Holland Handles Tough Portland Sportsman Class By Bob Kehoe PORTLAND, OR (May 11, 2001) -- With the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified Series taking a rare night off, the Portland Speedway's Shorttrack Sportsman field stepped...
Holland Handles Tough Portland Sportsman Class
By Bob Kehoe
PORTLAND, OR (May 11, 2001) -- With the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified Series taking a rare night off, the Portland Speedway's Shorttrack Sportsman field stepped into the spotlight as this night's premier Division. Steering his way to victory in the Sportsman 30-lap Main Event was Portlander Dale Holland, who held off Martin Stanwood, Andy Church and Brad Tanner to log his first major win of the 2001 Speedway season.
Holland's Dancin' Bare/Holland Automotive/Rapid Fire Engines Camaro appeared to be set up perfectly for the night's feature race, moving to the front of the pack in the early stages and then building nearly a full half-lap lead. Though well behind Holland, the cars of Church, Doug Mitchell, Tanner and Stanwood dueled closely for the second slot. Holland's big lead was erased by a caution flag on lap 20, but on the restart he again took the point going into turn one. He was forced to repeat the process one more time after another late-race yellow and appeared thankful to finally see the checkered flag. "That was a long 30 laps," Holland noted afterwards. "You just never know on a dirt track -- you can go from hero to zero real quickly."
With little recent rain in the Portland area, the Speedway's "Bud Bowl" 1/3-mile clay oval proved it was going to be fast in the day's earlier Sportsman qualifying session. Three drivers, nearly one right after another, broke the previous record time of 18.420 seconds set by Scott Winebarger earlier this season. Breaking into the 17-second bracket tonight was top qualifier Clyde White with a lap of 17.963 seconds. Second quickest was Mike Graham (18.281) followed by Brad Tanner (18.377).
In the Speedway's Street Stock Division 30-lap A Main Event, Hillsboro, OR's Scott Puncochar repeated his feature event win of last week by once again capturing an exciting victory on a drying track. Following the Hillsboro, OR driver across the line in second was Dustin Wilkenson, while earlier race leader Pete Kelly came home in third ahead of Brian Puncochar. Scott Puncochar also had another clean sweep during the evening by winning the Street Stock Trophy Dash as well as his heat race in his Louis Construction/Clay's Differential Camaro. "The track was awesome tonight. I made some quick moves that worked but I also had a lot of luck," said the winner afterwards. "The competition is tightening up in a hurry in the Street Stocks. I was glad to put on a good show for the fans."
In earlier Street Stock Division action, the C Main win was taken by Brian Overturf followed by Don Grentz, with both drivers then moving up to compete in the B Main. In that event, Willy Thom edged out Ray Elwess for the victory.
Tonight's racing also marked the debut of the Speedway's brand new WAR! (Women's Auto Racing) Division. The ladies quickly proved that the championship, sponsored by the Woodshed Restaurant, is going to be a hot season-long battle. Heat race wins were recorded by Pam Graham and Paula Smith. Smith went on to also pick up the win in the WAR! Trophy Dash, over second place Graham and third finisher Kari Puncochar.
The 15-lap A Main race was slowed by several yellow flags, but in the end the Division's very first winner was Lisa Tanner of Portland, who reportedly had very little, if any, practice beforehand. "I don't know how I got it done, but it was a lot of fun," said Tanner. Finishing second was Jackie Graham, followed by Corrine Flath and Paula Smith.
The top two spots in the 20-lap Figure 8 Main Event went to the veteran family team of Joe and Dan Cherington, with Joe grabbing his first big win of the season with his Circle H Enterprises/Lou's Machine Shop/Dusty's Machine Shop Datsun. Third went to Ron Henderson.
Again, because of late night sound curfew restrictions, time ran out for the Bomber's Division Main Event. Earlier in their Trophy Dash, David Ballas of Portland won over Jeremy Brookshire, Joseph Bosso and Josh Harper.
The next scheduled event for the Portland Speedway's weekly NASCAR Friday "Bud Bowl" is Friday, May 18. Featured Divisions will be the Grand American Modifieds, Shorttrack Sportsman, Street Stocks, Figure 8, WAR! and Bombers. 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 6:45 p.m.