Labor Day weekend pictures are up 
My pictures from Sunday and Monday are uploaded and ready to view!

For Sunday, go here:
http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

For Monday, go here:
http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

Again, my camera doesn't take very good pictures when the sun goes down. I didn't get any hot lap and heat race pictures of the street stocks and the modifieds.


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Time to Review: Outlaw Weekend ramblings 
I had to work last Friday and Saturday, so I had to miss the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars in action at Skagit Speedway. I worked the early shift Sunday and still made the Summer Thunder Sprint Series finale at Grays Harbor Raceway with plenty of time to spare and Monday was an off day. I thought I might as well make the best of the time that I've got, so I did it.

The sportsman sprint drivers had their first race at GHR since late May. Jared Peterson stole the top spot from James Bundy at the finish line on the third lap and checked out in the 25-lapper. The race was slowed down just once, as Cale Brooke spun in turn four with five laps to go. Allison Journey nosed ahead of Bundy for second at the stripe with only two laps left, but Peterson was all by his lonesome out front. Jared won over Journey, Bundy, Devin Barnes, and Michael Hodel.

Getting the early lead in the 25-lap A-Main for the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks was Eddie Blood. Fourth place starter Jack Parshall took the lead from Blood at the line on lap number five and held onto it at the end. This race took a while to complete, as it was yellow flag after yellow flag. Jason Tole inherited second from Blood on the backstretch on lap 18 and tried every trick in the book to pass Parshall, but had no luck. Parshall won for the seventh time this year. Tole crossed the stripe in second, but he blew his engine coming to the checkers. Blood was third, with Brenton Schnitzer and Tommy Hecker rounding out the top five.

The first try to start the Summer Thunder Sprint Series 30-lap main event got tossed out for a crash in turn four involving Peterson, Eric Fisher, and Michael Bollinger. Jared wound up on his side, but he was all right. Victoria, B.C.'s Chris Schmelzle took off with the lead, but went over the cushion in turn four while working through slower traffic. Colton Heath snuck by to take the lead on lap five. Roger Crockett took second from Schmelzle into turn one on the next lap, but the move didn’t count as Trey Starks stopped in turn four. Two more yellow flags were needed almost back-to-back, as the frontstrech cone got knocked down on the restart and Jason Reed spun between turns one and two one lap later. Henry Van Dam passed Crockett in turns one and two before Reed’s caution, and then had no problem taking second from Schmelzle two laps later at almost the same spot. HVD was on Heath’s tail tank, but clipped a marker tire in turns three and four on lap 19 and pulled into the infield. The last yellow caution period happened on the 21st lap, as Schmelzle came to a halt in turn three. Crockett was now in second after HVD’s exit and made the winning pass on Heath down the backstretch on lap number 23. Heath settled for second and was named the STSS champion. Reece Goetz, 15th-starting Jason Solwold, and Tayler Malsam were third through fifth.

Let’s go into Monday with the Shipwreck Beads modifieds A-Main. The good news was there were four different leaders in the first ten laps of the 25-lap race and there was a lot of two- and three-wide racing. Craig Moore led laps one and two before Kenny Miller took command at the line on lap three. Lawrence O’Connor was the next to lead, as he got it out of turn two on the fifth lap. Kenny took the lead again down the backstretch on lap seven, but Collen Winebarger made sure that Kenny’s time up front was short lived and forged ahead out of turn two with ten laps complete. Do you remember the good news? The bad news was like Sunday’s street stock main event, it was full of yellow flags. The ninth and final caution came out with two laps remaining when O’Connor stopped in turn two. Winebarger was the winner with 13th-starting Josh Muller in second and Chris Quinn in third. Scott Miller and K. Miller (no relation) recovered from being involved in a wreck just after halfway to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.

Steve Kinser got the jump in front of Cody Darrah and points leader Donny Schatz for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars A-Main. The 30-lapper was going at a very fast pace early on, as Kinser was in the lapping process by lap six. Three laps later, Schatz took second from Darrah down the backchute. As Kinser and Schatz passed the slower car of Kevin Smith, Schatz cut down low in turn four to steal the lead away on lap ten. Darrah was in the thick of things again, as he passed Kinser for second on the 18th lap out of turn two. The only yellow flag waved with seven laps left, as Brad Sweet spun in turn two while running eighth. Kinser reclaimed second place on the restart from Darrah, as Cody dropped to fifth. Cody drove down low to pass Daryn Pittman and Shane Stewart in turns three and four to move back up to third to complete the 23rd tour. Cody made a slide job stick to get second again from "The King" out of turn four with two laps remaining, but ran out of time to catch Schatz. Donny was unstoppable, as his killer season continues and picked up his 20th win of 2014. Darrah snared second, followed by Kinser, Pittman, and Stewart.

My Labor Day weekend racing vacation got cut short, but I still made myself useful and saw a lot of familiar faces. Two races are better than none, right? My season isn’t over yet, as I have a pretty big announcement at the end. Now, it’s time to summarize everything...

Doing Double Duty: Peterson and Journey raced in both the Summer Thunder Sprint Series and in the sportsman sprint event on Sunday. Jared piloted two Doug Rutz-owned cars, the #8J and #8R, and Allison was driving her father Kevin’s #4J. Austin Kerrigan brought his hobby stock on Sunday and came back on Monday with his modified.

Farewell Tour: In what could very well be his final appearance at Grays Harbor Raceway, 20-time WoO champion Kinser gave the fans a whale of a show. He won the first heat and the dash very convincingly, and led the first nine laps of the main event before surrendering it to Tony Stewart Racing teammate Schatz. Steve ran in the top three throughout the feature and lost second place with two to go, as Darrah put a slider on him out of turn four. Third place isn’t quite a victory for "The King", but his showing was far from disappointing.

Shark Food: Kevin Gobrecht “Rookie of the Year” contenders and Shark Racing teammates Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen have never raced in Washington before last weekend’s events at Skagit. Logan held his own in his first appearance at Grays Harbor Raceway by qualifying fifth and making the dash. With a sixth-place finish in the A, that gives Logan thirteen top ten finishes. Jacob led all twelve laps to win the B-Main, but fell out of the A with only a handful of laps to go.

Two Championships in One Year?: Heath won the Summer Thunder Sprint Series title, as former points leader Van Dam didn’t show up for Thursday’s race at Skagit. Despite being winless, Colton stayed consistent and finished in the top five four times. He’s the 360 points leader at Skagit over Justin Youngquist and Brock Lemley. The season championships are coming up quickly, as they take place next Saturday. C. Moore won last Friday’s modified race at Skagit, as he passed O’Connor at the stripe on the next-to-last lap and also won the track title for the second year in a row. Craig had the early lead in Monday’s A-Main before being involved in a turn two wreck on lap 14 with his son Kyler Moore, S. Miller, K. Miller, and Tom Sweatman. That eliminated both Moores and Sweatman. S. Miller recovered for fourth, while C. Moore was relegated to 20th. With just two races left for the modifieds, Craig’s lead over Scott is trimmed down to 30 points. The last time Craig won the track championship at GHR was back in 2001. Scott is a four-time champion ('00, '04, '05, and '07).

New Personal Best: The highest finisher in Monday’s WoO race that hailed from Washington was Enumclaw’s Van Dam, who came home eighth. His previous best finish was 13th at GHR on August 29, 2012. HVD qualified seventh in the 27-car field and made the heat race inversion. He started on the front row in the first heat with “The King”, with Kerry Madsen and fast qualifier Pittman in the second row. That’s really good company right there.

First Outlaw Starts: Goetz and Journey made Monday’s big show in their debuts with the Outlaws, as they were racing the smaller 360 engines. Both drivers switched from dish wings they normally run to flat wings to be Outlaw legal (thanks to Brian Thomas for the info). Goetz borrowed a wing from Bundy, while Journey got a wing from sportsman driver Brett McGhie. Reece finished 17th in the A-Main and Allison was 21st.

The Northbound Drive: There was a good group of modified drivers that came from Southwest Washington and Oregon to boost the car count to well over 20 for Monday‘s racing. Sunset Speedway Park regulars Quinn, K. Miller, and Danny Daniels rolled into the pits, as did Cottage Grove Speedway racer Bryan Gray. Winebarger usually competes at Willamette Speedway, where he races modifieds and late models. Collen is the modified points leader down there by just two points over Craig Cassell.

Number for the Weekend: 6. That’s how many consecutive races Schatz won after his victory at GHR. That streak ended on Tuesday at Willamette Speedway as Stewart won, with Schatz finishing third.

Hard Luck Award: Tyler Anderson. He spun and tagged the turn three wall during hot laps in Sunday’s Summer Thunder Sprint Series race. It didn’t look like heavy contact with the wall, but he left the track as the other drivers were getting ready for qualifying.

Best Appearing Car: Todd Hardesty. I love patriotic cars, and the #26T modified salutes the soldiers around the globe who are making the ultimate sacrifice.

Next race: I’m coming back to sunny California! It’s for the 31st annual Tribute to Gary Patterson at the Stockton Dirt Track on November 1. The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series has its season finale, as well as the Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster. Rico Abreu won the King of the West portion in last year’s event, while the unsanctioned 360 race went to Tim Kaeding.

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

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

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Jumping the Start: Outlaw Weekend at Grays Harbor Raceway 
I’m not going to make it to Skagit Speedway for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars race for the Monster Meltdown Friday and Saturday due to my busy work schedule. However, my backup plan to go to Grays Harbor Raceway is still on and I’ll do my preview of what’s coming up over there. There’s a lot going on, so let’s get started.

Grays Harbor Raceway is going to have two full days of racing on Labor Day weekend. Outlaw Weekend kicks off on Sunday and moves on into Monday, which features the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars.

The Summer Thunder Sprint Series is going to have its last race of ‘14 on Sunday. Henry Van Dam continues to show the way for the STSS with two wins (both at GHR) and looks to seal the deal on the title. The STSS has a race on Thursday at Skagit Speedway before coming down to Elma.

The Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks and the sportsman sprint cars are on Sunday‘s program as well. Jack Parshall is having his best season with the street stocks and has six victories so far. When Jack couldn’t race on August 9 because of his daughter‘s softball tournament, Wayne Lemmon filled in and drove the Budweiser #9 car to the win. Parshall holds a 78-point advantage over Austin Kerrigan. Eddie Blood (the winner of last Saturday‘s race at Skagit), Don Briggs, Jr., and Brenton Schnitzer round out the top five in points.

The sportsman sprint drivers are going to have a very busy Labor Day weekend with the third annual Sportsman Sprint Showdown Thursday and Saturday at Skagit. Otto Jorgenson won the sportsman main event at GHR back on May 31.

Monday has the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars and the Shipwreck Beads modifieds are on the agenda. The winner of last year’s WoO race is five-time series champion and current points leader Donny Schatz. He’s having another amazing year with 17 wins, and swept last weekend‘s Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Coming into Friday’s race at Skagit, Schatz is in front with 9,203 points. Reigning Outlaws champion Daryn Pittman is second at 9,026 points with Paul McMahan in third with 8,971. Joey Saldana is fourth at 8,797 points, just three tallies in front of Kerry Madsen.

One driver who won’t be in action is three-time WoO champion Sammy Swindell. He announced earlier today that he’ll be retiring from full-time racing. Slammin’ Sammy and the #1 car will be missed. I grew up watching him, Steve Kinser, Doug Wolfgang, and countless others on TV before seeing them at racetracks in Washington, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

The modified racers also have a demanding weekend, as they wrap up their season at Skagit on Friday and Saturday. Craig Moore leads the points at both Skagit and Grays Harbor. He has won two races at Skagit and three at GHR, including this past Saturday. Craig lost an engine in the first heat, then jumped into Melvin Decker’s car in the main event and won. Craig won the title at Skagit last year and looks to defend it, plus he’s aiming for his second championship at GHR.

Outlaw Weekend is a huge weekend for Grays Harbor Raceway. With five different divisions racing in only two days, how can you go wrong?

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Summer Nationals pictures now online 
Last weekend's stuff from Skagit has arrived. It'll only be a month until I come back up for the Outlaws. Until then, feast your eyes on these!

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

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Time to Review: Summer Nationals thoughts 
The Bob’s Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals had its 25th running at Skagit Speedway last Friday and Saturday. Like the Summer Thunder Sprint Series races at Grays Harbor Raceway earlier in the month, there were drivers coming from all over the place. They were from Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, and New Zealand.

Brian Michelson was looking for his first ever win in Friday’s Outlaw Tuner Nationals 15-lap preliminary main event and he looked to do just that. He led the first eleven laps, but he had Tyler Ketchum right on his tail. Tyler went to the high side of Brian and inherited the lead at the stripe to complete lap twelve. It’s been years since Tyler made it to the winner’s circle, but he was victorious over Michelson and seventh-starting Freddie Vela.

Matt Jensen was the early pace setter in the sprint 30-lap main. The red flag flew on lap eight when the third and fourth place cars of Devin Madonia and Robbie Price made contact on the frontstraight, resulting in Devin going for a very nasty flip. Devin was uninjured, but not very happy. Jensen still had the lead, but he couldn’t pass the slower car of Steve Reeves just after halfway. Matt’s lead over Sean MacDonell and Jason Solwold quickly evaporated. Sean pulled off a veteran move on Matt to take the lead on lap 20 out of turn two, and Jason stole second from Matt in turn four before making contact. Matt suffered major damage to his nose wing, but he kept going. One lap later, Kenny Rutz spun in turn two to draw a yellow flag. We didn’t get another lap in when the yellow lights came on again for a backstretch incident involving Jared Peterson, Colton Heath, and Reeves. Reeves had more trouble just one lap later, as he flipped in turn three. Another red flag was required with five laps to go, as Jensen lost power in turn three while running third. Justin Youngquist was at the wrong place at the wrong time, as he got into Matt and flipped over. Rutz’s night came to an end with three laps remaining, as he looped it in turn one. MacDonell was spot on for the restarts, but the final one proved to be costly. Solwold got the momentum and grabbed the lead in turns one and two with two to go. 14th-starting Seth Bergman had a great charge, as he took second from MacDonell down the backstretch on the following lap. Solwold led just two laps, but they were the most important ones and he methodically got the win. Bergman finished second with MacDonell running out of fuel in third. B-Main winner Trey Starks stormed to fourth after starting 16th. Fifth place went to Eric Fisher.

In Saturday’s Tuner Nationals main event, Ketchum got a good start in the 20-lapper over Michelson and Vela. Michelson didn’t want to get another runner-up finish, as he got the top spot going into turn one on lap four. Ketchum said, “Not so fast!” He took the lead back at the end of the backstretch. There was a three-car tussle behind them for fourth on the sixth lap when Mike Powers, Jr., Duane Warner, and Becky Boudreau went three-wide in turns one and two. Mike got the best of that deal, but pulled into the infield with mechanical ills with five laps left. The top three cars were in a freight train, but Ketchum held on for the win for the second straight night. Michelson and Vela were second and third once again.

Solwold’s time showing the way in Saturday’s 360 40-lap A-Main was very short lived, as Bergman passed him down the backstretch on the third lap. Then, Solwold surrendered second to Starks five laps later at the start-finish line. The red lights came on with twelve laps in for Derek Roberts, who got into the turn four wall and flipped. “The Flyin’ Fireman” was okay. The yellow flag flew just one lap later, as Rutz got into the turn two wall and stopped. Bergman pulled away from Starks and he negotiated lapped traffic with ease. Starks had trouble keeping up and got slowed down by the traffic. The next yellow flag didn’t wave until lap 30, as Price spun coming out of turn two. Another yellow came out on the restart, as MacDonell got into the frontstretch wall and Fisher slammed into the turn one wall in front of him. Starks lost the second spot with five laps to go, as he shredded his right rear tire going into turn four. Trey was able to get some new rubber on and finished eighth. Back up front, Bergman remained smooth and got the $10,000 check. Solwold was second with Heath in third, Tayler Malsam fourth, and Kelsey Carpenter rounding out the top five.

I didn’t leave too disappointed after the races were done (I’m still bummed about the low car count) and I’m looking forward to coming back to Skagit at the end of August when the best of the business, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars, roll in. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s note taking time.

Movers and Shakers: The points were absolutely paramount on Friday no matter if it’s in qualifying, heat races, or the mains on Friday. Drivers also earned additional points for each car they passed in Friday’s heats and mains. Bergman won the third heat race after starting fourth, and Rutz did likewise in the next heat. Bergman shared hard charger honors with Starks, as they passed twelve cars each. Seth went from 14th to second, while Trey sliced and diced from 16th to fourth.

A Worthy Teammate: Rutz was in his customary #8R car, but he had a different teammate in the #8J. Instead of Brady Janson, it was former Skagit track champion Carpenter who was behind the wheel. Kelsey was the MyTrafficMan.net Quick Time driver on Friday with a lap of 11.692 seconds, while Kenny had a strong qualifying time himself in fourth. Kenny was out of the A-Main with three laps to go after spinning out twice. Kelsey had to come through the B-Main (where he was second) and crossed the stripe in tenth. Kenny had more problems in Saturday’s main event, as he got into the turn two wall with thirteen laps in the books. He was able to come back, but he called it a night at the halfway point. Despite falling to 11th on the first lap, Kelsey made up lost ground to grab fifth.

Logging in the Miles, Part 2: Daniel Anderson had the longest trip of everybody by far coming from Te Anau, New Zealand. There were two drivers from Alberta whose commutes take up more than half a day. Reeves’ trip is about 14 hours from his hometown of Valleyview to Skagit Speedway. It’s almost as long for Sherwood Park driver MacDonell, as his voyage is around 13 ½ hours.

Stretching It Out: Henry Van Dam came into Friday with just a seven-point advantage over Peterson for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series title. Van Dam started Friday’s A-Main 11th and ran near the back for most of the race before coming back up to the 11th spot. Jared started right in front of Henry in ninth, but he was involved in a backstretch crash on the 21st lap with Heath and Reeves. Jared would’ve gotten the 16th and last lock-in spot for Saturday’s main event, but he was a no-show. Van Dam snared the sixth spot in the A, increasing his points lead in a huge way and is looking to clinch the STSS championship with only two races left.

The Price Is Right: Cobble Hill, B.C.’s Price turned in another superb performance in the Summer Nationals after being the top 360 driver in last month’s 43rd annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box. The day started off great for Robbie, as he qualified eighth and finished second to Bergman in heat three. Robbie was a man on the move in the A-Main and already charged from tenth to fourth with only six laps complete. He had a full head of steam as he tried to pass Madonia for third just past the stripe two laps later when they made contact, sending Devin flipping end over end. Robbie restarted, but he fell out of the race with four laps to go. He started Saturday’s A-Main in 13th and despite spinning out of turn two with ten laps remaining, he stayed on the lead lap to cross the line in seventh.

Making Something Out of Nothing: Two-time Grays Harbor Raceway champion J.J. Hickle would’ve finished third in Friday’s fifth heat race in front of Malsam, but didn’t go to the scales after the race and was disqualified. That mistake gave J.J. zero heat points. After finishing third in the B-Main, he passed six cars to move up to 12th in the A. He was 14th in points for Saturday and that was enough to get into the big dance, where he came home ninth.

In Their Honor: Ketchum usually sports the #39, but decided to switch it up because this year is Skagit Speedway’s 60th year in operation. Tyler changed his number to #76EP to remember drivers that wore #76 in the past including Jerry Edson, Jerry Day, and Brad Pritchard. The “P” part stands for Pritchard. Tyler was thinking of going back to #39, but he might have to reconsider after two straight victories.

Musical Chairs: The outlaw tuner drivers were in regular rides on Friday with the exception of Howard Vos, who was in the red Jon Gunderson car (with the #03 in duct tape over the #68). Saturday had a lot of changes, so try to keep up. Vos was back in his #03 Mustang (it still runs after all these years) and Gunderson returned to his red car after driving the #81 car on Friday. Adam Nelson filled in to drive Vance Hibbard’s #54. Tom Warner jumped into his dad Duane’s #89 car, while Duane hopped into Kevin Reuter’s #69R. Lastly, Mike Powers, Jr. drove the #4 that’s normally piloted by his brother Matt. Are you confused yet?

Number for the Weekend: 8. That’s how many cars finished on the lead lap for Saturday’s A-Main. Bergman was absolutely phenomenal in traffic and he ran away from everybody else.

Consistency Award: Malsam. Tayler passed six cars to step up to sixth on Friday, and snared fourth on Saturday in Kevin Rudeen’s #26.

Hard Luck Award: Jayme Barnes. Jayme lost a rear end in Friday’s hot laps, and scratched for the rest of the night. He started at the tail of Saturday’s B-Main and spun out in turn three on lap number seven. He recovered to finish eighth (just 0.003 seconds ahead of Steve James), but that was one spot shy of transferring. The honorable mention goes to Steve Vague, who flipped on lap four in Friday’s opening heat race after hitting the wall between turns one and two. Steve was all right, but didn’t come back Saturday.

“Never Say Die” Award: Brock Lemley. Brock was leading Friday’s third heat race driving Cody and Rachelle Anderlini’s #14 car, when he lost an engine down the backstretch on the fifth lap. Brock drove Michael Bollinger’s #5B sprinter in the B-Main and got up to tenth. He was as high as eighth before losing a right front shock on lap nine and came to a stop on the backstretch. Brock went back to the #14 machine on Saturday with a brand new powerplant and had to start at the back of the B. He passed Jason Reed between turns three and four to get the seventh and final transfer spot on lap seven, and gave himself a little more insurance with a fourth-place finish. Brock climbed to 11th in the A-Main, but retired to the pits with ten laps to go and fell to 17th.

Next race: The Monster Meltdown with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars on August 29 and 30 (crossing my fingers). The Shipwreck Beads modifieds are on the program both nights, and the sportsman sprint cars join in on the 30th. Sammy Swindell won the preliminary main event and Donny Schatz got the finale in last year’s show.

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

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

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Jumping the Start: Bob's Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals 
The Bob’s Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals (formerly the 360 Nationals) are around the corner this Friday and Saturday at Skagit Speedway, where $10,000 goes to the winner. This will also be rounds four and five for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series.

Travis Jacobson was going for something extremely rare in last year’s Summer Nationals, which was to win it for the fourth straight year. Shane Stewart spoiled those plans, as he won in the Scott and Jason Finley-owned #77F. That win was worth $12,000. Jacobson was second and Travis Rilat was third.

Henry Van Dam is still the top driver in the Summer Thunder Sprint Series, but he leads the points by just seven markers over Jared Peterson. All STSS races thus far have been at Grays Harbor Raceway. Van Dam claimed the races on June 7 and July 11, while Logan Forler won on July 12.

The outlaw tuners will also be in action both nights and Freddie Vela has dominated this season. He has four victories and leads Matt Powers by 58 points. Third in points is Brian Michelson with Brandon Berg and Kevin Reuter rounding out the top five.

Drivers from the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada are expected to compete and the Summer Nationals are sure to please, especially when the top prize is worth 10,000 bones.

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Pictures for July 11-12 are up and 15k announcement 
You want sprint cars and street stocks in the same album? You got it! My shots from last weekend are ready... I hope to see some of you at Skagit next weekend!

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

Also, thank you all for bringing my hit total to over 15,000. In some days, I'm almost at 100 visits per day. Holy Toledo! Let's get to 20,000 hits by the holidays, so let's do it to it!

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Time to Review: 360 Nationals/Street Stock Nationals tidbits 
The Summer Thunder Sprint Series 360 Nationals and the Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stock Nationals were held on a couple of very hot days last weekend at Grays Harbor Raceway. Both classes had adequate turnouts for both days. The sprints had 26 on Friday and 25 Saturday, while the street stocks had 19 and 18.

In the first three laps in Friday's 25-lap street stock main event, there were three different leaders. Mike Knox led the first lap and you could easily throw a blanket on the top seven cars. Don Briggs, Jr. took the lead on the second lap out of turn two, but lost it to Jason Tole by a nose at the stripe on lap three. This happened just before Kelly Fugate spun in turn two to bring out the first yellow flag. The second yellow flew only two laps later for separate spinouts by Brenton Schnitzer in turn one and Austin Kerrigan in turn two. Briggs got the lead back on the seventh lap, as he went to the inside of Tole out of turn two. Jack Parshall was right behind Briggs, and passed Tole for second in turn three. Parshall took control on lap number eleven, as he went down low on Briggs in turn four. The yellow lights blinked again on lap 15 when Cory Sweatman lost power in turns one and two. Tole had to go to the pits with overheating problems and that gave third to Brian Izzi. For the last ten laps, it was all Parshall for the win. A. Kerrigan came back from his spin to finish second and Briggs had another impressive run for third.

The leader for the early laps of the STSS 25-lap A-Main was Evan Margeson, and he was looking to get another win at GHR after winning the midseason championships on July 5. Justin Youngquist brought out a yellow flag with four laps in, as he stopped next to the pit entrance. Henry Van Dam ran the high line to perfection, as he passed Trey Starks for second down the backstretch on lap seven and Margeson out of turn four the following lap to get the lead. Margeson’s midnight ride came to an end on lap 12, as he spun in turn two after contact with Jayme Barnes. Another yellow flag was needed on the 15th lap, as New Zealand’s Daniel Anderson took a hard shot into the backstretch wall. Daniel was okay, but his car was demolished. Van Dam maintained a sizable lead over Jared Peterson, but anything went for third. Jason Solwold did a slide job on Starks on lap 20 in turn two, and Trey tried to return the favor on the next lap at the same spot. There was some contact and everything got really dicey, but everybody kept going. The last yellow came with two to go, as J.J. Hickle stopped in turn four. Van Dam and Peterson secured the top two spots. Behind them, the battle for third was like a battle royale with Solwold and Starks still trading sliders! Van Dam got the win and the $2,000 top prize. Peterson was second, followed by Starks, Solwold, and 16th-starting Logan Forler.

Schnitzer took the lead from polesitter Eddie Blood in Saturday's street stock feature and showed the way for the first five laps before sliding wide in turn four on lap six, giving the top spot to Parshall. The 30-lapper took more than 30 minutes to get done. There were eight yellow flags and one red. The red flag came with four to go for a huge turn three crash involving Briggs, Knox, Blood, Matt Babcock, Nick Brammer, and Mike Mann. Parshall completed the sweep with a $1,000 payday. A. Kerrigan finished second again and Schnitzer coming back from two mishaps to round out the podium. Only nine cars finished the race.

The first attempt to start Saturday's STSS A-Main was aborted when Derek Roberts, Luke Didiuk, and Jason Reed tangled in turn four before the first lap was complete. Forler took the lead from fast qualifier and polesitter Colton Heath, and led all 30 laps in the $5,000-to-win race. Forler had a rocket of a car and it only took him five laps to catch slower traffic. Jared Ridge brought out the yellow flag on the following lap, as he came to a halt in turn four. Travis Rilat went to the inside of Barnes for second, and made it stick at the line on lap six. Starks was watching and made a successful slide job on Barnes for third out of turn two on the next lap. The yellow lights came on again on the 12th lap for Roberts, who stopped on the backstretch. Starks wanted to try Rilat on for size with more slide jobs. The two drivers went slide job after slide job on laps 13 and 14, with Rilat holding on for second. Barnes did a slider on Starks on lap 15 in turn two, and they made contact on the backstretch. Barnes' hopes for a strong finish ended on the next lap, as he crashed into the turn two wall after contact with Colin Baker. On the 20th lap, Kelsey Carpenter stopped on the backchute for the last yellow flag. Just before the race went green, Starks stopped on the backstretch with a flat right rear tire and sixth-running Heath went pitside. Starks would return, but Heath was done. Rilat tried a slide job on Forler in turn two on the final restart, but Forler closed the door. Logan would win it over Rilat, Baker, Peterson, and 15th-place starter Van Dam.

For me, the 360 Nationals are a warm-up for the Bob's Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals at Skagit Speedway next weekend. I’ll be there for the first time in four years. A bigger turnout is expected and more money is on the line. Some more notes are coming your way now...

Change of Address: Orting, Washington native Forler relocated to Lake Havasu City, Arizona when he was racing full-time with the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV American Real. He's been racing an “outlaw” schedule this year and now calls Boise, Idaho home. Saturday’s win is number three for Logan this year to go along with a 410 triumph at Skagit on June 21 and an ASCS Northwest Region victory at Cottage Grove Speedway on July 5 during Speedweek Northwest.

Valuing Diversity: Even though the car counts for the STSS were only in the mid 20’s, the drivers came from all over the globe. There were racers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Texas, plus Canada (Didiuk from Vancouver, B.C.) and New Zealand (Anderson from Te Anau). You may never know who’s going to show up with the STSS and last weekend's races were proof positive.

Colin Is Haulin’: Another surprise entrant to the STSS races was current ASCS Northwest Region points leader Baker. The Cottage Grove, Oregon racer won Friday’s second heat race and placed a modest eighth in the A. After a third place finish in Saturday’s heat race, Colin inherited the third spot in the feature from Starks' flat tire on a lap 19 restart and held on to that spot for the end. Colin has three wins this season (two winged and one non-winged) in Hedge Carter's #71 car.

Brock’s New Ride: Last month’s Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup champion Brock Lemley came to Elma on Saturday and Grays Harbor fans haven't seen him in a number of years. This is his first year driving Cody and Rachelle Anderlini's #14 in 360 competition, and they already have a win under their belts at Skagit on May 24. Brock won the fourth heat race and ran mid-pack throughout the A-Main before finishing tenth.

Stiff Competition: Last year's STSS runner-up Rilat made the long trip to Elma and got two top seven finishes out of it. Travis had to go to the B-Main on Friday, but won it with an outside pass on Roberts coming out of turn four as they saw the white flag. Travis was one of the drivers to watch from the back, as he passed ten cars to finish seventh in the A. It was a reasonable weekend for Travis and the #39C crew, as they stepped up to finish second Saturday. Skagit regular Solwold was at Elma for both nights as well in the Shaylen Raye Motorsports #18 car, despite running on a limited basis this season. Jason and Starks went tooth and nail for third with numerous slide jobs especially in the last five laps in Friday's main event, with Starks getting that spot. Jason won Saturday's opening heat race and motored to sixth in the A, right behind HVD.

Four in a Row: Parshall came into the weekend as the street stocks points leader, and he definitely added on to that advantage. He won the last four races at Grays Harbor Raceway to jump up to five wins for the year, compared to two for all of 2013. Jack is looking to continue with his good fortune as he goes for his first track championship in many years of trying.

Photographer on the Run: There was a very scary moment that happened on lap five in Friday's STSS B-Main. Phil Schemenauer spun into the infield coming out of turn one and came within feet of photographer John Fletcher. Fletch ran out of the way, as Phil spun 360 degrees and kept going. Cameraman Nathan Prince captured Fletch’s quick reflexes if you haven't watched it yet at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtvjQCA-sUk.

Number for the Weekend: 92. How hot did it get? That was Saturday's high temperature. It got up to 90 on Friday. When that Grays Harbor breeze blows as the night falls, it feels really good.

Consistency Award: Peterson (STSS) and A. Kerrigan (street stocks). Peterson had a second and a fourth aboard Roger Henderson's #7N. Jared and HVD are the only two drivers that finished in the top five in all three STSS races. A. Kerrigan got back-to-back runner-up finishes (now has three straight second place runs) to try to keep up with Parshall in the championship chase. Austin and Jack have seven top fives apiece, but Jack holds a 5-to-1 edge in wins.

Hard Luck Award: Daniel McGrew (STSS) and Shane Kerrigan (streets). Daniel rode the wall along turns three and four on the first lap of Friday's second heat race. He didn’t flip over, but did major damage to his rear housing. He was a DNS for the B-Main and didn't come back Saturday. Shane had motor problems early on in Friday’s warm-ups and scratched for the rest of the weekend.

“Never Say Die” Award: Schnitzer...not once, but twice! Brenton was running sixth in Friday's A-Main when he spun in turn one on lap five, then braved it out to come home in fifth. Brenton had to work even harder on Saturday, as he and Izzi got hooked up coming out of turn two on a lap eight restart while racing for third. Brenton found himself in more trouble three laps later when he got together with Mann at the other end of the track. Brenton avoided “the big one” with four laps to go and passed Izzi at the finish line on the next-to-last lap to get a well-deserved third.

Next race: Finally, I'll be off to Skagit for the Bob’s Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals next weekend. Shane Stewart held off Travis Jacobson and Rilat for the win last year. Stewart won this event in 2007, while Jacobson won it three years straight (2010, 2011, and 2012). Also competing both days are the outlaw tuners, where Freddie Vela leads the way in that class and is going for his third championship.

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

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

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