Shaffer Wins Portland Finale as Shepard Crashes PORTLAND, OR (August 25) -- "Sometimes in racing, you're on the giving side and sometimes you're on the receiving side -- that's just all part of it." Paul McMahan's words rang true throughout...
Shaffer Wins Portland Finale as Shepard Crashes
PORTLAND, OR (August 25) -- "Sometimes in racing, you're on the giving side and sometimes you're on the receiving side -- that's just all part of it."
Paul McMahan's words rang true throughout the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series double-feature event at Portland Speedway. McMahan led the first 14 laps before colliding with a lapped car and Tim Shaffer's failing engine allowed Andy Hillenburg to pass him in Friday's Preliminary Feature. It was more of the same Saturday as Jeff Shepard lost the lead when he crashed with Brad Furr and Hillenburg's collapsing top wing gave Shaffer the opening he needed to claim the $12,000 first prize.
"We finally caught a break and had some good luck for a change," Shaffer said after his second victory of the season. "I was hoping we'd get to some lapped traffic so I might have a shot at Andy, and then I saw the wing start to collapse. I couldn't believe it.
"Last night, we were running pretty good and then we lost a cylinder right at the end. We're trying to be consistent and have a car that can run in the top five every night. With these Charlie Garrett motors and Maxim chassis, along with Vivarin, we've been getting closer to that the last three months or so."
Shaffer earned the final qualifying spot in the Channellock Dash by holding on to fourth place in Friday's Preliminary Feature. He started inside the third row in Saturday's 30-lap main event after finishing fifth in the eight-lap dash. McMahan raced into fourth place in the Channellock Dash from inside the fourth row.
Hillenburg, whose 15.666-second lap in the dash was almost a quarter-second faster than the single-lap record Stevie Smith set in time trials, started the "A" Feature on the pole. Shepard drove the #5 Wirtgen Maxim around Hillenburg in turn four as the green flag fell, however, to take the lead in the main event.
Shepard was comfortably ahead of his closest pursuers early in the third lap when Danny Wood flipped high into the retaining wall in the first corner and collected Furr.
Shepard raced away from field as the green flag replaced the red and entered lapped traffic with a 2.4-second advantage six laps later. He was 1.3 seconds ahead of Hillenburg when Jason Meyers stopped DOCC Motorsports' #20 Eagle Raceway Maxim in turn two with a broken rear end early in the 11th lap.
Shepard controlled the ensuing restart and held a 1.9-second advantage when he caught the back-markers again eight laps later. He lost the lead late in lap 23, however, when he collided with Furr and flipped in the fourth corner. Sammy Swindell, who won the First O'Reilly Heat Race, surrendered 13th place when his crew replaced the left rear tire on his #1 Channellock Stealth during the red period.
Hillenburg, whose #2 Luxaire J&J was in first place when the race resumed, started experiencing handling problems two laps after the green flag replaced the red as the left side panel on his top wing began collapsing. Shaffer steered the #11H Vivarin Maxim into the low groove between turns one and two to pass Hillenburg for the lead early in lap 28.
Craig Dollanky, who followed Shaffer past Hillenburg, was one second behind when the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner took the checkered flag.
"The Polydome-Karavan car was pretty good tonight," Dollansky said. "I tried going up top, but we were a little too tight to run up there. Tim got by me, but all in all not a bad night. We've had some bad luck lately and fallen out of too many races and it's cost us in the point standings, but the Fisher engines and Maxim cars have been great all year long, and we still have time to make some moves."
McMahan finished in third place, ahead of Hillenburg, Danny Lasoski, Steve Kinser, Randy Hannagan, Dale Blaney, Smith and Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Mark Kinser.
Dollansky's runner-up run pushed him past Donny Schatz into fourth place in the point standings. Schatz must have thought he was reliving his Amoco Knoxville Nationals disaster late in his first qualifying lap when the left rear tire on the #15 Parker Stores J&J slid off its rim and sent him into the turn-three retaining wall. The 1997 Rookie of the Year brought out a backup car and passed 11 cars to finish 14th in the "A" Feature.
Smith was the fastest of 13 drivers breaking the qualifying standard Mark Kinser set at Portland Speedway last August 25th. Stevie circled the semi-banked, ½-mile oval at an average speed of 113.272-m.p.h.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run $51,600 events at Kings Speedway and Watsonville Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday before sanctioning the Ninth Annual Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway Friday, Saturday and Sunday.