Cajon results 2003-07-12

EL CAJON, CA (07/12/03). In his first race since he and wife Janet became parents for the first time, Jason Pontsler ended up in victory lane Saturday night following the 25-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series main event for street stocks at Cajon ...

EL CAJON, CA (07/12/03). In his first race since he and wife Janet became parents for the first time, Jason Pontsler ended up in victory lane Saturday night following the 25-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series main event for street stocks at Cajon Speedway.

On Tuesday June 24, 2003, Kailee Jae Ponstler was born. She hit the scales without too much left side weight at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and had a wheelbase of 20 inches. Jason Pontsler missed the next race on June 28. But Saturday night, he returned to the track and had a night to remember though Kailee and Janet were not in attendance. Ponstler had to work hard for the victory, his second of the year and second of his career. He just edged out veteran Ivan Harrison, defending champion Rich Green, and past champion Eric Ferguson in the hotly contested 25-lap affair on a very humid night.

Point leader Rick Hagen, who teamed with Ponstler last year in the street stocks, finally picked up his first victory of the season in the bomber stocks. Ty Tipton stormed through traffic from his 13th starting position to win for the second time this year in the pony stocks. Craig Crossland returned to the Allison Legacy cars and claimed victory.

The Mechanix Wear Speed Trucks just about wore out their Cajon Speedway welcome. First they showed up with only 11 trucks for their scheduled 99-lapper. Fortunately they agreed to shorten their "race" to 50-laps but would not agree to inverting the field. So they still started it straight-up. Had there not been a spin and had the leader not had a tire go down late in the event, there would have been absolutely no passing anywhere on the track under the green. John Burritt was leading the totally boring parade when it concluded.

In the street stocks, Ponstler started fourth and moved to the front past Dave Pardo on lap 13. A lap 17 slowdown to extinguish an oil fire on Todd Phelps car left Harrison, Ferguson, and Green right on his tail. But the 32-year-old never faltered. Neither did Harrison, who drove the race of his life fending out Rich Green and Eric Ferguson, who are two of the hardest chargers in the division. Harrison made his Taurus extra, extra wide those final eight rounds and held that duo at bay. Green picked up the $200 Big O Tires hard charger award for earning the most passing points after finishing third. Green had his hands full making the pass on Ferguson just short of the checkered. Point leader Richard Hinze ended up fifth.

Pontsler gave all the credit for his triumph to his crew, headed by Tim White. "These guys busted their butts on the car," he pointed out. "We ended up changing three tires, the carburetor, everything. We were just hunting for it tonight. It finally worked. The crew really deserves this one along with my baby girl. I got one for her -- that's really cool."

"I couldn't hardly drive the car earlier tonight," the victor went on. "I called my wife earlier and told her not to expect too much tonight because of the way the car handled in the heat race. So it will be good to call here and let her know."

For the record, Pontsler was only the tenth quickest qualifier and finished fourth out of seven cars in his heat race. That put him on the outside of the second row for the main event. He ran fourth and fifth during the early portions of the feature and the car seemed to come alive about lap 5. First he passed newcomer Thomas Winter, who was taking his first ride in the former Eric Seene machine. Then Rob Overman fell victim to Pontsler. On lap 12 he overtook Randy Buell for second and set his sights on Pardo. Pardo only held the advantage for one more circuit.

"Tim hooked it all up for us," Pontsler smiled. "He's been with me since we started out here about nine or ten years ago. We both kind of learned this sport together. I just told him that I trusted him and then walked away. Whatever he did, it worked. Ivan's car was pretty wide so he made it a little easier for us."

Hagen came from 12th starting position in the 22-car, 20-lap bomber stock finale. Front row starter Scott Denton got the early jump on the field. But his lead was erased when the yellow was thrown for a four-car stackup in turn four on lap 4. Among the cars involved in that shunt was Greg McCown, who has been involved in a torrid point battle with Hagen for the number one spot in the standings. McCown was forced to pits for repair and later returned, but was many laps down. Meanwhile Hagen cracked the top five on lap 4. He then picked off both Jeff Coskey and Hayden Smith on lap 5. Joey Schneider fell to Hagen on lap 7. Then on the tenth circuit Hagen moved in to challenge Denton for the lead. A round later he was out front to stay. At the stripe, Hagen was eight lengths in front of Denton with Smith in third. Rookie Dave Whisenant claimed fourth ahead of Jeff Coskey.

A full moon was shining down on the track Saturday night. That is supposed to bring bad luck. But that is apparently not the case for Hagen. "My biggest fan, Fran DeBar, says she has been keeping track," he noted. "Up until the last full moon, I had won the last three full moons I had raced at. Now tonight here it is again. Four for five isn't bad."

Hagen is driving the Chevelle his brother-in-law Mark Holland drove to the 2002 bomber stock championship. "The car was working great," Hagen continued. "I think we gave them an old fashioned schooling tonight."

"It's not the driver. I can promise you that," Hagen responded when asked why the #543 team has been so successful that last few years. "It's kind of a cliche. But the crew makes me look good. This car won the track championship last year. We took a good package. We had a quick adjustment to the new tires (the Goodyear D2935) this year. We haven't come out here any week with the same setup as the previous week. We continue to make changes on the car to go faster. And it's really paying off. That's the bottom line."

The bombers were scaled before their main event for the first time. Six drivers failed to pass inspection but were allowed to race. They will be paid for their finishing position but did not earn any points. That sextet included Chris Boyer (low twice), Rick Nies (light and low), Gary Lamb (low), Robert Bradley (low), Perry Humphries (low), and Bob Underwood (light and too much left side weight). Boyer was the top finisher of the group; he had been ninth.

The pony stocks had another dandy race. Rookie Darrell McKee Jr., who sat seventh in points, took the early lead. But he was not able to hold off the thundering herd of fast qualifiers who worked their way forward from the back half of the pack. Marty Schmidt, the sixth fastest in qualifying, was the first one to break through; he was out front on lap 6 but with second quick qualifier Tipton hot on his tail. Tipton dipped under Schmidt exiting turn four on lap 8 and gunned his Pinto into the lead. Point leader Hector Leon picked off the competition one by one. On the final circuit he shouldered his way past Schmidt into second in the north turn. But then entering in turn three, Schmidt nailed Leon and send him spinning. Schmidt crossed the line in second but was penalized to last place for his actions. That put Ed Hale in second. Rookie Shawn Muscat started 17th and had a fine drive to end up third ahead of McKee and George Behlman.

PIT NOTES: Pony stocker Tim Beeney who started the night sixth in points has been suspended for the remainder of the season for "actions detrimental to racing" and threatening an official. -- Leon continued his string of being the fastest qualifier every night this year in the ponys. That record breaking string is now extended to ten straight. -- Three teams were making their first start of the year. In addition to Winter in the street stocks, Tom Jaggi brought out the former Doug Carpenter Chevelle. In the bombers Rick Nies returned after a layoff of a few years.


Fast Time - Richard Hinze, Lakeside; Time - :17.833.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. David Pardo, Encinitas; 2. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 3. Randy Buell, San Diego; 4. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 5. Rob Freeman, Santee; 6. Rob Overman, San Diego; 7. Jeff Bishop, Temecula; Time - 2:31.01.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Ivan Harrison, Santee; 2. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 3. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 4. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 5. Mark Holland, San Diego; 6. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 7. Dave Arce, Santee; 8. Todd Phelps, El Cajon; Time - 2:27.43.

Main event (25 laps) - 1. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 2. Ivan Harrison, Santee; 3. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 4. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 5. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 6. Dave Arce, Santee; 7. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 8. Randy Buell, San Diego; 9. Rob Overman, San Diego; 10. David Pardo, Encinitas; 11. Jeff Bishop, Temecula; 12. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 13. Tom Jaggi, San Diego; 14. Todd Phelps, El Cajon; 15. Mark Holland, San Diego; 16. Rob Freeman, Santee; Time - 12:36.55.

Fast Time - Hector Leon, Santee; Time - :18.488.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Chris Vaughn, San Diego; 2. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; 3. George Behlman, Santee; 4. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 5. Rick Lyon, San Diego; 6. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 7. Rob Dinsmore, Ramona; 8. Shayla McEntarffer, El Cajon; 9. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; 10. Amber Lee Harmon, San Clemente; 11. Roland Nocon, Santee; Time - 5:50.86.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 2. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 3. Russ Gregson, El Cajon; 4. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 5. Trevor Maynard, Lakeside; 6. Shawn Muscat, Escondido; 7. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 8. Hector Leon, Santee; 9. Michelle Bishop, Poway; 10. Tim Beeney, Escondido; 11. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; Time - 2:33.79.

Main event (20 laps) - 1. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 2. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 3. Shawn Muscat, Escondido; 4. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; 5. George Behlman, Santee; 6. Chris Vaughn, San Diego; 7. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 8. Hector Leon, Santee; 9. Rob Dinsmore, Ramona; 10. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 11. Michelle Bishop, Poway; 12. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 13. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; 14. Trevor Maynard, Lakeside; 15. Shayla McEntarffer, El Cajon; 16. Rick Lyon, San Diego; 17. Russ Gregson, El Cajon; 18. Tim Beeney, Escondido; 19. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 20. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; Time - 11:33.59.

Fast Time - Rick Hagen, El Cajon; Time - :20.195.

Dash (4 laps) - 1. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 2. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 3. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 4. Rick Hagen, El Cajon; Time - 1:21.86.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 2. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 3. Jeff Coskey, Santee; 4. Joey Schneider, Escondido; 5. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 6. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; 7. Mike Johnson, Spring Valley; 8. Randy Hart, National City; Time - 2:46.24.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Rick Nies, Lakeside; 2. Chris Boyer, San Diego; 3. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 4. Rick Hagen, El Cajon; 5. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 6. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 7. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 8. Mark Wendell, Santee; Time - 5:40.28.

Semi (10 laps) - 1. Bob Blew, Santee; 2. Gary Lamb, El Cajon; 3. Robert Bradley, Escondido; 4. Perry Humphries, San Diego; 5. Thomas Osborne, San Diego; 6. Darrell Moore, El Cajon; 7. Bob Underwood, Spring Valley; 8. Tim Smith, San Diego; Time - 3:29.39.

Main event (20 laps) - 1. Rick Hagen, El Cajon; 2. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 3. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 4. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 5. Jeff Coskey, Santee; 6. Bob Blew, Santee; 7. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 8. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 9. Randy Hart, National City; 10. Darrell Moore, El Cajon; 11. Mike Johnson, Spring Valley; 12. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 13. Joey Schneider, Escondido; 14. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 15. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; 16. Thomas Osborne, San Diego; Time - 19:17.27.

Fast Time - Lee Hatch, Covina; Time - :17.525.

Main event (50 laps) - 1. John Burritt, Sparks, NV; 2. Robert Kroeker, Norco; 3. Lee Hatch, Covina; 4. Dan Digiacomo, Laguna Niguel; 5. Kevin Fedderson, San Diego; 6. Jeff Rocheleau, Bullhead City, AZ; 7. Bobby Sayers, Moreno Vly; 8. Keith Cummins, Mentone; 9. Donny Goodwin, San Clemente; 10. Alan Sanchez, Jamul; Time - 24:10.06.

Fast Time - Rob Ferguson, Poway; Time - :19.118.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Craig Crossland, Lakeside; 2. Rob Ferguson, Poway; 3. Chad Hines, Jamul; 4. Randy Ryden, Escondido; 5. Scott Dannen, Dewey, AZ; 6. John Gravelle, San Diego; 7. Mike Adams, Murrieta; Time - 2:34.62. Main event (20 laps) - 1. Craig Crossland, Lakeside; 2. Rob Ferguson, Poway; 3. Scott Dannen, Dewey, AZ; 4. John Gravelle, San Diego; 5. Chad Hines, Jamul; 6. Randy Ryden, Escondido; 7. Mike Adams, Murrieta; Time - 9:35.62.

TRAIN RACE (10 laps) 1. Joe Totten, El Cajon; 2. Ryan Gay, El Cajon; 3. Dan Hildebrand, El Cajon; 4. Trever Haley, Santee; 5. Eric Decker, Lemon Grove; Time - .

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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Mike Johnson