Danny and Donny win hearts, Ronnie wins race. EL CAJON, CA (04/13/02). It would have made for a great story had either Danny Gay or Don Kerr captured the main event for the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge at Cajon Speedway...
Danny and Donny win hearts, Ronnie wins race.
EL CAJON, CA (04/13/02). It would have made for a great story had either Danny Gay or Don Kerr captured the main event for the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge at Cajon Speedway Saturday night. Instead Ron Overman breezed to his second straight victory in the 40-lap contest.
The 59-year-old was over one third of a lap ahead of Michael Peace when the checkered fell. Jerry Gay ran third ahead of Jeff Wright and John Manke. Danny Gay was still running, pretty much full strength, at the end. But he was several laps in arrears after pitting mid-race. Kerr's Monte Carlo was sitting on its trailer in the pits.
In the other divisions, defending champion Rich Green Jr. bested the street stock field in their 25-lap affair. Ed Hale matched Overman's performance with his second straight in the pony stocks. Randy Wallace outhustled a tough bomber stock field.
Overman's victory was harder than it looked. Jerry Gay led early, but soon ceded the top spot to Don Kerr. Kerr appeared to have the race in hand. He was putting on a spirited drive, fending off Overman when his right front brake caliper blew dramatically on lap 16. From that point on, Overman's Monte Carlo went unheaded. The pace was slowed four times in the first 13 rounds before things finally settled down. None of the incidents was serious though both Jeff Seifert and Jack Lee got caught up in a couple of them and were forced to the pits.
The 22-year-old Kerr, who carries a heavy schedule as a engineering major at San Diego State University (he's a senior), was making his first start of the season. "I went into the corner and had no brakes," Kerr explained. "That's when Ronnie went underneath me. I didn't know exactly why I didn't have any brakes at the time. I tried to pump them up and they wouldn't pump up. In the next corner I wasn't ready to give up the lead. I tired to bury it in there, but it just wouldn't stick. The car was a lot faster (in the main event) than it was in qualifying and all day long. I think we had the car to beat."
Danny Gay's night started nicely when his Dodge set fast time. But then things got ugly quickly in the fast heat. On lap 5, Seifert slapped the wall near the starting line. His Dodge caromed into Gay's and a wild ride ensured. Gay nosed head first into the wall. Then the car swapped ends and backed hard into the wall before coming to a stop in turn one. Gay's crew never missed a beat and rebuilt the battered car as much as possible by main event time.
Even with a bent clip, no hood or front fenders, a badly hurt racecar and a bruised ego, the younger Gay was a factor throughout the early going and was up to fourth by lap nine. But then on lap 13 in turn three, he turned the car down to avoid leaning on his dad and spun out. Another trip to the pits resulted. He returned to the fray several laps later and was still running similar lap times to Overman at the end. The determination enabled Gay to stay second in points behind Overman and just a tick ahead of Peace.
The street stock contest was a heartbreaker for Rob Freeman. Freeman paced the field from the green until he spun exiting turn four on lap 21. Until that point Green had been pressuring Freeman for about five circuits, but he had been unable to inch his way past. Freeman led Green by as many as five car lengths as late as lap 13, but that margin was erased when he bobbled a bit three rounds later. Green came from 12th starting position. He was able to pick up a bunch of positions when he avoided a multi-car melee in turn three on lap 11. The race had to be stopped at that point when third running Randy Buell dumped the motor in his Chevelle. Five other cars got caught up in the incident, including Eric Ferguson, opening night victory Richard Hinze, Neil Rodvold, Scott Moses, and Matt Arnold.
Hale dominated the pony stock action. He started eighth and was in front in just five rounds. From that point on it was no contest as the 64-year-old gained victory number 148. The race ran non-stop for its entire 20-lap distance. Sophomore Victor Clark stormed from 11th and edged out Marty Schmidt for second. Tim Beeney had a fine run to edge out Mike Weimann and Sgt. Shawn Connelly of the USMC for fourth.
Chris Polkinghorn had a first night he will remember forever. On the first lap of his first race, he got out of shape in turn four. His Pinto got down into the infield. Polkinghorn overcorrected. His car roared back across the track and plowed head on into the crashwall. He was not hurt.
The bomber main belonged to Bill Holland for much of the way. His undoing came four laps from the checkered when the yellow came out for a spin. He had an eight car lead over Randy Wallace at that point. But on the restart, the 65-year-old Holland watched the younger and faster guys go past and he slipped to fourth by the end of the 20-lapper. Son Mark Holland took second over Pat Garity. But Garity was disqualified at the scales for having too much left side weight.
In the bombers Victor de la Cruz was racing in the name of Cajon racer Shawn McPherson, who was hospitalized recently. McPherson apparently suffered a head injury after being involved in an accident while testing his racecar. While being treated at the hospital, he slipped into a coma. De la Cruz finished 16th for his friend after putting on a spirited drive.
PIT NOTES: At Las Vegas, Austin Cameron won his second straight in the Winston West. -- Three time Cajon champ and 2001 OSS titlest Gary Tamborelli widened his point lead by winning both late model sportsman main events at the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino.