EL CAJON, CA. Last week Cajon Speedway extended its string to 16 years for hosting a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour series race. This weekend, the 3/8 mile paved oval becomes the latest facility to host a United States Auto Club (USAC) Western...
EL CAJON, CA. Last week Cajon Speedway extended its string to 16 years for hosting a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour series race. This weekend, the 3/8 mile paved oval becomes the latest facility to host a United States Auto Club (USAC) Western States sprint car event.
Sid's Auto Body will be presenting the open wheeled racers for the first time in San Diego County. Race time Saturday night is 6:45 P.M. Qualifying runs will kick things off at 6:00. A 30-lap main event is on tap. Sharing the Gillespie Field asphalt with the sprint cars will be the vintage racecars of the Western Racing Association (WRA). The WRA will be staging exhibition events throughout the evening.
This will be the first of two open wheeled spectaculars presented by Sid's Auto Body at Cajon Speedway this year. The season will conclude in October with the season finale for the Supermodified Racing League.
The USAC Western States sprint car series dates back to 1996. In the beginning events were run on both dirt and paved tracks. The series now runs only on paved ovals. Saturday's night contest will be the second of the year for the open wheeled machines that are powered by 360 cubic inch engines. The series will run 14 events in 2001 on nine different venues in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Kansas this year.
While the USAC Western States sprint cars will be visiting Cajon for the first time, it will not be the maiden event for sprint cars at the track. From 1967 through 1992, the California Racing Association sprint cars made frequent treks to Cajon's oval.
Tommy Hunt, USAC's Director of Western Operations, expects at least 20 cars to be in the pits Saturday night.
Todd Ellison of West Jordan, Utah is the defending champion of the USAC series. A year ago he outpointed Tony Hunt by 74 markers during the 15-event season. Hunt resides in Fair Oaks, near Sacramento. Third in the standings was Burney Lamar, another Sacramento racer, who competed at Cajon in last Saturday night's Coors Light 125 for the Southwest Series. Placing fourth and fifth in the standings were Jeff Gardner of Fresno and Mike Boat of Phoenix, AZ. The second five included Indianapolis 500 veteran Davey Hamilton of Boise, ID, Kevin Kierce of Reseda, Rick Williams of Castro Valley, Jimmy Sills of Placerville, and lady driver Shauna Hogg of Roseville.
The local stock cars will make their first run of the 2001 season at Cajon next Saturday, April 7. Featured on that NASCAR Winston Racing Series card will be the late model sportsman, street, pony, and stock cars plus the always crowd pleasing destruction derby. Jerry Gay is the defending late model sportsman stock car champion. Among his rivals for honors this year will be his son Danny, who has earned championship honors in the street stocks the past two years.