The one thing that dirt track racers hate most is an off-season. Fortunately for the racers in Southern California, the weather is nice enough that the off-season can be minimized to a month and a half. With the PAS working with the IMCA organization to ensure racers in the division would get IMCA points awarded for the race, the “Winter Series” was on.
In addition to the IMCA Modifieds, the event included divisions that race under the PAS banner that the track refers to as PAScars. A bone-stock division of Factory Stock cars, a typical “bomber class” of Street Stocks, and the highly modified Super Stocks rounded out the event schedule.
Slated to be a two-day event, a modest field of cars showed up on the opening day with the promise of more cars for the second day due to work schedules and other conflicts on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Even with a lower car count than normal, there was the usual buzz and plenty of smiles with all the race teams. The IMCA’s West coast representative, Paul Vetter, was present and helped amp up the fun racing spirit that permeated the pits.
After the usual driver’s meeting, invocation from Chaplin Jim Spoonhower, and lineup assignments, the PAScars took the field for wheel pack and hot laps. All of the classes ran successful heat races without incident, and the day appeared to be progressing so nicely that the day’s event would be over by 6:30 p.m.
The first main event saw the #69 PAScar Super Stock of Fred Estrada win with Pat Bradley’s #78, and James Altman Jr.’s #58 following. John Mansperger’s struggling #10 Super Stock completed the field.
The PAScar Factory Stocks, with a field of mostly disco-era Camaros and Novas, saw Allan Wold’s #K9 take the win over Kris Carnish (26), Rick Elcksteadt (00), Cameron Veatch (73), and Mike Burks (55) rounding out the top five. Jason Cook, Brittany Dunn, Kenny Ogden, and Darren Myers, comprised the remaining race competitors.
The ever-popular PAScar Street Stocks took the track next with a sporty race between the top three or four cars for the entire 20 laps. Teenager Alyssa Smith took the win, her first in the Street Stock class, with Casey McDonald, Kenny Mann, Justin Dunn and Tom Rodger finalizing the top five. Veteran racers Henry Wesoloski, Chris Leventis, and Mike Harris rounded out the field.
The IMCA Modifieds rolled out for their main event with a pretty racy field of 19 cars. The very first lap under green saw a pile up in turn two with several cars involved, that slimmed down the field by two competitors with local favorites Billy Wormsbecker and Dave Clark retiring. After the single file restart, the field was once again tightly bunched very quickly. Two laps into the restart and three cars came out of turn two side-by-side down the back straight.
The #15e car of Bill Egleston was on the outside and appeared to bump the wall two or three times before climbing up the K-rail, twisting and flipping to the left, landing across the track on the driver’s side with the roof facing the oncoming cars. Egleston’s car was hit and driver sustained fatal injuries.
The crew worked to take care of the injured man, and upon his evacuation from the track to the hospital, the team cleaned and cleared the track of debris and finished the race. Bradley Morris claimed the win, followed by Brad Pounds, Cory Sample, Josh Combs, and Billy Griffin.
Results of the IMCA Modified event, 13 January, 2018:
1 #24 Bradley Morris, 2 #15b Brad Pounds, 3 #00 Cory Sample, 4 #12 Josh Combs, 5 #07 Billy Griffin, 6 #40 Keith Altig, 7 #5b Brenda Kirby, 8 #29 Andy Obertello, 9 #53 David Spears, 10 #42w James Cory, 11 #17a Dillon Osborne, 12 #34 Anthony Forfo, 13 #70 Terry Hershberger, 14 #5k Mike Kirby, 15 #1x Steve Streeter, 16 #15e Bill Egleston, 17 #93 Kyle Morris, 18 #31 Dave Clark, 19 #33a Billy Wormsberger.
After the first day tragedy, many of the grieving racers loaded up and return home.Those that stayed for the completion of the two-day event, raced with a heavy heart. The track officials had gathered together and made the decision to continue the event as planned for the racers that had traveled from other regions to compete. The car count was noticeably lower on the second day, given the tragedy of the previous evening.
The racing events were shortened by one heat race and one feature as only one super stock competitor returned to compete. The #95 of Steve Worstell was added to the front of the factory stock heat and main events. As the only competitor, Worstell was guaranteed top prize and made enough laps to ensure that his equipment was good and ready for the pending season, along with shaking off some of the dust. The factory stock main event was won by the K9 car of Allan Wold. Kris Carnish was second and Mike Lerwill finished in third.
Street Stocks had a short field of four competitors that was made smaller when the engine gave up in the #12 car, that was running in the front. Chris Leventis (65) pulled away for the win with Sunny Trent (42) in second and Street Stock rookie Alyssa Smith (31) finishing on the podium.
The day ended with Brad Pounds (15b) taking top honor for the series and the IMCA feature. Andy Obertello (29) was runner up with Cory Samples (00) in third.
The next event at the PAS is the season opener on February 10, 2018, when these same classes will compete for season title points. We hope to bring you routine articles from these grass roots racing classes in a reality-type series of articles. This series will show the same troubles and dramas for these teams at this premiere racetrack on the west coast, are identical to most of the race teams at tracks across the country.
Bill Egleston 5/15/1964 – 01/13/2018