Ladd Goes Wire to Wire for First Saugus Victory
Lee Ladd won his first Sportsman main event in four seasons of racing Saturday night at Saugus Speedway.
The Thousand Oaks resident started on the pole after setting the fastest qualifying time and led all 40 laps.
“It feels terrific,” said the 55-year-old driver. “Once you get the lead, it’s awfully tough to pass at Saugus.”
After shaking off an early challenge from Craig Rayburn of Santa Clarita, Ladd pulled away and held a comfortable lead throughout most of the race.
Gary Sigman of Carson was second, followed by Sean Woodside of Saugus and Pat Mintey Jr. of Lancaster.
In the Pro Stock oval main event, the lead changed hands twice during a two-lap stretch late in the race before Richard Smith of Reseda moved ahead to get his first Pro Stock feature race victory.
Smith moved past Brian Kelley of Arleta following a restart on lap 20 and survived several challenges from Kelley and Rich Ocheltree of Sherman Oaks over the final five laps to register the victory.
Just one lap earlier, Kelley slid into the lead, moving past polesitter Kenny Kranzler of Simi Valley, who lost control of his car on lap 18.
Ocheltree edged Kelley for second, while Rick Hopkins of Simi Valley was fourth.
Earl Dorman of Saugus won the Pro Stock figure-eight main event, outdueling North Hollywood’s Rusty Stewart, who was second.
In the 20-lap Mini Stock main event, caution flags played an important part in Bellflower resident Terry Limberopoulos’ third feature victory of the year.
Limberopoulos moved into the lead when leader John Petsco of Newbury Park was slowed by North Hollywood’s Jim Click, who spun out with just six laps remaining.
After a yellow flag wiped away a large lead by John Petsco of Newbury Park, Limberopoulos received another break when Christy Croasmun spun out, forcing a yellow flag 11 laps into the race.
Petsco was second, followed by Carl Edginton of Glendora and Gardena’s Jeff McCall.
Gary Ebeling of Monrovia won the 15-lap Pro Four Modified main event, his second victory in three starts this season.