Cajon Speedway ready to open local season

Locals start 42nd season at Cajon Speedway. EL CAJON, CA (04/06/02). The Cajon Speedway pavement has been tested by the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series drivers and the United States Auto Club Western States sprint car and Ford Focus midget...

Locals start 42nd season at Cajon Speedway.

EL CAJON, CA (04/06/02). The Cajon Speedway pavement has been tested by the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series drivers and the United States Auto Club Western States sprint car and Ford Focus midget drivers. Now the local stock car contingent finally gets their first look of 2002 at the 3/8-mile asphalt oval.

Round one of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge will be held this Saturday night at the track located next to the Gillespie Field airport. Race time is 6:45 PM. Qualifying runs start at 5:15 PM. Practice begins at 4:00. Admission prices are $10 on the east side and $9 on the west side for adults. Kids ages 6 - 12 are $3; children under six are free with a paid adult admission.

The NASCAR late model sportsman will be the featured attraction at the inaugural event. Joining the action will be the street, pony, and bomber stocks. Capping the evening will be the first appearance of the year for those crazy train racers. That figure eight event will follow the four main events. The sportsman will hold forth in a 40-lapper. The street stock affair will be a 25-lap event. Both the pony and bomber stocks will have 20-lap features.

It should be another wide-open season at the track. Todd McLauchlan has announced that he will not be back to defend the 2001 late model sportsman championship. That leaves the door open for the likes of Ron Overman, Danny Gay, or Jerry Gay to step in. Overman is McLauchlan's stepdad and has already earned track championships in the super stock (1974) and Grand American modified (1996) divisions. Overman was the points runner-up to McLauchlan a year ago. The father-son combo of Jerry and Danny Gay both were consistent top five runners last year. Jerry was the late model titlest in both 1996 and 2000 after earning five street stock titles during the 1980's. Danny, who was last year's rookie of the year in the sportsman, was the 1999 and 2000 street stock champ.

Other hopefuls include John Manke, winner of three main events a year ago, twins Michael and Stephen Peace, David Arzola, Jeff Seifert, Claude Bell, and Jeff Wright. Wright will make his first start since suffering serious injuries in an accident at Irwindale Speedway near Los Angeles during the summer of 2000.

Rich Green Jr. will be back to defend his 2001 street stock championship. But he will face the likes of Eric Ferguson, who is returning to the Cajon division where he took honors in 1997. Other hopefuls here include Richard Hinze, Rob Overman, Rob Freeman, and Ivan Harrison. Harrison's team has not missed a race in 15-years.

In the pony stocks, ageless Ed Hale will be gunning for his fourth title in five years. Mark Holland will lead the bomber stock contingent. He finished second a year ago in a season-long battle with Bob Wickey, who has now graduated to the late model sportsman.

-cs-

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Series NASCAR , Stock car