Cajon July 19th preview

EL CAJON, CA (07/19/03). Just about the time everyone thought David Beat might run away with the 2003 late model sportsman driving championship at Cajon Speedway something happened. The last time the division raced at the track three weeks ago, ...

EL CAJON, CA (07/19/03). Just about the time everyone thought David Beat might run away with the 2003 late model sportsman driving championship at Cajon Speedway something happened. The last time the division raced at the track three weeks ago, there were two main events. In the first of those points rich contests, Beat broke a rear end and temporarily lost the number one spot in the standings to John Manke. But then Beat came back in the second half of the doubleheader to finish second and regain that points lead.

But as the division prepares to return to the 3/8 mile paved oval this Saturday night, Beat's margin over Manke has shrunk significantly. His once comfortable 41-point bulge has dwindled to just 12 markers over Manke with defending champ Danny Gay another 14 back. A driver could earn as many as 97 points this time around.

The sportsman will be joined this Saturday night by the Grand American modifieds, bomber stocks, factory stocks, and legends. Race time is 6:45 pm. Qualifying starts at 5:15 pm. The gates will open and practice commences at 4:00. Admission prices are $10 for adults on the east side and $9 on the west side. Kids from 6 --12 are only $3. Children under the age of 6 are free when accompanied by an adult.

Beat, Manke, and Gay will have to compete with the toughest competition the division has had in several years. Mike Mendenhall has gotten hot again and leads the pack with three main event wins this year. He was third and first in the June 28 twin bill. Beat and Manke both have a pair of wins while Danny Gay has scored once.

Among those still with title aspirations this year is Jerry Gay, Danny Gay's dad. The elder Gay is the track's second leading all-time winner with 139 career wins. Forty-four of those have come in the sportsman; one of them came earlier this year. He is seventh in points.

Among those still looking for their first visit to victory lane in 2003 are crowd favorite Ron Overman, Jeff Wright, Rick Chavez, Bob Wickey, Claude Bell, and Stephen Peace. All have been knocking at the door on various nights during the first half of the year.

-cs-

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Series NASCAR , Stock car