The Speedway at Willow Springs Event #2 Race Recap!

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The Speedway at Willow Springs Intl’ Raceway.

by Andy Daddario

The weather was just perfect as a number of new teams joined us for our annual 2014 Easter Egg Hunt, and Race #2 of our season. Just about everyone left happy, and especially the kids with tons of Easter Eggs with candy inside. We also had new winners in the Wayne and Dave’s Late Models, and first time winners in our Hobby Stock and Skid Plate divisions. The return of Flag Pole Racing added an element of “Crazy” we’ve never ever seen before!!


Last year we brought back an old Saugus Speedway tradition called Ego Challenge, and it continues to grow in participation each race with 10 drivers this past Saturday. It’s your chance to take your personal car for a spin around our tight ¼ mile oval on the clock against the best our track has to offer. Many of our race team members compete in the event. Winners this week were PJ Hernandez in the 8cylinder class, Nate VanDeventer in the 6 cylinder, and Chris Gardner in the 4 cylinder. Ego Challenge will be back May 10th, 2014. Anyone can drive in this, INCLUDING YOU. (Yes you reading this). Come on out and show us what ya got!

You must pre-register (insurance company required us to do this) before May 10th by sending an email with your name and what division you plan to run to….



Eight Hobbies lined up for their main event with the father daughter team of Shelby (28) and Don Oatley (84) starting at the rear who had arrived late (preparing their cars) and weren’t able to qualify. However Justin Quinn (19x) did qualify and qualify fast. He set our fast time for the night earning top points. At the green Brandon Fisk (39) started from the outside pole and it didn’t take him long to wrestle the lead away from the 19 of Richard Wolfe Sr. Fisk continued to lead in the early going, but the 19X of Justin Quinn made some very quick moves starting from his 5th place position to take the lead on Lap 4. But he wasn’t able to hold that lead for long as a very strong Joseph Pablo made the pass for the point on Lap 6. The 19x fought back, and raced hard with the 79 for many laps, but was never able to quite have enough to get by. Meanwhile the 84 and 28 were working their way through the field toward the leader. The 84 was charging and closing but was running out of time. But this was Pablo’s to win as he led the rest of the way to the checkered in a big night for the team in his first win ever!! It was Joseph Pablo’s night pretty much across the board as he took the Heat Race and Trophy Dash as well in a clean sweep.

Main Event Results

79 Joseph Pablo, 84 Don Oatley, 28 Shelby Oatley, 19 Richard Wolfe Sr., 09 Matt Wolfe, 19x Justin Quinn, 39 Brandon Fisk, 99 Richard Wolfe Jr.

Heat Race 79 Joseph Pablo
Trophy Dash 79 Joseph Pablo



Fast qualifier Steve Patterson (00) has been struggling with motor issues, so his team has been on pins and needles every time he rolls out. But setting fast time earlier in the day, things looked very good for the Double Nuts team. Starting last in the full invert, this looked to be his night. As the cars rolled out we had the new mini team of Dale Connors (11) on the pole and son Rich Connors (76) outside in a father son duel for the lead at the green. Experience won over youth this time as 11 led the early going. Robert Heflin (97) made a quick pass into second and then looked for the lead. 00 of Patterson also had a strong early going as he moved his way into second by Lap 4. But the 11 of Connors continued showing the way through Lap 8 when we had a yellow for debris. The 00 of Patterson elected to take the outside on the Cone restart. That proved to be a great move as he took the lead from the outside on Lap 9, but after making the nice pass the 00 of Patterson got loose in Turn 4, and was enough for the 11 of Connors to retake the lead. But the 00 fought back once again and passed for the lead on Lap 11. The 76 of Rich Connors, was working his way back up through the field and pulled into second behind our leader. Meanwhile, the 97 of Heflin was just waiting for his opportunity, and on lap 14 moved into second. With 00 still leading the field, once again mechanical difficulties plagued the team as he spun coming off and went into the infield retiring from the event. The 97 of Hefflin takes the lead and rolls it the rest of the way to the checkers for his second win of the season.

Main Event Results

97 Robert Heflin, 76 Rich Connors, 11 Dale Connors, 14 Brian Paquin, 00 Steve Patterson

Heat Race 11 Dale Connors
Trophy Dash 97 Robert Heflin



We spoke with Will Cottrell earlier in the day, and he keeps telling us….”I’ve got to get faster”, and is a man on a mission to do just that. And faster he did go by pulling fastest qualifying time of the day. That goal behind him, he was now looking for his first win of the year. The Streets lined up for 25 laps with point leader Bobby Dezarov (17) starting on the pole. Will Cottrell (1) fast qualifier started behind him in the invert. Dezarov was going to be very tough to get by, but Don Oatley (84) and Rich Wilson (4) were all waiting for their shot. Due to mechanical difficulty, DJ Jeffrey (77) was unable to take the green and retired from the event. Try as they may, the 84, 1, and 4 could not catch Dezarov as he led wire to wire for the win for his second of the season.

Main Event Results

17 Bobby Dezarov,  84 Don Oatley, 1 Will Cottrell, 4 Rich Wilson

Heat Race  17 Bobby Dezarov
Trophy Dash 1 Will Cottrell



Our Wayne and Dave’s Automotive Late Model division welcomed the new team of Kevin James (83) to the field for his first visit in 2014. He started on the outside of the front row with Logan Mainella (9) inside on the pole. James (83) had a great start at the green and took the lead on lap 1. Mainella (9) settled in behind James with John Penning (30) right behind. Fast qualifier Chris Peedan (98) started at the rear of the field in our invert was beginning to work his way through the field. By lap 10 he was up to 5th position, and passed Alex Anderson (77) on Lap 14. With the top 3 staying the same, a spin on lap 23 brought out the yellow and set up for an exciting restart. With Peedan (98) taking the outside line on the Cone side by side restart, he used that to his advantage to take the lead on lap 25. Mainella (9) lost a position to third and Penning (30) back to fourth. Peedan (98) led the rest of the way to the checkers with James (83) right there, but not enough to get by.


Main Event Results

Chris Peedan (98), Kevin James (83), Logan Mainella (9), John Penning (30), Alex Anderson (77), Randy Wilkins (05), Chris Douglas (1)

Heat Race   Logan Mainella (9)

Trophy Dash  John Penning (30)



We debuted a new point structure and held two “Extreme Events” last Saturday.

Around the Flagpole- . How to describe this with words???……A Round A Bout with two Figure 8’s down the front and back straightaways. The drivers then have to dodge each other as they come around the pole. It’s quite frankly……… a mess, as the drivers avoid each other to get to the next flag. Maybe how best to describe it……a rolling destruction derby. The fans (and even scoring who circled “Awesome Race” on the paperwork) enjoyed it immensely with big cheers as the cars dodged each other. It will be BACK for our next event on May 10th. There was a ton of sheet metal to bang out after that one!!!!

Two Hobby stock regulars competed in the event, Michael Williams and PJ Hernandez duking it out. But veteran Dale Connors took the main event win and 15 points toward the championship.

Dale Connors (11), Michael Williams (32), PJ Hernandez (52), Cory Carter (41), John Carter (42), Brady Mertz (25), Brian Lear (96), John Dunlap (68).

2nd to the Line-  Even our flagman, former Saugus at Willow Springs racer Greg Benner asked us…….”huh, what the heck is this”? We responded, “It’s exactly like it says Greg”. After more puzzled looks, we proceeded to run our first ever 2nd to the line. Three laps, but 2nd place wins. This was an extreme event for Hobby and Street Stock cars and Joseph Pablo (79) and Brandon Fisk (39) rolled out to test the waters. The first two laps were uneventful as both cars traded the lead at a “brisk” (i.e. slow) pace. And then the strategy began to play out as both cars bobbed and weaved, slamming their brakes, rolling, but never stopping (if you stop you are OUT). Pablo (79) played the strategy just right pumping the brakes right before the start/finish coming in 2nd, and completing his clean sweep of all events for the evening. 15 Extreme Points went to Pablo.

Joseph Pablo (79), Brandon Fisk (39)



We ended our evening with a wild (wild) skid plate race where more cars were spinning than going in a straight line. Lauren Mertz (#25 Brady Mertz’s sister) joined the field in her brand new (well was new) Car #52 making our Skid Plates the fastest growing division at the track. There was action all over the place as we went green with Brian Lear (96) leading the way. But by lap 2 point leader Dale Connors sprung to the lead followed by Cory Carter (41). At the same time, Michael Williams (32) drove all the way to 2nd place after starting near dead last. But he didn’t stay there for long, spinning on the rear plates and the field went by. John Dunlap (68) now took over second on Lap 3. Brady Mertz (25) started in the middle of the pack worked his way up to third and then to the lead on Lap 11. He led the rest of the way to the checkers followed by Connors (11), and Dunlap (68) for his first ever win! Sister Lauren (also one of our scorers) finished her first ever race with a top 5 as well. Nice job Lauren!

There is going to be a ton of damaged sheet metal, bumpers, parts, plates, chains, wheels, that need to be repaired before May 10th. Check out some of the video on our website ( from the copter cam.

Final Results.

Brady Mertz (25), Dale Connors (11), John Dunlap (68), John Carter (42), Michael Williams (32), Lauren Mertz (52), Paul Connors (57), Brian Lear (96), Cory Carter (41).

If you ever were considering beginning racing, this is a great place to do it. We had one car built for about $500 doing all his own work, and “Pre-owned” top out at about $1000. There is not a cheaper or easier way to go racing at our speedway. We can even arrange to keep the car here at the track. Ask any of our staff or competitors how to get started, and you can be racing on May 10th! We will also be announcing a Rental Program in the not too distant future.

Drop us an email and we’ll get you set up. 


The Speedway at Willow Springs International Raceway returns on May 10th, with yet another “First Time Ever” adding Gymkhana and Spin to Win into the mix for our Extreme Events. Flag Pole racing returns along with Kids Candy Crush. All 5 divisions are also in action featuring our Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks, and Skidplates as well on May 10th……….ONLY at The Speedway at Willow Springs!

And the new big news…. we are thrilled to announce the INEX Legends return to the Speedway to put on a show for YOU, our fans. $250 guaranteed to win sponsored by The Tack Stable in Acton.

Wanna go on a Skid Plate ride? Dale Connors will take you out in his #11 on May 10th. $10 for 4 laps with our point leader. Come to the scoring tower and we will tell you where to go!!!



Twitter:  (@WillowSpringsSp)



Phone: (661) 945-2102   (661) 492-7526


We would like to thank all our terrific sponsors for making our 2014 season possible!


A to Z Signs, Budweiser, Wayne and Dave’s Automotive, Toyota, KGG Electric, Hooper’s Rear Ends, Off Vintage Motorcycles, The Tire Store, Adams Metalizing and Grinding, Ron’s Rear Ends, Arena Homes, AV Roadhouse, Rock Inn, Lucas Oil Products, Abadak, Benz Sanitation, Angels Touch Towing, 10000 RPM Clutches and Flywheels, Deist Safety, Studio Equipment Rentals, Franks Radio, Linny White’s Race Shop, and Pepsi.