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 Posted: Sunday Apr 22nd, 2018 06:40 AM
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Kaleb
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Hamilton Hauls in First Skagit Speedway Win on Opening Night

4/21/18

Alger, WA - Opening night at Skagit Speedway saw two first time winners crowned as Greg Hamilton won an entertaining battle for the win in the Budweiser 360 Sprints and Mike Steltz made his Skagit Speedway Modified debut a victorious one as well. Steve Parker made a late race pass for the victory in the Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints and Curtis Ellis made a 13 hour haul from Alberta to win the Outlaw Tuner Main Event.

Greg Hamilton rebounded from losing the lead on lap six to score his first sprint car win at Skagit Speedway in the Budweiser 360 Sprints. Eric Fisher used the inside groove to take the lead from Hamilton on the sixth lap, but could never distance himself from Greg, as Hamilton pounded down the top side of the raceway and kept Fisher within striking distance. Hamilton used the momentum from the highside of four to squeak into a small opening in the bottom of turn one to retake the lead on lap 16, then managed to hold Fisher at bay for the remaining nine laps on his way to his first win. Fisher would settle for second with Colton Heath taking third. Heat winners were Hamilton and Heath. Jared Peterson was quick time.

In the Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints, Steve Parker used a little veteran guile to take the opening night win. Parker had moved to second with 10 laps left and watched as Sucich patiently rolled the bottom of the speedway. Sucich defended the bottom groove well, so Parker experimented with both the middle and high side of the corners. Finding forward bite, Parker sling shotted around Bailey at the exit of turn four to take the lead on lap 22, then immediately cut low to the bottom of turn one to close the door on Sucich for good. Parker would cruise on to take the win, followed by Sucich and Cory Swatzina. Bill Rude was fast time on the night. HEat wins went to Jake Helsel, James Bundy and Kelsey Carpenter.

The Modified main event was an instant classic as speedway veteran Mel Decker looked to end a four decade old winless streak. Decker led the first 24 laps of the 25 lap main event, but as he came to the white flag, Mike Steltz, a rookie in the modified class, had drawn even with Mel after stalking him for about ten laps. Decker sailed his car in a little too high to turn one, giving Steltz the lane around the low groove to move into the lead and take the eventual win. Decker would settle for runner up with Ben Gunderson making his modified debut a successful one with a third place finish. Rick Smith and Adam Holtrop won the heats.

Making the thirteen hour haul from Alberta worth it, Curtis Ellis was the winner of the Outlaw Tuner feature, splitting the difference between his brother Ryan and Brian Michelson in turn two on lap four to take the point. He would run away from the field the rest of the way to secure the victory. Michelson would get by Ryan Ellis for second, relegating Ryan to a third. Both Ellis brothers won the heats.

Budweiser 360 Sprints
Fast Time - Jared Peterson 12.528
Heat 1 - Greg Hamilton, Cam Smith, Eric Fisher, Jared Peterson, Matt Jensen
Heat 2 - Colton Heath, Luke Didiuk, Chance Crum, Bud Ashe
Main - Greg Hamilton, Fisher, Heath, Peterson, Jensen, Didiuk, Crum, Smith, Ashe
Lap Leaders - Hamilton 1-5 Fisher 6-14 Hamilton 15-25

Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints
Fast Time - Bill Rude 12.942
Heat 1 - Jake Helsel, Trevor Cook, Bill Rude, Michael Hodel, Eric Turner, Joe Lyon
Heat 2 - James Bundy, Michael Bollinger, Ashleigh Johnson, Bailey Sucich, Brett McGhie, Devin Barnes
Heat 3 - Kelsey Carpenter, Steve Parker, Cory Swatzina, Bert Johnson Jr, Zach Keefe
Main - Steve Parker, Sucich, Swatzina, Cook, Helsel, Carpenter, Bollinger, McGhie, Johnson, Bundy, Barnes, Rude, Turner, Lyon, Hodel
Lap Leaders - Sucich 1-21 Parker 22-25

Modifieds
Heat 1 - Rick Smith, Jeff Blanton, Mike Steltz, Mel Decker
Heat 2 - Adam Holtrop, Louis Nutter Sr, Ben Gunderson, Dan Butenschoen, Jason Butenschoen
Main - Mike Steltz, Decker, Gunderson, Blanton, Smith, D Butenschoen, J Butenschoen, Holtrop, Nutter Sr
Lap Leaders - Decker 1-24 Steltz 25

Outlaw Tuners
Heat 1 - Ryan Ellis, Howard Vos, Clint Meins, Jon Gunderson, Jack Desrosier, Rob Dozark
Heat 2 - Curtis Ellis, TJ Campbell, Brian Michelson, Bobby Parkinson, Matt Dunnigan
Main - Curtis Ellis, Michelson, R Ellis, Gunderson, Meins, Desrosier, Campbell, Dozark, Parkinson, Dunnigan
Lap Leaders - Michelson 1-3 C Ellis 4-17



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