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Slama snags victory after thrilling race in pro stocks

WHITE CITY ­ Three determined drivers staged a 25-lap display ofhigh drama and lead swapping Saturday night in the pro stock main eventat Southern Oregon Speedway.

After six lead changes, Kurt Slama of Grants Pass cruised up the outsideto take the lead for good on the 13th lap and got a break in an extremelyclose race on the 23rd lap when Jim Walker Jr.'s car suffered a flat tire.

With Walker's right-rear tire flat and Cal Lanfear dragging sheet metalout the back of his car to the finish line, Slama roared to his third prostock win in his last five races.

Walker, the current pro stock series leader, settled for a disappointingthird. Lanfear wasn't much happier as the second-place finisher.

I'll have to live with this one all week, said Walker, afiery driver who has 116 wins in his 14-year stock car driving career. Icould have won it.

Slama found a groove toward the outside of the track and rode it backinto contention after Walker and Lanfear dueled each other for much of theearly portion of the race. Walker led on the 12th and 13 laps before Lanfeartook over briefly. Then, it was Slama bolting to the front. The race remainedtight the rest of the way.

It's a blast, Salma said of the three-car battle to the finish.It really gets the blood pumping. There's a lot of experience outhere, and it showed.

Despite the loss, Walker also had enjoyed the close race.

It's the kind of race you have to love to be in, said Walker.There was a lot of lead swapping and action. The action can't getmuch better.

Slama, who has four wins in 1997, earned $500 for the win.

Amidst controversy, Dave Duste Jr. won the the dirt modified class. KevinHewitt was second and Bob Whiteside third.

Tom Glover was black-flagged (disqualified) on the 17th lap for bumpingleader Bruce Rayburn Sr. Rayburn was forced to the back of the pack becausehe didn't make it back to the yellow flag at the finish line after beingbumped by Glover and spinning out.

That put Duste in the lead on the 17th lap.

Then Ken Scales was black-flagged for refusing to assume proper positionon the 17th lap, touching off more emotional outbursts among drivers andfans.

Rayburn quickly moved from 13th place to seventh, thanks to a yellowflag caused by a pile-up in lap four. He came all the way back to finishfourth.