Portland Speedway recap 2001-07-06

By Bob Kehoe Portland Speedway PORTLAND, OR (July 6, 2001) - "Tiger" Tom Pinkowsky of Vancouver, WA kept his cool ahead of a hard charging Richard Whiteman to score his second main event win of the season in the NASCAR Grand American Modified ...

By Bob Kehoe

Portland Speedway PORTLAND, OR (July 6, 2001) - "Tiger" Tom Pinkowsky of Vancouver, WA kept his cool ahead of a hard charging Richard Whiteman to score his second main event win of the season in the NASCAR Grand American Modified Division at the Portland Speedway Friday night. In doing so, Pinkowsky strengthened his lead over Don Jenner, also of Vancouver, in the overall points standings in the Grand American Modified driver's championship. Finishing in second place behind Pinkowsky was Richard Whiteman of Tigard, OR, while Jenner came home in the third position. Fourth and fifth, respectively, went to Dan Fox of Scappoose, OR and Ray Elwess of Portland, OR.

In the evening's other racing action, Brad "The Tornado" Tanner of Clackamas, OR drove to a convincing win in the NASCAR Shortrack Sportsman 30-lap main event ahead of his father Jody Tanner, who finished second. The feature win for the NASCAR Street Stocks went to Dave Cannon of Portland, OR for his first big victory of the season, while Figure 8 veteran Dan Cherington of Vancouver, WA also recorded a main event win. The Bomber Division victor was Jeremy Brookshire.

In the evenings other Grand American Modified action, Eric Sayre of Vancouver, WA set a fast lap during qualifying with a time of 16.530 seconds on the Speedway's 1/3rd mile clay oval. The Division's two Heat Races were won by Richard Whiteman and Dan Fox, while Don Jenner cruised to victory in the Trophy Dash.

Starting from the fifth row alongside Eric Sayre, Pinkowsky used his veteran skills wisely in avoiding trouble during two separate incidents in the very early going of the 35-lap. The initial caution came out on the first lap as Dan Fox was mounting a charge on the lead cars of Eddie Farness and Dan Obrist. Fox slipped slightly in Turn 3 and several cars made contact while trying to avoid trouble. During the yellow flag period, Dan Obrist had to make a call to the pits for a mechanical malfunction, but was able to return to the track.

On the restart, Farness led the cars of Sonny Modaff, Pinkowsky, Eric Sayre and Curt Zelmer. Over the next lap, Modaff, Pinkowsky and Sayre were able to get around Farness. The next caution came on lap 5, when Sayre and Modaff made contact in Turn 2. The order on the next restart was Sayre, Pinkowsky, Whiteman and Gary Morris. Two laps later, Sayre spun into the infield in Turn 2, turning the lead over to Pinkowsky.

>From that point forward, and despite two more short caution periods, Pinkowsky drove a textbook race to hold his lead to the checkered flag. It was far from an easy win, as Richard Whiteman pressured Pinkowsky the entire distance. Meanwhile, an exciting race for third place involved the cars of Gary Morris, Don Jenner, Dan Fox and Ray Elwess. With two laps remaining, Morris was forced to retire due to a broken rear axle.

Though a string of consistent finishes have moved Pinkowsky to the top of the points lead, he and his crew were especially happy for their second win. "I told the guys we needed a win going into tonight's race," he said. "We've been consistent all year and hopefully we can keep doing it the rest of the way."

In the NASCAR Shortrack Sportsman Division, the family duo of Brad and Jody (son and father, respectively) finished one-two in their 30-lap Feature Event ahead of Martin Stanwood, Andy Church and Darrell Smith. 14 cars started the event, with Jody Tanner and Mike Graham making up the front row. The order through the first six laps was Graham, Tanner, Scott Winebarger and Church. A little farther back, a race for fifth position was taking place between Brad Tanner, Darrell Smith and Trevor Brotherton. A caution flag for debris appeared on lap 7, just as Jody Tanner had moved around Graham to take the lead. The cars had to realign for the restart, which put Graham back into the lead, however briefly. On lap 9 Graham's car went high in T1 and Jody Tanner was able to take advantage to move into the first position. In the meantime Brad Tanner, whose car always works well in the high groove, had worked his way to third ahead of Winebarger. Keeping his momentum going strong, Brad Tanner swept into the lead position on lap 11 and began pulling away from the other cars. Graham fell back due to a flat tire.

Another yellow came on lap 15 when the cars of Doug Mitchell and Jay Estes came together on the front stretch. Brad Tanner led the restart ahead of dad Jody, Church, Smith, Martin Stanwood and Brad Stanwood. By lap 25 the Tanners opened up a slight gap over the third place car of Martin Stanwood, who had gotten around Church and Smith. The order remained the same to the finish. "We had a few problems with the car during the night," Tanner said afterwards. "But the crew worked hard and the car was working awesome on the outside."

In other Sportsman action, fast time was set by Trevor Brotherton and the Heat races were won by Jody Tanner and Scott Winebarger. Martin Stanwood drove to victory in the Trophy Dash.

In the ultra-competitive NASCAR Street Stock Division, Dave Cannon of Portland performed a rare feat by leading from the drop of the green flag to the checkered in the 30-lap main event. He started on the inside of the front row alongside the lone pickup of Pat Schwartzkopf. Up to the first caution period on lap 8 (for debris) the race order was Cannon, Schwartzkopf, Jeff Brookshire, Brian Overturf and Chris Schlaht.

The next yellow occurred on lap 11 when the cars of Herb Thomas, Overturf and Tanner came together in Turn One. The order on the restart remained Cannon and Schwartzkopf, followed by Schlat, Scott Puncochar and Dennis Krohling. Two laps later Schlat fell off the pace, while a charging Puncochar worked around Schwartzkopf. Another short caution came out on lap 17, with the restart order Cannon, Puncochar, Schwartzkopf, Curt Nusom and Dan Harris. Puncochar was now putting a lot of heat on Cannon, but just couldn't find a safe lane around. It all came down to a last lap effort by Puncochar when a lapped car came into play in Turns 3 and 4. But a determined Cannon muscled around the outside of the traffic and held on for the exciting win over Puncochar. Harris finished in the third position, followed by Schwartzkopf and Dustin Wilkinson. "I tried to run the low line all night," Cannon said. "It's (the competition) is real tough out here."

Tracy Jones and Don Dean were able to start the Street Stock A Main due to their one-two finish in the B Main race. Street Stock Heat Race winners were Brad Tanner, Herb Thomas, Dan Harris and Brian Puncochar. Harris also won the Trophy Dash.

Figure 8 Division veteran Dan Cherington padded his points lead by driving to victory in the 20-lap feature race, but traded the lead several times with Kelly Nace, who finished in the runner-up slot. Joe Cherington was fourth, followed by John Mayfield. Figure 8 Heat Race winners were Joe Cherington and Mayfield, and the Trophy Dash was won by Nace.

The Bomber Division events were dominated by Jeremy Brookshire, who won both the Trophy Dash and the Main Event. The other finishers were Danny O'Neil, Randy Ashley and David Ballas, in that order.

The next scheduled event for the Portland Speedway's weekly NASCAR Friday "Bud Bowl" is the "Budweiser 100" on Friday, July 13. The evening action will include a 100-lap feature race for the NASCAR Grand American Modifieds, plus Shortrack Sportsman and Micro Sprints. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for juniors (11-17), and kids 10 and under are free. For all NASCAR Friday "Bud Bowl" events, front gates will open at 5:00 p.m., with racing beginning at 7:00 p.m.


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Drivers Andy Chu , Dan Fox