Pickard picks up first of the year Saturday at CNS

*** ERA Press ***

DACONO, Colo. – Johnny Pickard became the fifth different winner in five Englewood Supermodified Association features this year with his win Saturday night at Colorado Nat’l Speedway.

The Pueblo, Colo., driver started on the pole for the 25-lap main and out-raced Craig Moore into turn one. Pickard proceeded to open up a sizeable advantage over the rest of the nine-car field, and by the halfway point of the race he had caught the tail of the field.

Johnny Pickard poses in victory lane at CNS

As the race continued green, Pickard relied on his 32 years of racing experience while negotiating lap traffic.  His ability proved worthy; the caution never came and Pickard raced to a comfortable green-to-checkered win over Harold Evans. The fast-paced race took only nine minutes to run off.

“The car ran good,” Pickard said. “I didn’t have to work too hard for it – starting on the front row and all. I’d rather start from the back and race my way through the field, but they lined us up by points and I haven’t run much this year so I got the pole. We were strong and I think with a little bit of time, we could have made our way to the front if we started toward the back.”

Pickard dedicated his win to Roger Nelson, a Colorado car builder and local motorsports hero who passed away last winter.

“It was special to get the win and dedicate it to Roger. He got me and my brother into racing and we view him as a southern Colorado racing legend. He did a lot of big things in his career and I owe him a lot. I also want to thank my brother Mike (Pickard), who owns the car, and Jeff Ercul for all his help on the crew,” Pickard said.

Opening night winner Harry Stone, who entered the race as the ERA point leader, had an eventful day.  Stone blew the engine in his No. 40 Masterman in warm ups. He then loaded his car and left the speedway to return to his shop, where he changed engines before heading back to the track.

Stone’s hard work paid off. He started shotgun on the field and was in fifth place by the end of lap two. Stone picked up two more spots to finish third.  July 17 ERA winner Chris Sheil ran fourth, while Joe Prisalec rounded out the top five.

Defending ERA champion Richie Castor entered the night 20 points behind Stone in the standings, but he couldn’t get his No. 2 super to the front in Saturday’s main. Castor started eighth and finished sixth. Craig Moore, Ira Castor and Kevin Day completed the field.

The ERA will take this weekend off before returning to action at CNS on Saturday, Aug. 28.  Races at CNS on Sept. 11 and Oct. 2 will complete the nine-race season.

Contact:  Englewood Racing Association @303-949-8192

For more information on the Englewood Racing Association, visit www.erasupermodifieds.tripod.com.

Press written by Keith Shampine. Contact Keith at 315-657-2207 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.