Seifert captures first, Deanny takes title at Cajon. EL CAJON, CA (09/14/02). Jeff Seifert has been snakebit both off and on the track during much of his short two-year career at Cajon Speedway. He broke his neck in a turn one wreck a year ago.
Seifert captures first, Deanny takes title at Cajon.
EL CAJON, CA (09/14/02). Jeff Seifert has been snakebit both off and on the track during much of his short two-year career at Cajon Speedway. He broke his neck in a turn one wreck a year ago. Earlier this season a motorcycle adventure in Mexico resulted in serious leg injuries. There were even a few nights he should finally have won the main event but didn't. But Saturday night he finally got rid of that snake when he scored his first late model sportsman main event victory on the 3/8 mile paved oval. As Seifert was taking his first checkered, Danny Gay was sewing up his first NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge track championship.
Scott Brown all but claimed the Grand American modified championship with his third win of the season. Rich Green inched closer to his second straight street stock championship by scoring his seventh main event triumph of the season. Hector Leon kept his thin pony stock title hopes alive by winning their 20-lapper. Ed Reed led all 25-circuits of the Pro-Four modified event. John McCain outlasted Michael Peace and gathered the Allison legacy car honors.
The sportsman contest was a tight one with Seifert crossing the stripe a car length ahead of John Manke. Jeff Wright was another couple of lengths back in third. The scorers awarded fourth place to Stephen Peace after Gay made a valiant effort to get past on the last of the 40-rounds. Wright was the night's Hard Charger after earning the most passing points.
Seifert started fourth. He took over the number one position from Peace with a low pass on lap 11. Manke moved in to challenge Seifert on lap 26. But he was only able to make a single bid for the top spot on the low side just six laps from the finish. Wright briefly made it a three-car tussle in the front. But he backed off just a bit in the last five rounds and let Seifert and Manke settle it between themselves.
Only one caution flag was required. That came on lap 14 when Rick Chavez, who won for the first time in eight years just a week earlier, had his rear end go up in smoke.
Seifert said his ride actually wasn't too difficult. "It was really easy," Seifert smiled. "So I don't know what else to say." Then Seifert went on to admit that the key to success was not worrying about the second place car and just driving his own line. As Ray Evernham once told Jeff Gordon, "Just shut up and drive the car." More or less, that is what fellow-racer Mike Mendenhall, who was on the radio coaching Seifert throughout the race, told him. "Mike was on the radio tonight," Seifert explained. "That wasn't a bad thing. He kept me calm when normally that doesn't happen. He told me what to do -- save your tires, don't run away with it."
Brown will have to wait until the Grand Prix on Sept 28 before wrapping up the Grand American modified championship. Depending on the car count that night, he will need to finish between no worse than ninth and 16th to sew things up. But Saturday night he was not to be denied. He started sixth and quickly moved up to second behind Doug Catania. Brown was being caution while chasing down the leader. But he didn't have to make the pass. He took over the lead when Catania looped it in turn two on lap 15. Mike Salm, the second man in points, was second to Brown on the track as well. Scott's uncle, Ron Brown, ran third ahead of Mike Jackson and John Luecht. There was a scary accident on a lap 12 restart. Carol Kirby Williams escaped injuring after her car rode up over the right rear wheel of Billy Cables's mount and then drove over the top of Cable before coming down head on into the crashwall at the exit of turn four. Cable's roof was peeled away in Williams ' wild ride. Cable was able to soldier on and actually finished the race. Williams' car was badly bent but she was only shaken up.
Green's street stock triumph came by 20 lengths over Eric Ferguson, Green's nearest pursuer in the points chase. Richard Hinze came back from a qualifying lap bout with the crashwall to finish third ahead of early leader Rick Hagen and Todd Phelps. The front of the pack was not the place to be early in the 25-lap affair. On lap 3 leader Dave Arce broke in turn three. Then Eric Seene, who inherited the top spot, slowed in turn three on lap 4. The race was slowed on lap 5 when third running Randy Buell dumped his engine entering turn one. Among those collected were Rob Freeman, Scott Moses, and Gordon Anderson. No one was injured. Green added one tally to his point lead over Eric Ferguson with two races remaining. That margin is now 138 digits. Should it grow to 148 in the next outing, Green will have his second championship in a row.
In the pony stocks, Hector Leon stormed from ninth starting position to the front in just four circuits. It marked his third win of the campaign. But he still trails Ed Hale by 210 points with just two races remaining. Should Hale carry only a 148-point bulge out of next week's race, he will take pony stock honors for the third straight year. Hale ran third Saturday night. Douglas Wright Jr. stepped into one of the Clark cars and ran second. Marty Schmidt was fourth and George Behlman took fifth.
PIT NOTES: Ivan Harrison had yet more motor problems in the street stocks when he lost a piston while qualifying. Ivan will soldier on, but says he is returning to the bomber stocks next year. Always faithful to the Ford, Ivan and his team just haven't ever been able to shake their motor gremlins in the streeters but know they that a successful bomber Ford motor is possible. -- At Orange Show Speedway Gary Tamborelli took home his second straight late model sportsman track championship after winning three in a row here in 1997-98-99.