Gay-Catania ride to Cajon Enduro Victory EL CAJON, Calif. (July 3, 2004) -- The combination of Ryan Gay and Doug Catania outlasted an enormous field of 48 cars, capturing Saturday's crowd-pleasing Budweiser Factory Stock Enduro at Cajon Speedway.
Gay-Catania ride to Cajon Enduro Victory
EL CAJON, Calif. (July 3, 2004) -- The combination of Ryan Gay and Doug Catania outlasted an enormous field of 48 cars, capturing Saturday's crowd-pleasing Budweiser Factory Stock Enduro at Cajon Speedway. Gay completed the first of twin 75-lap races in third place, then Catania avoided incidents involving the leaders to move in front, eventually pulling away and take the finale by more than six seconds.
Both drivers, who hail locally from El Cajon, will share a purse of $1,000.00.
A standing-room only crowd of more than 5,500 attended the Independence Day weekend festivities. Following the Enduro and the traditional fireworks display, another El Cajon driver, Joe Totten, captured the specialty 10-lap boat race.
Totten, starting from the middle of the field of 12 cars, each towing a trailer carrying a boat, immediately jumped to second place after two laps, then passed Josh Nicolas on Lap 4 to claim the lead, pulling away for a victory of 4 seconds.
For Catania, it was a madcap, time-consuming ride before finally collecting the checkered flag in the free-for-all, which needed just one red-flag, full stoppage in the opening race to clear debris and abandoned vehicles.
"It was a wild ride and a long time to be in a car with no rest," said Catania, an 8-year veteran over the 3/8-mile paved oval at Gillespie Field. "We were slipping all over the track, but so was everyone else out there."
Tom Smith of Long Beach secured the opening 75-lap race, despite getting temporarily caught by Eric Evans on Lap 71. Smith then held off the challenge of Rich Crutchfield early in the second race, which was run in the European clockwise rotation around Cajon Speedway. However, just 19 laps away from a victory, Smith^Rs car slipped in Turn 1 and nearly made contact with the wall, eventually spinning out a lap later, but quickly gaining control to remain in the lead.
However, Smith and Evans made contact in Lap 133, giving Catania the space he needed to pass.
"I never looked at the scoreboard, so I never knew I was in the lead," said Smith. "In a race like this, you just try to keep going and avoid getting into trouble -- that's hard enough."
Smith finally finished in third, as Jimmy Delessan passed low on Lap 144 to gain second place.
In the boat race, Totten shocked the competition with surprising power coming out of the turns.
"The car had a flat spot, but then it came out of the turn with a ton of power -- almost too much power," noted Totten.
A year ago, Totten, hauling an 18-foot, carbon-fiber boat, was slowed by the shear weight of the vessel, yet still finished fifth when no other competitor would run into the largest ship among the Cajon fleet.
"After that battleship, we opted to run with a lighter boat," joked Totten. "Hey, we're happy we came out of it in one piece."
Back-Tracks -- During last week's (June 26) qualifying laps of Street Stocks, Rich Hagan, who lives in the El Cajon community of Rancho San Diego, drove his Monte Carlo to a 1-lap track record. Hagan qualified for the pole position with a run of 17.374 seconds, eclipsing the 1996 mark.
Budweiser 150-Lap Factory Stock Enduro: Ryan Gay/Doug Catania, Robert Freeman/Jimmy Delessan, Tom Smith, Pat Bradbury, Dave Catchpaw/Jimmy Kyte, Jim Tucker, Joseph McSchneider, Ken Rose, Eric Evans, Joey Summerhaup/Andy Papp.
Boat Race (10 laps) -- Winner: Joe Totten.