What could have been….
Fans filing into the covered grandstands on Whelen Engineering night presented by Frontier Communications Saturday night at Evergreen Speedway had a lot of reasons to enjoy the nice weather and incredible racing ahead of them. What most fans didn’t realize was the range of emotions that the night of racing brought them when it was all said and done.
Five classes took to the various tracks that Evergreen Speedway offers. The night started off with the Interstate Battery Youth Hornet division presented by Dealership.Glass. This class is new to the Speedway in 2016, offering opportunity for young ladies and gentlemen to find out if racing for them. One of those taking the opportunity was Cassidy Sundholm, who got her first main event win in a 15-lap main event. Cassidy is the daughter of many time track Champion Lane Sundholm and her family is well known at the track for many years. No smile was broader than the “Old Mans” at the Angel of the Winds Victory Stage when Cassidy accepted her first place trophy. First time racer Bryce Bezanson finished 2nd and Dodge Smirz finished 3rd.
The Speedway Chevrolet Super Late Models were featured with double 50-lap main events. 14 cars qualified with the #65 of Tyler Tanner setting fast time with a lap of 16.577 seconds. After a week of virtually rebuilding his Northsound Racing/Foxsports 1380/Lang Autosports car from damage suffered at the Summer Showdown, points leader Naima Lang cruised to a much needed victory in the first main event. Doni Wanat finished 2nd with Tanner finishing 3rd.
The Northwest Pro 4 Trucks returned to the 3/8’s oval, and has pretty much been the scenario all season long, the #27 truck of Doug Wilkenson took the checkered flag at the end of their 25-lap main. Pete Brady continues to improve every time out and got a 2nd place finish for his efforts and Aaron Green finished 3rd.
The Foster Press Mini Stocks returned to action on a sun drenched track. Nat Barber continues to dominate the division, picking up win #6 with Michael Fritz finishing 2nd and Brad Thomas claimed the 3rd spot. It was nice to see 13 cars line up for the 25-lap main event. Gary Hannawalt had a nice race in his #9 car, and Cameron Garvin brought out his #4 car along with Jack Lamb debuting a former Hornet car converted to fit the Mini Stock rules.
Speaking of the Hornets, 19 cars lined up for the Interstate Batteries Hornets 25-lap feature. Dawson Cox continues an amazing season with the win. It was cool to see long time racer Mark Jenkins in the lineup for this race, and equally impressive was his 2nd place finish! Jenkins has a long history with Evergreen Speedway racing many different kinds of cars over the years. Michael Jenkins finished 3rd.
The Les Schwab Street Stocks lined up for their 30-lap main event. With points leader Chad Fitzpatrick and Steve Ptacek picking up heat race wins earlier in the day, fans of this popular division were looking forward to a great race. 15 cars lined up for the main, and although Ptacek crossed the finish line ahead of Fitzpatrick, officials found something not acceptable with Ptacek’s Camaro and awarded the win to the 12 of Fitzpatrick. Steve Woods finished in 2nd and Darrell Lutovsky took 3rd.
Finishing off the night was the second 50-lap main for the Speedway Chevrolet Street Super Late Models. Officials inverted the field based on the lead lap finish, which put the #8 car of John Urquhart on the pole and the 90 of Molly Helmuth on the outside of the front row. The race started and by the field went into turn 3, Helmuth put her Frontier Communications Chevrolet in the lead, and for the next 46 laps stretched out to an impressive lead over Jeff Knight and the rest of the field. As the race went on, there was a definite buzz in the crowd. Knight would cut into Helmuth’s lead ever so slightly as the race went on. The caution flag flies on lap 46 when Mike Holden spun. On the restart, Molly gets out in front of Knight, then Tyler Tanner slips into 2nd place with the previous race winner Lang taking 3rd. The caution flies again as 2-cars spin going into turn 1. Now we reset the field with Helmuth on the pole and Tanner on the outside. The green flies once more, and as the leaders are going into 3, another spin in the backstretch involving 3-4 cars brings out the yellow, the scoreboard still showing lap 47. On the restart, Tanner outruns Helmuth taking the lead going into turn 3. Molly’s momentum between 3 & 4 put her into the back of Tanner, moving both cars up the track, allowing the 00 of Lang and the 1 of Shane Sawin to gain the positions and eventually the checkered flag with Tanner recovering for 3rd. Many thanks to “Stock Car Scott” for posting this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuVJLlVIbJk of the race.
The crowd, while disappointed with Molly not getting her first win, they sure let her know how much they appreciated the effort when prompted! Naima was quick to thank his team and JZ Motorsports for the hard work on getting his car back on the track, and Sawin was thrilled to get 2nd after experiencing an illness earlier in the day.
Coming up this weekend is the return of the King of the Wing Sprint Car Series to Evergreen Speedway for the annual Rory Price Memorial. Matt Hein put on a performance that many thought was one the most impressive in the history of Evergreen Speedway. Also taking to the track will be the West Coast Vintage Modifieds, Outlaw Figure 8’s, Buzz Inn Steakhouse Stinger 8’s and the Interstate Battery Hornets.
We have a direct link in the Standing/Results tab on the website where the Mylaps link and race results for all of our races are uploaded within minutes of the race being completed.
Direct Link is Here
Two Firsts and a Third!
Monroe WA- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) were the special guests in attendance this past Saturday night at Evergreen Speedway, as the track wrapped up a very busy week of bringing fans fireworks, demolition derbies, limousine flying, music, drifting and especially Figure 8 racing from July 4th through the 9th!
IBEW and Seattle’s Best Rock 99.9 KISW hosted a great crowd for the annual Figure 8 Nationals. Also putting on a great show for the crowd were members of Evergreen Drift and the return to the 3/8’s oval of the WESCO Sprints.
WESCO brought in 19 sprint cars to qualify for their 25-lap main event, with Todd Coleman claiming the top qualifying position with a run of 14.855 seconds. Heat race wins went to Tyler Muse and Thomas Richardson. In the main event, Randy Dubois came out on top with Levi Rose in 2nd and Richardson in 3rd. Levi commented on the Angel of the Winds Victory Platform that this was only his 2nd race not only in a WESCO Sprinter, but in any kind of race vehicle at all! A special thanks to all the great WESCO Fans that made it out to the track on Saturday. You are a passionate bunch of race fans!
Before we get into the Figure 8 portion of the night, special mention needs to be made with regard to the presentation that Figure Eight Auto Racing (FEAR) historian Tom Claiborn displayed under the grandstands in celebration of 50 years of the incorporation of FEAR. Tom had an incredible diorama of model cars painted up to look like notable racers complete with sponsors that drew a ton of attention, along with programs and scrapbooks and mementos from the early days of FEAR and Evergreen Speedway. I went down to check it out and ran into Cody Hoopes and Matt Somerville taking time out to check out the incredible work and passion that Claiborn put into his historical preservation.
The three Figure 8 divisions ran extended main events at the National. First up were the Buzz Inn Steakhouse Stinger 8’s. In afternoon qualifying, 13 cars lined up, and it was Cody Hoopes taking the top spot. Heat race winners were Nicole Pollard and Tyler Draper. In the 50-lap main event, Nicole Pollard led from the drop of the green, and leading the race until a white flag lap pass just before the checkered flag by Matt Somerville knocked Pollard back to 2nd and Bryce Kolar taking 3rd. The first person to congratulate and/or console Nicole was Somerville. A class move by a class competitor. This was Somerville’s first win at the Figure 8 Nationals.
The Monroe Grocery Outlet Super Stock Figure 8 class ran a spectacular race in the rain soaked track. Qualifying was led by “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox behind the wheel of the Tommy Gapp owned #32 car. Cox agreed to run the car if Gapp couldn’t make it for the Nationals. Heat race wins went to Quenton Borresson and Brandon Florer. In the 75-lap main, the early lead went to Bill Fleischacer, then went to Steve Cox, then to Borresson, then back to Cox until finally Borreson got the lead and held off a furious charge by Cox to get his first Figure 8 Nationals win in his long career. Cox finished 2nd and Brandon Florer continues his awesome season with his 3rd place finish.
Finishing out the night was the 75-lap Outlaw Figure 8 main event. 13 cars took qualifying laps with Nick Gunderson leading the pack over season points leader Seth Funden and Jake Repin. Gunderson also won his heat race, and Chris Curtis fresh off a huge win on the 4th of July won his heat race as well. In the main. Gunderson rolled to his 3rd straight F8 Nationals win. Gunderson showed his gratitude to his fans and crew on his post-race interview. “I couldn’t do this without the help of my Gunderson Speed Shop guys. They are the best and really bust their cans all season long.”
Coming up this weekend will mark the return of the Speedway Chevrolet Super Late Models with twin 50 lap main events presented by Frontier Communications. This will be quite a test for a few of the top running teams in the division, as they haven’t been behind the wheel since last month’s Summer Showdown. Points leader Naima Lang will have a completely rebuilt Northsound Racing/FOXSPORTS 1380 car on the track, while second place driver and Rookie of the Year contender Trenton Moriarty will be in a rebuilt car as well. Jeff Knight returns from a 3rd place finish in the Showdown looking to move up in the season championship standings.
Also on the schedule will be the Les Schwab Street Stocks, Foster Press Mini Stocks, Interstate Battery Hornets and the Northwest Pro 4 Trucks. Whelen Engineering and Foster Press will be featured presenting sponsors as well. Check out www.evergreenspeedway.com for all the information.
There was a error on the 2016 Pocket Schedule that lists Hornets as racing July 9th. Hornets are not racing this weekend. Sorry for the confusion.