Portland Speedway race report 2001-08-03

Sayre Sizzles in Summer Shootout Portland, Ore. Eric Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. continued his mastery of Portland Speedway's clay surface as he collected his first Dirt Late Model feature win in 13 years this past Friday as BI-Mart hosted ...

Sayre Sizzles in Summer Shootout

Portland, Ore. Eric Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. continued his mastery of Portland Speedway's clay surface as he collected his first Dirt Late Model feature win in 13 years this past Friday as BI-Mart hosted the Summer Shootout at the historic North Portland facility. Sayre dominated the racing action as he picked up wins in the I-5 Outlaw Late Model Series 35-lap feature event, Trophy Dash, and Heat Race. Sayre also collected his fourth straight victory in as many weeks in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified division with a 25-lap victory to close the gap to just three points in the season championship points race behind current leader Tom Pinkowsky.

More than 45 I-5 Outlaw Dirt Late Models made their way to Portland Speedway for the second appearance of the season for this new challenge series. Sayre started his career on dirt many years ago but has contested for asphalt honors for the past several seasons. For Sayre the transition back to dirt has been a return to form for the veteran racecar driver as he has continued to showcase his prowess for the dirt. Sayre clocked in fourth quick in the stout field of exotic Dirt Late Models which included inaugural Portland Outlaw Late Model winner Mark Grill who edged Sayre last September for the win by less than a foot.

Sayre started the 35-lap feature from the fourth position but quickly used the outside groove to move to the front and control the pace of the race. Sayre was challenged on restarts but his setup allowed him to pull away by several car lengths as Sayre went on to win by 2.8 seconds over Joel Bennett of Gresham, Ore.

The Eric Sayre Show continued as he won for the fourth consecutive week in NASCAR Weekly racing Series Grand American Modified competition. Sayre dominated the on-track action as he piloted his familiar blue #53 to the front from his 12th starting position. Sonny Sayre(brother) started on the pole and led the field of 17 Modifieds to the green. Don Jenner of Vancouver, Wash. jumped to the lead by the end of lap one and led the first 14 laps. divisional point leader Tom Pinkowsky also of Vancouver, Wash. has struggled as of late and his problems continued as he spun the 19X in turn two. Pinkowsky was able to get the car rolling, but dropped to the tail end of the field.

By lap 5 early season feature winner Dan Fox had moved his Portsmouth Club sponsored Modified into the second position behind Jenner followed by S. Sayre, Mike Obrist, and Eric Sayre. Hard luck driver Chris Quinn began his charge to the front and by lap 8 had his car on the bumper of S. Sayre for third. The two waged a side-by-side battle that lasted several laps. Meanwhile, Jenner had extended his lead on the field by more than 10-car lengths. Sayre had moved into second, with Fox in third, Quinn in fourth, and S. Sayre rounding out the top five.

Sayre's move to the front was complete by lap 15 as he used the outside groove to first dispatch of Jenner, then Quinn to take control of the race. Sayre would not be seriously challenge the rest of the race and take this fourth win of the season by more than 2 seconds over Quinn. Donnie Martin had a solid run finishing in third, with Jenner in fourth, and Richard Whiteman rounding out the top five.

"I can't begin to describe how great this is," Sayre said. "We have been working real hard and it is finally paying off. Grandma is smiling on us tonight. This has been the best night of racing that I have had in a long time. To win in the Modifieds is tough, but to also win in the Late Model, well, this is just a great day."

Finishing 6-10 were Gary Morris, Sean Gentry, Fox, Dan Obrist, and S. Sayre. Pinkowsky holds on to the point lead by three over E. Sayre, with Jenner 30 points back in third. Whiteman and Fox are fourth and fifth respectively. E. Sayre picked up the victory in the Trophy Dash with S. Sayre and Fox picking up Heat Race wins. The Grand American Modifieds return Friday, August 10 along with the Street Stocks, Figure 8, and Bombers.

Ray Perry of Portland, Ore. had a break-through win in Figure 8 competition as he bested the perennial Hotshoe brother duo of Dan and Joe Cherington to record his first ever win in three years of racing. Perry found the clay to his liking as his Datsun found good bite as he negotiated the tricky half-clay, half-asphalt layout.

Following Perry to the line were Joe Cherington, Kelly Nace, Dan Cherington, and Robert Jordaine. D. Cherington continues to lead the season point standings by 14 points over J. Cherington. Nace is third, with John Mayfield and Ron Henderson rounding out the top five.

Racing resumes Friday, August 10 as Weston Pontiac/Buick/GMC/Kia Night at the Races presents the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Bumpin' Bombers on the third-mile Bud Bowl. Plus, the Figure 8 cars return to renew their mayhem on the criss-crossing Figure 8 track. Spectator Gates open at 5:00 PM with Heat Races beginning at 6:45 PM with Trophy Dashes and main events to follow. Adult admission is just $10, seniors and military w/ID is $8, juniors (11-17) $5, and children 10 and under are free with a paid adult.

Reserved tickets are still available for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Friday and Saturday, August 24 & 25 by calling 1-800-825-4832. Log onto www.portlandspeedway.com for all the latest news and information about Portland Speedway-The Dirt Track.

-PS-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Dan Fox