Anchorage racer sprints to victory Friday

Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2004

John McDonald was the fastest man in town Friday, clocking a track-record time in qualifying, then going on to take top honors in the 410 sprint car class in racing action at Twin Cities Raceway in Kenai.

McDonald, of Anchorage, said he was surprised his car was able to tame the slick track conditions Friday and pull out the track record.

"I couldn't believe it," McDonald said following the races. "I didn't think anyone would get the track record today."

McDonald's time of 14.89 beat the previous best of 15.22 seconds, set by Jackie McGahan in 2002. Ironically, it was McGahan's son, Cameron, who gave McDonald his biggest challenge Friday, winning one of the three 410 races in which the two squared off.

"Cameron got me in that first heat," McDonald said.

McDonald won the second heat, leaving the main event as the last chance for the two to settle things. Unfortunately, McGahan's car broke down early in the race, leaving McDonald with by far the fastest car on e track.

"I lost all control of my right front steering," McGahan said following the race.


Rich McGahan Jr. races to a victory in the first heat race Friday at Twin Cities Raceway.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Still, McGahan said he was happy with how the day turned out. Only in his first year of racing 410s, McGahan ended up racing his dad's car to second place on the night a feat that's likely to become more and more common as the 17-year-old progresses in his racing career.

"He's already faster than me," Jackie McGahan said.

In other action Friday, Brian Johnson took home first place in the A-Stock division, Josh Fell was first in the B-stocks and Ernie Seager claimed the top spot in the 360s.

The day's racing was wild at times, as the track had to be watered repeatedly to keep down the dust under sunny, 80-degree skies. Perhaps nowhere else was that in evidence than in the first stock car heat, a race that saw just three of the eight cars to start the race make it to the finish line.

The race got off to an ugly start, as pole-sitter Debbie Yancy got spun out early, while Richard McGahan nearly ran into the pits amid spirited bumping for position.

After three different cautions over the course of the 10-lap race Rich McGahan Jr. ended up breaking through the chaos to beat out William Broussard and Chris Thompson to the finish line.

Other race winners Friday included Kurt McKinney in the 360 trophy dash; Richard McGahan in the B-stock trophy dash; Randy Barnes in the first 360 heat; Ernie Seager in the 360 main event; and Josh Fell, who somehow managed to come from behind and beat William Broussard in the stock car main event when Broussard spun out in the final turn.

Complete results from Friday and Saturday's races will be in Monday's Clarion.

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