Portland Speedway report 2001-06-23

PORTLAND, OR (June 23, 2001)& ...

PORTLAND, OR (June 23, 2001)– The month of June has been good one for NASCAR Grand American Modified Division driver Don Jenner of Vancouver, WA. At the Portland Speedway this Friday night, he recorded his second Main Event victory in recent weeks by overhauling a strong-running Ray Elwess on lap 29, then had clear sailing for the run to the checkered flag six laps later.

Elwess, who started from the outside of the front row, held on to finish second behind Jenner, while Donnie Martin came home in third place. The fourth and fifth positions, respectively, went to Mike Obrist and Dan Fox. There were 17 starters that began the 35-lap event.

The race was barely one lap old when the field was slowed by a caution due to contact between the cars of front row starter Sonny Modaff, who started on the inside of the front row, and Gary Morris. Modaff’s car received enough damage to send it into the pits. On the restart, Elwess led Morris, Dan Fox and Mike Obrist. Morris found a tire going flat and had to make a call to the pits. By lap five the order was Elwess, Fox, Obrist and Kenny Miller before another caution flag for debris on the track slowed the pace once again.

Barely a lap after the second restart, Fox was tapped from behind by Obrist and spun to a stop on the front straight. Fox was able to continue, but had to go to the back of the field for the next restart. Over the next few laps, Elwess continued his lead but was hounded by Miller. Some distance back was Tom Pinkowsky in third, who held a slight margin while Richard Whiteman, Chris Quinn and Jenner fought the battle for the fourth position.

Lap 18 saw Miller make an inside move on Jenner to take over the lead. Two laps later the lead cars encountered lapped traffic and another mishap occurred involving Tom Pinkowsky, who then had to make a quick stop in the pits for minor repairs. Once again the field was shown the green flag with Miller leading Elwess, Quinn and Jenner. On lap 24 Miller received bad news in the form of a black flag for exceeding the noise limit. Soon afterwards, Quinn’s car fell off the pace and the field saw another caution flag. On the final restart of the race, Elwess led over Jenner and Martin. One lap later Jenner made a clean outside pass on Elwess coming through Turn 4, then pulled away for the win.

Earlier in the evening, Richard Whiteman set a fast lap during the Grand American Modified’s qualifying session with a time of 16.474 seconds on the Speedway’s 1/3rd mile clay oval. Donnie Martin and Dan Fox won the division’s two Heat Races, while Eric Sayre drove to victory in the Trophy Dash.

With the NASCAR Shorttrack Sportsmen taking the night off, the Street Stock Division provided much of the other racing action this night. Picking up a victory he dedicated to his mother as a birthday present, Curt Nusom won the Main Event. Finishing second was Jerry Schram, with Herb Thomas, Scott Puncochar and Willy Thom rounding out the top five.

Tracy Jones led much of the race while being chased at one time or another by the cars of Nusom, Tim Patrick and Schram. On lap 21 Jones spun in Turn 1 immediately following a pass by Patrick to take over the lead. This brought out the yellow flag and the need for a green-white-checkered restart for the final laps due to time limitations. On the restart it was Patrick over Nusom, Schram and Scott Puncochar. Unfortunately Patrick’s car suddenly slowed, turning over the lead and victory to Nusom.

The Street Stocks staged four Heat Races. The winners were Pete Kelly, Dave Cannon, Willy Thom and Scott Puncochar, who also picked up a win in the Street Stock Trophy Dash.

Kelly Nace took the Figure 8 Division Main Event victory over second place finisher Dan Cherington. Joe Cherington drove to a third place finish ahead of Robert Jordaine and John Schave. The Figure 8 Heat Races were won by Nace and Joe Cherington and the Trophy Dash victory went to Dan Cherington.

In a thrilling, door-banging finish to the Women’s Auto Racing (WAR!) Division Main Event, Nikkie Schram edged Pam Graham to pick up her first big win of the season. Coming home in third place was Wendy Schwartzkopf, ahead of Corrine Flath in the fourth position. WAR! Division Heat Race winners were Pam Graham and Kari Puncochar. Puncochar also drove to victory in the Trophy Dash.

Rounding out the schedule was the Bomber Division. The Trophy Dash was won by John Taylor and the Main Event victory went to Randy Ashley. The other finishers were Jeff Hoyt, David Ballas and Jeremy Brookshire, in that order.

The next scheduled event for the Portland Speedway’s weekly NASCAR Friday "Bud Bowl" is Friday, June 29. Featured Divisions will be the Grand American Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Figure 8 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 7:00 p.m.

-Bob Kehoe

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Drivers John Taylor , Dan Fox