Scoreboard: Mother Nature 2, Grays Harbor racers and fans 0 
Both yesterday and today got rained out at Grays Harbor Raceway. I went to the track yesterday and the rain didn't let up. One of the track workers told me just before 3:00 p.m. that the races were cancelled. The plug was pulled on today's action at around 1:00 p.m.

The next race at GHR is this Saturday with the Our Community Credit Union Fan Appreciation Night. Five divisions (sprint cars, Shipwreck Beads IMCA modifieds, Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks, hornets, and USAC Ford Focus midgets) will race.

The ASCS Northwest Region Series travels down to Oregon for two races this week: Willamette Speedway on Friday and Cottage Grove Speedway on Saturday.

The next race I'm attending is the 42nd annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway on June 20-22. Let's pray that the weather gods are going to be much kinder to us!

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Jumping the Start: Spring Challenge at Grays Harbor 
The ASCS Northwest Region sprint cars are kicking their sixth year off this Saturday and Sunday. This will be their fourth year where their season begins at Grays Harbor Raceway.

Three-time and defending series champion Roger Crockett already has five wins this season and is looking to tack on that number. Mitch Olson, Henry Van Dam, Reece Goetz, and Cam Smith were second through fifth in last year’s points standings and they are trying to win one for the Washington drivers. Defending track champion and points leader J.J. Hickle won the April 20 season opener at GHR, while the May 4 feature went to Goetz. Look for drivers like multi-time track champion Jay Cole, 2010 ASCS Northwest Region Rookie of the Year Trey Starks, 2009 Fred Brownfield Memorial winner Travis Rilat, and Snohomish native Gary Taylor (who’s racing non-wing sprinters in Indiana) to race as well. Travis will be back in Richard and Lana Saumure's #39C machine, with Gary piloting the Richie and Nubby Peterson-owned #23N. Jared Ridge, another Snohomish young gun, is back on Pacific Northwest soil after racing in Ohio for the past three seasons. He’ll be driving Roger Henderson’s #7N car.

The always exciting Shipwreck Beads modifieds will also take the stage this weekend. Four-time champ Scott Miller claimed the April 20 race, while two-time and defending title holder Joe German prevailed on May 4 and 11. The modifieds made their very first appearance at Skagit Speedway last Saturday, and Craig Moore was the winner. The points chase is very tight early on at GHR with German leading. However, the top eight drivers are separated by just 12 points!

In the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks class, the drivers that visited Victory Lane already are Jack Parshall (April 20) and two-time and defending champion Jason Tole (May 11). Even though he hasn’t won yet, Cory Sweatman is the points leader thanks to a second and a third-place finish so far.

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At last! My first 2013 race is... 
...the two-night Spring Challenge at Grays Harbor Raceway on Memorial Day weekend (May 25 and 26)! The ASCS Northwest Region sprint cars start their season. The Shipwreck Beads IMCA modifieds and the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks will also be in action.

I’m looking forward to finally seeing some racing and getting a chance to chat with a lot of people I haven’t seen since last summer! I’ll have a preview in the next few days...

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I'm still kicking 
I'm so sorry for the lack of updates. I've been really busy with my job for the past few months. I'm really psyched that racing season has started and looking forward to what's in store for the Pacific Northwest this season.

I have a few ideas of what races I'm going to make. I'm primarily going to be at Elma and Skagit. My schedule includes some ASCS Northwest/National races, Dirt Cup, and a few World of Outlaws shows.

Usually, I end my racing season with a huge trip. I was down in Texas for the Cowtown Sprint Nationals in 2009. I attended Trophy Cup in California in 2010 and 2011 (plus Chili Bowl to start off 2011). Finally, I went to Pennsylvania for the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway with the WoO last year. I'm still kicking things around and we'll see how everything goes!

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Merry Xmas! 
I want to take a few quick seconds to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

With my travel plans for next year still up in the air, I hope to attend a few more races and also another trip to Pullman (to WSU, my alma mater) whenever I have some time off from my busy schedule at work.

Safe travels out there!

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My bucket list 
As an avid racefan, there are many tracks I haven’t visited yet and I want to really bad. Here are a few places and races I’d love to go to before too long...

Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, Iowa): The 360 Nationals in August, then the 410 Nationals the following week. This is “The Sprint Car Capital of the World”, boys and girls. ’Nuff said. Sandwiched between those two races are some races at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. Whether it’s winged or non-winged, I’m there regardless. Early August in Southern Iowa is hopping, as people come from all around the globe and they waste no time to make their reservations for next year already. Five-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz won the Knoxville Nationals six times in the last seven years and he barely held off Brian Brown in the last one.

Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio): The Kings Royal in July. Add in the 360 NRA Sprint Invaders and you have a full two-show program at Tony Stewart‘s high-banked half-mile. Sammy Swindell won the last Kings Royal, his third for that event. He’s tied for second all-time with Jac Haudenschild. Steve Kinser leads with seven, including the first ever Kings Royal in 1984.

The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, North Carolina): The World Finals in November. The World of Outlaws sprint cars, late models, and Super DIRTcar big block modifieds end their seasons as they pack the pits for a three-day show. Just like Knoxville, fans from around the world come to cheer their favorite drivers on.

Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, Pennsylvania): The Firecracker 100 in late June. Wait a minute, a late model race?! Why not? It’s a little change of scenery, but it’s another exciting three-day event. After two preliminary shows, the final night has a busy schedule with heats and main events. For the drivers that didn’t make the A-Main, they race in the $3,000-to-win “Uncle Sam 30”. Scott Bloomquist led 99 of the 100 laps to pick up a $30,000 winner’s check earlier this year.

Ohsweken Speedway (Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada): The Canadian Sprint Car Nationals in September. It’s time to go international. The best 360 drivers in the U.S. take on the drivers from “The Great White North” at Glenn Styres’ facility. From what I heard, it’s absolutely beautiful. The car counts from the last eight years have ranged from the low 60’s to the high 70’s. Steve Poirier won in 2012, and he’s the first driver to win the CSCN three times.

Premier Speedway (Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia): The Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in January. This is Australia’s answer to the Knoxville Nationals and the competition “Down Under” is just as fierce as it is here in the States. Last year’s event was the 40th running and it paid $40,000 to win. Ian Loudoun is the defending champion. Australian legend Garry Rush leads all drivers with seven wins, and is still in racing today by being a car owner for Ben Atkinson. In a close second with six Classic wins is Chillicothe, Ohio veteran Danny Smith.

Also in the works is a second trip to the Chili Bowl and Williams Grove Speedway, plus a third trek down to Trophy Cup. It’s a real drag that they’re far away. So many places, so little time...

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The December issue of Flat Out Magazine 
If you or someone you know has a copy of this, a person who wrote one of the articles is from the NW. That person is...well, it's me.

That's right...my story is in the "Weekend Warrior" section and it's about Travis Jacobson's win over the WoO. T-Jac was a blast to interview and it was my first ever shot of writing a story for a magazine. I'm bad, I'm nationwide!

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A quick thank you 
I just want to thank everybody for visiting my blog and pushing the view count to over 1,000! Now, it's on to 2,000 and beyond...

I probably won't post as much in the next few months, as it's all quiet on the western front in my neck of the woods. Other than the crummy weather, it's quiet. We'll wait and see what everyone's race schedules are like for next year and we'll go from there. Catch ya later and thanks again!

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