By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Susanville, CA
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Susanville, CA -- Erica Harmon from Lake Almanor gained a little ground on point leader Tom Canniff by fighting off the stiff challenges of Jay Evans to win Saturday nights 10 lap Stock Car feature at Lassen Speedway. Jeff Chew chased down leader John Ward and paced the final 4 laps to win the 10 lap IMCA Modified main event. Don Heuser held a huge lead into the final corner of the 10 lap Strictly Stock main event, but slowed coming in for the checkered flag and lost a near photo finish to friend Jacob Beauchman, who is dueling Beau Reynolds for the track championship. Johnny Puckett took the lead from point leader Paul Fletcher on lap 4 and won the 10 lap mini stock main event to complete a sweep of tonights races. Puckett won the heat race and the dash also. Tom Jernigan not only scored a clean sweep in the mini sprint 600 action, but also loaned his spare car out to Joe Costa to run in the feature race. The feature was cut to five laps, but Jernigan nearly lapped runnerup Cristy Richer-Costa in that distance. All of the tracks regular classes saw their feature lengths cut in half to allow the visiting Pacific Coast Dirt Late Model Tour to run their entire show prior to the tracks 11 oclock curfew.
The stock car class had 7 entries and previous race winner Evans won the heat race over crowd favorite Harmon and Canniff. Canniff was the dash winner as Evans ran second. The feature had just 6 starters as Robert McGowan spun in the heat race and clipped Steve Bejcek. Bejcek was unable to repair his damage. The main event had a wild start as pole starter McGowan drove straight to the turn 4 crashwall coming down for the green flag. That forced outside front row starter Steve Goss to make heavy contact with the fence. Goss was taken out of the race and McGowans night was also done. Harmon led the first lap over Kevin Coleman, but Evans raced into second on lap 2. Canniff climbed to third on lap 4, but he was 1/3 lap behind the dueling leaders at the checkered flag. Harmon fought off the stiff challenges from Evans for the win. Canniff started the night with a 27 point lead on Harmon and 40 ahead of Coleman. The IMCA Modifieds have frequently had too few cars to race in 2003, but four appeared this night. Chew won the heat race from the pole ahead of Boyd Murchison. Murchison took dash honors ahead of Matt Murphy. Ward jumped to a quick lead from his pole start in the 10 lap feature. He was a full straight in front when Chew got by Murchison for second on lap 4. Chew quickly chased down Ward and made his winning pass in turn 4 on lap 7. Murphy had a late race flat, but still managed third as Murchison spun on the final lap. Chew won ahead of Ward and the limping Murphy.
The Strictly Stocks had the biggest local class with 8 cars racing. Reynolds was just 2 points ahead of Beauchman and 26 ahead of Bob Feller when the night started. Pole starting Feller won the heat race ahead of Beauchman and Reynolds, but Reynolds won the dash with Beauchman second. A long time top runner in the class, D Heuser had won the previous week and he went low on the backstretch to take the lead from Beauchman on lap 6 tonight. Feller passed Gene Cains truck for third on lap 8. D Heuser slowed down in the final corners and Beauchman pulled alongside for the narrow win. With Reynolds back in sxith place, Beauchmans win will give a point lead with just two September races remaining. D Heuser settled for 2nd ahead of Feller, Cain, Christine Fletcher and Reynolds. There were five mini stocks, but that field was shortened to four in the heat action when Rick McGowan crashed hard into a spun point leader P Fletcher. McGowans car was totaled. Puckett beat previous week winner Joe Marlow and P Fletcher in the heat race. Fletcher led the first 3 laps of the main from the pole, but Puckett raced into second on lap 2 and he took the lead from Fletcher with an inside pass on lap 4. Marlow made it a three car duel for the win, but Puckett stayed out front of P Fletcher and Marlow as Damon Olsen ran a distant fourth. P Fletcher led Puckett by 30 points and Olsen by 37 starting the night. The mini sprint 600s ran a four car heat racew ith Jernigan easily beating J Costa and young Cristy Richer-Costa. Dawn Costa broke in the heat race to end her night. Jernigan won the dash ahead of the 250 driven by Richer-Costa. J Costa broke in the dash, but jumped into the Jernigan backup for the brief five lap feature. With his clean sweep, Jernigan increased his point lead over the absent David Neutz. Jernigan beat Richer-Costa in the feature with J Costa a distant third.
Those two remaining September race dates are Sept 6 and Sept 13.
Summary Mini Stock Dash-Johnny Puckett, Paul Fletcher, Damon Olsen. Heat-Puckett, Joe Marlow, Fletcher, Olsen, Rick McGowan. Main-Puckett, Fletcher, Marlow, Olsen. Mini Sprint 600 Dash-Tom Jernigan, Cristy Richer-Costa, Joe Costa. Heat-Jernigan, J Costa, Richer-Costa, Dawn Costa. Main-Jernigan, Richer-Costa, J Costa. Strictly Stock Dash-Beau Reynolds, Jacob Beauchman, Shyla Heuser. Heat-Bob Feller, Beauchman, Reynolds, S Heuser, Gene Cain. Main-Beauchman, Don Heuser, Feller, Cain, Christine Fletcher, Reynolds, S Heuser, Tim Stout. IMCA Modified Dash-Boyd Murchison, Matt Murphy, Jeff Chew. Heat-Chew, Murchison, Murphy, John Ward. Main-Chew, Ward, Murphy, Murchison. Stock Car Dash-Tom Caniff, Jay Evans, Kevin Coleman. Heat-Evans, Erica Harmon, Caniff, Reynolds, Steve Goss. Main-Harmon, Evans, Caniff, Coleman, Robert McGowan, Goss.