EL CAJON, CA (10/02/04). There is no one at Cajon Speedway who is better at preparing cars for the 3/8-mile paved oval than Mike Hagerman. That was borne out Saturday night when the top three finishers in the Budweiser 100 open competition event -...
EL CAJON, CA (10/02/04). There is no one at Cajon Speedway who is better at preparing cars for the 3/8-mile paved oval than Mike Hagerman. That was borne out Saturday night when the top three finishers in the Budweiser 100 open competition event - David Beat, Stephen Peace, and Ron Overman -- all have their Port City late model sportsman prepared by the Cajon veteran master chassis man and former driving champion.
Beat, the 2003-2004 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champ at the track, took the checkered flag about eight lengths in front of Peace, who finished second to Beat in the yearly standings this year as well. Overman, who paced much of the contest, was right on Peace's tail at the conclusion of the 100-lap contest. The top three finishers also all have James Weston motors under their hoods. Beat's victory was worth $2500.
Rounding out the top five were Rick Chavez and rookie Mike Daniel. Ron Esau, Mark Meech, and Orange Show champ Mark Shackleford were the only other drivers of the 23 starters to complete the full 100 rounds. Fifteen cars were running when the checkered fell.
In the companion 25-lap affair for Legend cars, it was experience prevailing over youth - though just barely. Tommy Jordan, a 65-year old driving ace from South Carolina, edged out Mathew Hicks, a17-year-old rookie racer. Jordan traveled west for the Legend Nationals that will be held in Las Vegas next weekend and made a stop at Cajon along the way.
Beat started tenth and finally overhauled Overman with some assistance of lapped cars on lap 42 of the Bud contest. Beat tried to use the lapped car of Brian Collins as a pick on lap 40. As the leading duo completed the next circuit, Overman was just barely clipped while the pair was lapping Terry Adams. That was all Beat needed. But then he was unable to shake Overman and then Peace the rest of the way.
The contest was relatively clean. While there were nine slowdowns, none of the incidents were serious. Yellow flag laps were not counted so the slowdowns stretched the race to over an hour.
John Manke led laps one through seven, only to eventually fade with a broken shock. Then Overman, who started third, took over and ran away from the pack. Beat gradually picked his way forward and found himself on his good buddy's tail following a lap 26 slowdown. Overman and Beat ran side-by-side for nearly seven rounds before Beat was out front to stay.
It was the 12th win in 21 starts at Cajon this year for Beat's Carl Burger Dodge, Mueller Lewis Concrete, Aspen Edge Low Carb Beer Dodge Intrepid.
"That 65 year old guy over there worked my butt off," Beat said of Overman, his long time rival and great friend.
"I have good luck on the race track but bad luck in drawing pills," Beat replied when asked about drawing the pill that put him, the night's quick qualifier, in tenth place on the starting grid. "When John (Manke) was on the pole, I thought another race like last week -- I'm going to have to run that guy down. But I guess he had some problems or something. So I ended up getting past him"
"Then I had to race really hard with Ronnie and Stephen. I was pretty pumped. It's something like older and younger and wiser," Beat remarked as he turned in Overman's direction.
Then he yelled over to Overman, "Ronnie you're supposed to be older and wiser. I snookered you dude."
But when asked how long it would have taken him to pass Overman had not the lapped cars come into play, Beat answered quickly. "Fifty laps," he said. "We were dead even. That was it. I couldn't get off the bottom because the car would be a little bit loose. He had a good run on the outside. I'd just get a half a car on him and he'd pull right back up on me. Then I saw the lapped car up there and I thought this is where the Dodge is going to take over."
And it did.
Danny Gay was slated to start on the pole but was relegated to 20th after his Dodge was low when it went through tech. "It fell off the jack stands (just prior to tech)," Gay explained. "And when we fixed it, we were a ¼ of a inch off." Gay was on the move and up to third place when he had to pit with a broken rear end on lap 57.
Michael Peace, Stephen's twin brother, was also in contention, until his ignition failed on lap 73 while running fourth.
The first thing legend driver Jordan asked when he got to Cajon was, "Which car is driven by that young kid?"
It didn't take him long to find out. Jordan sat on Hick's bumper most of the eight-lap heat race but was unable to get past. Then for the entire 25-rounds of the feature, Jordan had a rear-view mirror full of the bright orange #28. Hicks actually worked his way under Jordan in turns one and two on lap 9 only to have Jordan cross over and dip back under Hicks in turns three and four.
Mark Gaiser had the best seat in the house for the Jordan-Hicks battle; he ran third the entire distance. Tom Skahill was fourth in the event while Fred Chavez took fifth.
"You are impossible to beat off of the corner," Hicks told Jordan, who beat NASCAR champion Cale Yarborough in a soap box derby race back when he was 11 years old.
"Now I know exactly who he is," Jordan said of latest young rival, who is a senior at Santana High School. "I knew exactly who he is. I knew he was fast. He's going to be someone some day if he keeps it up."
Jordan, who is known as the "The Gypsy" because he races his legend car all across the country, was making his first visit to Cajon. "Cajon's a fun track to drive," Jordan, who has been racing since he first climbed into that soap box derby racer back about 1951. "I race on a little bit of everything. We raced one night in Wisconsin and the next day in South Carolina. Randy and I travel. He gives me a heck of a car. No matter where we go, I can race it. We didn't touch it today. We just unloaded and it ran. So that tells you what we've got."
Both Jordan and Hicks will be in Las Vegas next week for the Legend Nationals. Jordan has already earned a position in that race while Hicks will be trying to gain one of the remaining spots on the starting grid during preliminary races next weekend.
PIT NOTES: The late model sportsman racers have the opportunity to run at two remaining open comps this month. Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino will host a 100-lapper on October 23 while the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway offers the Chris Trickle Twin 70's (actually a 140-lap event with a break in the middle) on October 29 and 30.
NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES RESULTS
NASCAR LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN
Fast Time - David Beat, El Cajon; Time - :16.131.
Dash (6 laps) - 1. Michael Peace, El Cajon; 2. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 3. Mark Meech, La Mesa; 4. David Beat, El Cajon; 5. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 6. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; Time - 1:38.68.
Budweiser 100 (100 laps) - 1. David Beat, El Cajon; 2. Stephen Peace, El Cajon; 3. Ron Overman, Lakeside; 4. Rick Chavez, Lakeside; 5. Mike Daniel, Alpine; 6. Ron Esau, Lakeside; 7. Mark Meech, La Mesa; 8. Mark Shackelford, Riverside; 9. Scott Moses, Chula Vista; 10. Eric Sweetman, Santee; 11. Claude Bell, El Cajon; 12. Shawn Steele, Sun City; 13. Brian Collins, Oceanside; 14. Dave Arce, Santee; 15. Michael Peace, El Cajon; 16. Terry Adams, Ramona; 17. Billy Hoagland, Santee; 18. Ray Butler, El Cajon; 19. Jeff Thompson, Lakeside; 20. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 21. John Manke, Ramona; 22. Gary Rodriguez, Chula Vista; 23. Mark Norris, Ramona; Time - 1:08:01.28.
Fast Time - Tommy Jordan, Hartsville, SC; Time - :18.722.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Kevin Wong, Monterey Park; 2. Gary Scheuerell, Murrieta; 3. Fred Chavez, Santee; 4. Lynn Sours, Costa Mesa; 5. Papa Jim Pantier, Buena Park; 6. Dan Shaffner, San Diego; Time - 2:35.16.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Matthew Hicks, Santee; 2. Tommy Jordan, Hartsville, SC; 3. Tom Skahill, Duarte; 4. Mitchell Thorpe, Sun City; 5. Mark Gaiser, Anaheim; 6. Pete Sands, Temecula; 7. Larry Alsop, Fountain Valley; Time - 2:32.61.
Main (25 laps) - 1. Tommy Jordan, Hartsville, SC; 2. Matthew Hicks, Santee; 3. Mark Gaiser, Anaheim; 4. Tom Skahill, Duarte; 5. Fred Chavez, Santee; 6. Pete Sands, Temecula; 7. Mitchell Thorpe, Sun City; 8. Larry Alsop, Fountain Valley; 9. Papa Jim Pantier, Buena Park; 10. Kevin Wong, Monterey Park; 11. Gary Scheuerell, Murrieta; 12. Dan Shaffner, San Diego; 13. Lynn Sours, Costa Mesa; Time - 16:50.89.
TRAIN RACE -- Tiny Tim and Boss Hogg