Grays Harbor racing for 5/24/14 pics 
Wait a minute...I posted new pictures already?! Yep! My first album for '14 is up!

http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

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Time to Review: Memorial Day weekend thoughts 2014 
It was an absolutely perfect day for racing for Saturday’s Memorial Day weekend doubleheader at Grays Harbor Raceway. The sun was out and it’s time to rock and roll. 15 street stocks, 18 modifieds, three outlaw tuners, and eleven USAC Washington HPD midgets were in the pits. Everything moved right along in the heats, as they were done at 8:00 p.m. The mains were finished at around 10:10. There were a handful of yellow flags on the night, but no reds.

The weather went from terrific to terrible on Sunday and the light sprinkles turned into steady rain. The word to pull the plug on everything came at 3:00 p.m. The box score is us one and Mother Nature one. We won’t see any 410 sprint racing at GHR until the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars stop by on September 1.

The tuners started the A-Mains off with a ten-lapper. Jeff Daniel and Chad Norton came together racing for the lead on the first lap in turn four and that knocked Jeff out of the race. Willie Wright spun behind them to avoid getting collected. For the restart, Wright got the lead and cruised to a very easy win over Norton. How easy was it? Willie lapped Chad on the backstretch on the final lap.

Next up were the street stocks and their 25-lap main. Shane Kerrigan led the first two laps from the pole until he slipped up high in turn four, allowing Jason Tole to go by to complete lap three. The first yellow flag came out on the seventh circuit. Mike Knox did a 360 spin between turns three and four and kept going. However, Brenton Schnitzer, Don Briggs, Jr., and Brian Izzi got tangled up behind him. Tole led the restart over the father-and-son duo of Shane and Austin Kerrigan. Seventh place starter Jack Parshall drove down low in turn four to pass Austin on lap eight to grab third, then went up high two laps later to steal second from Shane in turn four also. Another yellow flag was needed on the 12th lap when Ryen Haney stopped in turn two with a shredded left front tire. Ryen got a new tire and would finish eighth. Parshall inherited the lead from Tole on lap number 16, as they came out of turn two. Behind them, the Kerrigans battled for third and fourth. At the same time, there was a fight for fifth and sixth between Eddie Blood and Matt Babcock. Tole tried to use the cushion to get the lead back, but another yellow flag flew with five laps left when Schnitzer spun out of turn four and collected Izzi. Parshall had no trouble hanging onto the top spot and drove to his first win of 2014 over Tole. Shane got third over Austin in the battle of the Kerrigans.

After an opening lap yellow flag for Annika Johanson’s turn four spin, the 25-lap midget main went clean and green the rest of the way. It was Chance Crum with the jump over Ariel Biggs and Hannah Lindquist. Defending series champion Chase Goetz rode the cushion to pass Hannah at the line on the third lap and Ariel down the backchute the following lap to jump from fourth to second. It didn’t take long until Chase caught Chance and he took the lead away with a pass down low in turn one on lap number eight. Picking from where he left off, Chase got his second win of the season and Chance finished second for the second straight week. Dougie James was third.

Getting the early lead in the 25-lap modified main was Craig Moore. Tom Sweatman, Leroy Lawhead, and Kyler Moore went three-wide for second with Sweatman getting that spot on the third lap down the backstretch. Sweatman got his nose ahead of C. Moore at the finish line on lap four, but Craig stayed on the outside and got the lead back the following lap. Kyler looked to the inside of Tom down low in turn four on the sixth go-around, and made it stick. The Moores were now running one and two. The yellow lights flashed on the ninth lap, as Carl Larson crashed into the frontstretch wall. Sweatman took the high road around Kyler on the restart, and went after Craig. Another yellow flag flew in the air on lap eleven, as Scott Westley stopped in turn three after missing the pit entrance. Sweatman used the cushion once again on the restart and passed Craig at the finish line. Craig returned the favor with just four laps to go, as he took the high line around Tom out of turn four. Craig got the victory over Sweatman and Scott Miller.

I’m happy to finally have a night of racing in, and it would be better if I had two. At long last, my thoughts for 2014, episode one...

The Top Five Club: Even though the point standings aren’t released yet, it’s very close in the street stock class. Four racers have top five finishes on May 17 and this past Saturday: Parshall (third and first), A. Kerrigan (first and fourth), Briggs (second and fifth), and S. Kerrigan (fifth and third). All four guys are looking for their first track championship and aiming to dethrone three-time champ Tole.

The Champs Come Back: It was terrific to see two former modified champions back racing at Grays Harbor Raceway. They were Montesano native Josh Muller and Rochester‘s Lawhead. Josh won the first heat over C. Moore, while Leroy held off a late bid from K. Moore to claim the third heat. Josh is back in Washington state again calling McCleary home after living in Minot, North Dakota. He ran in the top five all race long in the feature and came home fifth. Leroy started the A-Main on the pole, but fell to eighth.

Knocking on the Door: A modified driver who is looking to go to Victory Lane before long is third-year racer K. Moore. He and Miller went back and forth for the third spot after the halfway point before Scott got the spot for good at the line with five laps to go. Kyler’s fourth place finish was one spot shy of equaling his best performance at GHR, as he had a third on August 25, 2012. His season got off to a very strong start, as he was second to his father Craig at Skagit Speedway on May 17. Kyler is getting better with more track time, and he did an amazing job keeping the more experienced drivers behind him.

Battle of the Sexes: The first midget heat race consisted of three girls (Johanson, Biggs, and Lindquist) and two guys (Todd Hartmann and Crum). Chalk that race to the girls, as Biggs was the winner. Lindquist held on to the second spot until she lost it to Crum out of turn four with three to go.

Moving Up Classes: It’s always neat to see drivers going from racing mini-sprints at Deming Speedway and stepping up to midgets or sprint cars. The midget division had two Deming racers, Crum and James, on the front row. Goetz, Lindquist, Tristin Thomas, and Mike Vollbrecht were in the field as well. The Deming graduates finished in the top four spots in the main event. It went Goetz, Crum, T. Thomas, and James.

A New Sprint Racer?: After finishing second in the midget points to Jared Peterson two years ago, Goetz has completely taken over this division. He won last year’s title with the strength of 13 wins, and he’s well on his way to another championship. He plans to move up to drive a sprint car like his older brother Reece. Reece was down in Oregon with the ASCS Northwest Region for the Triple Track Challenge. His best finish in the four-race series was a third at Willamette Speedway on Friday. By the way, Chase’s car is for sale!

Number for the Weekend: 5. Track champions occupied half of the top ten in the modified feature. You have C. Moore (winner), Sweatman (second), Miller (third), Muller (fifth), and Lawhead (eighth). Sweatman was the street stock champion at GHR back in 1989.

Hard Luck Award: Garrett Thomas. Garrett popped a motor during midget hot laps to bring his evening to a grinding halt. Mod racers Bill Rowe and Randy Ward also had their nights end before the heat races.

Best Appearing Car: I’m not sure who to pick, especially in the modifieds. There are so many to choose from! My selections are Muller and Miller. Josh’s #3 car is really beautiful with a multi-colored combo with orange numerals. Scott has a red, white, and gray mix on his #26 machine after racing a black car for many years.

“Never Say Die” Award: Briggs. After being involved in a wreck with Schnitzer and Izzi on lap number seven of the street stock main, Don rebounded for a top five finish. He was three-wide with Blood and Babcock in turn two with three laps remaining, and passed them both. Don jumped from seventh to fifth with that move.

Next race: The second round for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series at Grays Harbor Raceway next Saturday (June 7) with the street stocks and outlaw tuners. The STSS was supposed to have its opening round on May 3 at Skagit, but it got rained out. This will be the first race at Elma for the STSS, as they had a four-race series exclusively at Skagit last year. Travis Jacobson was the series champion, narrowly beating Travis Rilat.

Pictures: http://s113.photobucket.com/albums/n205/Racer4u_2006/

Blog: http://www.shauninthedirt.com/bensblog/

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Jumping the Start: Memorial Day weekend doubleheader at Grays Harbor 
Grays Harbor Raceway is gearing up for a Memorial Day double-dipper, with numerous classes racing on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s program has the modifieds, USAC Washington HPD midgets, street stocks, and outlaw tuners (hornets). Sunday’s card has the Skagit 410 sprint cars, mods, and streets.

GHR got its first race of the 2014 campaign in the history books this past Saturday. Mike Romig (Northwest Wingless Tour), Chase Goetz (midgets), Austin Kerrigan (streets), and Chad Norton (tuners) won the main events. The modified racers were at Skagit Speedway on Saturday, with Craig Moore winning over his son Kyler.

The 410’s have a race at Skagit on Saturday in the John Carroll Classic presented by IRI. The 360‘s, sportsman sprints, and outlaw tuners will be in action as well. The 410 points leader is Tayler Malsam, who also competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Malsam has a 410 victory under his belt on May 10.

I hope to dust off my camera and notebook, and finally get my racing season started!

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Mother Nature wins again 
We'll have to wait until next Saturday for take two to get Grays Harbor Raceway's season underway, as tonight's action was postponed because of rain. Next Saturday's races will consist of the Northwest Wingless Tour sprint cars, street stocks, hornets, and USAC Washington HPD midgets.

I'm still planning to go to the two-day show at GHR for the Memorial Day weekend. The modifieds, street stocks, hornets, and the midgets race on the 24th. The 25th will have the mods, streets, and a very rare appearance from the Skagit 410 sprint cars. Have a good Mother's Day weekend, everyone. Treat her nice!

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Jumping the Start: Grays Harbor Raceway season opener 
It’s finally here! Grays Harbor Raceway’s season opener is Saturday. This is the first year and race that GHR is operated by Steve Beitler, who has owned Skagit Speedway since 2001.

The 360 sprint cars, IMCA modifieds, street stocks, hornets, and USAC Washington HPD midgets are on the program for a full night of racing.

The reigning champions are Jay Cole (360’s), Joe German (mods), Jason Tole (streets), Chad Norton (hornets), and Chase Goetz (midgets). That makes it nine track titles for Cole, three each for German and Tole, and two for Norton. Goetz captured his first championship and he’s following in the footsteps of his brother Reece, who won the midget title in 2011. Reece moved up to the 360’s and has finished in the top three spots in GHR points in the last three years.

The midgets had their non-points season opener last Friday at Deming Speedway, and Tristin Thomas was the winner. Saturday’s race at Skagit was lost to rain.

Do you think the veterans or the young guns are going to win Saturday’s races? The seconds continue to tick away, Grays Harbor fans. Your time to go racing is getting closer and closer.

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Maybe...just maybe? 
I'm seriously thinking about going to Grays Harbor Raceway's season opener on Saturday. I have to work that day, but I'll make it with plenty of time to spare.

It seems like weather has been stubborn lately, as it's beautiful during the week and crummy for the weekend when it matters most. Let's hope everything works out in the end and we get some racing in. I'm going to post a preview of everything in the next day or so, so stand by...

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Change of plans 
Well...I'm not going to make Saturday's race due to work commitments. I'm aiming for the two-day show at Grays Harbor Raceway during Memorial Day weekend (May 24 and 25). I'm especially looking forward to the 25th, as the Skagit 410 sprints are coming down.

Take care and enjoy the great weather. Don't get sunburned!

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10k 
I never thought that it would be achieved, but my blog has reached over 10,000 hits. Thank you all so much for visiting!

Next goal: 15,000 by this summer. Does that sound good? Let's do it!

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