Gary Glenn was simply hoping to stay on the track long enough to put himself in position to win at the end. The driver from Orangevale, Calif., driver succeeded in his goal of staying on the track, then made his move to take the lead on Lap 86 en route to victory in the Desert Rose 100 WESTCAR Late Model feature race at Champion Speedway on Saturday night.
Glenn held off Roseville's Mike Mansch and Carson City's Shane Kline at the end to become the fifth different driver in five races to win a main event in the WESTCAR series. It was long overdue for Glenn, who won the final Desert Rose 100-lap race at Champion on Sept. 11, 2004, but has experienced some difficult times so far this season.
"We've had a monkey on our back for a while," Glenn said. "It's been a real tough season. We've blown two motors and we broke the rear end two weeks straight, so this really means a lot to me. Hopefully, this will boost our confidence and get us going on a streak where we start winning more races."
Glenn only completed 90 laps in his last series race at Champion on June 18. Before that, he was part of a nine-car pileup and eventually made it through 37 laps in the May 21 race at Champion.
Saturday night was an overall success that saw Glenn win the Dash for Cash and also post the second-fast qualifying time of 13.46.
"That's the fastest I've ever qualified here and I won the trophy dash, so it was a fun night all the way around," Glenn said.
"I wanted to be patient, run smooth and not wear the tires out. I figured we would be in good shape if we were second or third with 10 laps to go. I think I have a good enough car to win it no matter what."
Mark Holeman moved into the lead on Lap 22 and stayed out front for 64 laps, but the action began to pick up after a restart on Lap 82 - coming after the ninth yellow flag of the race. Glenn challenged Holeman for the lead at the end of Lap 85, then came right back and completed the pass on the backstretch.
Mike Mansch made his move into second-place, right behind Glenn, and Kline used an inside move to get past Holeman into third-place on Turn 4 of Lap 86. However, neither driver was able to reel in Glenn before the finish.
Kline came back from a collision with Chet Danburg on the homestretch that sent both drivers to the back of the pack on Lap 17. Kline worked his way back to seventh with 50 laps to go, into fourth with 31 laps to go and fourth with 20 laps to go.
"That's just a part of racing," Kline said of the early collision. "It was just a racing accident, but after that happened, I knew we had our work cut out for us. I knew we were going to have to work hard to get back up there so I was concerned about wearing out the tires. We had plenty of tire left at the end, we just weren't able to get all the way back."
Even though he had to settle for third-place in the main event, Kline was satisfied with the results from what he says will be his final race as a driver at a track where he has competed for the past 10 years. Kline finished second in the Dash for Cash and also blazed to his third fast time award - an impressive 13.30 seconds.
"That Late Model stock clip qualifying time was the fastest I can remember seeing out here. To run that fast is incredible, but that just goes to show how awesome these guys are," Kline said, referring to his crew.
Glenn is looking forward to the next WESTCAR event on July 23 at All-American Speedway in Roseville - and beyond.
"Jeff (Macey) and Phil (Perry) have been doing a great job with this thing," Glenn said. "We've had a good car count and good races all year. I just hope we get more tracks involved and keep this series going because it's a pretty good deal."
n Contact Dave Price at dpricenevadaappeal.com or call 881-1220.
WESTCAR Late Models
Main event: (100 laps) 1, Gary Glenn; 2, Mike Mansch; 3, Shane Kline; 4, Mark Holeman; 5, Byron Gonzales; 6, Melissa Davis; 7, Scott Chappel; 8, Travis Combs; 9, Jason Fensler; 10, Chet Danburg; 11, Wes Miller; 12, Christine Davis; 13, Dan Knight; 14, Andrew Livingood; 15, Mike Garcia (98 laps); 16, Craig Paulsen (96 laps); 17, Steve Gannon (71 laps); 18, Virgil Miller (71 laps); 19, Chuck Glick (68 laps); 20, Bobby Butler (67 laps). Yellow: 9.
Scotts Performance Wire Dash for cash: (6 laps) 1, Gary Glenn; 2, Shane Kline; 3, Craig Paulsen; 4, Chuck Glick.
B main event: (20 laps, 2 transfer to the A main) 1, Virgil Miller; 2, Wes Miller; 3, Ken Crome 24; 4, Fishtrom; 5, Callas.
Scotts Performance Wire Fast Time: Kline 13.30.