Press Returns to Win Before 5,436 at Saugus
There seems to be no beating Dan Press at Saugus Speedway.
Press, a 41-year-old resident of Frazier Park, reaffirmed that assumption Saturday night before a season-high crowd of 5,436, scoring a dominating 100-lap victory in the first NASCAR Southwest Tour event this season at the one-third-mile oval.
Press, a three-time Modified division champion at Saugus in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, won again at his favorite track, establishing a tour record with three consecutive victories at one track.
Last season, Press set a tour record with eight victories en route to his first tour championship. Press, who shot into the lead on Lap 17 and was virtually unchallenged thereafter, averaged 66.02 m.p.h. in posting his second win in three events this season.
His margin of victory was 2.4 seconds over Ray Hooper Jr. of Palmdale--another former Saugus champion--although at times Press held as much as a six-second lead.
“Maybe this track just likes me,” Press said with a smile. “I really like this track, I always have. It’s natural. It’s like a good ol’ pair of shoes. Fits real nice.”
M. K. Kanke of Granada Hills finished third.
In other races, John Pagones of North Hollywood won the 15-lap Southwest Tour semi-main event to lead two drivers who advanced to the main event. Hans Wesski of Simi Valley also advanced.
Bryan Moyto of Saugus won the 15-lap Street Stock oval semi-main event to lead four drivers who advanced to the main event.
Twelve-lap Southwest Tour heat-race winners included Bryan Germone of Sebastopol, Wesski, Bryan Brown of Bakersfield and Hooper.
Eight-lap Street Stock oval heat-race winners included John Kirby of Ventura, Richard Iannolo of Mission Hills, Joe Barreras Jr. of Canyon Country and Sue Pittinato of Canyon Country.
Russ Beckers of Sepulveda won the eight-lap figure-eight heat race.
Ron Hornaday Jr. won the Southwest Tour trophy dash ahead of Press.
Steve Nickolai of Simi Valley (oval) and Dave Blankenship of Reseda (figure-eight) each won Street Stock trophy dashes.