PORTLAND, OR (May 18, 2001) - Since the beginning of the 2001 season Eric Sayre has been a fast and consistent front-runner in the Portland Speedway's Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified Division, but just hadn't yet managed to grab his...
PORTLAND, OR (May 18, 2001) - Since the beginning of the 2001 season Eric Sayre has been a fast and consistent front-runner in the Portland Speedway's Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified Division, but just hadn't yet managed to grab his first Feature Event win. Friday night though, it all came together for the Vancouver, WA driver as he rocketed to a dominating victory in the division's 35-lap A Main.
Starting from the outside of the front row, Sayre's Schram's Excavating/Christenson Oil/Back Alley Blues Bar sponsored modified took over the lead from early race leader Sonny Modaff on the sixth lap and lead the rest of the way, despite two caution periods on the Speedway's 1/3-mile clay oval. Keeping pressure on Sayre and coming home second was Chris Quinn, followed across the line by Tom Pinkowsky and Richard Whiteman.
"We started from the front row but we'll take a win. I just tried to keep it smooth all the way," said Sayre. Sayre now joins Dan Fox, Tom Pinkowsky and Richard Whiteman as this season's Grand American Modified feature event winners.
During Grand American Modified (GAM) qualifying, Pinkowsky set quick time with a lap of 16.440 seconds. Second and third quickest, respectively, were Whiteman (16.711) and Ray Elwess (16.772). The season's qualifying record of 16.149 seconds continues to be held by Dan Fox. The night's GAM heat races were won by Donnie Martin and Chris Quinn, while Fox drove to victory in the trophy dash.
The Construction Machinery Inc. Night at the Races also featured plenty of exciting dirt track action by the Portland Speedway's other regular weekly racing divisions: Shortrack Sportsman, Street Stocks, Figure 8s and Bumpin' Bombers.
It turned out to be a banner night for Brad "The Tornado" Tanner, as the second-generation driver from Clackamas, OR picked up Main Event wins in both the Shorttrack Sportsman and Street Stock Divisions, plus a Sportsman Heat Race victory.
In the 30-lap Sportsman A Main, Mike Graham led the early laps ahead of Doug Mitchell and Brad Stanwood until suffering a flat tire on lap 10 and bringing out a short caution. After the restart it was Mitchell and Stanwood trading the lead as Tanner worked his way up front. Another caution on lap 18 again bunched up the field. From that point on the race became a tight duel between Stanwood, Mitchell, Tanner and Andy Church. Stanwood spun in Turn 4 on the 20th lap, turning the lead over to Tanner who held off Mitchell, Martin Stanwood and Darrell Smith for the victory.
The Street Stock A Main 30-lapper was a wild affair that saw many top competitors drop out of the running one by one in a tough night of competitive racing. Early on, race fans enjoyed a tight battle for the lead between Herb Thomas and Dustin Wilkenson, with Tanner watching from his third position on the track. Running a perfect line, Tanner worked his way to the front of the field on lap 11, then kept the point to the checkered flag. Finishing second was Thomas, followed by Wilkenson and Scott Puncochar.
In victory circle, Tanner credited all his crew members for having both his Sportsman and Street Stock cars, sponsored by Jody's Bar & Grill, Portland Clutch & Brake, and B & M Machine, so well prepared. "Both cars were pivoting real well in the turns," he remarked. "The Sportsman was really good out of the box and the guys gave me great cars tonight. There's so many people to thank."
A very wet infield asphalt portion of the Figure 8 track played traction havoc in that Division's Main Event. In the end, another feature event win for the season went to John Mayfield and his Toyota Pickup sponsored by John's Foreign Auto Wrecking, Dusty's Machine Shop and FTSI. Finishing second to Mayfield was the Datsun sedan of Dan Cherington. Ray Perry soldiered home in third position, followed across the line by Brent Beall.
The final Main Event of the evening, the Bumpin' Bombers, was won by Dan O'Neill.
Trophy Dash victories for the night were as follows:
Bombers: Jeremy Brookshire
Figure 8: Dan Cherington
Street Stocks: Jeff Brookshire
Sportsman: Jody Tanner
Grand American Modified: Dan Fox
The next scheduled event for the Portland Speedway's weekly NASCAR Friday "Bud Bowl" is Friday, May 25. Featured Divisions will be the Grand American Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Figure 8 and the track's brand new all-women's division called WAR! - for Women's Auto Racing. 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.
The annual Memorial Day Factory Stock Car Enduro - 300 laps on the Speedway's Monster Half-Mile clay oval - will be held on May 28. The day's action will also feature a rollover contest. Gates will open at 11 a.m., with racing scheduled to get underway at 2:00 p.m.