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Rayburn, Phipps Cruise at Saugus

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Craig Rayburn of Santa Clarita and Dave Phipps of Simi Valley left their respective packs behind while driving to easy main-event victories before a crowd of 3,317 Saturday night at Saugus Speedway.

Rayburn, fifth in the Sportsman points race, inherited the lead for good after a smoky six-car pileup narrowed the field considerably only five laps into the 40-lap main event. Rayburn, en route to his second victory of the season, opened and maintained about a half-lap advantage over Sean Woodside of Saugus, who began the evening second in points.

Rodney Peacher of North Hills finished third. Points leader and defending champion Pat Mintey Jr. of Lancaster finished fourth.

Phipps, defending three-time Grand American Modified champion, took the lead on the fourth lap of the 30-lap main event and roared unchallenged to his second main-event victory in three starts.

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More importantly, the win moved Phipps ahead of John Watkinson of Canyon Country and into the points lead. Gary Nazaroff of Covina finished second, Dave Blankenship of Reseda finished third and Robert Rice of Hawthorne took fourth.

Greg Bratschie of Northridge easily won the 25-lap Street Stock oval main event, moving from second place into the lead to stay on the second lap to claim his first victory of the season. Mike Price of San Pedro, Richard Minor of Northridge and John Bower of Northridge followed Bratschie across the finish line.

In other races, Randy Goldsmith of Cerritos won the 15-lap Street Stock oval main event to lead four drivers who advanced to the main. Richard Russo of Newhall, Steve Cremin of Saugus and Mike Gilmore of Van Nuys also advanced.

Watkinson and Rayburn won Sportsman heat races.

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