Dinger Takes Pole Position to Checkered Flag at Saugus

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

More vehicles took to the track at Saugus Speedway on Saturday night than any previous night this season and, perhaps, in the track's history.

The bill featured five scheduled main events with matching trophy dashes, one semi-main event and 12 heat races before a crowd of 5,306.

That meant for quite a few crashes and subsequent delays, and the 25-lap Pro Stock oval main event, easily won by Scott Dinger of Simi Valley, was no exception.

Fifteen laps into the race, Greg Benner of Whittier and Brian Kelley of Arleta were involved in a spin and crash in Turn 4 that resulted in a red flag and both drivers' cars being towed from the track.

Another yellow lap delayed proceedings four laps later when Paul Wiener of Agoura Hills spun out.

Neither of the mishaps bothered Dinger, who started on the pole and coasted to a division-high sixth main event win. Dinger entered the evening second in points behind Ed Horst of Reseda, who finished second. Horst never challenged for the lead.

"I wanted to put as much space as possible between Ed and myself," Dinger said. "He reeled me in once, but that was it.

"The car was working perfectly tonight. We were running just a tenth of a second off the track record."

In the 20-lap Grand American Modified main event, also filled with a handful of smoky crashes, Jim Marlewski of Simi Valley stole the lead from Johnny Lathrop of Riverside on Lap 15 and roared to his first main event win of the season.

The 40-lap Sportsman division main event was not yet under way when this edition went to press.

Also yet to be completed was the main event for Mini Stock Racing Assn. Mini Stocks and the 15-lap Pro Stock figure-eight main event.

In other races, Bob Avery of Canyon Country won the 15-lap Pro Stock oval semi-main event to lead four drivers who advanced to the main event.

Heat-race winners included Walt Price of Sylmar and Keith Spangler (Sportsman); Torrence Brown of Etiwanda and Jim Marlewski of Simi Valley (Grand Am); Larry Durm of Northridge, Rick Hopkins of Simi Valley, Avery and Rip Michels of Arleta (Pro Stock oval); Durm and Bruce Dorn of La Canada (Pro Stock figure-eight) and Garrett Yamada of North Hollywood and Preston Davis of Valencia (Mini Stock).

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
59°