‘Salute to America — Round two’
June 15, 2002
The second of four Tribute to America races will be held today at Champion Speedway. The race features the fast and competitive late model racing series.
More than two dozen drivers from Nevada, California, Idaho and Oregon are expected to take on the challenge of the 1/4 mile, high-banked oval track. Not only is the track a challenge, but so are the highly skilled drivers who will be competing against each other.
Former track champion Rich Lawlor, who drives the No. 35 Ford Taurus, is always a factor in big (and small) races at Champion Speedway.
“We maintain our car real well,” said Lawlor. “So it’s ready for every race.
“It’s a fast field we have (this weekend) and the team goes into every race looking for a top-3 finish and if we do, that’s good. We’d like to win every race.”
Lawlor said he’s looking forward to today’s race and says it’s good for the race fans.
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“And whoever has the right car and gets the breaks is going to win.”
Lawlor won the first Salute to America on May 4, after a highly competitive and exciting battle with Craig Paulsen. The two kept race fans on the edge of their seats for more than 30 laps.
“I think the level of competition is increasing,” said Paulsen.
“The California contingency will be here in full force. This will be a very competitive race with a full field of cars. The late model class has become more professional this year.
“I’ve been fine tuning the car and every race it seems to be getting better. I have to hope for some lucky breaks so I’ll be there at the end. It’s all about luck, ability and equipment.”
Paulsen has been called the King of the 100-lappers, having won more than any other driver at the race track. Though he came close on May 4, a win has eluded him for nearly three seasons.
Chet Danburg, late model champion the last two years running, has won his fair share of races and has been a contender when it comes to longer races.
“Right now I’m in the middle of trying to get the new motor in the newer car,” said Danburg.
“I’m putting in a ZZ4 motor like Paulsen’s, I’m pretty sure we’ll have it in. It might take a couple of all-nighters, but we’ll have it done.”
Danburg said he’s looking forward to Saturday’s race and said it should be a good time.
“I like to race with all these guys — Paulsen, Jim Courage and others from Roseville, (Calif.), — it will be fun.”
IF YOU GO
What: Salute to America, 100-lap late model race; plus sportsmen and hobby stock divisions
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 15
Where: Champion Speedway on Race Track Road, via Bigelow from Snyder Avenue
Cost: $8 adults; $5 seniors & kids 13-17; ages 6-12 $3; 5-younger free
Info: 267-3723 or visit http://www.championspeedway.com
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