DRAKE ADDS WESTERN WORLD TITLE
By Robert Mayson
PHOENIX, AZ, Nov. 4, 2000 - After yet another impressive performance, Jay Drake can add Manzanita Speedway's Non-Winged Western World Championships to his astonishing 2000 win list. Saturday's 40 lap victory was Drake's fifth Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) tour triumph in seven starts in the Keith Kunz / Vital911.com No. 67K Stealth.
"It just another great win for us. I know we've had plenty of them this year, but this sure doesn't get old," Drake said. "This is the 14th win for this car this season and to win that many races in one year, with one car, is amazing. I'm just glad I'm the guy that gets to drive it."
Looking ahead, Drake knows there could be some even bigger paydays over the next few weeks as the NWWC tour moves to the Perris Auto Speedway next weekend for a $25,000 to win show before returning to Manzanita Speedway on Thanksgiving weekend for a pair of races that will pay $20,000 to the overall winner.
"I'm glad that Ron Shuman and the SCRA have put this deal together because there has never been a time when we've seen non-winged sprint car racing paying this kind of money and generating this kind of interest. It's a great series and I'm just glad to be a part of it and I'm really glad to be winning most of the races. If we can win those last two races it'll be bigger than anything we've done yet," Drake said optimistically.
Drake earned the pole for the main event after forgoing a game of cat and mouse with Rip Williams in the JE Pistons Dash. Despite knowing that the outside front row would be the preferred line for the feature, Drake elected to go for the win in the dash.
"I had a thought about finishing second in the dash and I think Rip had the same thought because I don't think he came down the front straightaway full throttle," Drake said while laughing. "I kind of think he might have let me go and I was wondering if maybe I should have let him go, but I want to win any race I'm in whether it's a heat race, a dash or a semi."
Williams' suspected strategy was a good one as he easily put the Sharon Jory / Vista Paint No. 3 Stinger into the lead on the initial start. But that start was negated after the yellow lighted appeared for a slowing Jeremy Sherman. Much like the first start, Williams jumped into the lead on the restart as Drake drifted into second place. Unlike the first start, Drake pressured Williams down the back straight before driving to the bottom of turn three. Williams powered his way towards the cushion only to bicycle in the third turn. Williams managed to keep the car on the ground, but not before Drake had take over the lead.
"I could see he was pretty quick from that first start, fortunately, I got a second chance at it," Drake recalled. "He was starting on the outside and I knew he was going to get the jump down the front straightaway. I knew if I was going to do anything with him that I would have to dispose of him early, so I hauled her into turn three and let it slid and he caught that rut down there and bobbled a little bit giving me the line."
Williams held on to second with Steve Ostling, Tracy Hines and Tony Jones closely following him back to the flagstand. Drake pulled away as Williams, Ostling and Hines fought for second. Drake's sizable lead would be lost on lap five after a Joe Devin flip halted green flag racing. Devin was not hurt.
Drake pulled away once more after the restart as the battle for second placed continued. Ostling moved the Bill Pratt / Feese Solid Surface No. 12 Okie into the runner-up spot on lap six. Once in second, Ostling was not able to narrow the gap between himself and the leader. With nearly a full straightaway lead, Drake reached his first slower car on lap 12. As the laps remaining began to quickly dwindle, Drake's advantage did not. That is, until lap 14 when Sherman stopped in turn four bring out another yellow flag.
Ostling stayed close for a few laps after the restart, but Drake would eventually build his lead back to what it was before even with another caution period on the 20th lap. Meanwhile, Williams, who had handling problems with a fuel load of fuel early in the race, was begining to work his way forward after falling as far back as sixth place. Using a variety of racing lines, Williams passed the BWB Racing / Hanning Construction No. 62 J&J driven by Hines for second with five laps to go. But catching Drake would be a different story since his lead was too large for Williams to mount any kind of a challenge.
Hines finished third with Ostling in fourth. Richard Griffin started ninth in the Ron Chaffin / Arizona Race Mart No. 50 Jon Boy and finished fifth. Since Drake failed to pre-register for the NWWC series, Griffin still leads defending NWWC Champion Cory Kruseman in NWWC points when the series picks-up in six days. Earlier in the evening, Kaylene Verville became the first female driver to post an SCRA or NWWC heat race victory.
RACE #41 - MANZANITA SPEEDWAY - NWWC WESTERN WORLD
Date of Race: 11/04/00
SCRA TIME TRIALS
1. Richard Griffin, Silver City NM, Chaffin 50 , 19.292 2. Brad Noffsinger, Concord NC, Gardner Jr. 96 , 19.465 3. Rickey Hood, Phoenix AZ, Herrera 45X , 19.516 4. Cory Kruseman, Ventura CA, Willis 45 , 19.517 5. Jordan Hermansader, Long Beach CA, Acosta 77, 19.572 6. Troy Cline, Santa Clarita CA, Cline 11, 19.635 7. Derek Davidson, Lafayette IN, G.T. Racing 76, 19.646 8. Mike English, Norwalk CA, Priestley 10, 19.686 9. Eric Wilkins, Peoria AZ, Smiley 60A , 19.689 10. John Scott, Hesperia CA, Scott Mtrsprts 83 , 19.695 11. Kevin Doty, Milan IL, Lloyd 34 , 19.743 12. Tony Elliott, Kokomo IN, Walker 66X , 19.759 13. Rodney Argo, Hawthorne CA., Argo 19, 19.766 14. Bob Ream Jr, Glendale AZ, Brat Racing 87, 19.782 15. Jeremy Sherman, Phoenix AZ., Lloyd. 41, 19.804 16. Troy Rutherford, Ojai CA, Gardner, Jr 6, 19.849 17. Terry Pletch, Frankfort IN, Pletch 29P, 19.878 18. Bill Rose, Plainfield IN, Gardner Jr 93, 19.923 19. Jerry Coons, Jr, Tucson AZ., Coons, Sr. 12A, 19.934 20. Danny Sheridan, Santa Maria CA, Sheridan 18 , 19.981 21. George Gervais, Mira Loma CA.,Gervais 9, 20.037 22. Kaylene Verville, Phoenix AZ, Warner 01, 20.053 23. Jarrett Chaney, Clovis CA., Chaney 69 , 20.153 24. Josh Pelkey, Peoria AZ, Masseth 17, 20.159 25. Joe Devin, Speedway IN, Devin 57X, 20.248 26. Lance Gremett, San Marcos CA, Gremett 85 , 20.262 27. Casey Shuman, Tempe AZ, Lake Mtrsprts. 2, 20.270 28. J Hicks, Torrance CA, Alexander 89, 20.281 29. Bobby Graham, Riverside CA, Silver State 14 , 20.374 30. Rick Hinrichsen, Lakeside CA, Lake Mtrsprts 22 , 20.494 31. Ed Carpenter, Jr., Indianapolis IN, Ellis 21, 20.546 32. Ronnie Clark, Tucson AZ, Winter 33, 20.920 33. Ricky Johnson, Phoenix AZ, Johnson 51A , 21.210 34. Steve Venard, Silverado CA, Glover 86 , 21.295 35. Tony Lima, Industry CA, Lima 30 , 21.881 36. Travis Cooley, Mesa AZ.,Cooley 67A , 22.768
1. Rodney Argo, 2. Joe Devin, 3. George Gervals, 4. Terry Pletch, 5. Bobby Graham, 6. Jordan Hermansader, 7. Ricky Johnson, 8. Eric Wilkins, 9, Richard Griffin,
1. Kaylene Verville, 2. Troy Cline, 3. Bob Ream Jr, 4. John Scott, 5. Brad Noffsinger, 6. Bill Rose, 7. Rick Hinrichsen, 8. Steve Venard, 9. Lance Gremett,
1. Jarrett Chaney, 2. Jerry Coons, Jr, 3. Jeremy Sherman, 4. Kevin Doty, 5. Casey Shuman, 6. Ed Carpenter, Jr., 7. Rickey Hood, 8. Tony Lima, 9. Derek Davidson,
1. Troy Rutherford, 2. Cory Kruseman, 3. Josh Pelkey, 4. Danny Sheridan, 5. J Hicks, 6. Mike English, 7. Travis Cooley, 8. Tony Elliott, 9, Ronnie Clark,
1. Jay Drake. 2. Rip Williams. 3. Tony Jones. 4. Steve Ostling. 5. Charles Davis, Jr. 6. Tracy Hines. 7. Dave Darland. 8. Mike Kirby.
1. Richard Griffin. 2. Brad Noffsinger. 3. Jordan Hermansader. 4. John Scott. 5. Mike English. 6. Eric Wilkins. 7. Terry Pletch. 8. Ed Carpenter, Jr.. 9. Rickey Hood. 10. Ronnie Clark. 11. Danny Sheridan. 12. Casey Shuman. 13. Travis Cooley. 14. Rick Hinrichsen. 15. Tony Lima. 16. Lance Gremett. 17. Derek Davidson. 18. Steve Venard, 19. Kevin Doty. 20. Bill Rose. 21. Bobby Graham, 22. Ricky Johnson.
1. Jay Drake. 2. Rip Williams, 3. Tracy Hines. 4. Steve Ostling. 5. Richard Griffin. 6. Cory Kruseman. 7. Mike Kirby. 8, Troy Cline. 9. John Scott. 10. Troy Rutherford, 11. Bob Ream Jr. 12. Charles Davis, Jr. 13. Jarrett Chaney. 14. Dave Darland. 15. Tony Jones. 16. Kaylene Verville. 17. George Gervais. 18. Josh Pelkey. 19. Jordan Hermansader. 20. Jerry Coons, Jr. 21. Brad Noffsinger. 22. Rodney Argo. 23. Jeremy Sherman. 24, Joe Devin.
Laps Led: Drake 1-40
-After the National Anthem, a moment of silence was held in honor of motorsport enthusiast- Steve Evans.
-A tribute was also held in honor of Sprint Car fan George Wilson Jr. One of his favorite racers, Mike Kirby drove several memorial laps with checked flag in hand.
-Kaylene Verville becomes the first woman racer to win an SCRA Heat Race. It was also reported that she is the first woman to transfer to the A-Main. (She did this on both nights of competition.)
-Jay Drake won the A-Main by 5.69 seconds.