Sprint car veteran comes back to Cocopah Speedway to collect ASCS paycheck

Sprint car veteran comes back to Cocopah Speedway to collect ASCS paycheck

Twenty-something years ago, Charles Davis Jr. made a trip to then-Yuma  Speedway to race in a sprint car event.It was so long ago that he  doesn’t remember how he did in that race.But it’s a sure bet he won’t  forget how he did during his most recent visit.

The veteran driver from  Buckeye led lap eight through lap 24 1/2 and had to make a daring slide job work  in the final two turns of the 25th and final lap to take home the big paycheck  in the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV Canyon Region  feature event for non-winged sprint cars Saturday night at Cocopah  Speedway.

“This is a good, high speed deal,” said a sweat-soaked Davis  afterward from victory lane. “l love this race track! I love it!”

On the  white flag lap, Brody Roa, from Buena Park, Calif., got close enough to Davis to  make a slide job of his own work as he took the lead from Davis in between Turns  1 and 2. But he couldn’t pull away from Davis who then returned the favor in  Turns 3 and 4, retook the lead and beat Roa to the checkered flag in a drag race  down the front straight.

“I either had to get it done (in Turns 1 and 2)  or just sit back there,” said Roa afterward.

“I tried to block him down  the back straight but I couldn’t get underneath him,” added Roa, who is not a  regular in the ASCS Canyon Series.

“I don’t know where Roa was running  but he did a hell of job,” said Davis. “I was really surprised when he got that  shot coming off of (Turn 2). I said, ‘Wow! I didn’t expect that.”

In the  night’s undercard event, Brawley’s Tommy Daffern took the long way to victory  lane in the Cocopah Speedway Racing Series Street Stock Division feature  event.

Daffern, who was battling Yuma’s Bobby Horton for the lead in the  race near the midway point, got caught up in a crash involving lapped traffic  and consequently was sent to the back of the field for the ensuing restart. He  then steadily made his way back to the front where he found Horton and Yuma’s  Adolfo Noriega, who had also been sent to the back after causing an early yellow  flag by spinning between Turns 3 and 4.

Horton later spun late in the  race and brought out a yellow flag, which resulted in his being sent to the back  too. Horton, however, was not able to recover from the late-race mistake and  wound up finishing ninth.

Prior to that Daffern said he was able to  overtake Horton by using Horton’s racing line. He explained that on another of  numerous yellow flag restarts he had to line up in the top groove, where Horton  had been running. Horton was forced to line up in the bottom groove by virtue of  being the race leader.

Daffern, who had been using the bottom groove,  said he wasn’t happy restarting up top, until he found the traction was better  up there and he was able to pull away from Horton and into the lead which he  would not give up this time.

Noriega would settle for second place, with  Joey Essary finishing third, Timmy Reese fourth and Bill Grosskreutz  fifth.

In the night’s showcase event, the sprint car feature, a first-lap  crash forced a complete restart, and Yuma’s Mike Martin took advantage of the  opportunity to blast off from his starting position outside the second row, past  Davis, Roa and pole sitter Dalten Gabbard and into the lead.

Martin then  held the advantage for seven laps before Davis was able to reel him back in and  get around him.

“The track was getting pretty thin and I knew I had to  make my move before it got too much thinner,” said Davis, “because he wasn’t  giving me any room to pass.”

Further back, Yuma’s Kent Rosevear, driving  a car he rented from Martin, was making his way up from a starting spot inside  the seventh row (13th), and was running seventh until contact with another car  ended his charge. Rosevear was forced to line up at the back of the field and  came back to finish 15th in the 20-car event.

Martin, meanwhile, said he  felt a tire going flat in the late laps and was trying to hold on. He would  settle for fifth place.

The 25-lap race saw four incidents with cars  getting upside down in flips, including R.J. Johnson, from Phoenix, who crashed  twice and still managed to finish 16th. No drivers were hurt in the other  mishaps.


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