EL CAJON, CA. M.K. Kanke has more top five finishes in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series than any other driver. Saturday night he continued his domination of the 3/8-mile paved oval, winning convincingly the Coors Light 125 on the Gillespie...
EL CAJON, CA. M.K. Kanke has more top five finishes in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series than any other driver. Saturday night he continued his domination of the 3/8-mile paved oval, winning convincingly the Coors Light 125 on the Gillespie Field oval.
Kanke took the checkered flag some ten lengths in front of Jim Pettit II. Auggie Vidovich pressured Pettit during the closing stages of the Coors contest, but had to settle for third. Fourth went to Bob Lyon and Frank Maronski ran fifth.
Chris Hines of Chandler, Arizona won the 50-lap Mechanix Wear Speed Truck main event. Hines took the lead seven laps from the finish when he punted pacesetting Darren Young of Gilbert, Arizona in turn four. Young had set the pace from the start. After getting spun, Young's Chevy truck was rammed by Richard Franz. Ron Peterson ended up second, three lengths behind Hines. Rounding out the top five were John Holmes, Troy Decuir, and Ron Nava. The race was punctuated by six caution periods.
John Isabella led all 20-rounds of the Allison Legacy car feature. Sean Bishop pressured him nearly the entire distance. Scott Dannen placed third ahead of Randy Ryden and Rob Ferguson. It marked Isabella's first feature triumph.
Kanke, who started third, ran in that position for the opening 26 rounds before he was able to get past race runner-up Jon Nelson, victorious here in June 2000. The top qualifiers had been inverted for the 125-lapper. Meanwhile Pettit had outgunned the field from his pole starting position and dominated the early going. Once in second, Kanke erased Pettit's 20-car length margin and found himself on the leader's bumper by lap 55. He appeared to play with Pettit for five circuits before dipping underneath as they came off turn four on lap 60. The duo crossed the stripe even. But Kanke was in front for good by the time they got to the first turn.
It marked the tenth top five finish and the second triumph at Cajon for Kanke. His last visit to victory lane came eight years ago.
"This wasn't even the car we were going to run today," Kanke beamed in victory lane. "We were going to run the Ford. My hat is off to this team. They put this thing together in about a half an hour and it's been flawless all day. I didn't see anyone out there that could beat us tonight. I just love this track. It's just a good old racetrack that you have to drive the daylight out of and keep the car under you."
The pace was slowed six times for 40-laps. Mark Meech lost an oil filter on the pace lap and oiled down the entire track. That caused a lengthy delay before the green could be even be thrown. Then on lap 1 Vidovich slapped Kanke as they powered into the third turn. A little bit further back in the pack, Greg Pursley got out of shape and collected several cars including Scott Brandt, Joe Herold, Carson Woods, Scott Lynch, and Rocky Nash.
"We took it quite easy on that first start because the inside groove was pretty bad," Kanke noted of the early incidents.
Ten drivers ended up completing the full 125 rounds of the Coors contest. John Baker took sixth ahead of Burney Lamar, Darrell Lamoure, Steve Smith, and Scott Brandt.
PIT NOTES: Just when you think you've seen everything, something new happens. On lap 93 the sprinklers came on in the infield in turn three. Fortunately not much of the spray ended up on the track. A yellow flag nine circuits later allowed track management to get them turned off.