EL CAJON, CA. Martin Keppeler drove away from and Tim Neuhaus sailed away from Cajon Speedway with $1000 checks Saturday night following the 41st season finale on the 3/8 mile paved oval. Keppeler drove a consistent race to take the first prize ...
EL CAJON, CA. Martin Keppeler drove away from and Tim Neuhaus sailed away from Cajon Speedway with $1000 checks Saturday night following the 41st season finale on the 3/8 mile paved oval. Keppeler drove a consistent race to take the first prize money in the 150-lap factory stock enduro while Neuhaus torpedoed his competition in the 25-lap Boat Trailer race.
Chasing Keppeler when the checkered flag was displayed was the tandem of Jim Tucker and Chad Hines in second. Rodney Shaw, one of several drivers to do double duty, ran third. Chris White ran fourth ahead of the team of Gary Britton and Gary Hartsuyker. Forty-nine cars started the marathon grind and only 21 were still there at the finish.
The attrition rate was even higher in the Boat Trailer race where only three of the 16 starters were still afloat. Ben Hazel tried to crash in the final turn, but made it across the line for second. Darrell Moore was third ahead of Bob Underwood, who rammed Rodney Shaw in the first turn of the final round. Shaw, who ran most of the race missing the right rear wheel on his car, was scored in fifth.
Keppeler was a late entrant for the enduro and started 44th in the field, but was sixth when they turned the cars at the halfway point. The opening 75-rounds ran in the traditional counter-clockwise direction. The drivers used the freeway-onramp clockwise direction for the final 75-rounds. Matt Arnold, who teamed with John Krempp Jr. to take the $1000 check in the July 4 enduro, dominated the race early, but eventually gave way to Vernon Gilmore. Gilmore, whose racing nickname is Vicious, is anything but that. But he was cruising until he rammed into a dead car on the backstretch and was rear-ended on lap 53. That put Arnold back on top until the intermission. Gilmore's badly bent Chevelle sat idle on the backstretch for the rest of the first half of the event. He was attended to by the track rescue crew at that point, but was only shaken.
Following the break, 38 cars were able to restart and Krempp led the next five rounds. But then future Winston Cup champion Johnny Borneman III used his road racing skills gain the edge. But then it was oops as Borneman tagged someone entering turn one and took himself out of the hunt. He was able to return after a trip to the pits and appeared to have a blast dirt tracking around the oval where his mom and dad were married some 26-years ago. Borneman however lost a possible top five when he fell victim to a blast from Chris White on the last lap and spun.
The Borneman wreck on lap 85 also involved the Krempp-Arnold car. Gary Hartsuyker clipped Krempp as he tried to slip past and torn the right front from his machine. But it was only a matter of time until Hartsuyker (whose jumped into Gary Britton's mount at the turn after Britton was badly bruised in the first half) had to start limping and by lap 110 Keppeler was out front to stay. He turned on the cruise control for the last 40 laps and his Chevrolet Caprice appeared undented when the checkered was unfurled. Boat Trailer Race IV had a lot of its excitement in the final turn leading to the green flag. First JR Trent jack-knifed and was rammed by Billy Arban Jr. Arban, a track official, got his bell rung, but was otherwise unhurt. As the Trent-Arban incident was unfolding, Krempp lost his boat in turn four, and Josh Nicholas had a wheel come loose. Then on lap 2 Jason Smith ditched his boat in turn four and then tried to sink it with his trailer when he came around the next time. Once underway, Donn Stewart ran away with things. But Neuhaus' Monte Carlo ran more like a hydroplane than a racecar and passed Stewart on lap 12. Neuhaus had started 15th. Stewart regained the lead but then he had to drop anchor on lap 19. By this point Neuhaus was so far ahead he could have oared his way to the win, which he did.