Time to Review: Brownfield Classic II recap 
The drivers of the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network continued their trip through the Pacific Northwest last Friday and Saturday. This is for a return trip to Grays Harbor Raceway for the second annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino. After getting two of the three nights in for the 45th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box at Skagit Speedway to cap off the month of June, it was off to Elma to start July. The weather was nearly perfect for both nights and the drivers gave the fans an early dose of fireworks.

Friday’s Northwest Focus Midgets A-Main had a yellow flag for a bad start, but it went 25 laps nonstop after that. Mike Vollbrecht led the first lap over Eric Turner and pole sitter Hannah Lindquist. Ryan Cully took third from Lindquist on lap three in turns one and two, then Vollbrecht slipped up at the same place a lap later and that allowed Turner to take the lead. As Turner and Vollbrecht pulled away, five drivers were going all out for third. You can easily throw a blanket over Cully, Lindquist, Nick Evans, Dougie James, and Michael Hodel. Lindquist had third for a moment on the 12th lap in turns three and four, but Cully took it back as they came for the finish line. Lindquist secured third down the backstretch one lap later, and then Evans got fourth from Cully out of turn four moments later. Cully fell to seventh on the following lap, as he got passed by Hodel and James in turns one and two. Lindquist and Evans caught Vollbrecht towards the end, and Vollbrecht got the short end of the stick as he dropped to fourth with four to go. Lindquist stole second on the backchute, and Evans used the cushion out of turn four to snare third. On the following lap, Nick passed Hannah to get second at the line. Turner was all alone and he won it over Evans, Lindquist, and Vollbrecht. James was running fifth on the last lap, but went spinning in turns three and four. He got tagged by Jacob Brown and they did a double flip. Hodel and Nik Larson were also caught up in the accident, but everybody was okay. Cully avoided the crash and moved up to the fifth position.

Last year’s event winner Johnny Herrera took the early lead in the ASCS 25-lap feature race, but Wayne Johnson made it interesting. Wayne had the lead down the backstretch, but Johnny got it back out of turn four as they completed the first lap. Current ASCS points leader Sam Hafertepe, Jr. showed why he’s been on a roll, as he passed both Herrera and Johnson out of turn two on lap number five. Johnson had a second for a moment, but Herrera passed Wayne again out of turn four. The first yellow flag flew on the seventh lap when Justin Youngquist went for a spin in turn two. On the restart, Aaron Reutzel took fourth place away from Henry Van Dam in turns one and two. Further ahead, Johnson also passed Herrera in turns one and two to take second on the next lap. Reutzel got by Herrera for third on the ninth lap and he did so at the line. Another quick yellow occurred on the following lap, as Travis Jacobson spun up high in turn two. Seth Bergman drove up to fifth on the 17th circuit, as he did a slide job in turns one and two on Van Dam. Hafertepe was ready to lap some slower cars when Travis Rilat spun in front of him in turn two with six to go. Hafertepe was able to miss Rilat, who later came to a halt. Hafertepe was the man to beat for night number one, as he triumphed over Johnson. Herrera and Seth Bergman made some gains very late in the race to finish third and fourth to get locked into Saturday’s A. Reutzel dropped to fifth, but things went from bad to worse for him when he spun in turn one after the checkered flag. He was hit head-on by seventh place finisher J.J. Hickle, then Chase Goetz drilled the back of Reutzel’s car and went for a tumble. Nobody was injured, but this race also have some drama after it was over.

Saturday’s midget main event was expanded to 30 laps, and it looked like it was going to go green to checkered as well. Evans took the lead from pole sitter Todd Hartmann in turn three on the first lap to set the pace early. Hodel advanced up to second, with Larson, Turner, and Tristin Thomas next in line. T. Thomas climbed to fourth on lap number 18, as he passed Turner at the line. Evans was in the lapping process, but Hodel and Larson kept the race close. Everything changed with six laps remaining when Hodel and Larson came together in turn four and crashed into a tractor tire. Hodie wasn’t too thrilled with Nik, and the night was over for both guys. T. Thomas went up to second for the restart, and then he passed Evans for the lead coming out of turn two on the 24th lap. Tristin held onto the top spot, despite having another late yellow flag come out with three laps to go when Hartmann stopped on the back. Evans was putting on some serious heat on T. Thomas as they saw the white flag, but Tristin closed the door. That sealed the deal, as Tristin returned to the winner’s circle and Evans got second once again. Seth Hespe took third from Vollbrecht out of turn two on the final lap to get a podium finish. Finishing fifth was Turner.

Like last year, the cars and stars of the ASCS lined up in the missing man formation to pay tribute to Brownfield before the green flag. Herrera and Seth Bergman were scheduled to be on the front row for the 30-lap main event, but Seth went pitside with motor issues and that gave the second starting spot to Johnson. Hafertepe went from third to first before the first lap was completed, as he passed Johnson and Herrera in one fell swoop just like he did the night before. The yellow lights came on before the second lap was in the books for a four-car crash in turn four. It involved Youngquist, Matt Covington, Rilat, and C. Goetz. Johnson passed Herrera for second on the restart out of turn two, while the fourth spot also changed hands moments later. Cory Eliason went way upstairs in turn four and Jay Cole got by. Cole took third from Herrera as they came out of turn two on lap four, but the pass was negated as Logan Forler stopped down low in turn three. Herrera was still holding onto third, but Eliason and Cole were going back and forth behind him. Cory got fourth for good on the eighth lap, as he went on the high side in turn four to get by Cole. Jay dropped out of the top five two laps later, as Colton Heath passed him down the backstretch. Johnson kept up with Hafertepe, but couldn’t quite get close enough to make a pass. Hafertepe got the brooms out, as he took the $4,000-to-win event and Johnson was the runner-up again. Herrera won out in a three-car battle for third over Eliason and Heath.

There’s always a good-sized crowd when the ASCS racers come to our neck of the woods and who knows what 2017 will bring? Next up for the ASCS is a first visit to Belgrade, Montana’s Gallatin Speedway for the Grizzly Nationals Friday and Saturday. As they’re “Big Sky Country” bound, it’s time to go over quite a few things from Brownfield II...

Sam Keeps Sailing: Hafertepe’s momentum continues, as his points lead over Herrera continues to get bigger. It was an 89-point advantage for Hafertepe before Friday, but that margin is into the triple digits at 119 points now. Hafertepe looks to add on to his career year, as he’s up to six wins on the ASCS national trail and has won the last three races.

Wayne’s Wonderful Weekend: Johnson, the winner at GHR in 2012, was seventh in points after getting second place at Dirt Cup. With two more runner-up finishes, he went up four spots to third in the standings just in front of Forler. Wayne’s in his first year driving the Todd and Kelly Carlile-owned #2C car, and that team was formed late last year. Wayne is having a consistent 2016 season on the ASCS campaign with a win at the famed Devil’s Bowl Speedway on March 19, along with six top five finishes and twelve top tens.

Commuting from Cali: Former Clay Cup champion Eliason made the haul from California, as did ex-ASCS Northwest Region racers Steven Tiner and Justyn Cox. All three guys made the A-Main both nights and had varying degrees of success. Eliason was the top Cali finisher on Friday in tenth place, with Cox in 15th and Tiner 16th. Eliason was once again the leader of the trio on Saturday by coming home fourth. Tiner also had a better performance with a sixth place finish, while Cox was a DNF and was credited with 18th.

The Heat Is On: The ASCS drivers were at the top for the main events, but the Washington drivers were the ones to beat in the heat races. Washington won heats three through five on Friday (Reece Goetz, Cole, and Hickle), plus heats two through four on Saturday (Cole, Jacobson, and Heath). Hafertepe was the only ASCS driver to win a heat race, as he captured Friday’s opening heat.

OJ Is Quenching: As I just mentioned, Cole won his heat race both nights to make the feature redraw. When everything panned out, he scored his first top ten finishes in ASCS national action. Jay started seventh in Friday’s big dance and ran in the top ten for all 25 laps before finishing ninth. He was a little further up for Saturday, as he started fifth. Jay ran as high as third at one point before slipping to the ninth spot once again, but his loyal Grays Harbor fans have to be very pleased with his performance. Jay’s previous best finish in an ASCS national race was 12th, as he did it twice at GHR in ‘09 and ‘13.

Rice Returning Home: For the first time in five years, former track regular Shawn Rice was back racing at Grays Harbor Raceway. The Tacoma native now resides in San Tan Valley, Arizona, and he piloted John Simmons’ #9 sprinter for the Brownfield. Shawn led the first five laps in Friday’s first heat from the pole position before giving it up to Hafertepe on the next lap out of turn two. Shawn fell to fourth in the heat, then settled for seventh in the second B-Main. Shawn found himself on the pole again for Saturday’s second heat race, but went backwards to seventh. He tried his luck in the first B-Main and did a little better with a fifth place finish. It’s great to see another familiar face from years gone by, but I really miss that immaculate #76 car...

Tristin Back on Top: T. Thomas sat out Friday’s midget race, as he was under the weather after flipping in Dirt Cup on June 24 and also had a bout of food poisoning. Filling in for him was his dad, former Deming Speedway champion J.R. Thomas. J.R. won Friday’s B-Main event after starting sixth, then drove from 13th to eighth in the A. Tristin was back in the #9T car on Saturday, and he looked the dominant racer he is by being the fastest qualifier and main event winner. He clearly showed that his Dirt Cup wreck and missing a night of racing were only minor setbacks.

Hespe Sitting In: Brownfield’s grandson Hespe was in Chance Crum’s #83 midget and it was very cool to see the former series champion back at GHR. Seth won Friday’s third heat race, but lost a brake rotor and dropped from his 12th starting spot to 20th for the A-Main. He managed to get back up to 12th at the conclusion. Seth prevailed in heat race number two on Saturday, and started the big show tenth. He made some major moves very late, as he got fourth from Turner in turn two on lap 28 before getting around Vollbrecht at the same location on the last lap to get third.

Another Bergman Racing: Seth Bergman was in the house, as was his father Steve. Steve made his first Northwest Focus Midget start, as he drove Colton Heath’s #99 car. Steve ended up sixth in Friday’s B-Main, which was one position shy of transferring. No B-Main was necessary on Saturday, and he had a chance to race with the best in the business before exiting late in the race and was 18th. Steve joins his son and a long list of other drivers who gave the #99 midget a spin.

Track Announcer/Midget Racer: I’m sure Kaleb Hart is proud to put “midget driver” on his resume. He raced for the first time at GHR, as he already turned in some laps at Deming and Skagit. Kaleb led the first lap in Friday’s B-Main before surrendering it to J.R. Thomas coming out of turn four on the second lap. After getting second in the B, Kaleb got a ticket to the A and wound up 16th. He bested that result on Saturday, as he crossed the stripe in tenth. That gives him two top tens, as he posted an eighth place run at Deming on May 13.

Number for the Weekend: 68...the number of drivers who raced in this year’s Brownfield Classic. Both classes had talented fields, as 40 sprint car racers and 28 midget competitors took part. Last year had 51 cars (33 sprints and 18 midgets).

Consistency Award: Johnson (ASCS) and Evans (midgets). Wayne and Nick had back-to-back second place finishes. As mentioned earlier, Wayne is now in the top three in ASCS points. Nick was runner-up in both nights just like last year’s event.

Hard Luck Award: C. Goetz. Chase made the A both nights, but he left on the hook both times. He flipped after crashing into Reutzel at the end of Friday’s main event, then got eliminated in a four-car accident very early on in Saturday’s A-Main.

“Never Say Die” Award: Jason Solwold. Jason was running third during Saturday’s second heat race when he lost power coming out of turn four. He had to start deep in the field for B-Main number two and his goal was to make up for lost ground. He started tenth and made his way to fourth, but ran out of laps to get Forler for the final transfer. Jason used a promoter’s option provisional to start at the tail of the A-Main, where he rocketed to eighth to collect hard charger honors.

Next race: The 17th annual Shipwreck Beads Modified Nationals and Dwarf Car Nationals at Grays Harbor Raceway on July 29 and 30...maybe. This may be in Washington, but the Oregon drivers are the ones that have this race figured out. They won it ten times, including the last three years. The support class will be the Pacific Hardtop Racing Association (PHRA) dwarf cars. The defending champions of this event are Jeremy Richey (mods) and Camden Robustelli (dwarfs).

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

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

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Dirt Cup pictures are posted 
My Dirt Cup pics are here. Take a sneak peek at them, and we'll all be back at the races tomorrow!

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

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Time to Review: Dirt Cup 45 rundown 
The 45th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box had different storylines for all three days. As I was coming up Thursday, I had some light rain and even a few peeks of sunshine. The rain came down hard around 2:00 p.m. and the races were canceled later in the afternoon. The format was changed to a standard two-day format for the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network. Instead of the top 16 drivers getting locked into Saturday’s main event, only the top four drivers from Friday’s A-Main earn automatic spots in the show. Everybody else has to race their way in.

There were still some pesky showers on Friday, but the races were completed and that’s the good news. The bad news is that the fans saw a lot of carnage. Nik Larson had an early jump over Mike Vollbrecht in the Northwest Focus Midgets 25-lap A-Main. The race had two red flags in the early stages. On the second lap, reigning champion Tristin Thomas took a violent flip between turns three and four on the second lap. Michael Hodel got sideways in turn two a couple of laps later, and Jeremiah Franklin rolled over after contact with Hodel. Both Thomas and Franklin were A-OK. “Bad News” Nick Evans took the lead from Larson down the backchute on the fourth lap, and didn’t look back. The top three cars of Evans, Larson, and Chance Crum pulled away from the rest of the field, while there was a four-car fight for fourth. Jonathan Jorgenson, Vollbrecht, Dougie James, and Ryan Cully were having a sensational battle for that spot. D. James got sideways in turn four on the eighth tour and dropped to ninth. The race didn’t have another slowdown until lap 15 when Randy Hodel crashed into the turn two guardrail. Crum took second place away from Larson by using the high line out of turn to complete the 15th lap. Vollbrecht was running fourth, but he lost power down the backstretch on lap 18 and that resulted in another yellow. It looked like Evans was on his way to the win, but he saw the yellow flag instead of the checkered when Tanner Holm stopped on the backstretch on the last lap. Holm started 16th and was up to fifth when he came to a halt. D. James was up to fourth on the restart and he made an incredible move to get up to second on the last lap. He passed both Crum and Larson in turn three to do so, but Evans was well ahead. Nick got the victory over D. James, Crum, Larson, and Jorgenson.

Two Alberta prepared sprint cars started one and two for the 25-lap ASCS main event with Travis Rilat and Marc Duperron occupying those spots. Duperron led the first lap and the yellow lights came on shortly thereafter, as Bricen James bounced in turns three and four before stopping. Bricen kept his car upright, but the next drivers wouldn’t be so lucky. The next four restarts all had red flags. First, Chase Goetz went for a nasty flip down the frontstretch. Next, Rilat took a bounce in turn one and went topsy turvy. The third red happened as Eric Fisher tumbled in turns three and four with Seth Bergman flying into the fence and Matt Covington going for a spin. The fourth and final red flag waved when Jake Helsel somersaulted in turns three and four. All drivers were okay. Last year’s Dirt Cup winner Jason Solwold passed Duperron for the lead coming out of turn two before the Helsel flip, but the pass didn’t count and Duperron got the top spot back. Duperron was still the pace setter, but Solwold and Blake Hahn were right there. The next flag to fly was fortunately a yellow one, as Wayne Johnson and Justin Youngquist came together in turn two with 14 laps complete. Duperron didn’t get fazed and he scored an upset victory to become the first driver from Alberta to win an ASCS national event. Solwold, Hahn, and Sam Hafertepe, Jr. were second through fourth to go to Saturday’s big show. Cam Smith rounded out the top five.

Fast forward to Saturday. It was the nicest of three days by far in terms of weather and track conditions. Brothers Kevin and Rick Smith were on the front row for the High Society Modifieds 25-lap main event. Kevin jumped out front, but Rick got sideways out of turn two on the opening lap and caused a huge melee for a red flag. Lawrence O’Connor was involved along with Kyler Moore, Jason St. Paul, David Wolfard, and Carl Franssen. Chris Beaulieu took the lead from K. Smith at the line on the third lap, and they distanced themselves from the rest of the field. The race stayed green until the 11th lap when the fourth place car of Adam Holtrop spun in turns one and two and collected sixth-running Melvin Decker. Beaulieu went into the infield with mechanical issues and he was able to come back, but he gave the lead back to K. Smith. The race was stuck on laps 17 and 18 for a long time, as there were three more yellow flags and two reds. As the cars tried for another restart, Holtrop spun Jeff Blanton around in turn one and Kirby Hoyle waved the checkered flag with 19 laps in the books. K. Smith won the race over 12th-starting Don Martin, Beaulieu, 18th-starting Shane Kerrigan, and 14th-place starter Tyler Walker. Holtrop originally crossed the stripe fourth, but he was docked to seventh for spinning Blanton out. 18 cars took the green flag, but only six saw the checkered flag.

Solwold had the pole for Saturday’s 40-lap ASCS main event and was looking to win his second straight DC. Hafertepe had other ideas, as he led from the outside pole and he led wire-to-wire. Solwold kept Hafertepe in close contact as they drove through lapped traffic, but Hafertepe didn’t make any mistakes. Behind them, Bergman passed Duperron for third in turns one and two on lap number 18. The race was slowed down just once, as Travis Jacobson looped it in turns one and two on the 23rd lap. There were three lapped cars between Hafertepe and Solwold on the restart, and Hafertepe took advantage. Bergman stole second from Solwold at the line on the 24th lap, and Solwold started to go backwards. Jason lost third to defending ASCS national champion Aaron Reutzel in turns three and four on the 33th circuit, then Hahn took fourth from Solwold at the same place two laps later. Reutzel started the race tenth and used a massive side job on Bergman in turns three and four with two to go to advance to second. Hafertepe was all by his lonesome and he saw the checkered flag first, collecting $15,000. Reutzel was second for the second straight year with Bergman getting third for an ASCS top three. Hahn and Solwold were fourth and fifth, but Hahn got DQ’ed for not going to the scales after the race. That gave fourth to Solwold and Johnny Herrera moved up to fifth.

It was night and day for this year’s Dirt Cup. I wasn’t so sure about Friday’s race after all of the red flags and the torn up equipment, but Saturday was much more enjoyable. The ASCS drivers evened the score after the local racers took last year’s DC. The locals look to turn things back in their favor Friday and Saturday at Grays Harbor Raceway for the second annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino. As they get ready for that, let’s go over a few things from last weekend...

Tumble in the Rough: Friday was like a trip to past Dirt Cups, where it seemed like the red flag came out very frequently. Eleven people got on their lids (eight sprint cars and three midgets), but everyone climbed out uninjured. The track for Saturday was much, much better. It was very smooth all the way around...and there were no holes! We still had red flags for flips, but only three people got upside-down.

Hafertepe Handles It: Hafertepe came into Dirt Cup leading the ASCS points standings by 63 over Herrera. After DC was completed, Sam’s lead is up to 89 points. He leads all drivers in wins with four and top ten finishes at 13, and is also tied for first in top fives with Herrera at eleven apiece. Hafertepe and Herrera are both looking for their first championship, as Herrera lost the title in 2011 by one point to Shane Stewart.

Jumping Into the Top Five: Reutzel was looking to turn his luck around in Dirt Cup, as he was eighth in points. He dropped from fifth to 14th in Friday’s main event, but he rebounded big time on Saturday when he took second place from Bergman with two laps to go. After his runner-up finish, Aaron vaulted four spots in the points to fourth. He’s just two points ahead of Covington and Hahn, who are tied for fifth.

Playing Leapfrog: Travis Jacobson is out of Blake Cook’s #22X car, as 2014 Dirt Cup champion Brock Lemley was back in it. T-Jac jumped into Roger Oudman's #7O entry on Friday, but he got his front end knocked out in a crash with three laps to go in the second B-Main. Travis drove Michael Bollinger’s #20 machine on Saturday, and took it to an easy victory in heat four. After spinning out just after halfway in the main event, Travis restarted for a 14th-place finish.

Coming from All Over: Dirt Cup always has a big mixture of drivers from near and far, and this year was no different. Along with the ASCS travelers, there were a strong field of Skagit and GHR regulars. As far as people spending long hours on the road, they were also there. Duperron, Steve Reeves, Skylar Gee, and first-time visitor Matthew Dusseault came down from Alberta. B. James and Jared Ridge made the tow up from Oregon, while Trever Kirkland was the only driver coming from Montana.

Mighty Midgets: The midgets continue to have impressive turnouts for their 2016 season, as 30 drivers signed in on Friday. That’s just one person short of tying the all-time high, which was set at Grays Harbor Raceway’s season opener on April 30. Skagit is surely the place to go for midget racing, as there were 29 entries on May 7 and 26 drivers competed on June 4. The midgets join the ASCS Friday and Saturday at GHR for the second annual Fred Brownfield Memorial, so expect another great car count.

Good News for “Bad News”: Evans remains in third place in overall Northwest Focus Midgets points, but he’s still in the mix for the title. Eric Turner inherited the points lead, as he leads Thomas by 13 points and Nick is just one point behind Tristin. The Skagit points were just updated and there’s a new points leader, too. Evans moved up from third to first. Thomas drops to second and he's 18 points back. Turner is a close third, only five points behind Thomas.

Kevin Doubles Up: K. Smith is transitioning nicely from the sprint cars to modifieds, as he made his first mod start last May. Kevin is the only driver with two victories at Skagit in '16, as Vancouver Islanders Graham Cook and Lawrence O’Connor have one win each. Saturday’s win was the second career W in a mod for Kevin, as he scored his first victory at Skagit’s season opener on April 30 beating out his brother Rick. The next modified race at Skagit takes place on July 9 for the midseason championship presented by Les Schwab Tire Centers.

Number for the Weekend: 15,000...the number of reasons to smile for Hafertepe after Saturday’s triumph. This wasn’t the first huge victory for Sam at Skagit, as he took Kevin Rudeen’s #26 car to his first career World of Outlaws win in 2011. That victory was worth 20 grand.

Consistency Award: Solwold. Racin’ Jason was the top Skagit regular both nights with a second and a fourth. I want to give a shout-out to Shaylen Raye Motorsports owner Mike Anderson for the hat and shirt!

Hard Luck Award: Lemley and J.J. Hickle (tie). Brock flipped end over end in the first lap of Friday’s fourth ASCS heat after contact with Luke Didiuk in turns three and four. Trey Starks was also involved, and got hammered by Steve Parker. All drivers were uninjured, but Lemley and Parker’s Dirt Cups were over. Hickle had engine problems on Friday and never took a competitive green flag. He left the pits early Saturday, as his woes got worse. Steven Hendrickson flipped down the frontstretch in Friday’s midget hot laps to bring his night to a close, but he was okay.

“Never Say Die” Award: Bergman and Goetz (tie). Bergman had to use a spare car on Saturday after destroying one on Friday after getting together with Fisher very early on. Seth ran in the top five throughout Saturday’s big show and got a well-deserved third. Chase took a wicked series of barrel rolls on a lap one restart in Friday’s main event, he was the hard charger in Saturday’s feature. He finished second to Rilat in the first B-Main, and drove from 19th to seventh in the A. Speaking of Rilat, he was one of the last drivers to arrive on Saturday after destroying a car on Friday as well. Travis passed five cars to wind up 12th.

Next race: The second annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino at Grays Harbor Raceway Friday and Saturday with the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV and the Northwest Focus Midgets. Solwold and Herrera captured the ASCS main events in last year’s event, while D. James won both nights in the midgets.

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Jumping the Start: Second Annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino 
If you’re looking to celebrate your Fourth of July early, Grays Harbor Raceway is the place to be. The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network is coming back Friday and Saturday for the second annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino.

The ASCS drivers were at Skagit Speedway last week for the 45th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box, where they raced two of the three nights. Thursday was lost to rain, but Friday and Saturday were in the books. Marc Duperron was victorious in impressive style on Friday, while Sam Hafertepe, Jr. won the $15,000-to-win main event on Saturday. Aaron Reutzel finished second for the second year in a row and Seth Bergman was third for an all-ASCS podium.

Looking back at last year’s Brownfield, Jason Solwold and Johnny Herrera were the main event winners. The feature for the second night was very exciting at the end, as a caution flag flew very late and it set up a five-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Hafertepe is still the ASCS points leader, as his lead grew to 89 points over Herrera. Logan Forler is still holding down the third spot, while Reutzel made a leap to fourth. Matt Covington and Blake Hahn are tied for fifth.

The Northwest Focus Midgets are racing both nights in the Brownfield as well. Their last race was at Skagit on Friday, with Nick Evans getting the win over Dougie James and Chance Crum. James got the brooms out at last year’s Brownfield, as he won both main events.

Last year’s Fred Brownfield Memorial was definitely a memorable one. The ASCS and midget drivers are ready to go for to make this year’s event an exceptional one as well.

Of note, my Dirt Cup recap is almost done. It should be posted sometime tomorrow.

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Jumping the Start: 45th Annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box 
Skagit Speedway is ending the month of June in a huge way with its biggest event of the season. The 45th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box is coming up on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network.

If you were cheering for the Washington drivers, last year's Dirt Cup was definitely for you. The Skagit regulars won two nights compared to one for the ASCS racers. Former Skagit track champion Jason Solwold took the first night, while Snohomish native Seth Bergman captured the second night for the ASCS group. Solwold led all 40 laps in the final night to get a very popular victory and $15,000 for his efforts. Defending ASCS national champion Aaron Reutzel finished second with Willie Croft, Johnny Herrera, and Travis Rilat completing the top five.

Sam Hafertepe, Jr. is on top in the ASCS points standings with a 53-point advantage over Herrera. The ASCS just finished the Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek and Bob Westphal Memorial Cup last Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. Not only did Hafertepe win the race, he also won the overall title. Orting, Washington native Logan Forler is third in points, just ahead of Matt Covington and Blake Hahn.

The Northwest Focus Midgets are going to be a part of Friday’s program. Defending champion Tristin Thomas comes into Dirt Cup as the current points leader and he has three victories. He won the Grays Harbor Raceway season opener on April 30, as well as at Skagit on May 7 and June 4.

The Washington Modified Tour is the support class for Saturday. Lawrence O’Connor is the current points leader and he won the last series race at Skagit on June 4.

This is the second trip to Dirt Cup for the ASCS racers and they’re looking to take the $15,000 check, but the drivers from Washington are looking to win it for the third year in a row. Add on the midgets and the modifieds, and it’s a full three nights. Come on over to see who’ll win!

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Round #5 @ GHR available 
My pictures at GHR on the 4th are finally uploaded. I apologize for the delay, as I had to work some long and late hours over the last few days.

In nine days, it'll be Dirt Cup time! Until then, here are my shots!

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

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Time to Review: 6/4 thoughts 
Here’s a question for everyone who was at Grays Harbor Raceway last Saturday. What was hotter, the weather or the racing? We got up to 90 degrees, while fans saw three different classes in competition and some really heated up racing.

Shane Kerrigan and Jeff Daniel were on the front row in the 20-lap feature for the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks, with S. Kerrigan leading throughout. Brenton Schnitzer passed Daniel for the second spot going into turn three on the following lap, and Brenton wasted no time closing in on Shane. Defending champion Jack Parshall slowed on the backstretch with mechanical problems on lap three for a yellow flag, and it’s so unusual to see him be out of the race so early. S. Kerrigan pulled away from everyone on the restart, and Schnitzer had to put up with Austin Kerrigan. Austin tried multiple times to pass Brenton, but nothing doing. The race stayed green until the twelfth lap, as Kirk McGinnis spun in turn two. Schnitzer tried to put the binders on, but he spun into an infield tire in turns one and two. Another yellow was needed on the restart, as fifth-running Jason Tole went into the pit exit in turn four and Tommy Hecker came onto the track. Hecker didn’t take the original green flag, and he was black flagged. Father and son were running one and two with S. Kerrigan leading A. Kerrigan. Scott Fritts passed Daniel for third on lap 13 out of turn four, but Scott lost it two laps later as he went spinning in turn two. As the Kerrigans still showed the way, Schnitzer fought his way up to third by passing Daniel at the line with two laps left. It was close at the checkered flag, but S. Kerrigan was victorious over A. Kerrigan, Schnitzer, Daniel, and tenth place starter Matt Babcock.

The cars went three-wide as the green flag fell on the 25-lap A-Main for the Pacific Hardtop Racing Association dwarf cars, and Chuck Jones (not the famous cartoon director) led the first lap. Kalvin Morton made Jones’ stay at the top short lived, as he took the lead away as they entered turn three to complete lap number two. The race went condition red on the next lap, as George Fischer crashed into the backstretch wall and Tyler Steenslid stopped in turn three. Both drivers were okay. Brandon Ross took second from Jones on the restart before Jones got sideways out of turn two and spun 360 degrees on the fourth lap. Everyone avoided him, but that brought out another yellow. The second spot changed hands again on the restart, as Leo Ward got by Ross. Ryan Martinez started tenth and he took second from Ward out of turn two on the sixth lap. The yellow lights came on two laps later for Jeremiah Hester’s turn two spin, and again on lap 12 when Henry Corbin, II got into the backstretch wall. The second half of the race went clean and green, as Morton drove to his first win at GHR with Martinez crossing the line second. Former modified racer Jake VanOrtwick started on the pole and dropped to eighth, but he got back up to third. Eric Bergquist advanced from 15th to fourth and Ross completed the top five.

The Summer Thunder Sprint Series saved the best for last with their 30-lap main event. Reece Goetz started on the pole and he led the opening lap over points leader Jason Solwold, Travis Jacobson, Cam Smith, and Nate Vaughn. Solwold closed in on R. Goetz, but Jacobson was in the hunt as well. T-Jac pulled off a very sick move on lap five, as he used the high side to get by Solwold out of turn four. The race was slowed down on the eighth lap, as Devin Madonia stopped in turn two in front of the leaders. Three laps later, Tyler Anderson went for a long spin and faced backwards entering turn one. Solwold grabbed second back from Jacobson in turns one and two on the 11th lap. Behind them, Trey Starks passed Smith for fourth in the same spot. Cam didn’t have any of it, as he passed Trey back in turns one and two on the next go-around. Jacobson got second place back from Solwold on lap 13, as he made the pass in turn four again by using the low line this time. R. Goetz was still leading at halfway as he closed in on slower cars, but Jacobson was right there. A yellow flag flew with 20 laps complete, as Jay Cole stopped down low on the backchute. Jacobson lost power on the restart as he came out of turn two, and Vaughn went flipping in turns one and two for a red flag. Nate was okay, but his race was over along with Jacobson. The fight for third through was exhilarating, as J.J. Hickle passed Smith for third at the flagstand with eight laps to go. Starks saw an opportunity on the next lap, as he dove down low in turn one to pass both Smith and Hickle to get third again. Starks was just getting started, as he took second from Solwold with six laps remaining as they came to the line. Hickle also tried to get by Solwold, but his motor expired two laps later and stopped on the backstretch. R. Goetz was still out front, but Solwold performed a slide job on Starks in turns three and four to complete lap 26 to get second. Trey turned the tables on Jason the following lap, as he used the low line out of turn two. Starks caught R. Goetz as they took the white flag, and Starks waited until the last possible instant with a slide job in turns three and four to take the lead away! Reece tried to cross over, but Trey saw the checkers first. Third went to Solwold with Evan Margeson coming from tenth to fourth and Smith was fifth. #SlideJobCity

It was a hot and summer-like night at the track and the STSS main event is an early candidate of “Race of the Year” for me. It was simply epic. Congrats to the winners and to cool things down...ice cream! Just kidding, although ice cream isn’t a bad idea considering how hot it’s been. It’s that time again to summarize everything...

Shane Shakes It Up: The Kerrigans narrowly lost the street stock title last year to Parshall, despite Austin winning five times and Shane collecting four victories. Shane was 46 points behind Parshall going into Saturday and it's now down to 28. Shane did what he needed to do to stay in the points chase by leading all 20 laps, as Parshall left the track very early on. Did anyone notice how amped up Shane is in postrace interviews, while Austin is as cool as a cucumber?

The Fantastic Four, Part II: The PHRA has four different winners this year. Martinez took the season opener at Madras Speedway on May 7, Josh King won at Cottage Grove Speedway May 13, and Marty Holmason scored a victory at Sunset Speedway May 21. Last year’s races at GHR also had four different winners. They were Henry Corbin, III, Bergquist, Camden Robustelli, and Martinez. The PHRA head back down to Cottage Grove on Saturday, but they’ll return to GHR on July 29 and 30 for their Dwarf Car Nationals (the same two days as the Shipwreck Beads Modified Nationals).

Onwards and Upwards: As the season rolls on, the attendance for the STSS races is going up. There were just 22 and 21 cars for Yakima’s season opener on April 1 and 2. The number went up slightly for the May 7 show at Skagit Speedway, where 24 drivers showed up and it was just enough for a B-Main. 28 racers signed in at GHR, setting up four talented heat races and a handful of heavy hitters had to come through the B-Main to make the big show.

Staying on the Podium: Defending STSS champion Solwold has finished in the top five in all four races, and he’s pulling away from everybody in the points. His points lead grew from 41 to 66 markers, as Henry Van Dam moved up to second just ahead of Hickle. Solwold started the season at Yakima with a win and a runner-up finish, followed by another second place run at Skagit on May 7. The only other drivers with at least one top five finish are Hickle at three, with Starks and Smith at two apiece.

It’s the Climb: The hard charger in the STSS main event was Eric Fisher, who came home ninth after starting 21st. He definitely wasn’t the only driver who fought his way through the field. Other notables were Jake Helsel (14th to sixth), Justin Youngquist (18th to eighth), Chase Goetz (20th to tenth), and Steve Reeves (22nd to 13th).

Bricen’s Got the Beat: If there’s a driver who can drive anything with four wheels on a dirt track, it’s 17-year-old Bricen James. The Albany, Oregon young gun has driven a sprint car, a super late model, and a modified this season after having past success in kage karts and street stocks. He’s having a very respectable year in his first year with the STSS, as he’s presently seventh in points. Bricen just missed on a top ten finish in 11th place, which was the same spot he finished both nights at Yakima.

Number for the Weekend: 0.245...the margin of victory in the STSS A-Main between Starks and R. Goetz. It wasn’t the night’s closest race, as it happened in the fourth and final STSS heat. Mike Romig edged out Starks by a little more than a car length and that margin was 0.132 seconds. The street stocks also had a close finish in heat three, as Fritts won by 0.264 seconds over S. Kerrigan. The first heat for the dwarfs was decided by 0.362 seconds, as Morton got it over Martinez thanks to a last lap pass down the backstretch.

Hard Luck Award: Cory Sweatman. Cory had mechanical problems all night, as he didn’t take the green flag for the first heat race or the main event for the street stocks. Former PHRA champion Corey Esteban drove into the infield on the opening lap of the second heat, and he didn’t start the A-Main.

“Never Say Die” Award: Schnitzer. After spinning out in turn two while running second just past the halfway point, Brenton was back in the top five as he passed Kelly Fugate for fifth in turns one and two with four laps to go. Brenton was right behind the Kerrigans and ran out of laps, but he still snared a podium finish.

Next race: Up to Skagit Speedway I go for the 45th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box June 23-25, featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network. Solwold took last year’s event for his biggest win of his career and a $15,000 payday. The Northwest Focus Midgets race on the 24th, and the Washington Modified Tour is the support class for the 25th.

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

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

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Jumping the Start: Round #5 at Grays Harbor Raceway 
As we turn our calendars to the month of June, Grays Harbor Raceway is gearing up for a warm and sunny Saturday after getting rained out the last two weeks. The Summer Thunder Sprint Series is on tap, along with the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks and the Pacific Hardtop Racing Association dwarf cars.

Defending STSS champion Jason Solwold is fresh off a huge victory in the Marvin Smith Memorial Grove Classic at Cottage Grove Speedway on Sunday, pocketing $4,100. Solwold has a 41-point lead over J.J. Hickle in STSS points coming into Saturday. Henry Van Dam, Cam Smith, and Colton Heath complete the top five.

Two-time and reigning street stock champion Jack Parshall has made two trips to Victory Lane this season, and he holds a 46-point advantage over Shane Kerrigan. Kerrigan is having a very consistent year with three top five finishes. Season opener winner Brenton Schnitzer is third in points with rookie Tyson Blood fourth and former track champion Jason Tole in fifth.

The PHRA dwarf cars are always popular with the fans at GHR, as they have four races there in '16. They raced three times this season, with one race getting rained out. The winners thus far were Ryan Martinez, Josh King, and Marty Holmason. Last year’s races at GHR were captured by Henry Corbin, III, Eric Bergquist, Camden Robustelli, and Martinez.

Race fans at Grays Harbor Raceway are hoping to see some racing again after the last two weekends were rained out, and the wait will be over. A strong turnout is expected for the three divisions and it’s a fantastic night to catch the races.

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