DACONO, Colo. â€“ Johnny Pickard drove to his third win in a row Saturday night in the Englewood Supermodified Assâ€™n feature at Colorado National Speedway. Pickard started fourth in the 25-lap main and took the lead on lap five.Â He opening up a large advantage until the caution waved on lap 16.
Rich Castor Jr. moved into second during the opening green-flag stint and the midrace caution put Castorâ€™s potent No. 2 on the rear bumper of Pickardâ€™s plain red No. 02. Some fans expected a Pickard, Castor duel throughout the final nine laps, however Pickardâ€™s mount was too strong and the Pueblo, Colo., shoe drove away from the pack to earn his third victory in the last three races.
â€œIt feels good,â€ Pickard said. â€œThe reason we missed the races earlier in the season was because of a divorce I was going through. Last December we hit rock bottom and to come out here and run like weâ€™ve been makes us feel really good. We went from rock bottom to the top of the pile, and it feels pretty good.â€
Pickard has had success in recent weeks while starting toward the front of the field due to ERAâ€™s feature starting system, which starts the low-point driver on the pole. With Pickard missing much of the early part of the season, heâ€™s low in the standings and has had the benefit of good starting positions.
Johnny Pickard's No. 02
â€œOn lap 16 they threw a caution because we were lapping everyone,â€ Pickard said when asked if he felt he could still win if starting toward the back. â€œIt was a competition caution, I guess. Castor was behind us and my brother came over the radio and told me to go because he would be right there. We got to the line and I took off. My brother said two (lengths back), four, six and then a full straightaway after only two laps. If he was gonna come that was his time. Weâ€™ve been pretty strong.
â€œIâ€™ve got to thank my brother Mike Pickard, Jeff Ercul, Charlene Greigo and Jennifer Musso Pickard.Â Thatâ€™s the core group of people who do all of it.â€
Castor held on for second to close up the point race. Chris Moore started third and finished in the same spot.Â Harold Evans was fourth and point leader Harry Stone started last and finished fifth.
Speaking of the point battle, itâ€™s a tight one heading into the final ERA race of the season on Oct. 2.Â Stone, whoâ€™s led the points since his opening day win May 29, now leads by less than 10 markers over Castor and Evans.Â Each of the top-three runners has a legitimate shot at the championship; in fact, positions within the top eight can all change hands at the season closer.
Eleven cars started Saturdayâ€™s feature. Chris Sheil and Castor won the heat races.
As stated, the ERA will close whatâ€™s been a successful 2010 season on Oct. 2 at Colorado National.
The finish: PICKARD, Castor, Moore, Evans, Stone, Joe Priselac, Joe Gallegos, Kevin Day, Brian Pacheco, Sheil, Matt Gilbert.
Correction: In the last release we stated Rich Castor had not yet won a feature this season. In fact, Castor has won an ERA main and it came on July 3 at CNS. Our apologies.
For more information on the Englewood Racing Association, visit ERASupermodifieds.tripod.com.
Press written by Keith Shampine.Â Contact Keith at (315) 657-2207 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.