out of turn four to take the checkers in second spot. Morris collected his first victory on the new third-mile clay oval and moved himself into the top five of the season point standings. Quinn finished second followed by Pinkowsky, Jenner, and Whiteman. Pinkowsky continues to lead the point standings over Jenner by 26 points. Eric Sayre drops to third, Dan Fox holds onto the fourth position, while Morris rounds out the top five.
The NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman have found the competition on the new third-mile clay oval to the liking of the drivers as 18 drivers took the green for the 30-lap feature event. Scott Winebarger of Portland, Ore. led the field to the green and maintained his advantage over Brad "The Tornado" Tanner out of Clackamas until the pair caught lapped traffic. The lapped cars posed a unique obstacle for the duo as they negotiated the high and low grooves. Tanner caught and passed Winebarger when the car of Doug Mitchell got loose and spun in the infield. As Mitchell reentered the track, he quickly found that his front suspension had been damage in the spin and he was not able to hold the car low. Tanner pounced like a lion after its prey and shot passed the wounded car of Mitchell and the leader Winebarger.
Tanner would never look back as he went on to score his third victory of the season. Winebarger regained his momentum and brought his Camero home in second, with Dale Holland rallied for third, followed Andy Church and points leader Martin Stanwood in fifth. The win vaults Tanner into third place in the season point standings just 61 markers out of first. Martin Stanwood maintains the points lead over Holland, Tanner, Brad Stanwood, and Jay Estes in fifth.
Brad Tanner picked up the other half of his double by wining the 30-lap Street Stock main event. Tanner has found a nose for victory lane this season as he attempts to replicate the feat of his championship father (Jody Tanner) by competing in all racing division at Portland Speedway during the season.
Tanner started in the fourth position for the Street Stock feature with Don Dean of Portland on the pole. From the drop of the green flag, tanner made his presence felt as he set his sights on the lead by riding the high line around the track. by lap 5 Tanner was in the lead and set sail. The race was for second as divisional points leader, Scott Puncochar found himself mired in heavy traffic throughout the event. Dennis Krohling of Vancouver, Wash. moved into second by setting up Dean with a pick from a slower car. Krohling dove to the bottom, leaving Dean out to dry.
By lap 25, Tanner was able to extend his lead on the field due in part to lapped traffic and genuine racing luck. Tanner continued to split through the cars like a lumberjack splitting wood. Puncochar positioned his car in third behind Krohling and ahead of Dean. Grant Baker was able to move his car into the top five by using the cushion and passing cars on the outside. At the finish, it was Tanner taking the win, Krohling finishing second by a nose ahead of 2000 Street Stock champion Puncochar. Dean held on for third, with Baker rounding out the top five.
The Figure 8 division continues to produce some of the most exciting racing for fans week after week. Friday was no exception as the Figure 8 Hotshoe Dan Cherington of Vancouver, Wash. drove from the back of the field to score his third win of the 2001 season.
Since the Figure 8 class started a Cherington has won the title, and this year the stage is being set for a repeat. Cherington crossed the line ahead of his brother, Joe Cherington, with Kelly Nace driving the wheels off his ride to come home in third. Ron Henderson rallied for fourth and Ray Perry had another consistent run rounding out the top five finishers. Dan Cherington maintains his points lead over brother Joe by 14 markers. Nace holds down third place, while John Mayfield and Ron Henderson round out the top five.
The racing action resumes Tuesday, July 3 with the 18th Annual Crash-Bang Extravaganza featuring the Street Stocks, Figure 8, and WAR! Plus, the ever-popular Destruction Derby and GIGANTIC Aerial Fireworks Display. Gates open at 5:00 PM with racing starting at 6:45 PM. Admission prices for this special family event are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and military w/ID, $6 for juniors (11-17), children 10 and under are free with a paid adult. A Family admission (2 adults & 2 juniors) is just $33, and reserve seating is $26. Advanced tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or on line at www.portlandspeedway.com
Then Friday, July 6 the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modifieds return to do battle on the third-mile clay oval, along with the ShorTrack Sportsman, Street Stocks, Figure 8, and Bumpin' Bombers. Gates open at 5:00 Pm with racing starting at 6:45 PM. Just $10 adult admission, with juniors (11-17) $5 and children 10 and under are free with a paid adult. Log onto www.portlandsppedway.com for all the latest news and information about Portland Speedway.