Portland Speedway report 2001-09-08

Portland, Ore. (September 7, 2001) Gary Morris of Boring, Ore. collected his second win of the season in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified division Friday night as 3M Company hosted the racing action at Portland Speedway-The...

Portland, Ore. (September 7, 2001) Gary Morris of Boring, Ore. collected his second win of the season in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified division Friday night as 3M Company hosted the racing action at Portland Speedway-The Dirt Track. Eric Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. lost the point lead to Tom Pinkowsky when a flat right front tire and contact with the turn 1 wall relegated the normally consistent Sayre to a last place finish. The title fight will come down to the final event next Friday, as Pinkowsky leads Sayre by nine points. Kari Puncochar was crowned champion as the WAR! division contested their final event while Corrine Flath collected her first ever win in racing. Scott Winebarger of Portland, Ore. won a crash filled NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman main event, and Rookie Brian Puncochar collected his first Street Stock win of the season, the Street stock result is awaiting final official rules review.

Twenty-one Modifieds clocked in and it was Don Jenner who set the pace in qualifying with the quick lap around the third-mile "Bud Bowl". Richard Whiteman, Sonny Modaff, and "Tiger" Tom Pinkowsky all collected wins in the 8-lap heat races. following the action-packed heat races, Mike Obrist, Ray Elwess, Don Jenner, and Dan Fox suited up for the 4-lap Trophy Dash, and it was Mike Obrist turning heads as he collected his first victory in the modified class this season. Obrist has found the transition to clay difficult for the former asphalt Late Model track champion.

The action was slowed as quickly as it began in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series 35-lap feature event when the cars of Gary Lee Morris, sonny Sayre, and Dan Fox got together. Morris went to the rear and both Sayre and Fox left on the hook. The restart saw Sonny Modaff Take control of the race and extend his lead to as much as 15-car lengths. Scott Puncochar making the occasional appearance in the WRS division showed his strength riding in the second spot. Modaff lost his lead on lap on lap 10 when he was summoned to the pits as he was dropping rearend fluid on the track.

Gary Morris assumed control of the race and lead the final 10-laps to collect his second win of the season. The race was shortened to 20-laps due to time constraints. Following Morris to the line to record his best finish of the season was Mike Obrist. Jesse Williamson, Donnie Martin, and Tom Pinkowsky rounded out the top five. Point leader Eric Sayre jumped into his brothers car to start the evening because his ride suffered a broken transmission during practice. Sayre had moved up to the fifth position before a flat right front tire and contact with the turn one wall ended his night and delivered a huge blow to his championship hopes. With Pinkowsky's fifth place finish he now leads Sayre by nine points going into the final night of racing this coming Friday.

The normally caution free racing that takes place in the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman class changed as the division struggled through several caution periods. The opening lap saw several cars damaged on a front stretch incident that left point leader Martin Stanwood on the outside looking at his battered race car. Also involved was Doug Mitchell who's car will likely head to the garage for the winter. Jay Estes, Darrell Smith, and Dale Holland were also involved. a complete restart was ordered.

After the lengthy caution periods, the race was cut to 20-laps and Scott Winebarger drove his fourth victory of the season. Winebarger held off a charge from a determined Brad tanner looking for his seventh win of the year. Ross Roberts finished third, with Willy Thom in fourth, and Dale Holland rebounding to finish fifth. Martin Stanwood restarted the event in Jody tanner's car since the first lap was not completed. that act of Sportsmanship kept Stanwood in the point lead and may be the difference in the championship. Stanwood finished the event in ninth place. Ross Roberts, Brad Tanner, and Brad Stanwood picked up victories in the heat races, with Brad Stanwood also winning the 4-lap Trophy Dash. Martin Stanwood leads Holland by 12-points going into the night of racing. Brad Stanwood moves to third in points, with Brad Tanner falling to fourth place just 75 markers behind the leader.

Scott Puncochar inched closer to repeating his 2000 Street Stock championship with a conservative run. Although Puncochar did not have a spectacular evening on the track, his points margin is still considerable going into the final event. Puncochar won the Trophy Dash and his heat race, with Dustin Wilkenson, John Nusom, and Grant Baker collecting the heat race victories.

Brad Tanner crossed the finish line first in the 30-lap feature event, but an official rules review on the finish is pending at the time of print. Brian Puncochar was awarded the victory the evening of the race. Tanner was given the black flag for loose body parts on his Camero with two laps to go in the race but never exited the track. Dan Harris finished in third behind B. Puncochar, with Dennis Krohling and Curt Nusom rounding out the top five.

Pending the official outcome of Tanner's finish, the points chase will change as Tanner could pick up several points if awarded the victory and S. Puncochar's 14th place finish. Currently S. Puncochar stand atop the point standings by more than 100 markers, with Tanner in second. Dustin Wilkenson sits in third, followed by B. Puncochar and Curt Nusom. Willy Thom won the "B" main event, with Brian Overturf collecting "C" main honors.

The first championship of the 2001 racing season at Portland Speedway was decided this past Friday as Kari Puncochar won the WAR! Women's Auto Racing crown with a fifth place finish in the 15-lap feature race. Corrine Flath and Lisa Tanner-Jesson were the only other drivers who could have caught Puncochar but luck was with Puncochar as she avoided incidents. Tanner-Jesson took the hardest hit in the race as a heat race altercation dropped her out of the heat and out of the Trophy Dash were she would have picked up points. Corrine Flath won the feature race for her first ever racing victory just edging Tanner-Jesson at the checkers. Jackie Graham, Audra Jean, and Puncochar rounded out the top five.

With Flath's victory, she sneaks past Tanner-Jesson in the final point standings. Puncochar wins the title with 911 points, with Flath in second with 905 points, and Tanner-Jesson in third with 901 points. Cindy Thom collected Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the all-female class. The women of WAR! will return next April as Portland Speedway prepares for it's 77th season in 2002.

The racing action will resume this Friday, September 14 as KUPL presents the Fan-Can Finale. The race is the final Friday Bud Bowl of the season for the regular racing divisions at the track. Championships are on the line in all divisions, including the Grand American Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, and Figure 8. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 pm with racing getting underway at 6:45 pm. Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.portlandspeedway.com or at all Ticketmaster locations.

-ps

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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Dan Fox
Teams Williams