Cajon results 2003-07-26

EL CAJON, CA (07/26/03). Danny Gay led the assault on Cajon Speedway Saturday when the 3/8-mile paved oval hosted US Army night. The track's defending NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champ had to go to his backup car, but still led the 40-lap late...

EL CAJON, CA (07/26/03). Danny Gay led the assault on Cajon Speedway Saturday when the 3/8-mile paved oval hosted US Army night. The track's defending NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champ had to go to his backup car, but still led the 40-lap late model sportsman main event the entire distance.

Ty Tipton held off point leader Hector Leon and captured his third pony stock triumph of the year. Rich Green and Eric Ferguson put on quite a driving clinic in the street stocks with Green edging out Ferguson in the torrid 25-lap street stock contest. Randy Wallace stayed ahead of all the traffic in the bomber stocks and claimed his second bomber stock win of 2003.

Gay led Ron Overman by two lengths at the conclusion of the sportsman contest. The top four finishers were just about evenly spaced as the checkered fell. Point leader David Beat finished third ahead of the second man in points John Manke. Jerry Gay was fifth. Beat doubled his point margin over Manke in the season long standings; that margin grew from one point to two. Despite his victory, Danny Gay dropped from 22 markers behind Beat to 32.

The younger Gay started on the pole after switching from his usual #01 Dodge Intrepid to his dad's backup Chevrolet Monte Carlo #1x. That switcheroo came before qualifying. A poor time trial still resulted and put Gay in the slow heat. He finished second there to take the outside front row starting position for the feature.

"We lost a cylinder in that car," Gay explained while standing next to his yellow Outdoor Channel backup car and pointing to his regular pink ride. "The fastest I could get it to go was 17.0's and 16.90's in hot lapping. I didn't feel comfortable running it. So after hot lapping we decided to go get this car."

Gay's meager qualifying effort in the 1x car was due to a lack of practice in the car. "We were supposed to get two laps just to get things out," he pointed out. "They changed their mind at the last second. We still went .2 faster off the trailer than we did in that thing (the 01) all day."

Gay said he spent the first half of the main event discovering what his car would do. He was unchallenged during the early going. "The car was pretty bad when we qualified," he noted. "We made a few changes for the heat race and went the wrong way we think. So we did opposite changes to it for the main event. At the beginning I was real worried. But the longer the race went the more it came around. I was able to figure out where I needed to run on the track to get the fastest line. Actually the first 16 laps when I built a pretty good lead was when I was able to do that. If I hadn't been able to do that I might have been more defensive driving with Ron rather than giving him the whole track."

Overman started sixth and slowly picked his way forward en route to his best run of the year. It took the 60-year-old veteran four rounds to work his way past Bob Wickey into second by lap 14. A lap 17 slowdown erased Gay's huge lead. More than once in the second half of the race, Overman ducked under the leader. But after a few laps he would drop back a few lengths as Gay managed to control the lead position.

"This car has a lot of horsepower," Gay continued. "As soon as you get this car pointed straight, if you want to play a horsepower game, this is the car to be in. If you can get this car turned and pointed straight way in the middle of three, it makes the straightaway that much longer. "

After lap 17, the pace of the contest was slowed three additional times, each on lap 22. First the yellow came out for debris (part of an exhaust pipe or muffler) in turn three. Then right after the race restarted, Stephen Peace had a tire go down (probably cut by the debris) and slammed into the turn three concrete. When the race resumed again, Beat had trouble in turn two and lost three positions. But entering turn three, Mike Mendenhall got into the third running Wickey. Wickey went around and both went to the rear of the pack. The realignment of the field for the final sprint put Beat back into third.

Green and Ferguson battled tooth-and-nail for honors in the street stocks. Ferguson, the 1997 divisional champ, gave it everything he had to get by Green. Green, the 2001 and 2002 titlest, used all his skill and experience to hold off his once bitter, but now friendly rival. Ferguson tried to pass on the low side; that didn't work. He tried the high side; that didn't work either. Even going in high and then cutting down didn't faze Green. If ever a driver won a race based on his ability, that was Rich Green Saturday night. Ivan Harrison had the best seat in the house for the final four laps after getting into third spot just behind the dynamic duo. Point leader Richard Hinze was fourth and now finds himself just 11 markers ahead of Ferguson and only 27 ahead of Green. Brian Collins was fifth.

"Was that what it was?" Green laughed when asked if the race was in fact a driving clinic. "It was fun because we ran each other clean. Eric and I have a new rapport with each other. We used to beat on each other too much. Now we race each other clean. He had a blast too. He was fast. He was all over me for the last ten laps or something."

Staying ahead of Ferguson was :"hard work", Green sighed. "I was nervous. I was scared. I was pushing the car for everything it had. It was a little bit loose coming off. It was a little bit loose going into three so I had to be real careful. The brakes were going away. Generally when he got underneath me, I knew I could beat him coming off on the outside. All in all it was great. The car was perfect all night long. I might have abused it a couple of times running it hard (coming up through traffic)."

And then he had to really abuse The Chuck Van Buren owned Monte Carlo just holding Ferguson at bay. It marked the 20th victory of Green's career.

Tipton prevailed over Leon in the pony stocks by less than a car length. Tipton was the night's quick qualifier, ending Leon's record setting string of ten straight fast times. Tipton started 12th in the feature and moved rapidly through the pack. He passed Chris Vaughn for the number one spot exiting turn two on lap 3. Leon found his way onto Tipton's tail following a lap 10 caution. For the second half of the event, Leon stalked the leader. He was able to draw underneath him a couple of times, but could never work his way past. Douglas Wright Jr., Marty Schmidt, and George Behlman rounded out the top five.

In the bomber stocks, just about the only drivers who didn't have to work traffic were Wallace, who started sixth and was out front by lap 7, and race runner-up Kevin Gantz, who started and finished second. The rest of the field stayed very tightly bunched throughout the non-stop 20-lapper. Despite the heavy traffic and all the jockeying for position, Brian Fitzgibbons, Rick Hagen, and Greg McCown all managed to pick their way from the back of the pack to third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Fitzgibbons started 16th, Hagen 20th, and McCown 18th in what had to be very satisfying runs for that terrific trio.

PIT NOTES: The best news of the night was that 100 miles north of Cajon, Austin Cameron, who was knocked out by cancer just three months ago, was back behind the wheel of his Winston West racecar. Cameron didn't win the race Saturday night. His car failed him. Austin finished 20th. He completed 103 of 200 laps after losing many laps due to a broken fuel pump. But the always positive, fun loving Cameron has never given up hope throughout his ordeal. Welcome back Austin.


Fast Time - John Manke, Ramona; Time - :16.415.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Bob Wickey, San Marcos; 2. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 3. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 4. Dan McKenna, Ramona; 5. Dee Cable, Santee; 6. Ben Carver, El Cajon; Time - no time.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Mike Mendenhall, Santee; 2. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 3. David Beat, Santee; 4. Billy Hoagland, Santee; 5. John Manke, Ramona; 6. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 7. Jerry Gay, San Diego; 8. Claude Bell, El Cajon; Time - no time.

Main (40 laps) - 1. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 2. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 3. David Beat, Santee; 4. John Manke, Ramona; 5. Jerry Gay, San Diego; 6. Claude Bell, El Cajon; 7. Billy Hoagland, Santee; 8. Dan McKenna, Ramona; 9. Mike Mendenhall, Santee; 10. Bob Wickey, San Marcos; 11. Dee Cable, Santee; 12. Ben Carver, El Cajon; 13. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 14. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 15. Bill Parenteau Jr., Santee; 16. Ryan Gay, El Cajon; Time - no time.

Fast Time - Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; Time - :17.750.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Ken Wikoren, San Diego; 2. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 3. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 4. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 5. Bill Sanchez, Santee; 6. Jeff Bishop, Temecula; 7. Steve Bolin, Lakeside; 8. RJ Stockman, Lakeside; Time - no time.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Ivan Harrison, Santee; 2. Dave Arce, Santee; 3. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 4. Todd Phelps, El Cajon; 5. Rob Freeman, Santee; 6. Rob Overman, San Diego; 7. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 8. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; Time - no time.

Main (25 laps) - 1. Rich Green Jr., El Cajon; 2. Eric Ferguson, El Cajon; 3. Ivan Harrison, Santee; 4. Richard Hinze, Lakeside; 5. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 6. Jason Pontsler, Poway; 7. Dave Arce, Santee; 8. Rob Freeman, Santee; 9. Rob Overman, San Diego; 10. Gordon Anderson, Lem Grv; 11. Ken Wikoren, San Diego; 12. Bill Sanchez, Santee; 13. Jeff Bishop, Temecula; 14. Todd Phelps, El Cajon; 15. Steve Bolin, Lakeside; Time - no time.

Fast Time - Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; Time - :18.391.

Dash (4 laps) - 1. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 2. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 3. Hector Leon, Santee; 4. Ed Hale, El Cajon; Time - no time.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Chris Vaughn, San Diego; 2. Rick Lyon, San Diego; 3. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; 4. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 5. Roland Nocon, Santee; 6. Amber Lee Harmon, San Clemente; 7. Shealynn Longwell, El Cajon; 8. Rob Dinsmore, Ramona; 9. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; Time - no time.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 2. Hector Leon, Santee; 3. George Behlman, Santee; 4. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 5. Shawn Muscat, Escondido; 6. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 7. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 8. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 9. Russ Gregson, El Cajon; 10. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 11. Trevor Maynard, Lakeside; Time - no time.

Main (20 laps) - 1. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 2. Hector Leon, Santee; 3. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 4. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 5. George Behlman, Santee; 6. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 7. Trevor Maynard, Lakeside; 8. Chris Vaughn, San Diego; 9. Russ Gregson, El Cajon; 10. Shawn Muscat, Escondido; 11. Rick Lyon, San Diego; 12. Thomas Winter, La Jolla; 13. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; 14. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 15. Michelle Bishop, Poway; 16. Rob Dinsmore, Ramona; 17. Amber Lee Harmon, San Clemente; 18. Shealynn Longwell, El Cajon; 19. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; 20. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 21. Roland Nocon, Santee; Time - no time.

Fast Time - Rick Hagen, El Cajon; Time - :20.053.

1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Joey Schneider, Escondido; 2. Kevin Gantz, Spring Valley; 3. Robert Bradley, Escondido; 4. Bob Blew, Santee; 5. Jeff Coskey, Santee; 6. Randy Wallace, El Cajon; 7. Darrell Moore, El Cajon; 8. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 9. Bob Underwood, Spring Valley; 10. Perry Humphries, San Diego; 11. Victor De La Cruz, La Mesa; Time - no time.

2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Randy Hart, National City; 2. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 3. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 4. Rick Nies, Lakeside; 5. Chris Boyer, San Diego; 6. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 7. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 8. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 9. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 10. Rick Hagen, El Cajon; 11. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; Time - no time.

Main (20 laps) - 1. Randy Wallace, El Cajon; 2. Kevin Gantz, Spring Valley; 3. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 4. Rick Hagen, El Cajon; 5. Greg McCown, El Cajon; 6. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 7. Joey Schneider, Escondido; 8. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 9. Jeff Coskey, Santee; 10. Bob Blew, Santee; 11. Darrell Moore, El Cajon; 12. Rick Nies, Lakeside; 13. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 14. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 15. Chris Boyer, San Diego; 16. Randy Hart, National City; 17. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 18. Robert Bradley, Escondido; 19. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; 20. Bob Underwood, Spring Valley; 21. Perry Humphries, San Diego; Time - no time.

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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Austin Cameron