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White Wins Saugus Race Hands Down

June 25, 1989|VINCE KOWALICK | Times Staff Writer

Dale White Jr. kept his bumpers and fenders to himself and raced like a good little Street Stock driver Saturday night for 25 of the most crunching laps this season at Saugus Speedway.

Reprimanded by track officials after purposely ramming another driver's car at the finish of a heat race, White, of Simi Valley, was given an ultimatum before the main event.

"I had to drive clean," White said. "They were going to send me home. They said, 'No touching anybody, keep your hands off everybody.' So, I said, 'OK, I will.' "

So, while the race featured three yellow and one red flags, White rallied without incident from a 12th-place start to claim his third oval main-event victory of the season before 3,506 spectators.

Four drivers held the lead and a total of seven held a position among the top four. Consequently, courteous driving was nowhere to be seen.

"On that last lap," White said, "I could see that (Craig) Rayburn and (Russ) Beckers were smacking each other around, so I had an open lane and just went for it. It was just a matter of waiting."

Actually, it was on Lap 21 that White roared past leader Eric Foster of North Hollywood, who had overtaken Kenny Wilson of West Hills just one lap earlier with an impressive outside pass through Turns 3 and 4.

After grabbing the lead on the second lap and resisting hard charges by White and Larry Durm of Northridge, the race seemingly was Wilson's to lose--which he did, along with a rear wheel, while Foster was making his outside pass.

A similar fate awaited Foster, who pulled out of the race less than a lap later with a shredded tire.

"I got a flat tire right when I made the pass," Foster said. "I'm a little upset. That would have been my first oval main-event win ever. There was a lotta bumpin' in the front, but I wasn't doing any."

Foster, however, reappeared for the 15-lap figure 8 main event and finished ahead of White for his first main-event win of the season. Jim Marlewski of Simi Valley finished third and Rayburn finished fourth.

The evening also featured the second appearance this season by U. S. Auto Club Midgets. Wally Pankratz of Yorba Linda won the 30-lap main event ahead of Sleepy Tripp of Costa Mesa, who won a heat race and the trophy dash.

In the 20-lap three-quarter Midget main event, Steve Kellick of Bakersfield slipped past pole-sitter Mike Perine of Camarillo on Lap 5 and raced unchallenged to the checkered flag.

George Ito of Ventura finished second and Kara Hendrick of Chino took third.

In other races, Frank Pedregon of Gardena won the six-lap Midget semi-main event ahead of Stephen Lewis of Bakersfield to advance to the main event.

Ten-lap Midget heat race winners included Tripp and Chuck West of Fresno.

Kellick and Scott Hansen of Simi Valley each won eight-lap, three-quarter Midget heat races.

Eight-lap Street Stock oval heat race winners included Jeff Drake of Fillmore, Marlewski and Beckers, of Sepulveda. Rayburn of Simi Valley won the eight-lap Street Stock figure 8 heat race.

Trophy dash winners included Tripp (Midget), Hendrick (three-quarter Midget), Steve Nickolai of Simi Valley (Street Stock oval) and White (Street Stock figure 8).

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