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posted July 01, 2001 12:41 PM UIN: 16262997

EL CAJON, CA. (June 30, 2001). Todd McLauchlan had a near disaster in his
heat race. But he came back to lead the entire NASCAR Weekly Racing Series
main event for late model sportsman at Cajon Speedway Saturday night.

McLauchlan took the checkered flag just a couple car lengths ahead of Danny
Gay in the feature 40-lapper on the 3/8 mile paved oval. Ron Overman was
another two lengths back in third. Mike Mendenhall came out on the losing
end of the wall-banging shunt in the heat race, but drove a conservative
race in the main event to take fourth. John Manke was fifth. It was an all
around good night for McLauchlan, who leapfrogged past Overman into second
in points, had fast time and also earned the $200 Hard Charger Award donated
by Kirk's Radiator.

Douglas Wright Jr. outbattled the ageless one, Ed Hale, for honors in the
pony stock feature. Point leader Scott Brown led the Grand American modified
race the entire distance. Bob Wickey, who paces the bomber stock points,
finally picked up his first victory of the season.

Mendenhall, numero uno in points in the sportsman, almost had his night come
to an early and abrupt end when he had a jarring encounter with the
backstretch concrete barrier on the first lap of the heat race. Mendenhall
tried to move into the high groove around Jerry Gay in the middle of turns
one and two but the hole just wasn't big enough. Mendenhall's right rear
made contact with the left front of McLauchlan's mount as they come off the
corner. He was then urned into the crashwall. After spending the whole week
repairing the car after a jarring accident in the closing laps of the second
main event just a week ago, his crew had to go to work again. Repairs by
Mendenhall's crew got him back on the track for the feature, but minus the
hood and the front end. McLauchlan's Monte Carlo only suffered fiberglass
damage. He was able to complete the heat race in second place to earn the
outside front row starting position for the feature. His crew, along with
assitance from Paul Brunette's modified crew, had the car looking as good as
new by the time the main event rolled out.

The main event ran non-stop. Danny Gay seemed content to run behind
McLauchlan the entire way. But his brakes were red hot within ten laps and
finally blew out at the scales. Overman also ran third from green to
checkered. He tried the low groove a couple of times. But his brakes too
were glowing before the halfway point. Jerry Gay was sitting in fourth until
the lapped car of David Arzola got sideways and clipped him on lap 29. The
senior Gay did finish sixth however.

"It's harder when you're out there like that," McLauchlan said of his run.
"You're trying to get a pace where you don't use your car up. I was trying
to keep Danny far enough away and didn't want to do something stupid where I
had to use the brakes. Mark Norris told me something many years ago. He
said, don't ever when you're out front use everything you've got - save your

McLauchlan did have to make a brief pit stop on the pace laps. "The left
front tire was just rubbing the fender," the winner pointed out. "It was
from the heat race deal. It was just cosmetic (damage from that heat race
wreck). I got on the brakes real hard to try to get out of there. I don't
think Mike knew I was out there."

Scott Brown was another green-to-checkered victor. It marked his third win
of the campaign and left him 26 markers ahead of his uncle Ron Brown in the
modified standings. Brown's 20-lap sprint run appeared flawless, but he
dropped a cylinder a quarter of the way into the contest. Ron Esau ended up
second ahead of Ron Brown, who had to change yet another motor prior to
qualifying (unfortunately he may hold the record for most motors changed at
the track). Doug Carpenter was fourth and Dave Williams fifth. Salm lost out
on a third place finish when he was the meat in a chain-reaction rear-ender
sandwich exiting turn four on lap 12 and ended up spinning into the infield
and lost a lap.

"Five laps into the race, the rocker arm on number one popped off," Scott
Brown noted after his run. "(It was nothing major), it just bent a push rod.
We got lucky. I was out there cruising. It was a good night."

"We got all the bugs out last year and the year ago," Brown replied when
asked why he is doing so much better this year. "We have decent motors
behind us now. And we've learned a lot. There is a lot to learn in this

Wright's triumph in the ponys marked the second time the third year racer
had passed the 62-year-old Hale during the closing stages of the main event.
A few weeks ago the 28-year-old waited until the final corner to steal the
victory from Hale, who started racing about ten years before Wright was
born. This time he made his move with six laps remaining in the 20-lapper.
The two ran side-by-side for a couple of rounds before Wright made the pass
stick on lap 16. Andy Papp got nailed in the passenger door during a
skirmish on the second circuit, but still came back to finish third. Early
leader Marty Schmidt ran fourth ahead of Jimmy Kyte.

Wickey came from 11th starting position to prevail in the bombers. Rookie
Hayden Smith was in the driver's seat until Wickey finally caught him on the
15th of 20-circuits. Once in front Wickey motored away. Smith retained
second while Eric Seene claimed third. Mark Holland and Arne Knufman ran
fourth and fifth. Only one yellow flag was displayed. That came just six
laps in. Several of the top runners in the division got bottled up in
traffic and were never factors. Pat Garity, who was undefeated in four
starts this year, ended up 11th behind Randy Wallace and Bill Holland.

RACERS REACHING OUT: Racers Reaching Out is donating $200 to the favorite
charity of the trophy dash winner each week. So far this year checks have
been sent to the Santana High School Memorial Trust Fund (in the name of
Mike Mendenhall), American Cancer Society in memory of Lt. Col. Thomas
Garity (Pat Garity), The Cindy Matters Fund (Douglas Wright), Childrens
Hospital in memory of Amber Arban (Mike Jackson), Ed Curtis and Brian Vowles
Memorial Golf Tournament in memory of Brian Vowles (Ron Overman) and The
Burn Institute (Mike Weimann). Racers Reaching Out is spearheaded by that
all around great guy Ron Overman and the rest of his Gray Thunder Racing
Team. The had a fund raiser last Saturday night at the track with a dinner
catered by Pat and Oscar's and a raffle. They raised $1620.


Fast Time - Todd McLauchlan, Alpine; Time - :16.325.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 2. Todd McLauchlan, Alpine; 3.
Ron Overman, Lakeside; Time - 10:14.16.
Main (40 laps) - 1. Todd McLauchlan, Alpine; 2. Danny Gay, Lakeside; 3. Ron
Overman, Lakeside; 4. Mike Mendenhall, Santee; 5. John Manke, Ramona; 6.
Jerry Gay, San Diego; 7. Dee Cable, Santee; 8. David Arzola, San Diego; 9.
Robert Parenteau, El Cajon; Time - 11:11.03.

Fast Time - Mike Salm, Fallbrook; Time - :16.546.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Scott Brown, Spring Valley; 2. Ron Esau, Lakeside; 3.
Ron Brown, San Diego; Time - 4:00.25.
Main (20 laps) - 1. Scott Brown, Spring Valley; 2. Ron Esau, Lakeside; 3.
Ron Brown, San Diego; 4. Doug Carpenter, La Mesa; 5. Dave Williams,
Escondido; 6. Mike Jackson, Bonita; 7. Mike Salm, Fallbrook; Time - 8:18.28.

Fast Time - Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; Time - :18.445.
Dash (4 laps) - 1. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 2. Andy Papp, La Mesa; 3. Douglas
Wright Jr., Rancho SD; 4. Ken Wikoren, El Cajon; Time - no time.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 2. Lou Tompkins, San Diego;
3. Kenny Hall, Lakeside; Time - 2:34.81.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Jimmy Kyte, El Cajon; 2. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 3.
Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; Time - 2:34.63.
Semi (10 laps) - 1. Frank Stangler, El Cajon; 2. Tim Beeney, Escondido; 3.
Bud Brandt, Lakeside; 4. Pete Franke, Lakeside; Time - no time.
Main (20 laps) - 1. Douglas Wright Jr., Rancho SD; 2. Ed Hale, El Cajon; 3.
Andy Papp, La Mesa; 4. Marty Schmidt, El Cajon; 5. Jimmy Kyte, El Cajon; 6.
Ken Wikoren, El Cajon; 7. Dave Brown, El Cajon; 8. Kenny Hall, Lakeside; 9.
Debi Urioste, Poway; 10. John Swink, Lakeside; 11. Mike Weimann, Temecula;
12. Frank Stangler, El Cajon; 13. Tim Beeney, Escondido; 14. Bud Brandt,
Lakeside; 15. Pete Franke, Lakeside; 16. Jack Shirey, San Diego; 17. Tim
White, San Clemente; 18. Lou Tompkins, San Diego; 19. Craig Pippin, Vista;
20. George Behlman, Santee; Time - 28:48.90.

Fast Time - Pat Garity, El Cajon; Time - :19.809.
1st Heat (8 laps) - 1. Hayden Smith, San Diego; 2. Rodney Shaw, El Cajon; 3.
Thomas Osborne, San Diego; Time - 6:06.28.
2nd Heat (8 laps) - 1. Eric Seene, Santee; 2. Bob Wickey, Spring Valley; 3.
Scott Denton, Fallbrook; Time - 2:43.81.
Main (20 laps) - 1. Bob Wickey, Spring Valley; 2. Hayden Smith, San Diego;
3. Eric Seene, Santee; 4. Mark Holland, San Diego; 5. Arne Knufman, San
Diego; 6. Marty Lehrke, San Diego; 7. Rodney Shaw, El Cajon; 8. Jeff Coskey,
Santee; 9. Bill Holland, El Cajon; 10. Randy Wallace, El Cajon; 11. Pat
Garity, El Cajon; 12. Scott Denton, Fallbrook; 13. Greg McCown, El Cajon;
14. Mark Wendell, Santee; 15. Thomas Osborne, San Diego; 16. Alex McKay, San
Diego; 17. Robert Bradley, Escondido; 18. Ben Fields, Dehesa; 19. Jess
Willhite, El Cajon; 20. Chris Boyer, San Diego; 21. John Aganowski, National
City; Time - 13:10.50.

DESTRUCTION DERBY - Robert Northcote, Campo

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