By Dan Fleisher


            When the big money is on the line, the wily veterans froth at the mouth and usually show the youngsters how it’s done. Such was the case on Friday and Saturday nights as Davey Pombo captured both SCRA 360 non-winged main events at the Western Dirt Nationals held at famed Kings Speedway in Hanford, CA. Pombo’s back-to-back victories marked his fourth and fifth wins of the season.

            Pombo started from the sixth position in Friday’s feature but benefited from a first lap yellow when front row starters Chris D’Arcy and Chad Boespflug tangled in turns three and four, coming to a stop. They were relegated to the back row on the restart, moving Pombo into the fourth starting position. Within two laps, the cagey Pombo swept passed Rusty Carlile and Andy Ferris into the lead.

Another quick yellow appeared when D’Arcy shredded a tire and Jeff Gardner spun out.  With time running short due to the approaching 11:00 curfew, Pombo kept space between his #3 machine and the #51 of Carlile, Jesse Hockett and point leader Jonathan Logan. With seven laps in the books, Kevin Barnes flipped on the main straight-away after making contact with Gardner, necessitating a red flag. Barnes climbed uninjured from this badly damaged car.

After the restart, Pombo only had to negotiate the 3/8-mile dirt track for a couple of laps until the dreaded 11:00 bell tolled and the checkers appeared. He was followed to the line by Carlile, Hockett, Logan, Andy Ferris, Jesse Mack, Richard Harvey, Steven Williams, Matt Day and Boespflug, who made a great comeback from the rear of the field.

Heat races were captured by Derrick Hearron, Logan and Boespflug, while D’Arcy took top honors in the Dash. Steven Williams transferred to the main by way of his win in the “B” feature. Fast qualifier was Ferris, who broke the track record with a time of 15.225.

Basking in the glory of winning on Friday night, Pombo used his experience to get a “leg” up on the competition. Being locked into the top six positions for Saturday’s Dash, Pombo ran his Heat race strictly to get a feel of the dry, slick track and set up the chassis of his potent machine accordingly for the Dash and Feature.

After finishing fourth in the Dash, and starting fourth in the Main, Pombo literally wasted no time as he assumed command on lap four, passing front row starters Jesse Hockett and Jonathan Logan. He never looked back except for one brief moment when Hockett made a Bonsai move entering turn one slipping under Pombo. However, Chris D’Arcy spun in turn one and when the yellow was unfurled, the scoring reverted to the previous lap, placing Pombo in the number one position. That’s all she wrote as Pombo kept a safe distance from his rivals, working the lapped traffic beautifully for a convincing win.

Having the 2006 SCRA Championship locked up by virtue of recording quick qualifying time and winning his Heat, Logan was eager to show the fans and competition why he was champion, by running as hard as possible, not sitting back on his laurels. However, Logan crashed hard on the main straight-away on lap 14, collecting Brett Lowder, Richard Harvey and Craig Smith in the process. The latter three were able to continue but Logan’s #32 machine was placed on the hook.

Jesse Mack, who showed a lot of prowess the entire weekend, came from his eighth starting position to grab the runner-up position, followed by Andy Ferris, Chad Boespflug, and Terry Shanks who rounded out the top-five. Hockett, David Key, Burt Foland, Jason Yount and Rusty Carlile completed the top-ten.

Earlier in the evening, Greg Porte, Mack and Logan (as mentioned above) won the 10-lap Heats, while Hockett earned the Trophy for the Dash. Kevin Barnes, who heavily damaged his car Friday, worked ‘round the clock and returned to the track in time to “tag” the rear of the 22-car feature. His efforts were rewarded with a 15th place finish without benefit of warm-ups or a chance to see if the car would work at all.

Logan finished the season with a 44-point lead (845) over Carlile (801) for the title, while Harvey finished third (669) over Andy Ferris’ 605. Pombo finished fifth with a total of 498.

Ferris captured the Forrest Transportation Passing Masters Title with a brilliant showing during the two nights of racing. He passed two cars in the Dash on Friday, and four during Saturday’s event, earning 12 bonus points to edge popular Peter Murphy, who was committed to racing at Chico, 25 to 23.


#32 Jonathan Logan 16.346

#3 Davey Pombo                  16.395

#90 Chad Boespflug 16.405

#15 Davey Key                    16.423

#93 Steven Williams 16.505

#71m Jesse Mack                16.560

#4j Andy Ferris                    16.649

#3g Greg Porte                    16.667

#25 Jason Yount                  16.879

#59 Richard Harvey  17.108

#47 Chris D’Arcy                  17.131

#2x Terry Shanks                 17.202

#51 Rusty Carlile                 17.255

#97 Matt Day                       17.372

#39 Craig Smith                   17.405

#77s Brian Schuler   17.671

#4s Dan Simpson                17.741

#44l Brett Lowder                 17.832

#4 Burt Foland                     18.020

#7s Danielle Simpson           18.742

#9k Ray Knight                    18.832

#55 Jesse Hocket                N/T

#36b Kevin Barnes   N/T  

HEAT #1-10 Laps:

Logan, Key, Ferris, Smith, Harvey, Carlile, Lowder, Knight DNF


HEAT #2- 10 Laps:

Porte, Williams, D’Arcy, Hearron, Pombo, Foland, Schuler


HEAT #3- 10 Laps:

Mack, Boespflug, Shanks, Yount, Day, Dan Simpson, Danielle Simpson


DASH 10 Laps:

Hocket, Logan, Boespflug, Pombo, Ferris, Williams, Carlile, Mack, Key, Porte


Main 30 Laps:

Pombo, Mack, Ferris, Boespflug, Shanks, Hockett, Key, Foland, Yount, Carlile, Harvey, Lowder, Schuler,

Smith, Barnes, Dan Simpson, Danielle Simpson, D’Arcy, Hearron, Porte, Logan, Williams, Day, Knight