By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Watsonville, CA
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Watsonville, CA -- Watsonville Speedway track champion Dennis Pelphrey followed up his win in the Antioch Speedway leg of the Indian Summer Series with another $1400 triumph as the two track series finished on Saturday night at Watsonville Speedway. Pelphrey won his heat race on Friday night and earned the pole for the scheduled 30 lap super street stock A Main with his dash win. He paced the final 20 laps of the crash shortened 24 lap main event on Saturday night for the $1400 win and the overall championship for the series. A third place finisher at Antioch, Watsonville regular Doug Hagio paced those first four laps and then ran second the rest of the way for a $700 payday and second overall. Watsonville point runnerup Mark Cooper completed the Watsonville sweep of the top three spots with his $500 drive from deep in the field. Antioch Speedway champion Bob Motts Jr was a $400 fourth and Petaluma champion Woody Woodward earned $300 for fifth. Woodward did finish third overall in the series with fifth place runs at both tracks. The series point fund disappeared when Antioch shortened their participation to just a one night event two weeks earlier. Like he was in September at Merced, Jeff Mead had the Saturday night dry slick track figured out and he paced the final 21 laps to score a $1000 win in the 30 lap limited late model feature. Mead took the lead from 2003 Watsonville Speedway champion Mike Meazell and paced 2004 Watsonville Speedway champion Ken Gregg and Meazell at the checkered flag. Gregg won $500 and Meazell battled back from a lap 12 spin to earn $300 for third.
The super street stock Saturday night show started with a 15 lap B Main that transferred the top six cars into the scheduled 30 lap A Main. Woodward led all 15 laps for the win and Watsonville rookie of the year Danny Scott worked his way through the pack to run second ahead of Antioch’s D J Petrell. Anthony Giuliani made a late move around Merced’s Tim Ragsdale for fourth and Antioch’s Raymond Benkowski got the final transfer as Mark Acosta and Eric Berendsen missed. Rich Firato joined the action on Saturday, but spun and got clipped by leader Woodward on lap 7. Berendsen spun out of second on lap 11 and then he got a flat in a late race tangle with Acosta. Pelphrey and Hagio had earned the front row assignments with their 1-2 finish in the dash on Friday night and Hagio turned the favored outside lane assignment into an early lead. Motts lost his power steering on lap 1, but managed to run with the top Watsonville cars without it. Pelphrey settled into second over Chris Messmer and Motts. Steve Peyla ran fifth early and the front threesome checked out. Pelphrey made an outside pass on Hagio for the lead on lap 5. A restart incident after a lap 7 yellow damaged the cars of Eric VanHooser, Scott and Giuliani. Benkowski lost a muffler and his race was over with Merced’s Red Williams also sidelined early. Messmer and Motts traded third with Chester Kniss into fifth. A red flag on lap 9 saw Peyla spin and get hit by VanHooser. Messmer ran off the end of the track and fell out of the top five with Motts up to third over Cooper and 17th starter Woodward. Cooper tried to make a low line work in his attempt to pass Motts for third as everyone was racing an extreme high line on the dry slick track. The yellow again appeared on lap 21 and Cooper did take third from Motts on this restart by using the favored high line assignment on the double file restart. Sixth place Kniss spun and the race ended on lap 24 when Petrell and VanHooser tangled. Pelphrey won ahead of Hagio, Cooper, Motts, Woodward, Messmer, Scott, Kniss, Chowchilla’s Syd Finn and Dave Hill. The series trophies were won by champion Pelphrey, runnerup Hagio, Woodward, Scott and Motts.
The limited late models had run a preliminary feature on Friday night and Gregg got that $125 win over Meazell after John Harville was disqualified for not going to tech. The 30 lapper on Saturday started with a first turn tangle as both Rich Barbaccia and John Kriebel spun and got hit by Gilbert Dixon. The race was over for both Kriebel and Dixon. Jeremy Petrell lost laps making repairs as Meazell paced the first 9 laps. Mead traded third early with Barbaccia and Harville before taking second from Gregg on lap 8 with his high line effort. After Mead passed Meazell on the high side on lap 10, Meazell tried moving to that line but it didn’t work for his car. Gregg gained second on lap 12 when Meazell spun for a yellow flag. The final 18 laps were run without a caution and Mead checked out. Meazell quickly got back to third ahead of Harville. Mead and Gregg opened a ½ lap lead over Meazell and Ben Lewis began to smoke. Petrell pitted and Lewis spun on the last lap with a minor fire. Mead won with Gregg right behind in second. Meazell was third ahead of Harville, Barbaccia and Lewis.
Summary Limited Late Model Main-Jeff Mead, Ken Gregg, Mike Meazell, John Harville, Rich Barbaccia, Ben Lewis, Jeremy Petrell, John Kriebel, Gilbert Dixon. Super Street Stock B Main-Woody Woodward, Danny Scott, D J Petrell, Anthony Giuliani, Tim Ragsdale, Raymond Benkowski, Mark Acosta, Eric Berendsen, Joe Carter, Darrell Hughes. A Main-Dennis Pelphrey, Doug Hagio, Mark Cooper, Bob Motts Jr, Woodward, Chris Messmer, Scott, Chester Kniss, Syd Finn, Dave Hill, Ragsdale, Petrell, Jamie Reynolds, Denise McCown, Todd Gomez, Eric VanHooser, Giuliani, Jason Rood, Steve Peyla, Michael Newman, Red Williams, Benkowski.