Supermodifieds Invade Cajon Speedway EL CAJON, CA (05/08/04). The Supermodified Racing League was scheduled to have a long off-season between the end of the 2003 season and the start of their 2004 run. But because of "Mother Nature", that down...
Supermodifieds Invade Cajon Speedway
EL CAJON, CA (05/08/04). The Supermodified Racing League was scheduled to have a long off-season between the end of the 2003 season and the start of their 2004 run. But because of "Mother Nature", that down time turned out to be even 35 days longer than it had been scheduled to be. Finally this Saturday night the fastest short track racecars in the country will finally get the green flag on their 2004 season when Sid's Auto Body brings the SRL to Cajon Speedway once again.
The winged cars, holder of track records all up and down the west coast, will be making their only visit of the year to Cajon this weekend. Sharing the 3/8-mile asphalt oval will be the local Grand American modified division along with the Western Racing Assn vintage racecars. The supermodifieds will run a 40-lap feature. Twin 25-lap contests are on lap for the Grand American modifieds. Exhibition events will allow the vintage racers to show their wares.
Race time is 6:45 pm. Qualifying starts at 5:15 pm. Ticket prices for this special event are $12 on the east side and $10 on the west side for adults and $5 for children age 6 -- 12; children age 5 and under are free with an adult.
A supermodified is probably the most exotic short-track racecar there is. They are all hand-built and the engine, which can be up to 488 cubic inches, is offset from the center of the chassis to the left side of the car about 24 inches. This added left side weight, combined with a relatively light chassis weighing about 1900 pounds (including the driver), a wing up top, and extremely wide tires (the right rear has nearly 20 inches of rubber on the track) greatly increases the cornering ability of these cars. Davey Hamilton set the single lap track record at Cajon back in 1990 at 13.4122 seconds; that is an average of over 100 mph for the 3/8-mile. Though wings the size Hamilton used when he set the record are no longer allowed, the fastest qualifying time last fall was 13.850 seconds; that still works out to wickedly fast average of nearly 97.5 mph.
The supermodifieds were scheduled to open their season in Tucson, Arizona on April 3. But a spring monsoon washed out that event. The Cajon race will be the first of only 11 events this year for the SRL. After Saturday, they have four weeks off before continuing their season with a two-day show near Boise Idaho. Their series carries them to Utah and Nevada along with additional stops in Idaho and California.
Heading the entry list for the Sid's Auto Body Cajon show is 21-year-old sensation A.J. Russell of Clovis, California. Russell held off a determined Troy Regier of Dinuba, California to take honors here last September. It was an emotional victory for the then rookie racer in the highly powered machines. Russell had made his first race with the group in 2002 at Cajon. But his car was destroyed when he smacked the turn three crashwall.
Regier is a four-time champion in the division and has made about 50 visits to victory lane in the cars. He has been victorious at Cajon on two occasions -- in 1995 and again in 2001.
Russell likes tracks like Cajon. "It's challenging," he says. "It takes a lot of skill to be able to maneuver on a track like (Cajon). Cajon is like a paperclip with tight corners and really long straightaways."
Others expected to make the trip to Cajon include Jim Tartaglia of Reedley. He prevailed here in 2001. Veterans Ken Hamilton of Boise, Idaho and Jim Birges of Fresno should also be on hand. Bobby Dalton, an 18-year-old high school student, is entered in a car he won in a raffle two years ago. Eric Silsby of Carson City sat out most of last season, but he is returning this year.
In the Grand American modifieds, Mike Salm will be looking to continue his winning ways from the season opener a week ago. This stretch is the busiest of the year for Cajon's open wheeled cars. They ran last week, have a pair of features on this Sid's Auto Body night, and then run again on May 15.
<pre> CAJON SPEEDWAY POINT STANDINGS
Late Model Sportsman 174 David Beat 149 John Manke 122 Ron Overman 108 Bob Wickey 100 Rick Chavez 97 Stephen Peace 80 Scott Moses 63 Jeff Wright 60 Faron Collins 56 Bill Parenteau Jr.
Grand American Modified 70 Mike Salm 69 John Tyczki 47 Mike Jackson 46 Jimmy Dickerson 44 Dan Hildebrand 42 Hector Leon 40 Andy Papp 38 Steve Lloyd 36 Mark McGowan 32 Danny Gay 33 Street Stock 199 Rick Hagen 198 Richard Hinze 196 Eric Ferguson 186 Rob Overman 146 Rich Green Jr. 145 Neil Rodvold 141 Kenny Hall 123 Dave Arce 110 Brian Collins 106 Rob Freeman
Pony Stock 91 Mike Weimann 70 Russ Gregson 68 Douglas Wright Jr. 64 Marty Schmidt 64 Tim Beeney 63 Earl Downing 58 Ed Hale 57 Ty Tipton 36 Darrell McKee Jr. 32 Robert Minnick
Bomber Stock 209 Randy Hart 183 David Whisenant 182 Marty Lehrke 165 Brian Fitzgibbons 160 Scott Denton 146 Hayden Smith 130 Darrell Moore 118 Greg McCown 117 Rick Nies 102 Mike McGlone