Cajon race results 2003-08-23

EL CAJON, CA (08/23/03). John Manke knows it's going to be a long shot to capture the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championship at Cajon Speedway this year. But he isn't giving up yet. Saturday night he celebrated his fifth wedding anniversary at...

EL CAJON, CA (08/23/03). John Manke knows it's going to be a long shot to capture the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championship at Cajon Speedway this year. But he isn't giving up yet. Saturday night he celebrated his fifth wedding anniversary at the track with his wife Suzanne and brought home his fourth late model sportsman main event victory of the season. Still though he lost ground to David Beat in the points chase.

Manke outran 2002 track champ Danny Gay by five lengths in the 40-lap affair. The current top point man, David Beat, had a tough night. But he was pressing Gay for the runner-up spot at the finish. Ron Esau took fourth and Stephen Peace came from the back of the pack to run fifth. Beat's advantage over Manke in the standings grew from 93 to 100 digits with only a pair of twin main event nights remaining.

Eric Ferguson overhauled Jason Pontsler on the next to the last lap to claim his third straight street stock triumph. Rookie Dave Whisenant was a first time victor in the bomber stocks; that division has now had ten different main event victors this year. Douglas Wright Jr. stormed to his second triumph of the season in the pony stocks.

It seemed as if some of the top five positions in the late model sportsman feature were changing every lap. Four different drivers led. Rick Chavez got the jump at the green. But Jeff Wright was on the move after starting sixth. Wright moved up to challenge Chavez for the number one spot on lap 9. The two were side-by-side when they locked together in turn two three circuits later. Each lost momentum before they separated. Chavez ended up losing a tire and popped the turn three wall. This action left Jerry Gay in front. But the senior Gay didn't enjoy the advantage for long. Manke ducked underneath him on lap 14 and scooted out front a round later.

"Fifth wedding anniversary. Car five. And momma came to the races," Manke, one of Cajon's truly nice guys remarked after climbing from the cockpit of his Sid's Auto Body Monte Carlo.

"I have to thank my crew," Manke offered. "These guys made some changes. We have four-week-old tires on the left side and two weeks old on the right side. We knew we didn't have anything for qualifying. But we knew if we got rolling in the race, (we would be tough). I could go anywhere on the track. The car was a rocket tonight. I was really jazzed. I also have to thank my car owner. Sid has been really good. He's had to put up with some of the political stuff here at the track."

"We're almost out of it," Manke said of the point race. "But we decided to come out and try to win races. David had some trouble. But he bounced back. He's tough right now. But you never know what can happen."

Manke had little problem staying in front of the younger Gay, who passed his dad for second on lap 16. At one point though Gay was able to narrow the margin just a bit. "I was just going easy," Manke pointed out. "I like racing with both Jerry and Danny. Maybe Jerry has gotten a bad rap all those years (out here). But he's never laid a fender on us wrongly. Maybe an elbow once in awhile and we push back then. But he's fun to race with. Danny's fun to race with too. (Scott) Moses (who diced with Manke for the first ten rounds of the race) was good tonight too. But we were just a little bit better than all of them tonight. I knew we were good on the bottom. Maybe we have the (David) Beat setup now."

"But I couldn't be here without my crew, my car owners, and my sponsors. Sid and Junior couldn't be here tonight. They had other commitments. But Marcus from Limited Access was. He's been really supportive. Man, I'm really jazzed."

Then Manke, who never passes up an opportunity to pass along compliment to his fellow racers, turned his attention to the August 16 post-race confrontation that resulted in the suspension of Mike Mendenhall for the remainder of the season. "I fell bad because I like racing with Mendenhall," Manke commented. "I'm not making any excuses for him. But I was hoping he could race the rest of the season and only get a week off. We had our little #12 sticker on the spoiler for him and wish he was here. It's too bad."

Beat had to rebound after a shunt in his heat race. After Bob Wickey was spun, traffic bottled up behind him. Beat's car climbed the right rear of Esau's. Both drivers were able to drive their cars back to the pits after Beat's car was lifted off the top of Esau's. Beat even picked up the $200 Sid's Auto Body Hard Charger award for earning the most passing points in the main event and was the quick qualifier for the sixth time in the last seven outings.

Ferguson actually had to pass Pontsler twice in the 25-lap street stock contest. He had worked his way past on the high side on lap 22 only to see that pass erased by a yellow flag. Then following the restart Pontsler was able to fend off the current divisional point leader for a couple of rounds. But Ferguson was just too strong and picked up his fifth victory of the season. At the line Ferguson was a couple of lengths in front of Pontsler, who now has a pair of victories and another pair of runner-up finishes this year. Richard Hinze moved into second in the points behind Ferguson by running third ahead of Rob Freeman and Dave Arce. Rich Green, who entered the night second in points, was up to fourth when he and fifth place Scott Holmberg tangled in turn two on lap 21.

It looked like Marty Schmidt would run away and hide from the pony stock field in their 20-lapper after he scooted into the lead on just the second round after starting eighth. But he couldn't hold on to the point after some of the other fast qualifiers picked their way through traffic. Second quick timer Douglas Wright Jr. quickly threaded his way forward from 12th starting position. He was up to third on lap three and found himself on the leader's bumper after three yellow flags on lap 4. Wright ducked low in turn one on lap 8 and motored out front. Meanwhile Schmidt had his hands full with Ty Tipton and point leader Hector Leon. Both worked their way past Schmidt in the second half of the contest. Tipton took second. Leon landed in third while Schmidt settled for fourth. Thomas Winter wound his way to fifth.

Whisenant has had his problems lately in the bombers. A couple of weeks ago he got punted into the turn three crashwall and last week he had to fight his way from the back of the pack to finish eighth in the feature. He figured the best way to avoid the problems Saturday night was to lead all the way after he found himself in the slow heat where he finished to gain a front row starting position for the feature. The 20-lapper ran non-stop. Marty Lehrke and Jeff Coskey swapped second place a couple of times. Lehrke was three lengths behind Whisenant at the stripe and Coskey was in third. Scott Denton continued his string of fine runs by finishing fourth. Greg McCown, who is the only winless driver in the top nine in the standings, took over the point lead from the vacationing Rick Hagen by posting fast time and coming home fifth.

"I always want to be the fast heat. I want to win from the back. That's where it really comes from. But it still feels great," said Whisenant, who spent 20 years as a fan at the track before buying Pat Garity's bomber last fall. "My first victory! I was determined to win a race this year. No one punted me. But I figured the best way to keep that from happening was to stay away from them. So I got out as fast as I could and as far as I could. I'm really proud of my guys. The car has been messed up since we crashed into the wall two weeks ago. It still isn't right. We're still struggling. We still have more work to do on it."

"When I sat in the stands all those years, I always said someday I'm going to race a bomber and someday I'm going to win a race out here," the satisfied winner continued. "Now I've done it."

PIT NOTES: On August 16 when Mischelle Bullen drove the #38 factory stock, her family became the second family to have three generations of racers at Cajon Speedway. The first was the Whitt family -- Jim, sons Tobin and Dan, and grandson Brandon. Mischelle is the daughter of long time super stock ace Russ Bullen. Her son Martin Kepler was one of the charter members of the factory stock division here at the track. Martin is currently laid up with a couple of busted up knees. Mischelle had so much fun in her first start at the track that she wants her son to put his old car back together so she can drive full time next year. Charles Price, who has won a couple of features at Orange Show Speedway this year and sits fifth in their points, made his initial foray to Cajon.


Fast Time - David Beat, Santee; Time - :16.353.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 2. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; 3. Charles Price, Redlands; 4. Jerry Gay, San Diego; 5. Dee Cable, Santee; 6. Damon Sheets, Lakeside; 7. Bill Parenteau Jr., Santee; Time - 2:13.82.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. John Manke, Ramona; 2. Jeff Wright, San Diego; 3. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 4. Bob Wickey, San Marcos; 5. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 6. Ron Esau, Lakeside; 7. David Beat, Santee; Time - 14:15.76.

Main event (40 laps) - 1. John Manke, Ramona; 2. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 3. David Beat, Santee; 4. Ron Esau, Lakeside; 5. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 6. Jerry Gay, San Diego; 7. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 8. Bob Wickey, San Marcos; 9. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 10. Charles Price, Redlands; 11. Dee Cable, Santee; 12. Jeff Wright, San Diego; 13. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; 14. Damon Sheets, Lakeside; 15. Bud Brant, El Cajon; Time - 17:46.48.


Dash (4 laps) - 1. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 2. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 3. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 4. Mark Holland, San Diego; Time - 1:12.66.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 2. Bob Meese, Poway; 3. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 4. Bill Sanchez, Santee; 5. Ken Wikoren, San Diego; 6. Steve Bolin, Lakeside; 7. Tom Jaggi, Campo; 8. RJ Stockman, Lakeside; 9. Daryl Eaton, Mesa, AZ; 10. DJ Weinman, Vista; Time - 12:33.09.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Scott Holmberg, San Diego; 2. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 3. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 4. Rob Overman, San Diego; 5. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 6. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 7. Rob Freeman, Santee; 8. Josh Green, San Diego; 9. Mark Holland, San Diego; 10. Dave Arce, Santee; Time - 3:36.02.

Main event (25 laps) - 1. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 2. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 3. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 4. Rob Freeman, Santee; 5. Dave Arce, Santee; 6. Bill Sanchez, Santee; 7. Mark Holland, San Diego; 8. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 9. Ken Wikoren, San Diego; 10. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 11. Josh Green, San Diego; 12. Bob Meese, Poway; 13. Scott Holmberg, San Diego; 14. Steve Bolin, Lakeside; 15. RJ Stockman, Lakeside; 16. Tom Jaggi, Campo; 17. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 18. Rob Overman, San Diego; Time - 18:23.91.

Fast Time - Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; Time - :17.738.
Fast Time - Hector Leon, Santee; Time - :18.425.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Rob Dinsmore, Ramona; 2. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 3. John Swink, Lakeside; 4. Michelle Bishop, Poway; 5. Amber Lee Harmon, San Clemente; 6. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 7. Tim White, San Clemente; 8. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; 9. Evan Adair, El Cajon; 10. Shealynn Longwell, El Cajon; Time - 2:39.50.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 2. Chris Vaughn, San Diego; 3. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 4. Russ Gregson, El Cajon; 5. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 6. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 7. Hector Leon, Santee; 8. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 9. Trevor Maynard, Lakeside; 10. Shawn Muscat, Escondido; 11. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; Time - 2:31.98.

Main event (20 laps) - 1. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 2. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 3. Hector Leon, Santee; 4. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 5. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 6. Russ Gregson, El Cajon; 7. Michelle Bishop, Poway; 8. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; 9. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 10. Shawn Muscat, Escondido; 11. John Swink, Lakeside; 12. Trevor Maynard, Lakeside; 13. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 14. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 15. Rob Dinsmore, Ramona; 16. Chris Vaughn, San Diego; 17. Amber Lee Harmon, San Clemente; 18. Evan Adair, El Cajon; 19. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; 20. Tim White, San Clemente; 21. Shealynn Longwell, El Cajon; Time - 26:04.75.

Fast Time - Greg McCown, El Cajon; Time - :20.218.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 2. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 3. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; 4. Jeff Coskey, Santee; 5. Mark Wendell, Santee; 6. Joey Schneider, Escondido; 7. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 8. Kevin Gantz, Spring Valley; Time - 2:45.35.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 2. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 3. Randy Hart, National City; 4. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 5. Mike Johnson, Spring Valley; 6. Chris Boyer, San Diego; 7. Mark Holland, San Diego; 8. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; Time - 5:29.69.

Semi (2 laps) - 1. Jay McKellep, El Cajon; 2. Bob Blew, Santee; 3. Darrell Moore, Ramona; 4. Thomas Osborne, San Diego; 5. Rodney Shaw, El Cajon; 6. Bob Underwood, Spring Valley; Time - 1:38.53.

Main event (20 laps) - 1. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 2. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 3. Jeff Coskey, Santee; 4. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 5. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 6. Mark Wendell, Santee; 7. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 8. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 9. Chris Boyer, San Diego; 10. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; 11. Mark Holland, San Diego; 12. Kevin Gantz, Spring Valley; 13. Joey Schneider, Escondido; 14. Mike Johnson, Spring Valley; 15. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 16. Randy Hart, National City; 17. Rodney Shaw, El Cajon; 18. Bob Blew, Santee; 19. Darrell Moore, Ramona; 20. Jay McKellep, El Cajon; 21. Thomas Osborne, San Diego; 22. Bob Underwood, Spring Valley; Time - 6:59.66.

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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Mike Johnson