Jinkerson wins Western Modified Shootout
Appeal Sports Writer
Some timeliness, not to mention help from the family, helped Dan Jinkerson go the distance and win the Western Modified Shootout 100-lap feature race at Champion Speedway on Saturday night.
Jinkerson vaulted into the lead on a mid-race restart and never trailed again as the 29-year-old driver from Diamond Springs, Calif., took the checker flag in a race that saw seven yellow flags and only nine of the original 17 cars finish the entire 100 laps.
It was also his first 100-lap feature win at Champion for Jinkerson, who raced in Carson City throughout the 2004 season and much of 2003. He won a modified main event at Champion on Aug. 31, 2003, but this was a special occasion.
“I had no wins here last year … a lot of seconds, but no wins,” Jinkerson said. “This is pretty gratifying because it’s my first open show win and this was a big one. This is a pretty hard bunch to run with.”
So, did the experience of those previous races in Carson City help out?
“I like to think so,” he replied. “The track seems different. The old setup we used here before didn’t work initially. We saw that on our first set of hot laps, so we just started wrenching and turning and it started working. We hit the setup just right, it was turning right off the bottom.”
Jinkerson went on to add a word of thanks to his crew – father, Mike; brother, Kevin; and his wife, Laura.
“We’re just a family working on a budget doing the best we can,” he said.
Chris Mays led through the opening 48 laps before the red light came on for the mid-race break to allow the cars to refuel. That’s when the door of opportunity opened for Jinkerson.
“I was just biding my time, waiting for an opportunity,” he said. “There was a bunch of traffic … I was sitting fifth and I just saw that the front cars went high and I tried low to see what would happen,” Jinkerson said. “I was just at the right place at the right time.”
Jinkerson was chased to the finish by a pack that included Gary Glenn, who was in second-place before engine failure sent his smoking car to the pits on Lap 97. Glenn had finished fourth one week before in the WESTCAR Late Model Series 100-lap feature race at Champion, but had to settle for 10th this time.
At the finish, Stockton’s Mays and Mike Regelman were second and third respectively, with 2004 track Modified champion Sammy Solari in fourth and Jay Linstroth fifth.
“I ran here all of last year and most of the season before that,” said Jinkerson, who is currently third in Modified points at All-American Raceway in Roseville, Calif. “I just try to help promote Modified racing. I want to see good car counts at the tracks … it helps to have extra tracks open and running. It’s always nice to be able to go someplace else to race.”
n Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220
Main event (100 laps): 1, Dan Jinkerson, 2, Chris Mays, 3, Mike Regelman, 4, Sammy Solari, 5, Jay Linstroth, 6, Jeff Stephens, 7, Troy Nogosek, 8, Steve Lucas, 9, Rich Pappert, 10, Gary Glenn (97 laps), 11, Dean Heller (96 laps), 12, Steve Daniels (86 laps), 13, Russ Cazier (69 laps), 14, Jason Philpott (54 laps), 15, Matt Collier (48 laps), 16, Ryan Peters (8 laps), 17, Ted Montague (3 laps). Yellow: 7.
Trophy dash: 1, Philpott, 2, Jinkerson, 3, Glenn, 4, Solari.
Fast time: Jinkerson 13.52.