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Rayburn Has Busy Evening at Saugus

April 09, 1989|VINCE KOWALICK | Times Staff Writer

Craig Rayburn, a man with a two-car garage, gave both vehicles a good spin before a warmed-up crowd of 4,387 Saturday night at Saugus Speedway.

Rayburn, a resident of Simi Valley, is the track's only driver to race in both Sportsman and Street Stock divisions.

In the 25-lap Street Stock oval main event, he made it look effortless, moving ahead of No. 2 points leader and fellow Simi Valley resident Steve Nickolai on Lap 3 and maintaining a solid lead until the checkered flag.

No sooner had Rayburn crossed the finish line than he leaped into his Sportsman model for the 40-lap main event.

That race was won by John Watkinson of Canyon Country, who made a daring pass of Danny Hornaday on the backstretch of Lap 30 and survived two yellow flags and a late charge by defending champion and birthday boy Dave Phipps, who moved from an eighth-place start to a third-place finish.

The night, however, clearly belonged to Rayburn. Although he finished 10th in the Sportsman main, Rayburn, who also posted Sportsman and Street Stock heat-race victories, gathered the most checkered flags.

Rayburn, who entered the evening seventh in the Street Stock point standings, enjoyed a six-car-length lead over Dale White of Tarzana from Laps 5 through 20 in the Street Stock oval.

White closed the gap, nudging Rayburn's bumper on Lap 20, but Rayburn reopened the lead and took the flag by six lengths.

Bob Estes of Saugus won the 12-lap Sportsman semi-main event to advance to the main. Rick Winakur of Simi Valley of Simi Valley won the 15-lap Street Stock oval main event to also advance.

Ten-lap Sportsman heat race winners included Will Harper of Tarzana, Roger Theobald of Saugus and Rayburn.

Eight-lap Street Stock oval heat race winners included Jim Marlewski and Nickolai of Simi Valley, Rick Crow of Canyon Country and Burt Tester.

Rayburn and Crow also posted eight-lap Street Stock Figure 8 heat race victories.

Trophy dash winners were Frank White of Los Angeles (Sportsman), Eric Foster of North Hollywood (Street Stock oval) and Russ Beckers of Sepulveda (Street Stock Figure 8).

Kenny Wilson of West Hills, last week's winner of the opening-night Street Stock oval main event, was later disqualified for racing with an illegal carburetor. The win was awarded to John Kirby of Ventura.

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