Weston Hughes spent June 25 racing a pair of Night of Destruction events at Perris Auto Speedway and finished second in the Trailer Figure 8 race and third in the Demo Cross main event.
The second-place finish matched the highest ever for Hughes, who had one driver ahead of him when he finished the Stock Figure 8 race April 2 at Perris, and the June 25 finishes were the highest in those classes for the 2006 Fallbrook High School graduate.
“We did a lot of work to the truck,” Hughes said. “It was running a lot better than in the previous race.”
Hughes also competed in the April 2 Demo Cross main event, but when his engine temperature became hotter than desired he pulled off to save his car for future races. Perris ran separate Stock Figure 8 and Modified Figure 8 races on April 2 only.
Hughes did not compete in any Figure 8 races April 30, and in that night’s Demo Cross main event Hughes completed 19 of the 20 laps before his 1992 Jeep Grand Cherokee was turned over on turn two of the final lap.
The rollover caused minimal additional damage to Hughes’ truck and it was ready to race at the next Night of Destruction on May 21, when Hughes finished fifth in the Trailer Figure 8 race and seventh in the Demo Cross competition.
Ken McWilliams has won all five Trailer Figure 8 races this year, and Hughes took second in the 15-lap contest June 25 with Ryan Kinnett placing third.
“I give most of the credit to the vehicle, but my buddy Matt helped a lot,” said Hughes.
Hughes moved to Wildomar three years ago. Matt Robison lives in Lake Elsinore. “He was there in the pit and helped get it dialed in,” Hughes said.
Hughes’ parents, Tod and Tracy, also helped with the performance improvements to the truck.
J.D. Wilson won the 20-lap Demo Cross main event June 25 with David Holmes placing second and Hughes earning third place. “I actually didn’t know I finished third in it until I got into the pit,” he said.
Demo Cross is a demolition derby run on the quarter-mile oval track; drivers face obstacles on the track as well as each other. Although a driver cannot back up to hit another driver, lapped traffic which forces drivers to slow increases the opportunity for contact.
Hughes was informed that he had finished third, so he returned to the track to receive his trophy. “Any time you go out there and can take home a trophy you’re having a great night,” he said.
Perris Auto Speedway also hosted a Night of Destruction on July 23. Hughes finished fifth in the Trailer Figure 8 race. “We’re happy,” he said. “It’s hard to be disappointed.”
Hughes finished second in his six-lap Demo Cross heat race July 23. He began the 20-lap main event on the outside of the ninth row and had improved his position to fifth by the end of the second lap, but he hit a boat on the track between turns three and four during the third lap and began slowing in the fifth lap. “I had a coolant system issue and had to pull out of the race early,” he said.
Hughes was awarded a 13th-place finish based on the number of laps completed. The coolant system was a minor repair. “We got that squared away,” he said.