Cajon Speedway race report 2001-05-05

EL CAJON, CA. Ron Overman avoided the pitfalls which beset some of his rivals at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. As a result, the 58-year-old, two-time track champion brought his always-immaculate Monte Carlo home in front of the late model ...

EL CAJON, CA. Ron Overman avoided the pitfalls which beset some of his rivals at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. As a result, the 58-year-old, two-time track champion brought his always-immaculate Monte Carlo home in front of the late model sportsman 40-lap feature on the 3/8-mile paved oval.

Overman bested opening night victor Mike Mendenhall by a single car length in the accident-riddled NASCAR Weekly Racing Series event contested under clear skies (thank goodness) and a full moon (not so good). Todd McLauchlan took third ahead of John Manke and Jeff Seifert.

Scott Brown paced all 25-rounds of the season opener for Grand American modifieds. Eric Evans ended Scott Holmgren's two-race domination of the street stocks. Sophomore racer Ken Wikoren took home his first pony stock main event win.

Overman was the fourth leader of the late model feature. He started seventh in the 18-car field, which was cut in half by the checkered. Dee Cable led the first three rounds. She was holding her own until she bounced off the wall in turn two and yielded the top spot to Manke. Manke then lost the top spot to rookie Stephen Peace on the 15th circuit. Peace appeared to have the race in his hip pocket. But his lead was brief. Two rounds later he got tagged when the lapped car of Ed Patton drifted down into his path exiting turn four. This put Manke back on top. But Overman was hot on his tail and zipped underneath at the halfway point. Manke dropped back when Mendenhall and McLauchlan used the same low groove to get past. In the second half of the race, Mendenhall kept trying to get a run off the corners in a bid for the lead. But Overman was not to be denied. It marked his tenth career sportsman win and 18th overall.

Overman, whose crew always feasts at the track, was chomping down on cookies after his ride. "I was sure they checkered the race five laps early," Overman laughed. When asked why he thought that, he quipped, "Because we won."

"The car felt great. We had a little trouble when we first got here. But we settled down and got going. We had a little handling problem. The car was skating up the racetrack. The front end was washing out. So the crew tightened it up about halfway. We still had good bite off (the corners). We qualified decent and it all just came together."

"It was fun racing with Mike. He's a class act," Overman continued. "I had a little better lap. Then he would have a little better lap. He had an opportunity to bump me a couple of times, but raced me clean. I could do this just about every week. It's a full moon and we don't even have a scratch."

A bit down pit road, Dee Cable, who settled for seventh, was ecstatic with her run. "It was wonderful," she smiled. "I was doing good until I hit the wall. When the 5 car (Manke) got underneath me, I went up a little to give him room and went wham. I hit it twice and just backed out and let them all go by. I was scared I was going to get knocked back into the field. It was fun. I got to win a race tonight (the slow heat). That was fun."

Danny Gay had a tough, tough night. His crew thrashed all afternoon fighting motor problems. He missed qualifying and had to start at the back of the main event. Then six laps into the feature, Danny collected his dad Jerry Gay in turn two. Danny went into the corner and said the car just went up the track. The elder Gay backed hard into the crash wall and was out for the night. The younger Gay was able to continue. But he was later knocked out of competition on lap 19 when his Monte Carlo rode up and over Claude Bell's mount.

Brown leapt to the front of the modified contest from the outside front row. His only challenge came during mid-race when his Uncle, Ron Brown, moved onto his tail. The elder Brown, who started at the back after missing qualifying due to major engine woes, was poised to make a bid for the lead when he pulled off the track on lap 17. Doug Carpenter took second ahead of defending champion Mike Salm. Mike Jackson was fourth and Stan Perkins took fifth.

The street stocks were apparently snake bitten by the moon and the destruction derby scheduled later in the night. Two big pileups occurred in turn four before they were able to get one lap in the books. Once underway, there was only one more slowdown along the way. Eric Evans outran Bill Sanchez for the victory. Ever-improving Charles Nevin in the former-John Tipps machine claimed third ahead of Brian Collins and Rob Overman.

Wikoren had his hands full with Ed Hale late in the pony stock 20-lapper. Wikoren led from start to finish and was three lengths ahead of Hale. It looked as if 63-year-old would give the 32-year-old a run for his money after mowing down the 20-length lead Wikoren had. But he never got closer than three lengths. Neil Rodvold took third ahead of Marty Schmidt and Andy Papp.

PIT NOTES: Dee Cable had quite an afternoon. The the team lost a lawn chair to a swarm of bees which buzzed the pits for about an hour before finally settling on one of their chairs. One very brave soul for another team gingerly picked up the lawn chair and carried it out of the pits. ... Mike Mendenhall picked up the $200 Hard Charger Award for the most passing points in the sportsman. The Cajon Speedway Fire and Rescue Crew donated the money. ... If you have a question about the racing or racers at Cajon Speedway, drop it off at the souvenir booth on either side of the track, or email it to us from our website. From time to time they will be answered in the program.

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Drivers Scott Brown