Cajon April 10th preview

Local Stock Car Racers Start Season At Cajon EL CAJON, CA (04/10/04). The green flag will fall on the local NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series stock car racing season this Saturday night at Cajon Speedway. The late model sportsman, street stock, pony...

Local Stock Car Racers Start Season At Cajon

EL CAJON, CA (04/10/04). The green flag will fall on the local NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series stock car racing season this Saturday night at Cajon Speedway.

The late model sportsman, street stock, pony stock, and bomber stock drivers get their first opportunity to test Cajon's 3/8 mile paved oval in 2004. Race time is 6:45 pm. Qualifying runs start at 5:15 pm. Practice starts at 4:00 pm when the gates open. Ticket prices are $10 on the east side and $9 on the west side for adults and $3 for children age 6 -- 12; children age 5 and under are free with an adult.

A 40-lap feature for the late model sportsman, Cajon's premier division, will highlight the evening. The street stocks will run a 25-lap main event. The pony and bomber stock drivers will both battle through 20 circuits. These four races follow a full night of preliminary events.

Defending champion David Beat will be challenged by a host of local favorites in the late model sportsman again this year. Taking up the gauntlet again will be John Manke and Ron Overman. Manke has been the points runner-up both of the past two seasons and would like nothing better than to claim his first title in 2004. Overman has a new Chevrolet Monte Carlo this year. He has previously pocketed championships in the super stocks (1974) and Grand American modifieds (1996). But he wants to cap his career with a third championship, this time in the sportsman class. Other challengers for opening night honors include 2002 points king Danny Gay, Jeff Wright, and newcomer Ray Neveau. Neveau is a former United States Auto Club Western States midget ace and also spent many years driving on the NASCAR Southwest Series. Neveau, who lives in San Clemente, has told Cajon officials that he will be a regular at the track this year.

In the street stocks Eric Ferguson, Rich Green, Richard Hinze, and Dave Arce will pick right up where they left off last year when they battled tooth-and-nail all year long for honors. Ferguson ultimately prevailed and should be tough again this year.

Hector Leon ended the winning ways of Ed Hale after three consecutive years in the pony stocks in 2003. But Leon has moved up to the Grand American modifieds (who start their season on April 17). Hale definitely wants the torch back, but he will have his hands full with teammate Marty Schmidt and Douglas Wright Jr. in 2004.

Like the pony stocks, the bomber stocks will also have a new champ in 2004 since Rick Hagen had moved back to the street stocks. Hagen's decision leaves this division wide open. Greg McCown was second a year ago. But the division saw 12 different winners in 16 events last year, so it figures to be the most wide-open division this year. Among those challenging McCown will be Hayden Smith, Scott Denton, Mary Lehrke, Brian Fitzgibbons, Dave Whisenant, and Randy Hart.

-cs-

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