Champion Motor Speedway (CLOSED)
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Daring lap 87 move nets Perry $1800 win
by Race Author
CARSON CITY, Nev. -- A former track regular before moving his successful race car building business to Central California, Phil Perry from Lincoln turned a daring move in lapped traffic on lap 87 into an $1800 win as Champion Speedway opened it's four race, CarQuest sponsored Desert Rose 100 series for super late models Sunday afternoon. As the second fastest qualifier, Perry had to battle from 9th starting, but he chased down leader Mark Welch on lap 60. Welch had to move off the bottom groove to lap a limping Travis Combs on lap 85 and Perry found room to drive between the two cars on the backstretch.
After a two lap side by side duel with Welch, Perry pulled ahead on the bottom of turn 3 at the quick quarter-mile paved oval and he pulled away over the final 12 laps with his Mark Ross Transportation sponsored mount. Welch has returned to late models to chase the NASCAR regional championship in Stockton in a team car to Gary Glenn in 2004. Saturday night, he was penalized from a pole start to last, but still battled back to a 2nd place finish to Stockton point leader Dave Byrd in Stockton. Welch was second in today's 100 lapper ahead of SRL late model regular Randy Hedrick from Reno, dash winner Shannon Brady-Mansch and Henry Hodges Jr.
The Desert Rose 100 Series pays $1800 to win each of it's four races and the overall champion will pocket 1000 Silver Dollars from series sponsor Casino Fandango. The track picked dates when both Roseville and Stockton were idle to run the series events and the second race is slated for May 15.
The 17 car field for the series opener included 8 cars from California and 9 from Northern Nevada. The track can't fire an engine before noon on Sundays so time trials were run after just one hour of hot laps for the three divisions. The first car to run, Hedrick posted quick time with his 13.63 lap. Perry clicked off a 13.68 and Dave Sciarroni wheeled his Dodge to third quick at 13.80. Former track champion Rich Lawlor put his Ford in 4th at 13.83, Hodges ran a 13.85 and female star Brady-Mansch ranked sixth at 13.85. Just missing the dash were track favorite Chet Danburg and Welch, who both posted 13.86 laps. Brady-Mansch pocketed $100 for her dash win ahead of Lawlor, Perry and Hodges. Fast timer Hedrick drew for the feature inversion with the options of 6, 8, 10, 12 or full field. It came up a ten and that put Ford racer Travis Combs from Sacramento on the pole with Glenn alongside ahead of Welch and Danburg with Perry and Hedrick in the fifth row.
Combs was strong for the first 60 laps as he fought off the efforts of teammates Glenn and Welch for the first 8 laps. Welch nosed ahead of Glenn on lap 5 and the first caution fell for Rick Payne with a fuel leak. The pack had dueled side by side before this and the single file restart turned the action into a one line train. Welch took a high line around Combs for the lead on lap 9 and Chris Baker broke his accelerator for lap 10 yellow. Glenn had to pit from third with a flat tire and California visitor Jason Lloyd fell out. Only green flag laps counted in the 100 lapper and Welch led Combs, Brady-Mansch, Danburg and Sciarroni on the restart. Perry raced into fifth on lap 13 and he took fourth from Danburg on lap 19. Payne's day ended as he drew another yellow for his continued fuel leak on lap 24. Glenn also fell out with severe ignition problems. Lawlor had taken sixth from Sciarroni when debris forced a lap 27 yellow flag. Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller parked his car on lap 38 and a tap from Brady-Mansch got Combs out of shape on lap 46. When she backed off to let him collect himself, Brady-Mansch found herself losing spots to Perry and Hedrick. At the midway mark, Welch was 1/4 lap ahead of Combs with Perry third ahead of Hedrick, Brady-Mansch, Danburg, Lawlor, Hodges, Sciarroni, Al Goss and Stockton racer Joey Stearns. Danburg gained fifth on lap 54 and both Perry and Hedrick drove the high line around Combs on laps 56 and 57 to race into 2nd and 3rd. Sciarroni spun for a lap 58 yellow flag. When racing resumed, an overheating Lawlor and Combs both fell to the rear of the field with Perry and Hedrick now putting the pressure on leader Welch.
Brady-Mansch rebounded to reclaim fourth on lap 65 and Hodges raced into fifth on lap 69. Having worked his way up to 7th place, Goss ended up in the front fence after some contact for a lap 72 yellow flag. Welch was obviously slower than his challengers as Brady-Mansch and Hodges made it a five car train for the lead on lap 80. Perry saw his opening as Welch moved in to lap the limping Combs for a second time. When Welch moved high to make his backstretch pass, Perry charged between the cars and he was alongside Welch as they finished lap 86. Now on the favored inside line, Perry was able to nose ahead as they drove into turn 3 on lap 87. Both Sciarroni and Lawlor fell out with the final yellow flag dropping on lap 88. Once in front, there was no challenging Perry, but Welch was able to fend off the pack of hungry dogs to hang onto second place. Hedrick ran third ahead of Brady-Mansch, Hodges, Danburg and Stearns with Jay Bradley one lap down in 8th ahead of Combs.
After the May 15th second round of the series, the four race affair will end with events on June 26 and Sept 11. The drivers will compare their three best finishes for the overall award so teams that missed the opener can still duel for the championship.
Fast Time-Randy Hedrick 13.63
Dash-Shannon Brady-Mansch, Rich Lawlor, Phil Perry, Henry Hodges Jr, Hedrick, Dave Sciarroni.
Main-Perry, Mark Welch, Hedrick, Brady-Mansch, Hodges, Chet Danburg, Joey Stearns, Jay Bradley, Travis Combs, Lawlor, Sciarroni, Al Goss, Dean Heller, Gary Glenn, Rick Payne, Jason Lloyd, Chris Baker.