EL CAJON, Calif. (June 26, 2004) -- Whipping through the field from the middle of the pack, Late Model Sportsman points leader David Beat (El Cajon) rallied to the front to capture both of Saturday's main events in racing at Cajon Speedway. The...
EL CAJON, Calif. (June 26, 2004) -- Whipping through the field from the middle of the pack, Late Model Sportsman points leader David Beat (El Cajon) rallied to the front to capture both of Saturday's main events in racing at Cajon Speedway. The pair of victories gives Beat, the defending NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champion, six feature event wins through nine races this season, moving him well ahead of second-standing John Manke (Ramona) in the points standings.
Beat stood tucked behind the leaders in fourth place midway through both 30-lap events, getting a little lucky to take the opening main event, then displaying his skill to capture the nightcap.
In the opener, race leaders Stephen Peace (El Cajon) and Claude Bell (El Cajon) clipped each other just after the start-finish line to start Lap 19, as Peace's Dodge Intrepid got airborne after rolling over the front left wheel of Bell's Monte Carlo. Beat came upon the cars, barely denting into the pair, but suffered only cosmetic damage to the car.
Rick Chavez (Lakeside), the new leader upon the restart, could not hold off Beat, who made the pass along the inside at Turn One of Lap 26, easily pulling away for a 5-car length victory over Chavez. Manke finished third, followed by Bob Wickey (San Marcos) and Billy Hoagland (Santee).
"It was a rough race -- they made me work my butt off with a damaged car," noted Beat. "The two (leading) cars banged together and blocked the entire racetrack. I checked up, but had nowhere to go. Then after that, Chavez raced me hard, but my car somehow stayed together."
Beat's second victory was more conventional, moving up to fifth place by Lap 10, then to third at the midway mark. While other cars were taking a high line around the 3/8-mile paved oval, Beat unconventionally took the low line, passing Wickey on Lap 19, then assuming the lead on Lap 20 by getting inside of Ron Overman (Lakeside), who had been leading the entire way.
"It was a rough night for us -- we struggled with the chassis, but in the first race it ran better, then in the second race it was even better," Beat added. "Then when the leader slipped up, it was the opportunity for me to go to the bottom of the track and pass -- it was the only thing I needed."
Wickey edged out Overman for second place, both driving Monte Carlos, followed by Peace in fourth and Manke in fifth.
In other divisions, Santee's Matthew Hicks celebrated his 17th birthday one day early by claiming the Legend series; Richard Hinze of Lakeside claimed the Street Stock race; Danny Gay, also of Lakeside, took another Grand-Am Modified event; while Santee's George Behman took the accident-shortened Pony Stock event.
In just over a month, Hicks went from a head-on wreck in the third lap of his first race to the winners circle, beating a group of three drivers to the inside of Turn One when race leader Dan Shaffner (San Diego) wiggled his vehicle coming out of Turn Four and was passed along the front straightaway.
Hicks mounted his lead to five full car lengths before Shaffner fell completely out of contention after spinning out on Lap 14. Even though the yellow flag allowed the pack to return to Hicks' bumper, the rookie held on over the final 11 laps.
"This was supposed to be my mom's car, but she didn't want it and I had to wait over a year before I was old enough to drive it," said Hicks. "It's been something I've been dreaming of since I was old enough to talk."
Hicks grew-up around Cajon Speedway, as his father once worked the garages for Mike Mendenhall, who ranks among the track's all-time main event winners. The younger Hicks will be a senior at Santana High School this fall.
Hicks nosed out Frank Chavez (San Diego) and Ryan Partridge (Rancho Cucamonga) at the first turn to grab the lead, with the three never changing positions over the remainder of the race.
In Street Stocks, Hinze became the fifth different driver to win in this classification this season, winning from the pole position. A pack of eight cars led the race for the first 10 laps, then Hinze and Rick Hagan (El Cajon) pulled away from the field, but Hagan's continuous attempts to pass were rebuffed in the closest contest of the racing card.
The pair skirmished one-on-one over the final 14 laps uninterrupted, including sportsmanship moves by a pair of racers who blew engines, yet quickly got off the track or moved to the infield without spilling any fluids to allow the exciting duel to continue.
Grand Am points leader Gay easily claimed his third victory of the campaign, winning by nearly three full seconds. The race was marred by a five-car pileup on Lap Three, as the vehicle of Mike Jackson (Bonita) completely lost its fuel cell, which slid down the front stretch with sparks flying, yet it did not explode or catch fire.
Gay was briefly passed by Lou Tompkins on Lap 5, but a yellow flag allowed Gay to re-assume the lead since there is no more racing to the start-finish line when a caution is called. Tompkins eventually faded to fourth, with second place going to Scott Brown (Spring Valley), followed by Jimmy Dickerson (El Cajon).
Behman's Pony Stock victory came after only 15 of 20 scheduled laps due to too many accidents and concern for the track's 11 p.m. curfew. Five incidents over the first four laps brought out yellow flags, then a red flag came out on Lap 15 when the cars of Amber Lee Harmon (San Clemente) and Robert Minnick (El Cajon) collided coming out of Turn One.
Harmon was checked by medical personnel after banging her head, but she was seen in the pits after getting discharged by paramedics.
Gay led the race through 12 laps, but was tipped by Marty Schmidt (El Cajon) and spun out. Gay was awarded his original position in front of the field, but on the restart, his car lost power and the entire field passed the veteran driver. In the pits afterward, Gay claims "a chunk of rubber got caught in the timing belt," although competitors believed he simply missed switching gears.
Main No. 1 -- Sportsman I (30 laps)
1. David Beat (El Cajon), 11:24.92
2. Rick Chavez (Lakeside)
3. John Manke (Ramona)
4. Bob Wickey (San Marcos)
5. Billy Hoagland (Santee)
6. Ron Overman (Lakeside)
7. Scott Moses (Chula Vista)
8. Dee Cable (Santee)
9. Mike Daniel (Alpine)
10. Bill Parenteau Jr. (Santee)
11. Ray Butler (El Cajon)
12. Stephen Peace (El Cajon)
13. Claude Bell (El Cajon)
14. Michael Peace (El Cajon)
Main No. 2 -- Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. Richard Hinze (Lakeside), 13:00.33
2. Rick Hagan (El Cajon-RSD)
3. Kenny Hall (El Cajon)
4. Eric Ferguson (El Cajon)
5. Rich Green Jr. (El Cajon)
6. Matt Arnold (San Diego)
7. Rob Overman (San Diego)
8. Ivan Harrison (Santee)
9. Dave Arce (Santee)
10. Eric Sweetman (Santee)
11. Randy Buell (San Diego)
12. Rob Freeman (Santee)
13. Josh Green (Lakeside)
14. Tony Masey (El Cajon)
15. Don Moore (Lakeside)
16. Brian Collins (Oceanside)
17. D.J. Weiman (Santee)
Main No. 3 -- Grand Am Mods (25 laps)
1. Danny Gay (Lakeside), 21:15.61
2. Scott Brown (Spring Valley)
3. Jimmy Dickerson (El Cajon)
4. Lou Tompkins (San Diego)
5. Dan Hildebrand (El Cajon)
6. Doug Carpenter (La Mesa)
7. Mike Salm (Fallbrook)
8. Andy Papp (La Mesa)
9. Hector Leon (Santee)
10. James Scheel (Lakeside)
11. Marc McGowan (Santee)
12. Lyle Driscoll (Lakeside)
13. Jeff Thompson (Lakeside)
14. Mike Jackson (Bonita)
Main No. 4 -- Pony Stocks (Called after 15 laps)
1. George Behlman (Santee), 16:31.97
2. Ed Hale (El Cajon)
3. Tim Beeney (Escondido)
4. Steve Nickerson (not listed)
5. Darrell McKee Jr. (San Diego)
6. Earl Downing (Spring Valley)
7. Russ Gregson (Santee)
8. Jeff Josephson (San Diego)
9. Brian Fitzgibbons (not listed)
10. Len Cartwright (not listed)
11. Shealynn Longwell (El Cajon)
12. Douglas Wright Jr. (Santee)
13. Pete Franke (Lakeside)
14. Robert Minnick (El Cajon)
15. Amber Lee Harmon (San Clemente)
16. Bill Parenteau Sr. (El Cajon)
17. Danny Gay (Lakeside)
Main No. 5 -- Legends (25 laps)
1. Matt Hicks (Santee), 8:59.32
2. Frank Chavez (San Diego)
3. Ryan Partridge (Rancho Cucamonga)
4. Fred Chavez (Santee)
5. Mitchell Thorpe (Sun City)
6. Don Stone (Lodi)
7. Dave Riggs (Lakeside)
8. Pete Sands (Temecula)
9. Larry Alsop (Fountain Valley)
10. Dennis O Conner (Oceanside)
11. Papa Jim Pantier (Buena Park)
12. Dan Shaffner (San Diego)
Main No. 6 -- Sportsman II (30 laps)
1. David Beat (El Cajon), 14:19.10
2. Bob Wickey (San Marcos)
3. Ron Overman (Lakeside)
4. Stephen Peace (El Cajon)
5. John Manke (Ramona)
6. Scott Moses (Chula Vista)
7. Bill Hoagland (Santee)
8. Steve Teets (Ramona)
9. Rick Chavez (Lakeside)
10. Mike Daniel (Alpine)
11. Dee Cable (Santee)
12. Ray Butler (El Cajon)
13. Bill Parenteau Jr. (Santee)
Trophy Dash -- Stephen Peace, 3:36.89
Street Heat No. 1 -- Ivan Harrison, 15:12.71
Street Heat No. 2 -- Richard Hinze, 2:25.01
GA Mods Heat No. 1 -- Lou Tompkins, 3:35.60
GA Mods Heat No. 2 -- Danny Gay, 2:20.33
Pony Heat No. 1 -- Darrell McKee Jr., 2:34.85
Pony Heat No. 2 -- Steve Nickerson, 2:29.18
Legends Heat No. 1 -- Dan Shaffner, 2:36.93
Legends Heat No. 2 -- Matthew Hicks, 2:34.29