Duffie's dilemma turns into Dees' delight
WHITE CITY ' Had Saturday night's pro stock main event gone the usual 25 laps, John David Duffie would have bagged the first victory of his four-year racing career.
But this was a special 40-lap, &
36;500-to-win event, and Duffie didn't have enough staying power to remain in front.
Duffie led for the first 26 laps and for 32 of the first 33 trips around the one-third mile clay oval. But then Duffie got hung up by lapped traffic and Bob Dees took advantage to post his first victory at the Southern Oregon Speedway since 1999.
Veterans Tony Walker and Frank Word III finished second and third, respectively, while Jim Hill was fourth.
— As for Duffie, his luck ran out with just four laps remaining when the control arm on his steering went out. He spun into the infield and didn't finish.
I thought this was going to be my night ' the car felt awesome, said Duffie, who led by as much as a half-lap in the early going. But then I got into lapped traffic and I couldn't get around the 211 car (Dave Satterfield).
Walker briefly took the lead on the 26th lap but Duffie quickly got it back and held it until the 33rd circuit when he, Dees and Walker banged into one another on the backstretch heading into turn No. 3.
When the dust settled, Dees had the lead, Walker was second, Word third and Duffie fourth.
The collision was minor but it was at that point that Duffie began to lose his steering.
It just kept getting worse and by the end I couldn't steer at all, Duffie said.
Dees, meanwhile, drove brilliantly throughout and did a masterful job of holding off Walker, last season's points runner-up, and Word, the 2002 points champion.
It was anybody's race, said Dees, who's been competing at the speedway since it opened in 1996. But my car was hooked up real good and I knew if I didn't screw up those last five or six laps that I had a good chance to win.
The track was the best it's been all season. It was tacky. You could put your car where you wanted to.
Dees started 11th, but worked his way into fourth place by the fifth lap and was in second by the seventh trip around the track.
I've changed springs several times this year and tonight I finally got my car dialed in, Dees said. I've never had so much fun.
In other feature races, Eagle Point's Kyle Resnik posted his first-ever victory in the dwarf car division, Bryan Barnes took the super 4 class and Joe Dirt won the mini stock main event.
Resnik started on the pole in the dwarf car feature but battled Hillsboro's Bob Painter for nearly the entire 20 laps. Painter twice took the lead ' on laps No. 8 and No. 14 ' but Resnik was able to quickly zip back in front each time and went on to win the 20-lap main event.
Painter bumped into another car late in the race and fell back to third place behind Resnik and Dan Van Acker.
Points leader Gary Fitzsimmons finished fourth and Travis Holt was fifth.
Resnik wasn't one of the faster dwarf cars on the track during the heat races, but when the track dried up a bit, his 1934 Ford truck gained the advantage.
I just had to stay patient, said Resnik, who was the dwarf car rookie-of-the-year last season. My car handled great in the main event.
' 1, Crash Johnson; 2, Rick Sequeira; 3, Fred O'Nan; 4, Jim Miller.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Gary Fitzsimmons; 2, Jerry Apland; 3, Dan Van Acker; 4, Rick Harms.
THIRD HEAT ' 1, Travis Holt; 2, Mitch Sheeler; 3, Bob Painter; 4, Merl Townsend.
FOURTH HEAT ' 1, Ed Starner; 2, Wayne Van Raden; 3, Kyle Resnick; 4, Fred Hay.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Gary Fitzsimmons; 2, Ed Starner; 3, Crash Johnson.
B MAIN ' 1, Tom Pallazzolo; 2, Jeff Saxon; 3, Dan Fairchild; 4, James Gerlach; 5, Barry Dresen; 6, Jeff Van Cleave; 7, Shawn Farley.
A MAIN ' 1, Kyle Resnik; 2, Dan Van Acker; 3, Bob Painter; 4, Gary Fitzsimmons; 5, Travis Holt; 6, Jerry Apland; 7, Ed Starner; 8, Mike Jackson; 9, Rick Harms; 10, Jeff Van Cleave.
11, Mitch Sheeler; 12, Jeff Saxson; 13, Fred Hay; 14, Rick Sequeira; 15, James Gerlach; 16, Fred O'Nan; 17, Dan Fairchild; 18, Jim Miller; 19, Tom Pallazzolo; 20, Wayne Van Raden.
' 1, Dave Bishop; 2, Belinda Duste; 3, Steve Clark; 4, Tom Hammond.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Milt Carter; 2, Eric Hull; 3, Ken Kitchen; 4, Rocky Bass.
THIRD HEAT ' Eddie Farley; 2, Mark James; 3, Joe Dirt; 4, Bob Burkett.
FOURTH HEAT ' 1, Michael Wilkens; 2, Larry Nelson; 3, James Bell; 4, Jaime Guider.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Dave Bishop; 2, Milt Carter; 3, Eddie Farley; 4, Michael Wilkens.
MAIN EVENT ' 1, Joe Dirt; 2, Dave Bishop; 3, Eddie Farley; 4, Rocky Bass; 5, Milt Carter; 6, Eric Hull; 7, Ken Kitchen; 8, Belinda Duste; 9, Jeff Ford; 10, Jaime Guider.
11, David Mullane; 12, Mark James; 13, Danny Balko; 14, James Bell; 15, Covi Hoff; 16, Steve Clark; 17, Michael Wilkens; 18, Bryan Wyatt; 19, Larry Nelson; 20, Tom Williams.
' 1, Dan King; 2, Mark Pemberton; 3, Bryan Barnes; 4, Brian Merriman.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Greg Arnold; 2, Patrick Lanigan; 3, Tracy O'Callahan; 4, Kevin Gudzan.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Patrick Lanigan; 2, Mark Pemberton; 3, Greg Arnold; 4, Dan King.
MAIN EVENT ' 1, Bryan Barnes; 2, Greg Arnold; 3, Dan King; 4, Pat Akins; 5, Pat Lanigan; 6, Tracy O'Callahan; 7, Kevin Gudzan; 8, John Barger; 9, Terry Hadley; 10, Steve Pierce.
11, Tim Towler; 12, Tami Ott; 13, Mark Pemberton; 14, Brian Merriman; 15, Pete Bowne, Jr.
' 1, Tony Walker; 2, Jim Hill; 3, Rick Hunsley; 4, Glen McElreath.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Frank Word III; 2, Dan Thomas; 3, Ken Irving; 4, Dan Randall.
THIRD HEAT ' 1, Mike Jones; 2, Darreb Provost; 3, Joe Guider; 4, Don Gifford.
FOURTH HEAT ' 1, Dave Satterfield; 2, Bob Dees; 3, John David Duffie; 4, Butch Poppa.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Frank Word III; 2, Tony Walker; 3, Dave Satterfield; 4, Mike Jones.
B MAIN ' 1, Chris Charlton; 2, Terry Townsend; 3, Mike Medel; 4, John Cahill; 5, Bill Guyer; 6, Chris Ellis; 7, Donnie Hale; 8, Albert Gill; 9, Chet Mitchell.
A MAIN ' 1, Bob Dees; 2, Tony Walker; 3, Frank Word III; 4, Jim Hill; 5, Dan Thomas; 6, Darren Provost; 7, Albert Gill; 8, Rick Hunsley; 9, Glen McElreath; 10, Terry Townsend.
11, Butch Poppa; 12, Joe Guider; 13, Chris Charlton; 14, John David Duffie; 15, Mike Medel; 16, Mike Jones; 17, Dave Satterfield; 18, Don Gifford; 19, Ken Irving; 20, Dan Randall; 21, John Cahill.
Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail