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Crow and Kelley End Slides With Saugus Victories

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Rick Crow and Brian Kelley, stock car drivers who have watched their stock drop in recent weeks at Saugus Speedway, moved toward the top of their respective points standings with main-event wins Saturday night before 3,374 spectators.

Crow of Canyon Country, who had dropped from fifth to seventh in the Street Stock division points standings in the past three weeks, roared from pole position to checkered flag to win the 25-lap main event for his first oval main win of the season.

Kelley of Arleta, who slipped from first to second in the Hobby Stock points standings over the same period, also led from pole to checkered flag to win the 25-lap Hobby Stock main event. For good measure, Kelley won the 15-lap figure 8 main event.

“We’re getting back,” Crow said of his team’s recent lack of success.

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Crow survived two yellow flags and a hard charge by Russ Beckers of Sepulveda. “When I saw Beckers back their banging on my buns,” Crow said, “I thought, ‘Oh, no!’ ”

In the Hobby Stock main, three yellow flags, two red flags and a brief delay to investigate a fluid leak beneath Kelley’s car did nothing to change the starting order of the first six cars. The top six sped from start to finish without a change in position.

Kelley survived every delay and close scrutiny by track officials, who peered beneath his red Camaro during a yellow flag on Lap 17.

But Kelley, whose car spewed white smoke a lap earlier, was not flagged to the pits and continued on to post his fourth main-event win of the season.

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More importantly for Kelley, however, the win moved him back atop the Hobby Stock points standings. Kelley, the points leader for much of the season, began the evening in second place, two points behind Scott Wade of Burbank, who finished seventh.

Thad Friday of Reseda finished second and Shannon Flavin finished third.

In other races, Rick Bonifield of Palmdale won the 12-lap Jalopy main event after Russ Wolff of Mission Hills, who led for most of the race, spun out on the final lap.

Eight-lap Street Stock oval heat race winners included Kenny Wilson of West Hills, Eric Foster of North Hollywood and Steve Nickolai of Simi Valley.

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Craig Rayburn of Simi Valley, the Street Stock points leader, won the figure heat race.

James Kusch of Sepulveda won the Hobby Stock figure 8 heat race.


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