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|6/2 thoughts|| Rate Topic
|Posted: Wednesday Jun 6th, 2018 10:38 PM||
|There was plenty of sunshine at Grays Harbor Raceway last Saturday for round number seven. Four classes filled the pit area and all four had very exciting main events, so let's recap them quickly.
Jack Parshall sat on the pole for the 20-lap feature for the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks and led them all. Jeff Daniel didn't waste any time from outside the second row. He passed Matt White at the green flag for third and outside pole sitter Ryen Haney out of turn four for second, as lap one was in the books. The top six drivers were nose-to-tail in the early going until Timmy Phillips faced the wrong way in turn four to bring out a yellow on lap five. As Parshall pulled away, Daniel had his hands full trying to maintain second. Tommy Hecker was on Daniel's tail until Cory Sweatman got by for third on lap nine at the stripe. Two more yellow flags were necessary after halfway. The first one happened on lap twelve as Taylor Miller got into the frontstetch wall, and the second one occurred when White spun in turn two with four laps remaining. Parshall showed why he's the man in the street stocks and won for the fifth time this year. Daniel finished second, followed by C. Sweatman, Hecker, and Haney.
Jim Pavel was the pole sitter for the 25-lap A-Main for the PHRA dwarf cars and Henry Corbin, II was on the outside pole. Pavel led the first lap, but spun out in turn two on the following tour. He kept going, and the race stayed green. Brett Olney had the lead, but he had Jeremiah Hester on his bumper and Hester took the top spot away out of turn two on the fifth lap. The first slowdown happened one lap later, as Justin DeMars came to a stop in turn four. 11th place starter Brandon Ross took second from Olney out of turn two at the restart, but Ross' time in second didn't last for long when Corey Esteban got by in turn two on lap number eight. On the next lap, Esteban passed Hester in turn two as well to move up to the lead. The second yellow flag came out two laps later, as Olney spun in turn four while running seventh. Esteban and Hester were running first and second, but Anthony Pope was coming in a hurry from the 12th starting spot. They were three-wide coming to complete lap ten before Pope passed both Esteban and Hester in turns one and two on the next lap. Hester lost third on the twelfth go-around to 13th-starting Ryan Martinez out of turn four. Esteban regained the lead on the 13th circuit, as he went to the inside of Pope at the flagstand. Two laps later, Martinez passed Pope for second in turn two. Esteban was still the leader as he worked his way through traffic, but Martinez and Pope were both right there. Tragedy struck with only three laps to go as Olney spun again in turn four and collected the top three drivers! No one was injured in the crash, but that changed everything with a snap of your fingers. The new leader was Jake VanOrtwick and he led the final three laps to win over Hester, Ross, Mikie Clark, and Martinez.
A pair of Cosmopolis drivers were on the front row of the Shipwreck Beads modifieds A-Main. Sam Carlisle was on the pole with Tom Sweatman starting alongside, with Tom leading all 25 laps. Casey Smith brought out a yellow flag very early on, as he looped it in turn four on lap three. On the restart, Zack Simpson went to the inside of Brian Harding in turn two and did the same thing to Carlisle out of turn four to go from fourth to second. The yellow lights came on again on the sixth circuit when Cody Erksine, Tim Phillips, and Smith all spun in turn one. The race went nonstop from there, as T. Sweatman maintained a comfortable lead over Simpson and went on to win for the second time in '18. Simpson was second and Lane Zerbin climbed from tenth to third. Devan West finished a career-best fourth and Scott Miller was fifth.
The last main event was the 30-lapper for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series. J.J. Hickle got the jump over pole sitter Garen Linder and led the first two circuits. Linder tried a slide job out of turn four on the second lap, but couldn't quite make it stick. That happened just before Jason Reed did a 360 spin in turn four. Luckily, everybody missed him. Linder attempted another turn four slider on Hickle on the restart and made it successful. Linder never looked back from there. Colton Heath stole second from Hickle at the line on lap four and another yellow flag was needed after that lap was complete, as Brian Boswell stopped in the infield off the backstretch. Linder hit all of his marks and passed slower cars with little difficulty in a long stretch of green flag racing, as he distanced himself from Heath. It looked like it's going to stay clean and green until Garrett McLees spun in turn two with just three laps to go. That bunched up the field and there were no lapped cars between the front runners. Heath tried to return the favor on Linder on the restart by trying a slide job in turn two, but Linder was too strong on the high side. Behind them, teenager Michael "Buddy" Kofoid passed Solwold out of turn four with two laps left. Linder did a masterful job driving and won ahead of Heath, Kofoid, Solwold, and Hickle.
Is it just me or are you surprised that we're in June already? It seems like this year's going by too fast. I have a few more things to share with you, so here they are!
That's More Like It: The car counts for all four classes were impressive and definitely up from earlier this season. The modified division led with 23 entries, but the dwarf cars were right behind at 21 people as were the sprint cars at 20 drivers. The street stocks also had a healthy field of 15 racers.
All Over the Map: Most of the racers hail from Washington and Oregon, but that's not the case for others. There were two teenagers from Northern California that made their first trek to Elma. They were 16-year-old Kofoid from Penngrove and 17-year-old Lucas Ashe out of Cottonwood. Zerbin came from Campbell River, B.C. and he was behind the wheel of fellow Vancouver Island resident Graham Cook's #75 modified. Steve Reeves had the longest tow of everybody from from Valleyview, Alberta.
Jack Be Nimble: Parshall has won five of the six main events and we're not even halfway through the season yet. The only race where he didn't win was on April 28 when he finished third to Jason Tole and C. Sweatman. Parshall won six times last year and well on pace to steamroll that number. He also has extended his points lead from 50 to 64 tallies over Hecker.
Six-for-Seven: The dwarf cars have six different winners in seven races around the Pacific Northwest in 2018. Hester is the only driver to win twice, as he did so at Sunset Speedway on April 21 and Madras Speedway on May 19. Winning one event each are Kalvin Morton (May 12 at Cottage Grove Speedway), Brad Struck (May 26 at South Sound Speedway), Shane Youngren (May 26 at Sunset Speedway), Danny Karslake (May 27 at South Sound), and now VanOrtwick. The PHRA return to Cottage Grove for a doubleheader this Friday and Saturday.
Cosmopolis vs. Shelton vs. Aberdeen: S. Miller was the points leader by four markers over T. Sweatman before Saturday's racing, but Tom turned the tables after his win and he's back on top of the standings with an eleven-point advantage over S. Miller. Simpson holds onto the third spot, and he's just five points behind S. Miller. The next race for the modified racers is this Saturday.
Delightful Devan: 17-year-old West was magnificent in his just his second start in a modified. He's the son of Dan West, Jr., a six-time track champion at GHR and an inductee to the Elma Racing Hall of Fame earlier this year. Devan was 11th in his first start in Randy Ward's #1W car on May 19 and easily bested that result with a fourth-place finish last Saturday. Devan took the third spot from Harding at the line on lap seven and he hung onto that spot until lap 18 when Zerbin got by in turn two.
The Buddy System: Kofoid was very strong in his first sprint car race in Washington, as he was aboard the Doug Rutz-owned #8R car and ran as a teammate to Jared Peterson. Buddy qualified out eighth out of 20 people, and won convincingly in the fourth heat race. He ran in the top five in all 30 laps in the A-Main and passed Solwold for third place out of turn four with two laps remaining to join Linder and Heath on the podium.
Breaking the Tie, Part 2: Heath and Linder were tied for third in the Summer Thunder Sprint Series behind before Saturday, 32 points behind Solwold. Heath has sole possession of the second spot and he's 29 points back of Solwold, with Linder only two points behind of Heath. Peterson was second in points, but dropped to fourth and he's 53 points behind Solwold. Jared passed Jason out of turn two on the final lap of the main event, but fell off the pace in turn four and stopped yards short of the finish line.
Number for the Weekend: 3. The number of slowdowns in the main events for the street stocks, dwarf cars (including one red flag), and sprint cars. The modified main event had just two yellow flags. The mains took anywhere between 12 and 30 minutes to complete.
Hard Luck Award: Mike Knox. Mike lost power before track packing and came onto the track late for the first modified heat race. He had more mechanical problems near the end of the heat and didn't make it out for the B-Main.
"Never Say Die" Award: Martinez and DeMars. Both Ryan and Justin had problems in the PHRA main event and recovered for fine finishes. Martinez was fifth after being involved in a late crash while running second. DeMars restarted after stopping in turn four on lap six and ended up seventh to get hard charger honors, as he started 16th.
Next race: I'm heading up to Skagit Speedway for the 47th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino Resort on June 21, 22 and 23. The drivers from the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by Sawblade.com roll into town, and the Northwest Focus Midgets will also be in action for all three nights. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. is the winner of the last two Dirt Cups.
Avatar: Sam Hafertepe, Jr. at Grays Harbor Raceway in the Fred Brownfield Classic (taken 6/30/17).
Last edited on Wednesday Jun 13th, 2018 09:53 AM by Racer4u
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