Ake Takes Oval Title by 60 Points


The 1989 stock car racing series ended at Ventura Raceway last Friday night with no change in three of the series season points championship divisions and a mild upset in the very tight Mini Stock Oval Track division.

Charles Utts of Camarillo wrapped up the Street Stock Oval Track championship several weeks ago, finishing the season with 3,220 points. His nearest competition was Camarillo's Jeff Bosley, who finished second with 2,010 points.

Utts outdistanced the Street Stock field with 15 fast times, seven trophy dash, six heat race, and six Main Event wins this season.

The Mini Stock Oval Track championship, however, was not a run-away event as had been predicted earlier in the season.

Camarillo's Gary Curtis appeared to have the championship locked up by midseason, but the record-setting driver (15 main-event wins) either won it all or did not finish in the points during the second half, allowing Rock Ake Jr. of Moorpark to make it the closest points race in the track's history heading into the final week.

Curtis held a slim 10-point lead over Ake going into Friday's competition.

Ake picked up a 20-point lead over Curtis through qualifying and a trophy dash and heat race with 200 points available in the final main-event race. Curtis made several hard charges at Ake in the final, but was sent to the back of the pack three times for spin-outs with other drivers while trying to overtake the field, never managing to catch Ake.

Ake's finished second in the 25-lap race with Curtis placing fifth to give Ake the Oval Track championship by a margin of 60 points. Oxnard's Jim Jewett took first place.

It was a very good year for Ake, who also won the Mini Stock Figure-8 championship with his nemesis Curtis also finishing second in that category.

Bosley captured the Street Stock Figure-8 championship with a 2,455-to-2,100 point margin over Jim Firsich of Port Hueneme.

Ventura's Tom Stephens won the final Street Stock 20-lap Main Event.

Utts and Sue Pittinato of West Hills were Heat Race winners and Don Green of Ventura took the Trophy Dash in the Street Stock division.

Ventura's Pat Garrety won the Trophy Dash and a heat race in the Mini Stock division, with Kevin Parker of Ventura and Ken Hewitt of Moorpark winning the other heat races.

Chris Raschke of Ventura drove to victory in the 10-lap Mini Stock semi-main event.

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