Phipps Caps Season With 8th Sportsman Division Main-Event Victory

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Saugus Speedway’s 14th annual Fall Spectacular on Saturday night attracted a season-high 110 stock cars and a near-capacity crowd of 5,096.

But little was spectacular about the outcome of the 75-lap Sportsman division main event. Dave Phipps of Simi Valley, who this season won an unprecedented third Sportsman title, qualified for the pole position and never--pardon the cliche--looked back.

Phipps easily led from flag to flag, lapping cars as though they were parked and capping one of the most successful seasons in Saugus history with his 8th main-event win of the season.

Richard DeLong Jr. of Van Nuys, who finished 8th in the point standings, recorded two wins this season, being the only other driver with more than one.


Good year, Dave?

“Hell yeah!” said a beaming Phipps. “I’m happy. I don’t know what else to say.

“I was going really slow. I basically was cruising.”

The 50-lap Street Stock Figure 8 main event turned out to be all it was, well, cracked up to be.


In the first main event, which featured a packed track of 28 drivers and seemingly about as many crashes, Kenny Wilson of West Hills, Dave Blankenship of Reseda and Jim Marlewski of Simi Valley traded leads in heavy traffic before Wilson edged Blankenship at the checkered flag.

“Hopefully, the other guy gets stuck in traffic and that’s what he did,” Wilson said of Blankenship. “You never know how you’re going to end up in these things until the end.”

Said Blankenship: “That was the heaviest traffic I’ve seen.”

Before the smoke from screeching tires had cleared, Bill McLean of Canoga Park, Gerrit Cromsigt of Palmdale, Rodney Peacher of Sepulveda, Steve Reynolds of Sylmar and Ed Horst of Reseda had their cars towed from the track after accidents.


Ten laps into the race, Reynolds and Horst--both driving full-speed--were involved in what was probably the most devastating collision in the Figure 8 intersection this season. Remarkably, neither driver was injured--both climbed from their cars and walked to the pits.