CA- April 24, 2005...Big Jake Cavasos has been knocking at the door
for three years now. Saturday night he drove his familiar #82 right through it.
Cavasos had the fans on their feet with a late race pass that garnered him his
first TCS Stock Car Series victory. Brent Dothage continued to keep the winged
Pacific Sprint Car competitors at bay while Ryan McDaniel turned back all his
challengers in the Hunt Magneto wingless Speedway Sprint Car Series. Kevin
Bender won the closest finish ever in NCDCA Dwarf Car action.
there almost wasn’t any racing at all.
Early Saturday morning dawned
dark, dreary and wet. When I got to the track around eight, I wouldn’t have
given much of a chance that the speedway crew could get this event in. I was
actually going to change the message machine to tell people we were cancelled.
It had rained much of the night and there were more puddles than dry spots all
over the thirty seven year old facility. Promoter Greg Kearns was already there
with track “jack of all trades” Tim Dillon.
With his characteristic ease,
Greg walked up to me, smiled and said, “We’re racin’ tonight.” He meant
With that, Dillon and a host of
others including sprint car driver Mark Moore went to work. An aggressive eleven
a.m. thunderstorm only delayed the spirited team. It surely didn’t dampen
their spirits. By three o’clock the place was looking pretty racy and the
haulers started to show up at the pit gate. A forecast for thunderstorms by
about six thirty was ignored and the four-division program went off without a
hitch. The final checkered flag waved at ten fifteen with every lap in all
divisions completed. While other tracks threw in the towel by early afternoon
Twin Cities Speedway was working hard to keep things going. Once again, Twin
Cities Speedway was the only track running on this cool blustery Saturday night.
Those who braved the elements were treated to spectacular racing action.
The Hunt Magneto Speedway
Sprint Car Series were first up with their featured event. The wingless
warriors went green to checkered without a yellow banner to be seen.
Marysville’s own Ryan McDaniel finally found victory lane after four weeks of
being among the favorites in the class. McDaniel weathered a storm of
competitors who would try to take the lead from him. The top four in the early
laps of this one included McDaniel, Rick Eversult, of Rio Linda and point leader
Steve Stein of Vacaville. Auburn’s Jim Steward was impressive. Steward, a
graduate of the Sprint 100 Racing Association has been showing better in recent
As the race approached half
distance, the surprise of the race came flying by almost everyone…on the high
side. Rookie Mark Hill of Yuba City seems to have had enough of cruising around
and learning the ropes. On this night, he came on, hammer down and flying. Hill
picked off everyone in his sights as he roared his way into second at times. A
couple of mistakes in the late going relegated the beautiful yellow #8 to a
sixth place finish. It is clear, however that another local hot shoe will be in
the mix in the weeks to come. Steward clambered forward to a second place finish
in his best race to date. Stein cruised to third in a back up car having trashed
his new ride at another track last week. Eversult hung on for fourth.
Corning’s Nathan Johnson had a great run to fifth in his familiar #17n.
Only a couple of yellow flags
slowed all the preliminary action. Eversult and McDaniel also took heat race
wins. This class has produced some vicious rides in recent weeks. It was great
to see the first five take the final checkers under a blanket with no flips or
accidents to slow the event. On the cool off lap something blew up on
McDaniel’s winning mount. The crowd shouted its approval as McDaniel’s #10
was towed past the grandstands.
Brent Dothage of Lower Lake
acts as if he’s been shot out of a cannon. In three point races he has won two
features and was taken out of the lead by lapped traffic in the only other
race…while leading. Saturday night he out qualified the field as well. His
fourth place finish in his heat got him into the inversion where, as luck would
have it, the draw put him on the pole. I don’t think it mattered. Dothage said
good-bye to the field as they took the green flag and led wire to wire. Dothage
lead by a straightaway most of the time. Yellow flag slowdowns allowed the rest
of the field to catch up, only to see the fleet #2b disappear again.
Sacramento’s Kyle Schild followed Dothage to the checkered flag followed by
Vacaville’s Joey Magurah.
The next cluster of four racers
should have received badges of heroism as they fought tooth and nail all race
long. Local stars Korey and Kevin Lovell were mixing it up with former Civil War
champ Mike Henry and current TCS Champion Mike Monahan out of Sparks Nevada. And
the sparks did fly on more than one occasion as the quartet ran high and
low in a great tussle for position. Short track, bullring racing was never
better. When the dust cleared Korey Lovell was in fourth with Monahan and Henry
In victory lane, Dothage let
everyone know that he was after Monahan’s crown. He’s certainly headed in
the correct direction.
The TCS Stock Car Series
presented the last feature of the evening. Point leader and pole sitter Andy
Aust of Marysville led the thundering heard out of four to the green flag. And
that’s where it ended for Aust. The ignition system failed and caught fire.
Aust was out of the car immediately and visibly upset by the turn of events. The
race would be restarted without the point leader.
Luckless Jeff Olshowka was the
early leader pressed by Yuba City’s Philip Shelby. Last year’s runner-up in
points, Chris Paquette shoved his nose into the fray and a big, three wide
fender banging run off turn two threw Shelby into a slide that cost him dearly.
Shelby recovered, Paquette hurt his tire and Olshowka bent his car enough for it
to throw its driveshaft onto the track a little while later. With Olshowka in
the pits and the Shelby/Paquette duo mired in the back with work to do, the race
became even more intense.
Newcomer, Ray Benkowski was
quick to take advantage and rim-rode his electric blue racer to the front
followed by a determined Jake Cavasos who had also found his way to the front on
the high side. The race was on for the lead. Through lapped traffic and clear
track as well Cavasos and Benkowski wrestled with each other all around the
quick quarter mile. Big Jake was glued to Benkowski as the race approached
As the pair got into some heavy
lapped traffic Benkowski guessed low and Cavasos went high in three. Cavasos and
Benkowski traded paint as Cavasos carried a little more speed onto the front
stretch. The crowd was on its feet as Cavasos made it stick and held off
Benkowski for the victory. Benkowski is a pleasant surprise in a season of
pleasant surprises in the TCS Stock Car Series.
Through all of this Jeremy
Blackshere shook off a series of disappointing events and fought his way to
third place at the end. Blackshere showed some slick, clever moves on his way to
his best finish yet. Ryan McDaniel finished fourth in Phil Shelby’s potent
#63. McDaniel’s double duty night got him first and third respectively. Fifth
was Chris Paquette who stormed back to the front after restarting in last with
the early tire problem. Paquette was excellent as he simply picked his way
forward. The tough job was handled with finesse by the Live Oak resident.
I think everyone in the place
was happy for Big Jake. The Rio Oso charger is one of the nicest guys in the
association. Cavasos has had a great season passing cars and going forward. The
problem is that his bad luck with tires and minor skirmishes has made it
necessary for Jake to drive like a madman for his top five finishes this season.
His tenacity paid off with a great victory in this event.
The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars were the
traveling show hosted by TCS this week. Second year star Kevin Bender edged Caped
Crusader Josh Hiatt after a sensational war for the lead. Depending on where
it happened on the speedway this dynamic duo exchanged the lead on twelve
different occasions. Bender and Hiatt rubbed and leaned on each other with
respect and good judgment for half the race. In the last seven laps Hiatt relied
on the rim and Bender slung it in low; they would meet in the middle of the
straightaway side-by-side! It was incredible.
Bender nipped Hiatt by a
bumper…maybe. It was literally the best NCDCA race in the history of this
speedway. Hiatt slammed into the crashwall after it was over. Hiatt had run out
of brakes earlier in the event and couldn’t stop his car after his banzai
attempt at the victory. Three-time NCDCA champion Frank Munroe smoked his motor
in preliminary competition. Munroe will contest the championship this year after
a significant lay off.
The 10th Annual West
Coast Dwarf Car Nationals will be staged at TCS on September 30th and
Thrilling, IN YOUR FACE~HIGH
SPEED ACTION returns this Saturday night. The fire-breathing Winged Pacific
Sprint Cars will appear again. The TCS Stock Car Series, the TCS Mini Stocks and
the SORA Sprint 100’s will round out the impressive card.
Gates open at 5 with racing at
7PM at the one and only Twin Cities Speedway. There is NO increase in
admission prices this year. Adult
tickets are $10, juniors and seniors $7, children $5 and under six will be
admitted for free. In fact, season passes are available for the first
time this year at a reduced, per race price. Call (530) 675-2050 or drop by the
ticket office on Saturday. Twin Cities
Speedway is located at 1468 Simpson Lane in Marysville. For additional
information call (530) 742-9222 or go to www.twincitiesspeedway.net.
PACIFIC SPRINT CARS, SPEEDWAY SPRINT CARS, STOCK
TWIN CITIES SPEEDWAY - MARYSVILLE, CA
APRIL 23, 2005 - POINTS RACE #4
PACIFIC SPRINT CARS
1. 2B- Brent Dothage, 2. 16- Kyle Schild, 3. 28P- Jeremy Phillips, 4. 16X-
HEAT RACE WINNERS
Mike Monahan, Jeremy Burt
1. Brent Dothage, 2. Kyle Schild, 3. Joey Magurah, 4. Korey Lovell, 5. Mike
Monahan, 6. Mike Henry, 7. Herman Klein, 8. Kevin Lovell, 9. Jeremy Burt, 10.
Kayla Amos, 11. Brandon Dozier, 12. Jeremy Phillips, 13. Andy Gregg, 14. Scott
Kenney, 15. Rich Dozier, 16. Dave Derr, 17. Courtney Dozier
JOE HUNT MAGNETOS SPEEDWAY SPRINT CARS
HEAT RACE WINNERS
Rick Eversult, Ryan McDaniel
1. Ryan McDaniel, 2. Jimmy Steward, 3. Steve Stein, 4. Rick Eversult, 5.
Nathan Johnson, 6. Mark Hill, 7. Alan Clark, 8. Jeremy Hawes, 9. Tim Sherman,
10. Charles Williams, 11. Jay Youngman, 12. Charlie Marrs, 13. James
Castleberry, 14. Blain Varner
TCS STOCK CARS
HEAT RACE WINNERS
Ray Benkowski, Robert Mull, Phillip Shelby
1. Jake Cavasos, 2. Ray Benkowski, 3. Jeremy Blackshere, 4. #63, 5. Chris
Paquette, 6. Robert Mull, 7. Brad Magenheimer, 8. Archie Flynn, 9. Brett
Youngman, 10. Kenny Robinson, 11. #53, 12. Donnie Fortney, 13. George
Magenheimer, 14. Charlie Duffey, 15. Phillip Shelby, 16. Jeff Olschowka, 17. Guy
Bean, 18. Andy Aust