EL CAJON, CA. (07/17/04). In an evening of breakthroughs for drivers in new divisions, Santee's Billy Hoagland captured his first-ever Sportsman Stock main event and then Doug Carpenter of La Mesa followed with his initial career triumph in Grand...
EL CAJON, CA. (07/17/04). In an evening of breakthroughs for drivers in new divisions, Santee's Billy Hoagland captured his first-ever Sportsman Stock main event and then Doug Carpenter of La Mesa followed with his initial career triumph in Grand American Modifieds to highlight Saturdays NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series at Cajon Speedway. Hoagland staved off a challenge by Rick Chavez of La Mesa in a 3-lap sprint to the finish following a caution flag to take a 1-1/2-length victory. Meanwhile, Carpenter successfully blocked the passing attempts of veteran Danny Gay of Lakeside to reach the winner's circle.
Other winners over Cajon's 3/8th-mile paved oval included Tom Skahill of La Verne in Legend cars after national points leader Dustin Ash of Las Vegas went sent to the back of the pack late in the 25-lap main; Randy Hart of National City used a 5-year old engine to outlast the Bomber stocks division; and Douglas Wright Jr. of Santee closed the card with a triumph in Pony stocks.
Both Hoagland and Carpenter have captured main events at Cajon Speedway in the past, but in different classes before advancing to their current racing divisions.
"I last won in Ponies, but this is my first one in Sportsman and it feels pretty good," noted Hoagland, who collapsed to the ground in celebration after stepping out of his Monte Carlo in the pits. "And beating a driver such as Rick makes it that much sweeter because it was hard-fought and not a gift."
Without the bumping and joisting found lately in national series events, Hoagland and Chavez went nose-to-nose over the second half of the 40-lap feature. And when Ramona's John Manke smashed hard into the Turn 3 wall with six laps remaining, it set-up an exciting dual to the checkered flag.
"I got into Billy just a little bit after the restart, otherwise, it was just hard, clean racing," noted Chavez. "We just rebuilt half of our car this past week to make up for the one I busted up this past week. Yet, even though we lost, I was smiling inside my helmet because of the kind of race we both ran."
Hoagland, running a middle-to-high line, held Chavez off over Laps 36-38 before another yellow flag came out when Sportsman points leader David Beat of El Cajon spun out heavily at the start-finish line. Three laps later, Fallbrook's Bob Caron turned his car around betweens the third and fourth turns, yet Hoagland was again able to outlast Chavez.
"I heard Rich was coming inside, but we barely had enough, even though we only had one new tire on the car," added Hoagland. "We definitely were not the fastest car out there tonight."
Starting on the outside of the first row, Hoagland quickly passed pole-sitter Ben Carver of El Cajon in the second turn, then managed to stay in front of Chavez's Grand Prix the entire race, while Bob Wickey of San Marcos gained and remained third after Lap 6. Ron Overman had fast time and finished fourth in the feature. He also earned the $200 Sid's Auto Body Hard Charger check for the night since he had the most passing points.
Manke's late crash occurred following a slight, accidental bump by David Beat. But after regaining control, a right-side tire got cut and sent his vehicle into the barrier. Manke was not injured despite his car catching fire before emergency personnel raced to extinguish the flames.
Meanwhile, Carpenter took his first main event at Cajon since a Street Stocks triumph in 1999 although he did claim a dwarf car driver's title as recently as two seasons ago. However, side-swiping a wall and nearly losing his steering box were not in the plans.
"I didn't think the outside line would work, then I slapped the wall on Lap 8," explained Carpenter. "I pulled the right-side of the car off the ground. Then every time I came out of a turn, the steering wheel was crooked. So I had to wait a second to see which way the car would go."
On several occasions, Carpenter's vehicle seemed to drift across the track. But oddly, it also assisted the car through the turns.
"It allowed us to hold off the better cars, which hooked better on the bottom of the turns. Sure, the steering box is messed up, but our new Jackson chassis held strong, so it was worth it." By finishing second, Gay extended his lead for the season-long $1000 Carpets Galore Hard Charger award. Gay has 154 markers to John Luecht's 138.
In Legends, Skahill waited a long time for his first victory in several years, receiving a pair of huge breaks to reach Victory Lane for the first time in four years. Just seven laps from the finish, Ash was sent to the back of the pack after building a tremendous 9-second, half-lap margin lead over his nearest competitor.
With Ash cruising and headed for certain victory, the caution came out when Sun City's Mitchell Thorpe spun out on the front straightaway, then put himself in jeopardy after backing his car back onto the racing surface, only to stall out with traffic approaching. Thorpe was black flagged for his indiscretion.
However, track officials noticed oil dripping off Ash's car, and after a cursory on-track inspection sent the Nevadan to the pits and an automatic relegation to the back to end the victory plans for the 16-year old. Upon closer examination, Ash's car was simply over-filled with oil and no lines were broken, but an opportunity to extend his national lead over more than 500 drivers vanished.
"That killed us, but that's racing," noted Ash, who opened the racing card by taking the Trophy Dash.
Skahill received yet another break after getting quickly passed on the re-start by Murrieta's Gary Scheuerell, but the lap didn't count after Art Nevill of Acton hit the Turn 1 wall. Scheuerell twice more tried to pass Skahill over the final five laps, but Skahill clung to the lead for the victory.
"Gary and I touched a little with him going inside and I stayed outside," noted the La Verne resident, who took his first main in four years. "He raced me hard yet clean."
In Bombers, Hart utilized a motor which hadn't seen action since last century, but with an excellent pedigree. "It's the same engine Ivan Harrison used to win the Bomber championship in 1996," noted Hart. "And with Charlie Roebuck, the other half of the Thunderbird Racing team, helping out, too, I just needed to hit my marks and not mix it up with anyone out there."
The Pony race saw Wright edge out a tight field, nipping George Behlman of Santee and Pete Franke of Lakeside at the line. BACK-TRACKS -- Hart also celebrated a victory by his daughter, Morgan, who was recently crowned as the youngest-ever winner of the Miss National City crown. She is a senior-to-be at Sweetwater High School, and the first underclassman to win the title since the competition started in 1955.
NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES RESULTS
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN Fast Time - Ron Overman, Lakeside; Time - :16.163. Main (40 laps) - 1. Billy Hoagland, Santee; 2. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; 3. Bob Wickey, San Marcos; 4. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 5. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 6. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 7. David Beat, El Cajon; 8. Dee Cable, Santee; 9. Ray Butler, El Cajon; 10. Bob Caron, Fallbrook; 11. John Manke, Ramona; 12. Ben Carver, El Cajon; 13. Bill Parenteau Jr., Santee; Time - 30:47.53.
GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIED Fast Time - Danny Gay, Lakeside; Time - :16.318. Main (25 laps) - 1. Douglas Carpenter, La Mesa; 2. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 3. John Luecht, Chula Vista; 4. Mike Jackson, Bonita; 5. Hector Leon, Santee; 6. Lou Tompkins, San Diego; 7. Andy Papp, La Mesa; 8. Pat Garity, El Cajon; 9. Jeff Thompson, Lakeside; 10. Scott Brown, Spring Valley; 11. Lyle Driscoll, Lakeside; 12. Jimmy Dickerson, El Cajon; 13. Dan Hildebrand, El Cajon; 14. Mike Salm, Fallbrook; Time - 19:55.57.
PONY STOCK Fast Time - Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; Time - :18.210. Main (20 laps) - 1. Douglas Wright Jr., Santee; 2. George Behlman, Santee; 3. Pete Franke, Lakeside; 4. Ty Tipton, Spring Valley; 5. Earl Downing, Spring Valley; 6. Darrell McKee Jr., San Diego; 7. Tim Beeney, Escondido; 8. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 9. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 10. Steve Dickerson, El Cajon; 11. Len Cartwright, Lemon Grove; 12. Bill Parenteau Sr., El Cajon; 13. Robert Minnick, El Cajon; 14. Regis Harrington, ; 15. Russ Gregson, Santee; 16. Shealynn Longwell, El Cajon; Time - 9:48.15.
BOMBER STOCK Fast Time - Scott Denton, Fallbrook; Time - :20.115. Main (20 laps) - 1. Randy Hart, National City; 2. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 3. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 4. Greg McCown, Lakeside; 5. Mike McGlone, Fallbrook; 6. David Whisenant, Murrieta; 7. Darrell Moore, Ramona; 8. Brian Fitzgibbons, El Cajon; 9. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 10. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 11. Bob Underwood, Spring Valley; 12. Michael Burford, Ramona; 13. Brandon Haag, Santee; 14. Dave Ensall, Lakeside; 15. Pat Bradley, San Marcos; 16. Kevin Gantz, Spring Valley; 17. Rodney Shaw, El Cajon; 18. Perry Humphries, San Diego; Time - 14:03.10.
LEGEND Fast Time - Dustin Ash, Las Vegas; Time - :18.848. Dash (4 laps) - 1. Dustin Ash, Las Vegas; Main (20 laps) - 1. Tom Skahill, Duarte; 2. Gary Scheuerell, Murrieta; 3. Frank Chavez, San Diego; 4. Pete Sands, Temecula; 5. Don Stone, Lodi; 6. Matthew Hicks, Santee; 7. Dave Riggs, Lakeside; 8. Mark Gaiser, Anaheim; 9. Larry Alsop, Fountain Valley; 10. Bill Everett, Fontana; 11. Dan Shaffner, San Diego; 12. Billy Crisp, Galt; 13. Lynn Sours, Costa Mesa; 14. Papa Jim Pantier, Buena Park; 15. Unknown Driver, ; 16. Dana Moore, El Cajon; 17. Dustin Ash, Las Vegas; 18. Mitchell Thorpe, Sun City; 19. Art Nevill, Acton; 20. Fred Chavez, Santee; Time - 36:39.39.