Brad Urquhart won the Aug. 31 Street Stocks main event at Barona Speedway.
Urquhart led for the entire 20-lap race to capture his first victory of the season. “I knew I was going to have a good night after I went through the first four corners. I could feel my car sticking really well on each of the four corners,” he said.
Urquhart finished fourth in the eight-lap heat race after starting on the outside of the third row. “The heat race is the shortened version, so it’s hard to make up ground,” he said.
During the second lap of the heat race a car ahead of Urquhart ended up sideways, although there was no contact before that driver regained forward momentum. “There was a car that got loose right in front of me and just totally blocked me,” Urquhart said.
Urquhart gained the rest of his heat race positions in the remaining six laps. “I made up some ground and passed a few cars,” he said. “Just as I finished, the temperature warning light came on.”
Urquhart and his crew of Mark Norris and Rod Robison determined that the temperature problem was due to air flow rather than any issues with the Nova itself. “It was running okay. I was pushing up real close to the car right in front of me, so that was blocking the air flow,” Urquhart said.
The protective screen was also impacted from the distance between the Nova and the car ahead of it. “The mud was starting to block the screen,” Urquhart said.
Between the heat and the main event Urquhart, Norris, and Robison flushed the radiator system to ensure that nothing was plugged. “We stayed with the same setup,” Urquhart said.
The fourth-place heat race finish turned out to work in Urquhart’s favor, as the dice roll inverted the four top finishers in each heat race. “I got a good roll,” Urquhart said.
That put Urquhart on the pole with Roger Kerr’s #56 car on the outside of the first row. “I wanted to get off to a good start because his car is extremely fast,” Urquhart said. “In previous races Roger had gotten the jump on me and I was determined to not let that happen this time.”
The Street Stocks feature was the track’s third main event that night. “The track condition was perfect for my car,” Urquhart said.
Urquhart took the lead over Kerr. “I got off to a good jump. We were door to door for the first lap and a half and then we got a red light,” Urquhart said.
In the back of the pack a collision removed four cars from the race, including two which were upside down after the impact. “As soon as it went to red light I shut down the car so that it wouldn’t overheat,” Urquhart said.
The red flag stoppage was followed by a double-file restart which once again put Kerr alongside Urquhart. “Got a good jump on him. We were door to door for the first two to three laps,” Urquhart said. “Then I pulled ahead of him.”
No subsequent red flags or yellow flag cautions occurred, which meant that Kerr had no subsequent restarts to try to overtake Urquhart. “I was fortunate the rest of the night not to have any yellow caution flags come out,” Urquhart said. “All restarts at Barona Speedway this year are double-file restarts. This makes it more exciting for the fans and brings the drivers closer together, but anything can happen on a restart.”
Being in the lead meant that there were no cars in front of Urquhart until he approached lapped traffic, which maximized the air flow. “That helped keep my temperature in the normal range for the whole race,” he said.
The front position also allowed Urquhart to choose his lane. “My car was sticking really good on the corners so I stayed on the low line until I started coming up on lapped traffic,” he said. “Mark is a specialist in car suspension and he’s done a great job in getting my car to stick on the corners.”
Urquhart increased his lead on Kerr. “I was able to get some separation for the next 15 laps, I would say,” Urquhart said.
The cars in the back aided the chances of Kerr and Greg Mann, who drove the #81 car. “Coming up on lapped traffic allowed them to gain on me,” Urquhart said.
Urquhart also chose to reduce his speed by 10 percent going into the corners to avoid any incidents. “I was a little cautious setting up the lapped cars for the pass, because I did not want one of them to take me out with a few laps to go,” he said. “That allowed the 56 and 81 to close in on me.”
As Urquhart was setting up to pass one lapped car, Kerr and Mann were approaching Urquhart’s rear bumper. With two laps to go Kerr attempted to pass Urquhart. “Number 56 tried a Hail Mary on my inside on turn three,” Urquhart said.
Kerr spun out. “That took him out of the race,” Urquhart said.
Mann made contact with Urquhart’s bumper in an attempt to pass. “Number 81 tried a bump and run move on me with a lap to go, but my car was solid tonight,” Urquhart said. “My car stayed right on a good line.”
Mann settled for second place. “The key tonight was I picked good lines, and my car accepted the track conditions perfectly,” Urquhart said. “It was running good.”
The win is the second for Urquhart in the 1978 Nova he purchased from Gary Hartsuyker in August 2012. In his second Barona Speedway race in the Nova, Urquhart won the final race of the 2012 season. Urquhart’s previous best finish of 2013 was a second-place result Aug. 3. He was sixth in the Aug. 17 Street Stocks main event.
The first-place finish also allowed Urquhart to pass Kerr and the inactive Gary Rodriguez in the season point standings, moving Urquhart from sixth to fourth after the season’s 12th main event. Urquhart competed in nine of those races; the three drivers ahead of him participated in all 12.
Urquhart is sponsored by Eagle Eye Fabrication, Fallbrook Auto Works, Fallbrook Fertilizer Feed and Farm Supply, and Norris Racing.
The minimum weight for Street Stocks at Barona Speedway is 3,200 pounds, and the post-race weight inspection revealed that the Nova weighed 3,425 pounds. “Our next project is to put the car on a diet,” Urquhart said.