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Hornaday Notches 3rd Consecutive Southwest Main Victory


Everyone knows that Ron Hornaday Jr. of Palmdale is a big wheel at Saugus Speedway.

From the moment the green flag dropped on Saturday night's 100-lap NASCAR Southwest Tour main event, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Hornaday, the tour's points leader and defending champion, would quickly move into the lead to stay.

The moment came on the 21st lap, when Hornaday maneuvered his yellow Oldsmobile Cutlass past Keith Spangler of Northridge on the outside lane of the front straightaway.

From there, Hornaday sped unchallenged to his third consecutive main-event victory before a crowd of 5,373.

The victory earned Hornaday $3,835 and tied him with Dan Press (1989) and Rick Carelli (1991) for consecutive wins in a season.

Hornaday, 34, Saugus' Modified division champion in 1979, has 13 victories since joining the Southwest Tour, his last two at Saugus.

"Keith knows this track like the back of his hand," Hornaday said of the pass. "I could have banged on his back all day long and it wasn't going to work. I had to go outside.

"It wasn't easy, I'll tell you that. This car is awesome."

By Lap 50, Hornaday had lapped three cars and opened a five-second lead over Spangler, a huge margin on Saugus' one-third-mile oval.

Hornaday maintained the margin until a yellow flag slowed proceedings on Lap 71. Upon re-start, Hornaday didn't let up.

Craig Raudman of Redding finished second and Doug George of Atwater, second to Hornaday in points, was third. Hornaday's margin of victory was 2.2 seconds.

On the undercard of the Southwest Tour, Pro Stock drivers Scott Dinger of Simi Valley and Ed Horst of Reseda staged another battle in a long-standing rivalry in the 25-lap oval main event.

Dinger, second to Horst in the division's points race, outlasted Horst to take his third checkered flag of the season. Dinger started seventh and moved ahead of leader Craig Rayburn of Simi Valley on Lap 14.

Horst, who started ninth, passed Rayburn at almost the same time, then rode Dinger's bumper to the finish.

Horst and Dinger finished first and second in the Pro Stock points race last season.

"Tonight, I didn't have any trouble holding him off," Dinger said. "Other nights . . .

"There were only six laps left after that (final) re-start. I got a little jump on him."

In other races, Eddie Bryans of El Cajon won the 12-lap Southwest Tour semi-main event to advance to the main event. Doug Renno of Canoga Park finished second to advance.

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