Ed Horst of Reseda beat the heat and arch-rival Scott Dinger of Simi Valley on Saturday night at Saugus Speedway, driving to a 25-lap victory in the Pro Stock oval main event on the undercard of the NASCAR Southwest Tour main event.
The 100-lap Southwest Tour race, the 15th of 18 scheduled main events this season, was still in progress before a crowd of 5,514 when this edition went to press.
Horst, the Pro Stock points leader, inched closer to a second consecutive division championship with his sixth victory of the season ahead of Brian Kelley of Arleta and Dinger, who leads the division with seven victories.
Horst, who held a 12-point edge over Dinger when the evening began, led from start to finish but had to withstand seven yellow flags that delayed proceedings considerably during the warm evening.
When it was over, both Horst and Dinger were soaked with perspiration, Dinger all but conceding the season title to Horst with one more Pro Stock date on the schedule.
“We slipped a few points there,” Dinger said. “It’s gonna take some strong finishes for us now. And Ed would have to have some misfortune.”
For his part, Horst returned to the victory circle for the first time in more than a month.
“I kept hitting my water bottle,” Horst said of the sauna-like conditions. “The restarts in a race like that are what get you. But we hung on.”
In Southwest Tour qualifying, Bryan Germone of Sebastopol set the fast time at 15.486 seconds (77.49 m.p.h.) on the one-third of a mile oval. Germone was third in the trophy dash behind Dale Williams of Sacramento and Corky Banuelos of Palmdale. Doug George of Atwater finished fourth.
Points leader Ron Hornaday Jr. of Palmdale who made his tour-record 100th consecutive appearance in a main event.
“Saugus Speedway is the reason I started racing to begin with,” said Hornaday, a former Modified division champion. “It’s nice to see this happen here at Saugus.
“The whole season has been great. This crew is one big happy family.”
Hornaday, who entered the evening with a 159-point lead over George and appears certain to win a second consecutive tour championship, qualified fifth (15.577) and started fifth in the main event.
In other races, Steve Teets of Poway won the 12-lap Southwest Tour semi-main event to lead four drivers who advanced to the main event. Al Sadler of Brea, Dennis Binstock of Napa and also advanced.
Sean Monroe of Los Angeles, third in the Pro Stock points race, drove to a 12-lap victory in the oval semi-main event.
In Southwest Tour heats, victories went to Sadler, Ken Boyd of Ceres and Lance Hooper of Palmdale.
Pro Stock oval heat winners were Monroe, Craig Jensen of Sunland and Eric Sunness of Canyon Country.
Earl Dorman of Saugus and Mitch Thompson of Sylmar won Pro Stock figure-eight heat races.
Dinger won the Pro Stock oval and figure-eight trophy dashes.