Brooktown Racing teams third, fourth for season
Last updated 11/15/2007 at Noon
Two of the Brooktown Racing teams earned top-five finishes in the Perris Auto Speedway’s Cruiser Division season standings.
The car driven primarily by Jim Ramsey and Mike Lackey earned third place for the season after a third-place main event finish November 10 while the car of Kevin Martin, Debi Martin, and Dave Hill moved up to fourth place when Kevin Martin and Hill finished fifth in the November 10 main event.
Brooktown Racing’s third Cruiser, driven by Scott Urquhart, Rick Marks, and Brian Tully during the season, took ninth place in the final season standings.
The Cruiser class involves two drivers; one controls the steering wheel and brake while the other has the gas pedal. Cruiser points for the season standings are given to the car rather than to the driver to allow for replacement drivers, and since they are given to the car number a replacement car with the same number can add to the previous car’s points. Ramsey steered two different cars during the season, although Dennis Allen was Ramsey’s co-driver in the 1977 Thunderbird while Lackey was the throttle driver of the 1975 LTD.
A torn shoulder ligament kept Debi Martin from driving the 1984 Lincoln Town Car for the season’s final three races, and Hill took over the gas pedal for those races while Kevin Martin steered. Hill also had the gas pedal in Urquhart’s Thunderbird for one race, and Urquhart operated Ramsey’s throttle during an early-season race.
In the six-lap heat race November 10 Ramsey and Lackey started on the outside of the second row, Kevin Martin and Hill took the original green flag on the outside of the fourth row, and Urquhart and Marks began on the inside of the fifth row. Martin and Hill took a fourth-place finish in the heat race while Ramsey and Lackey were fifth and Urquhart and Marks finished seventh.
Tully replaced Marks as Urquhart’s co-driver for the 12-lap main event, and a diagonal start placed the Thunderbird fourth to begin the feature. Ramsey and Lackey started in the fifth position while Martin and Hill were sixth.
After the first lap Ramsey and Lackey were fourth while Martin and Hill were in sixth place. In the second lap Urquhart and Tully limped to the pits due to a flat tire.
The race was the sixth in a row in which Urquhart had tire problems. “The Chevy gods have cursed me for racing a Ford,” said Urquhart, who is taking offers from prospective purchasers of the Thunderbird. “That thing popped before we were a quarter of the way into the turn.”
The Thunderbird finished last among the ten cars which participated in the main event. Although Lee Rhodes and Mike Rhodes finished second and the night’s double finishing points moved their car past the Thunderbird in the standings, the Thunderbird maintained ninth place in the season standings due to the absence of Cyndi Garnica and Lynn Lillie, who fell from eighth to eleventh in the season standings.
Ray Bundy and Bill Shoemaker also missed the night’s race, assuring Ramsey and Lackey of no worse than third place and giving Martin and Hill the opportunity to finish the season in fourth place with a finish of fifth or better in the final race.
During the second lap Martin and Hill passed season champions Tom and Jeff Gillum, although the Gillum brothers would regain their position ahead of Martin and Hill in the fifth lap.
“We like running with the Martins. They’re good folks, so we try not to get into them,” Tom Gillum said.
In the eighth lap Glenn Brown and Warren Bates went from third place into the pits, moving Ramsey and Lackey into third and Martin and Hill into sixth. Later in the lap Martin and Hill passed Chris Whittaker and Drew Diederich for their final position and the one which gave them a three-point edge over Bundy and Shoemaker in the final season standings.
“I had to figure out how I was going to get them,” Kevin Martin said on the pass of Whittaker and Diederich.
Car problems during the year had kept the Martins out of four main events entirely while causing early exits in two others. “That really hurt us,” Kevin Martin said.
Martin and Hill won the August 25 main event while finishing second September 22. On both occasions the track was watered down prior to the Cruiser main event, but on November 10 the Cruisers raced on a dry track. “I wish they had wet down the track,” Kevin Martin said.
“The car was just cutting out going around the corners,” Hill said.
The car still fared well enough that night and throughout the year to give the Martins and Hill the fourth-place season finish. “Can’t complain about that,” Debi Martin said.
The Martins and Hill are sponsored by Brandon Street Towing (which also kept the car during the Rice Fire while the Martins evacuated from their Rainbow home), Costello’s Auto Repair, Fast, The Fight Lab, Master Tech, Quality Clutch, Rainbow Signs, U-Haul, and Village News, Inc. (which includes the Temecula/Murrieta Valley News as well as the Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News).
Ramsey and his co-drivers missed the first two main events of the year. “Not bad for missing two races,” Ramsey said of his third-place season finish. “I am pleased. Basically started out at the bottom and worked our way through the field.”
Ramsey, Allen, and Lackey finished 111 points ahead of the Martins and Hill and 90 points behind second-place Donny Fengler and Phil Holmes, who won the November 10 main event. The Gillum brothers won the championship by a 54-point margin over Fengler and Holmes.
The Cruiser season consisted of ten races which were won by seven different drivers. “That made it very competitive,” said Ramsey, who won the June 16 main event along with Lackey. “It was a fun season.”
Ramsey, Allen, and Lackey are sponsored by Costello’s Auto Repair, Fallbrook Muffler, The Fight Lab, Master Tech, Quality Clutch and Transmission, and Village News, Inc.