Rod Robison matched his best main event finish ever June 8 at Barona Speedway when he finished fourth in the Street Stocks race.
“We’re really getting a good handle on the car,” Robison said. “Even fourth was disappointing. It was a good run, but we’re right there.”
The pea pick for the starting position rather than Robison’s car was the primary obstacle to a higher finish. Robison began the main event on the inside of the third row. “When the fastest guys on the track are starting in front of you, it’s kind of tough,” he said.
Brian Fitzgibbons and Eric Evans, who both live in San Diego County but normally race at Perris Auto Speedway, competed in the June 8 Barona race and captured the top two finishing positions. “There were some really fast cars there from out of town and it was a destruction derby type of night,” Robison said. “It was definitely a rough night. The car did not look too pretty. Contact in every corner on every corner of the car.”
For the most part the contact did not affect the performance of Robison’s car, but five laps into the 20-lap race a tire was cut. The tire was replaced in the “hot pits” and Robison returned to the track, albeit in the back.
Robison began regaining positions. “Got up there in the front,” he said.
“Everybody was spinning all around me,” he said. “I managed to stay out of most of it.”
Robison’s Nova became hooked with Sunny Trent’s Camaro on the 18th lap as they were on the front straightaway; they disconnected entering turn one and Trent spun while Robison kept his forward momentum.
Robison settled for fourth place rather than a late-lap crash. “Couldn’t get by people without moving them and didn’t want to move them,” Robison said.
Robison, who moved from Santee to Fallbrook in 2007, drove in the Street Stocks division at Cajon Speedway in the 1980s and drove in the Pony Stocks at Barona Speedway before he and his son turned a 1976 Nova owned by Brad Urquhart into a Street Stock during the past off-season. Robison finished fourth in the April 13 Street Stocks race. His May 25 race, which was his previous contest prior to the June 8 competition, resulted in a sixth-place finish.
Robison finished fourth in the June 8 heat race. “We had a new setup in the heat race and it didn’t work at all,” Robison said. “We went back to square one and just tweaked on the first night’s setup a little bit.”
Not only did Rod Robison and his son change the rear end in their car between the heat race and the main event, but they also helped Urquhart and Everett Hartsuyker repair Urquhart’s frame which was damaged during heat race contact. “We were thrashing on both cars trying to get them ready,” Robison said. “Worked right up to the main event to get them ready.”
Urquhart’s night ended early in the main event when he was hit during the second lap, but Robison’s Nova benefited from the return to the older setup. “It handled amazingly during the main,” Robison said. “We were driving in the corners farther than anyone.”
Barona Speedway regular Tommy Kerr finished third. “We just couldn’t quite work it all the way back up,” Robison said.
Robison is sponsored by Fallbrook Fertilizer Feed and Farm Supply.