EL CAJON, CA (10/04/03). Jerry Gay didn't like the rule change when it was announced. But that modification in the racing procedure at Cajon Speedway Saturday night played right into the hands of the veteran racer in the Budweiser 100 open ...
EL CAJON, CA (10/04/03). Jerry Gay didn't like the rule change when it was announced. But that modification in the racing procedure at Cajon Speedway Saturday night played right into the hands of the veteran racer in the Budweiser 100 open competition event for late model sportsman at the 3/8 mile paved oval.
Gay earned $2500 for his triumph in the 100-lap contest. It was his 140th career victory. Newly crowned NASCAR Dodge Weekly series champ David Beat paced the 24-car field for the opening 81 rounds but had to settle for second. Las Vegas veteran Ray Hooper Jr., who didn't have a motor two days before the race, made the low tow worthwhile and finished third. Bob Wickey drove a steady race top fourth. Ron Overman bounced back from distributor woes that saddled him with a poor qualifying run; he started 17th and finished fifth. Danny Gay was sixth. Sixteen-year-old Charles Price was seventh. He also picked up the $200 Sid's Auto Body Hard Charger award for improving on his starting position the most. Price started last after having his problems on the warm-up laps. His gas cap was loose and he spewed fuel on those hot laps. Some of the fuel briefly caught fire in turn four. Roger Brown ran ninth. Stephen Peace slipped from seventh to tenth when he looped it in the final corner.
Before the race, track officials announced that drivers involved in incidents not of their own doing would retain their running position on the subsequent restart. Previously the track had a rule that said that any car making contact in a incident resulting in a yellow flag would have to restart at the rear of the field. "When Charlie (Miinch, the chief steward) said that, I thought it was BS. Now I love it," Gay beamed in victory lane.
On lap 79 Las Vegas champ Chuck Trickle had detonated his engine exiting turn two and oiled down the track from turn two to halfway down the back stretch. A lap after the restart second running John Manke broke loose coming off of two in the kitty litter. When his Monte Carlo snapped back, it caught Gay's Outdoor Channel Monte Carlo. The panhard bar on Manke's mount broke and both cars spun. Gay, who was third at the time, was given back his position for the restart right behind the leader Beat.
When the green came out, Gay immediately dove to the inside of Beat. By the time they got to turn four Gay was out front to stay. Beat was able to dip under Gay a couple of times in the final rounds, but could not make the pass.
"I never won a main event and had tears in my eyes," a jittery 51 year-old Gay told the 3337 fans on hand when he was interviewed by track announcer Tom McGrath. "I made a little wager with Denny's up on top on the hill. If I won the main event, I get to eat free for a year."
"I want to thank Patterson Bros Lighting, Budget Auto Center, The Outdoor Channel, Any Hour Septic Service, and Alpine Rock and Block for helping us. What a night!"
"From lap 40 on, I didn't have any brakes," Gay continued. "I had to pump the brakes. So I thought we were done. Then we had that pause (for the cleanup after Trickle lost his motor). The brake pedal came back up. Then after that thing with Manke, David just looked like he was moving high and I just had to try it."
Ironically both the Jerry Gay and the David Beat teams have both received a lot of assistance from long time Cajon guru Mike Hagerman. "Actually this is the mother car," Gay pointed out. "Mike and Jerry (Lorenz's car #84) is the sister car. And David's car is one of the kids. So we actually both have the same car."
Gay was second fastest to John Tyczki in qualifying and started the 100-lapper third. Tyczki ran third to Beat and Manke for the opening 33 laps until Gay made a move on the low side.
Until those final twenty rounds Beat had dominated the contest. He started on the outside of the front row alongside Manke, who had finished second to him in the season long point chase. It took three rounds for Beat to clear Manke when the Budweiser contest got underway. But after that it was mostly smooth sailing for the track's number one driver in 2003. The closest Manke came to taking control was following the first slowdown on lap 15 when he gunned under the leader. The duo ran side-by-side for a full round before Beat regained control.
The contest was relatively clean. There were only five slowdowns and yellow flag laps were not counted. None of the incidents was serious. Billy Hoagland had a flat tire and smacked the turn one wall on lap 14. Claude Bell stopped in the infield too close to the racing surface on lap 18. Rick Chavez had a stellar run for awhile until he was black flagged for a loose body brace. He brought about the third slowdown when he coasted to a stop in turn one on lap 53. Then a lap after Trickle started smoking, he blew up on lap 79. The final caution was needed after the lap 81 Manke -- Gay incident.
Johnny Borneman III was not allowed to compete. His dad qualified his car because Johnny was in Phoenix preparing for Sunday's Winston West event. Track officials almost didn't allow the elder Borneman's qualifying time (he was fifth fastest of the 27 entries) because of "questionable tires.". When Johnny III arrived at the track after the trophy dash, he was allowed a quick hot lap session. But he slapped the wall on the backstretch on the first circuit. When he returned to the pits with flat tires, track officials felt there was an "unapproved substance in the tires" that were on the car and disqualified him from starting the race. Had he been allowed to race, he would have had to have started last because of the driver change.
John Isabella dominated the legend car action. That El Cajon racer had fast time for the second straight outing and then led the field home in their 25-lap feature. It was his first local victory of the year in his Ramona National Bank 1937 Chevy replica. Isabella was third, second, and first in the final three legend races of the year at Cajon and was the top point man for the division at the track. He was also the 2001 Allison Legacy car champ. Isabella started fourth and caught pacesetting Fred Chavez Jr. following a lap five restart. He pulled away from the field when the race got underway again and led the remainder of the event. Tom Skahill was seven lengths back when the checkered was shown to the field. Gary Scheuerell, Bill Bonney, and Mark Gaiser completed the top five.
NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES RESULTS
NASCAR LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN
Fast Time - John Tyczki, Lakeside; Time - :16.196.
Dash (6 laps) - 1. David Beat, Santee; 2. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; 3. John Manke, Ramona; 4. John Tyczki, Lakeside; 5. Jerry Gay, San Diego; 6. John Borneman Jr., ; Time - 2:59.96.
Semi (25 laps) - 1. Bob Lyon, Agua Dulce; 2. Dee Cable, Santee; 3. Charles Price, Redlands; 4. Eddie Bryans, El Cajon; 5. Ray Burns, Santee; 6. Ken Christensen, Hunt Bch; 7. Gary Rodriguez, Chula Vista; 8. Bill Parenteau Jr., Santee; 9. Ben Carver, El Cajon; Time - 18:03.52.
Main event (100 laps) - 1. Jerry Gay, San Diego; 2. David Beat, Santee; 3. Ray Hooper Jr., No Las Vegas; 4. Bob Wickey, San Marcos; 5. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 6. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 7. Charles Price, Redlands; 8. Roger Brown, Corona; 9. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 10. Dee Cable, Santee; 11. Eddie Bryans, El Cajon; 12. Gary Rodriguez, Chula Vista; 13. John Manke, Ramona; 14. Chuck Trickle, Las Vegas; 15. Mark Meech, La Mesa; 16. Billy Hoagland, Santee; 17. Ray Burns, Santee; 18. Jeff Wright, San Diego; 19. Bob Lyon, Agua Dulce; 20. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; 21. John Tyczki, Lakeside; 22. Ron Esau, Lakeside; 23. Ken Christensen, Hunt Bch; 24. Claude Bell, El Cajon; Time - 51:09.79.
SID'S AUTO BODY HARD CHARGER - Charles Price
Fast Time - John Isabella, El Cajon; Time - :18.888.
Dash (6 laps) - 1. Donnie Akers, Anaheim; 2. Gary Scheuerell, Murrieta; 3. John Isabella, El Cajon; 4. Frank Chavez, San Diego; 5. Pete Sands, Temecula; 6. Fred Chavez, Santee; 7. Tom Skahill, Duarte; Time - 1:54.79.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Mike Daniel, Alpine; 2. Mark Gaiser, Anaheim; 3. Warren Merrifield, Pasadena; 4. Don Stone, Lodi; 5. John McIntyre, El Cajon; 6. Dennis O'Conner, Oceanside; 7. Chuck Carter, Spring Valley; 8. Larry Alsop, Fountain Valley; 9. Billy Crisp, Galt; Time - 2:38.90.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. John Isabella, El Cajon; 2. Gary Scheuerell, Murrieta; 3. Donnie Akers, Anaheim; 4. Bill Bonney, San Clemente; 5. Fred Chavez, Santee; 6. Frank Chavez, San Diego; 7. Dave Riggs, Lakeside; Time - 2:34.52.
Main event (25 laps) - 1. John Isabella, El Cajon; 2. Tom Skahill, Duarte; 3. Gary Scheuerell, Murrieta; 4. Mark Gaiser, Anaheim; 5. Bill Bonney, San Clemente; 6. Mike Daniel, Alpine; 7. Dave Riggs, Lakeside; 8. Warren Merrifield, Pasadena; 9. Billy Crisp, Galt; 10. Larry Alsop, Fountain Valley; 11. Don Stone, Lodi; 12. Frank Chavez, San Diego; 13. Fred Chavez, Santee; 14. Chuck Carter, Spring Valley; 15. Dennis O'Conner, Oceanside; 16. Donnie Akers, Anaheim; 17. John McIntyre, El Cajon; Time - 21:59.41.
TRAIN RACE (10 laps) - 1. Ryan Gay, El Cajon; 2. Eric Decker, Lemon Grove; 3. Joe Totten, El Cajon; 4. James Boissier, Santee; 5. Dan Hildebrand, El Cajon; 6. Bryant Cosby, El Cajon;