Fall Nats pics uploaded 
My shots from the Fall Nats have finally arrived! I'm still trying to get used to all of the changes on my computer.

What a way to finish of my year at Nor Cal! Check my pics out at the address below...

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

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Time to Review: Fall Nationals recap 
I apologize for the delay of typing my recap on my trip to the 23rd annual Fall Nationals at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California last Friday and Saturday. The hard drive on my computer went kaput, but I’m back up and running on all cylinders again! I’ll try to post my pictures very soon...

This was my first visit to Chico in over seven years and my first trip to the Fall Nationals, better known as the “Tribute to Stephen Allard”. Three different classes of sprint cars were on the program and they packed the pits very tightly.

Brandon Powell was this year’s economy sprint champion at Silver Dollar and he led the first two laps of the 15-lap main event before spinning out between turns one and two on the third lap. That gave the lead to Cameron Haney. Another yellow flag came out on the fifth lap, as Keith Mikaelsen spun in turns one and two and got t-boned by Powell. Mikaelsen restarted with extensive wing damage, while Powell was done. Haney’s car didn’t get up to speed at the restart, and Wyatt Brown took the lead down the backstretch. Chris Story challenged Brown for the top spot and took it away out of turn four as the white flag came out. However, the two made contact after the flagstand and that sent Story flipping off turn one. Chris was okay. Brown found a new challenger at the very end and that would be Shawna Overton. Overton had the lead in turn three on the final lap, but got sideways out of turn four and that allowed Brown to sneak by and score the win. Overton was second and Mikaelsen was third, while the other drivers didn’t finish.

Sean Becker showed the way in most of the 360 30-lap A-Main, which had two red flags. The first one was on lap nine, as Justyn Cox tumbled violently off turn one after contact with Andy Gregg while battling for the sixth spot. Michael Ing took a nasty flip out of turn two a couple of laps later and Garen Linder was also involved. Both Cox and Ing were A-OK. Becker was still leading despite a collapsed nose wing as he was ahead of Carson Macedo, Tyler Walker, Jonathan Allard, and Kyle Hirst. The yellow lights came on with six laps to go when Willie Croft slowed in turn four and pulled into the infield with front end damage. Hirst was fifth on the last restart, but he took fourth from Allard in turn two and third from Walker out of turn four on lap 24. Hirst continued to use the high line on the following lap, as he stole second from Macedo at the line. Hirst’s persistence paid off, as he took the top spot from Becker in turn two with four to go and Macedo got second from “The Shark” at the stripe. Macedo got the lead with two laps left at the flagstand, but Hirst got it back and never relinquished it. Macedo, Becker, Walker, and Andy Forsberg completed the top five.

Saturday’s wingless main event was scheduled to be 20 laps, but it got cut to 15 due to time constraints. It was a battle of the #12 cars as John Clark led the first two laps before R.C. Smith took it away at the stripe on lap three. Despite four yellow flags, Clark kept it close on the low side and Smith found the cushion to his liking. Smith got the victory, but his strong performance was all for naught as he was DQ’ed by being light at the scales during postrace inspection. Clark was the winner, followed by “Nitro” Nick Larson, Bret Barney, Angelique Bell (back from her turn one spin on lap six), and Marcus Smith.

The 40-lap feature for the 360’s got off to a shaky start when Kirt Organ, Chase Majdic, and Steven Tiner were involved in an opening lap triple flip down the backstretch. All three drivers were uninjured, and Majdic would refire. Hirst took the lead from pole sitter Walker, and Croft took second from T-Dub going into turn three on the first lap. Lap seven proved to be unlucky for Hirst, as he slowed in turn three and Croft went by. Two more yellows came out when Majdic stopped off turn two on lap eight and Macedo came to a halt in turn four five laps later. Croft lost the lead to Justin Sanders going into turn three on lap 13, and Shane Golobic also passed Croft for second place two laps later in turn one. Croft had more problems by driving off turn two on lap 16 and Scott Hall also spun in turn two. Croft brought out another yellow flag on the restart, as he spun in turn three and that was the end of his night. Forsberg started tenth and he took third from J. Allard at the line on the 17th lap, and got second from Golobic out of turn four on lap 24 when Golobic got crossed up. Forsberg showed why he’s called “Mr. Excitement”, as he took the lead from Sanders on lap 28 in turn three. Golobic moved up to second on the next lap down the backstretch to also get by Sanders, while Walker used the high line in turn one to grab third on the 31st circuit. Walker was still third with seven to go when he went off the raceway in turn one, and he dropped to eighth. Greg DeCaires and 18th-starting Sean Becker were now third and fourth. Becker passed DeCaires for third in turn two with four laps left, but no one could catch Forsberg. Despite being held up by the slower car of D.J. Freitas, Forsberg got his second Fall Nationals win and first since 2006. Becker passed Golobic for second on the last corner, with DeCaires fourth and J. Allard fifth.

My 2015 racing season is complete and I’m happy that I’ve attended more races than the last few years. I went to 15 races and only two of them got rained out. One of the rainouts was made up the following day, and that would be the Modified Nationals at GHR back in July. Finally, my recap has arrived and here we go...

Splitting Hairs: The Fall Nationals used a World of Outlaws style format for the first time in event history where the field was split into two groups for qualifying. It was a great call with a loaded car count both nights with 54 cars on Friday and 56 on Saturday. Group A would run heats 1 and 2 and group B take up heats 3 and 4, while the 48 drivers are locked into the heats.

TQ Times Two: The driver who benefited from this split format was Golobic, who was Friday’s top qualifier in group A and fastest driver overall. He was the fast timer in Saturday’s group B and ninth overall, as the winds really picked up and the track got very tricky. Walker, Forsberg, Croft, and Jason Statler were the only other drivers in the group to be in the 12-second bracket as the others were in the 13’s, 14’s, or 15’s. Golobic got in a stout weekend with an eighth on Friday and third Saturday.

Wacky Weather: Friday was a summer-like day in Chico, as it got up to 90 degrees. That’s hot for October for me, but it’s not as unbearable as it was in my last visit in '08 when it was hugging around 100. Saturday’s high temperature was 84, but the wind was blowing big time for the majority of the night and there was also lightning nearby. Fortunately, no rain fell and the lightning stayed with me as I was heading back to my hotel in Oroville!

Justin Takes a Jump: Sanders is having a phenomenal season driving his father Rick’s #17 car or Rudy and Bev Warrington’s #18. For the Fall Nats, he was behind the wheel of Alan Bradway and Steve Tuccelli’s F&F Racing #X1. Justin led the first three laps of Friday’s dash when he slowed on the frontstretch. It turned out that the culprit was a loose spark plug wire. Justin fell out on the 21st lap of the A-Main with a flat right rear tire and he finshed 17th. He led laps 13 through 27 in Saturday’s big show before slipping to seventh at the finish. Justin got win number 20 for the year just last night at Ocean Speedway in the #17.

Transferring from Cycleland: Making his first ever 360 sprint car start on Saturday was 15-year-old Kalib Henry. He’s the son of two-time Civil War champion Mike Henry, and he was this year's open champion at Cycleland Speedway just minutes south of Silver Dollar Speedway. Kalib was driving Dan Monhoff’s #35 car and he finished third in the C-Main before ending up 16th in the B.

Doing It for SA: Silver Dollar regular Brad Bumgarner, better known as “The Big Dog”, added an SA sticker to his #88 car (four cars had the number 88). He was dead last in Friday’s main event, but he did better Saturday by passing nine cars to finish 13th. DeCaires raced Saturday only and he was one of many drivers to watch in Saturday’s feature. He started 11th in Dale Miller’s #4SA car and he got as high as third before surrendering it to Becker with four laps to go.

Getting Swallowed Up: Saturday’s first heat race had their version of the “big one”, as the cars came around for the first lap. Adam Walters got into the frontstretch wall and it was on from there. Cody Hodgson and Brad Furr got upside-down while Herman Klein, Majdic, Jake Haulot, and Mike Monahan were also involved. The nights were over for Walters and Hodgson, while Haulot and Monahan restarted. Furr, Klein, and Majdic would be back later in the night for the mains.

Flipping Out: The Fall Nationals are known to have some carnage, and this year’s running saw quite a bit of it. A total of twelve drivers got on their lids (six drivers flipped both nights), but the best news was all of them climbed out okay.

Number for the Weekend: 5. That’s how many people who have won the Fall Nats more than once. Tim Kaeding leads the way with four wins, followed closely by Becker with three. Forsberg joins Brent Kaeding and Bud Kaeding in a tie for third with two wins apiece. Also, Forsberg took home 5 G’s for Saturday’s win.

Consistency Award: Becker. “The Shark” led the first 25 laps of Friday’s A-Main before falling to third, but he was the hard charger by far on Saturday as he took second place from Golobic with just feet to spare from the 18th starting spot.

Hard Luck Award: Matt Barber and Robbie Price (tie). A couple of drivers had their Fall Nationals end on Friday with nasty crashes. Matt clipped the frontstretch wall on a lap one restart in the first heat race and went on a series of barrel rolls, but climbed out unhurt. Robbie was a victim of a very unfortunate deal during C-Main hot laps. Majdic spun in turn two and clipped Robbie in turn two, sending Robbie flipping end over end. Robbie was also okay, but his car was junk.

Next race: Somewhere and sometime next year...

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

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

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Jumping the Start: Fall Nationals at Silver Dollar Speedway 
Silver Dollar Speedway will end its 2015 season Friday and Saturday with the 23rd annual Fall Nationals. This is also the “Tribute to Stephen Allard” to pay homage to the former track champion.

The 360 sprints are racing both nights and drivers from all around the western United States are ready to race. Sean Becker was the winner of last year’s Fall Nationals with Shane Golobic finishing a very close second. Rounding out the top five were D.J. Netto, Kyle Hirst, and Jonathan Allard (Stephen’s younger brother). Becker has won the Fall Nats three times, and the only driver who has won it more times is Tim Kaeding with four. Becker also won the 410 championship at Silver Dollar for the fourth straight year and fifth in total.

Friday’s main event pays $3,000 to win, while Saturday’s winner takes home $5,000.

Friday’s support class is the economy sprints. Brandon Powell clinched the championship for this class, as he won five of the eight races. Ron Wyman racked up six top five finishes for second place in points, just one point ahead of Wyatt Brown. Justin Henry won two times in ‘15 and Brown scored a single victory.

Saturday will feature the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Series. Terry Schank, Jr. won his third championship thanks to five wins. Tony Richards won on May 1 and was the runner-up in this division, with Casey McClain finishing third in points.

Three different classes of sprint cars are set to tackle the tight and racy quarter-mile oval known as Silver Dollar Speedway, so expect the Fall Nationals to end the year in very exciting fashion.

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World of Outlaws Labor Day weekend photos uploaded 
I worked some weird hours between Tuesday and today. Day, night, sunrise, sunset...you name the shift, I did it.

For the Monster Meltdown at Skagit, go here:
http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

For the Outlaw Invasion at GHR, go here:
http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

In less than three weeks, I'll be at Chico for the first time in over seven years. I'll be flying this time instead of driving. One more thing: please don't rain on me!

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Time to Review: Monster Meltdown and Outlaw Invasion thoughts 
I wasn’t at Skagit Speedway last year for the Monster Meltdown due to work commitments, and I sure didn’t want to miss it this year. I thought the weather for Friday was going to be decent, but the rain came down before time trials started and the program got cancelled. Before I left, the track had a very beautiful sight in the form of a double rainbow. It’s back to the hotel, and the World of Outlaws had only one race.

Shane Stewart and Jason Johnson shared the front row for Saturday’s World of Outlaws main event, but the original start was aborted when David Gravel bicycled in turn two and spinning. Gravel was fortunate to keep his car dirty side down. Stewart led all 35 laps and he had Kerry Madsen, Johnson, Joey Saldana, and Brad Sweet following. The red flag flew on lap four for Paul McMahan, who went for a huge flip in turns one and two. Madsen lost second place during the red when his right rear tire went flat and that spot was inherited to Johnson. The restart saw more trouble, as Justin Youngquist got into Austen Wheatley in turn one and Justin went end over end into the wall. Wheatley stopped with front end damage and Gravel got collected. Like McMahan, Youngquist spent a few moments collecting his thoughts before climbing out. Stewart still had the lead, but Saldana wasn’t far behind. Shane got way over the cushion in turn one on lap eleven, but kept the top spot. Joey had problems himself two laps later when he got sideways in turn two, allowing Johnson and six-time champion Donny Schatz to get by. The final yellow was out with 14 laps in for Skylar Gee’s turn two spin. As Stewart checked out, Schatz tried to look for a way to get by Johnson for second and he finally did so going into turn one with four laps left. Stewart won the $10,000-to-win race over Schatz, Johnson, Saldana, and Sweet.

Lane Zerbin led the first lap of the 20-lap feature for the Shipwreck Beads modifieds, but Lawrence O’Connor took over at the line on lap number two. O’Connor, Zerbin, Jason Beaulieu, and Graham Cook were in the top four spots for the B.C. contingent before Cook brought out a caution on the ninth lap. Graham jumped the cushion in turn one and stopped with a flat right front tire. Beaulieu had a great restart to move up to second, but got sideways in turns one and two and collected Zerbin. Beaulieu and Zerbin continued on while Tyler Ketchum, Aaron Weston, and Brandon Nutter all spun out. O’Connor and Zerbin were still running one and two and the best battle was for third, as Beaulieu had to hold off Morgan Criswell. O’Connor once again made it look easy as he won over Zerbin, Beaulieu, Criswell, and Cook.

The Outlaws were at Grays Harbor Raceway on Labor Day for the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel Outlaw Invasion. As the green flag flew for the 30-lap A-Main, Sweet took the lead from McMahan. The event went clean and green for a while before the yellow lights blinked on lap 14 for Johnson, who spun on the frontstretch with a broken front end and Sweet just got by. McMahan took the lead away from Sweet down the backstraight on the restart, but Schatz was on the charge. Donny used the cushion to get by Saldana out of turn two for third and passed Sweet down low out of turn four to grab second to complete the 15th lap. Sweet dropped to fifth on lap 18 and his right rear tire exploded in turns three and four, resulting in another yellow flag. The race was slowed down once again, as Travis Rilat stopped in turn two on the restart. McMahan was looking for a win after his violent flip at Skagit, but he had trouble getting through lapped traffic and Schatz was looking to capitalize. Schatz tried to pass McMahan in turns one and two with three to go, but couldn’t quite do it. Donny tried again at the same place on the following lap and made it stick. Schatz went on to win at GHR for the third straight year with McMahan settling for second, Stewart third, Saldana fourth, and Gravel fifth.

Closing the night was the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks 20-lap main. Brian Harding was the early leader, while Austin Kerrigan got second from Brandon Riehl at the stripe to complete the first lap. This first half of this race was a thriller, as there were battles all over the place and the leaders were going through heavy traffic. A. Kerrigan looked to have the lead out of turn two on lap six in traffic, but Harding used the high line to get it back. Austin didn’t give up and got the lead again in turns three and four. Harding fell to fourth on the next lap, as Tommy Hecker went on the high side going into turn three and Riehl got by seconds later also using the high road. A. Kerrigan, Hecker, and Riehl went three-wide for the lead at the flagstand with on the tenth lap, but that exciting battle would have to cease as the yellow flag flew. It was for Harding, who stopped in turn one. After completing the first ten laps without a caution, six more yellows followed in quick succession. Riehl took his car into the infield during a lap eleven caution period while running second and Hecker stopped in turn four one lap later with a broken right front suspension. The seventh and final yellow happened on lap 15, as Chip Haney crashed into the frontstretch wall and collected Ross Watkins. The race was called with A. Kerrigan winning over Shane Kerrigan, Brenton Schnitzer, Jack Parshall, and Tim Phillips.

The Labor Day weekend is in the rear view mirror, and I went two-for-three. As summer and the racing season are almost behind us, let’s review a few things really quick-like...

What a Career: Monday’s win gave Schatz 27 victories for 2015, beating his previous best of 26 last year. What was even more special for him was it’s win number 200 on the WoO circuit. He won for the first time at Riverside Speedway (now called Cottage Grove Speedway) back in 1998 and that started it all. The only two people with more wins than Schatz are of course, Steve Kinser at 577 and Sammy Swindell with 294. Update: Schatz won at Cottage Grove yesterday, so that brings him up to 28 wins this season and 201 in his Outlaws career...and counting!

Completing the Triple Crown: This isn’t about American Pharaoh, but it’s still very cool that he did it to break a 37-year skid. Stewart is one of only two drivers to win the Triple Crown at Skagit. That’s to win an Outlaws race, the Dirt Cup, and the Summer Nationals (formerly called the 360 Nationals). He won Dirt Cup twice (‘04 and ‘10) and the Summer Nats once (‘07). The other racer to complete the trifecta was Jason Solwold, who won DC in June and is a three-time Summer Nats champ (‘96, ‘97, and ‘02). He won a preliminary WoO race at Skagit in ’08 driving Richard Saumure’s #39C car.

New Surfaces: Skagit and GHR both had new clay and that resulted in very fast conditions for hot laps and time trials. Daryn Pittman’s track record at Skagit of 10.718 seconds set in 2013 still stands, but six people got into the 10’s in qualifying. Madsen was TQ at 10.923 with Schatz, Sweet, Saldana, Stewart, and Wheatley also getting times under eleven seconds. GHR was a different story with the old mark of 11.915 seconds shared by Craig Dollansky, Saldana, and Swindell to shoot for. Saldana annihilated it with a time of 11.750. Logan Schuchart, Gravel, Schatz, McMahan, Madsen, and Pittman had times faster than the old record as well. Schatz had a lap of 11.618 seconds in hot laps!

Getting a Top Ten: A couple of drivers had to restart at the back of the field in the main events and really had to work their way up to get some hard earned points. Madsen was running second on Friday when his right rear tire went flat during a lap four red flag period. “The Madman” managed to finish tenth and hung on to third in the points. Go forward to Monday, as Sweet suffered the same fate on lap 18 while running fifth when his right rear got shredded to near nonexistence. “The Big Cat” made it for the restart and he also ended up tenth.

Coming from Row 12: The KSE Hard Charger Award winners for both A-Mains started in the 23rd spot. Reece Goetz finished 16th at Skagit in his first 410 start with the Outlaws (he made last year’s main event at GHR in a 360). The driver who passed the most cars at GHR was none other than Henry Van Dam, who was 15th.

Lawrence of Skagit: O'Connor looks to secure the modified title in the Scrap-It Season Championships next Saturday night. Last Saturday’s victory was number four on the year for “Sir” Lawrence at Skagit and he has finished on the podium in all eight races so far. The last Canadian to win a title at Skagit was Trevor Turnbull, who won the 360 championship in 2012.

This AK-47 Is Loaded: A. Kerrigan’s win gives him five for the season, one more than his dad Shane. Austin came into Monday third in points, close behind his father and points leader Parshall. This chase among these three guys is going right to the wire as the GHR season has just two rounds of racing left. They’ll be held next Saturday and October 3 for the season championships. It’s a classic battle of Chevy vs. Ford. Parshall is looking to win the title for the second straight year, while both Kerrigans are looking for their first championship.

Season High: The street stocks had car counts between the teens to low 20's this season, but there were 26 cars in the pits on Monday. That’s a very high number for this class in quite some time. Everybody started the A-Main except for one driver, and the fans saw an awesome display of racing for the first ten laps. Unfortunately, more carnage occurred after that and the checkered flag flew five laps short.

Number for the Weekend: 0.005. The difference between first and second in time trials for both nights is this narrow margin. Madsen barely bested Schatz at Skagit, while Saldana’s laptime just topped Schuchart’s mark at Grays Harbor.

Consistency Award: Saldana. “The Brownsburg Bullet” had back-to-back fourth-place finishes and a new track record for his Labor Day weekend. He now has 15 quick times in ‘15. Also turning in two steadfast nights of racing were Pittman (sixth and ninth), Solwold (seventh and eighth), Sweet (fifth and tenth), Schuchart (ninth and seventh), and Madsen (tenth and sixth).

Hard Luck Award: Ron Comfort. Ron came with a new modified at Skagit and sported the #23R after wearing the #00C for many years. He pulled into the pits before the green flag of the second heat race and didn’t race the main event.

Best Appearing Cars: Saldana and Johnson (tie). Saldana’s #71M car is always immaculate with the addition of red and blue zig-zags and black saw blade patterns to the bright orange. I’m always looking forward to taking a close picture of it, no doubt about it. Johnson’s #41 machine is also gorgeous with a red, yellow, and black combo. It‘s really cool to see “The Ragin’ Cajun” back in the Pacific Northwest and stepping up to the WoO after many successful seasons with the ASCS.

Next race: I’ll finish my season with the 23rd annual Fall Nationals at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California on October 2 and 3. This race, also known as the “Tribute to Stephen Allard”, will have drivers all over the West Coast in action. Sean Becker won last year’s race in a close one over Shane Golobic. D.J. Netto, Kyle Hirst, and Jonathan Allard were third through fifth. The economy sprints will race on the 2nd, while the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Series is part of the program on the 3rd.

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

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

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Jumping the Start: World of Outlaws at Skagit and Grays Harbor 
The World of Outlaws are on their way to Washington state during Labor Day weekend once again. They’ll be at Skagit Speedway for the Monster Meltdown on Friday and Saturday before going southbound to Grays Harbor Raceway on Monday in the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel Outlaw Invasion.

The driver who’s not showing any signs of slowing down is six-time Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. What can be said about him that hasn’t been said already? Just when you think he’s coming off a career year, he does even better the following year. He won 26 WoO races in 2014, and he’s at 26 wins as we speak with plenty of races left to go. Schatz is the only driver who’s in the double digits in the wins category, with Shane Stewart having the second highest in victories with eight (one was a non-points race). Schatz is looking for a milestone in his Outlaws career, as he’s nearing win number 200. He got his 199th victory last Friday on the opening night of the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Schatz is definitely running away to another championship, as he has a massive 420-point lead over Stewart. Kerry Madsen, Brad Sweet, and Joey Saldana are in a close battle for third through fifth in points.

The Shipwreck Beads modifieds will run both Friday and Saturday at Skagit. Lawrence O’Connor of Port Hardy, B.C. comes into the weekend with three victories and a 58-point advantage over Melvin Decker. Completing the top five in points are Louis Nutter, Sr., Becky Boudreau, and Brandon Nutter.

Racing in Monday’s card at GHR will be the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks, and three drivers are in the hunt for the title. Last year’s champion Jack Parshall has won just once in ‘15, but he’s been very consistent and leads with 1,078 points. Right behind Jack is the father-and-son team of Shane and Austin Kerrigan. Shane has 1,062 points, with Austin only three markers behind his dad. Shane and Austin both have four wins under their belts. Brenton Schnitzer is fourth at 973 markers, and that’s just nine points ahead of Jason Tole.

The World of Outlaws always draw huge crowds at Skagit Speedway and Grays Harbor Raceway, so look for exactly that for Labor Day weekend. Add some modifieds and street stocks, and you have a very exciting three nights of racing.

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Mod Nats photos are here! 
The Modified Nationals were a tremendous success and this is one of the biggest albums I've uploaded in a long, long time. Almost 100 cars can do that!

Take a look through, as I'll be taking a well deserved break. Take care, be safe, and stay cool!

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

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Time to Review: Modified Nationals recap 
Oh, what a weekend it was! The 16th annual Shipwreck Beads Modified Nationals presented by FinishLine Graphics and the Pacific Hardtop Racing Association’s Dwarf Car Nationals are both in the books, but everybody at Grays Harbor Raceway had to deal with Mother Nature. She was there to fight, and Friday’s races were called after the heat races were completed. The rest of the program was moved over to Saturday before the Saturday portion gets underway.

Turning the page over to Saturday, I was driving through Summit Lake just after 2:00 p.m. and it was coming down big time. I didn’t have a really good feeling that we're going to get anything in, but the sun came back out and we had a night and a half of racing to take care of.

Last year’s winner Josh King and Shane Youngren were on the front row for the PHRA 20-lap make-up A-Main, but they got together in turns one and two on the first lap. Youngren went spinning and other racers were involved in a separate crash near Shane. The wreck eliminated Brian Lee and Ren Marose from the race. King was sent to the back of the pack for rough driving, giving the front row to Ryan Martinez and Kevin Benson. Benson took off with the lead with Tim Hester taking second place from Martinez out of turn four to complete lap one. Kalvin Morton used the high line to pass T. Hester and Benson to take the lead as they completed the fourth lap, with Martinez following Morton on the cushion to jump to second. B-Main winner Henry Corbin, III started the race 17th, but charged to fifth in just five laps and was in the thick of the things. A quick yellow came out on lap number nine, as Jeremiah Hester spun out in turn two. Martinez took the lead from Morton out of turn four on the 12th lap, and Corbin went up to second down the backchute two laps later. Another driver coming from deep in the field was 20th-starting Eric Bergquist, who passed T. Hester and Camden Robustelli for fourth on the backstretch with four laps to go. Bergquist stayed on the high side and he took third away from Morton in turn four on lap 17. Eric wasn’t done, as he passed Corbin for the runner-up spot into turn three on the following lap. For the cherry on top, Eric took command from Martinez down the backstretch with a lap and a half to go. Coming to the checkers, it was Bergquist getting the win over Martinez, Corbin, Robustelli, and Morton. King rocketed from the rear of the field to finish sixth.

The modifieds’ make-up 20-lapper went green all the way, and defending event champion Nick Trenchard got the jump over Mark Carrell. Jesse Williamson took third from Lawrence O’Connor down the backstretch on lap three, and Collen Winebarger advanced to fourth two laps later as he got it over O’Connor at the flagstand. The top nine cars were running single file, but drivers tenth on back were in a huge gaggle. Trenchard had a generous lead over Carrell as he came up to the rear of the field with four laps to go, but Nick couldn’t lap anybody and that lead was gone. Nick almost lost the top spot with two laps remaining, as he went wide in turn two and Mark pulled alongside. Williamson, Winebarger, and Jeremy Shank were right there and they closed in on the top two as the white flag waved. Instead of going low, Carrell took the high road going into turn three on the last lap and he stole the win over Trenchard by half a car length. Williamson, Winebarger, and Shank were third through fifth for an all-Oregon top five.

King once again had the pole position for the evening 25-lap A-Main for the PHRA and he led the first lap ahead of Morton, Robustelli, Leo Ward, and Martinez. Robustelli took second away from Morton at the stripe on lap two and he reeled in King. A yellow flag came out on lap four for a turn four crash involving Cody Peters and Youngren. Cody was able to restart, but Shane needed the hook. The restart was a no go, as John Chrisman looped it in turn one. Robustelli used the cushion to get by King for the lead out of turn two as they completed lap number four. Robustelli stretched his lead out, as King had his hands full with Morton. The next yellow flag didn’t fly again until lap 17, as Chrisman slowed on the backstretch and T. Hester crashed into the turn four wall. Ward got a great restart, as he went from fifth to third out of turn two by passing Martinez and Morton. Things were slowed down again on the 18th lap, as Lee spun in turn three. Ward took second from King on the restart in turn two, but he used the low line this time. The final yellow was displayed on lap 20, as Marty Holmason spun in turn four and Marose stopped close by. King got the second spot back from Ward as the race was back underway, but he couldn’t get to Robustelli. Camden got the win over King, Ward, Morton, and Martinez.

Jeremy Richey started on the pole for the 25-lap modified feature and he led the distance. He finished second in the Mod Nats two years ago, but he was the man of the hour this time. Williamson went down low in turn two to pass Trenchard for second on lap three. After falling to fourth from his second starting spot, Winebarger also got by Trenchard in turn two on the next lap for third. The only yellow flag came out with four laps to go, as Williamson spun in turns three and four when he got into the lapped car of B.J. Wild. Jesse kept going and he was given the second spot back. Winebarger got second from Williamson in turn two with three to go and Williamson began to lose positions. Richey scored the victory with Winebarger in second and Trenchard rounding out the podium. Shank was fourth and Carrell was fifth. Yep, Oregon racers are in the top five spots again.

It was definitely worth the wait after the rain delay, as the modified and dwarf car racers gave the fans more than the price of admission! There were twists and turns, along with last-second moves for wins and transfer spots. If you haven’t been to the Modified Nationals yet, make sure you have it on your schedule very soon. Let's get right to my thoughts!

Back Over 50: The Mod Nats have only seen around 40 cars the last two years, but it was safe to say that we easily trampled that number well before the drivers' meeting with an enormous combination of new and old faces. 58 modifieds were in action both nights, and that was the kind of car count that was seen in years past. There were four stacked heats with 14 or 15 cars, a scramble, twin C-Mains, a B-Main, and an A-Main to make for a very full program.

Stranglehold in Place: It’s now four straight years that drivers from Oregon have won the Modified Nationals. Oregon’s dominance in this event is simply unreal, as they have won ten times. That’s compared to three for California, and just one apiece for Washington and British Columbia.

The Only One: Staying with the Oregon domination topic, seven of the top ten finishers in the make-up main event hailed from “The Beaver State”. Eight of the top ten were occupied by guys from Oregon in Saturday night's show. There's just one driver from Washington that finished in the top ten in both A-Mains. That would be three-time GHR champ Joe German, who crossed the line eighth in both main events. O’Connor was the highest non-Oregonian for the make-up A-Main in seventh, with four-time track champion Scott Miller getting tenth. The other driver who's not from Oregon who finished in the top ten in Saturday night’s feature was Kyle Casson in ninth.

A Popular Number: Six modified drivers had the number 11 on the cars and it could be very confusing at times to keep track. They were Tom Sweatman (straight-up #11), Jeremy Brookshire (#11B), Casson (#11K), Steven Sturdevant (#11S), Tom Berry, Jr. (#11X), and Brandon Potter (#111). Brandon used some duct tape to make an additional “1” to stand out from the others. In the dwarfs, four drivers carried the number 18.

Do a Barrel Roll: The only red flag of the event occurred on the second lap of Friday’s fourth heat, as Jason Beaulieu plowed into the side of Bruce Ray in turns one and two. Jason flipped over and Sam Carlisle also went spinning. Jason and Bruce’s cars had major damage, but both returned Saturday. Jason was the top qualifier for Saturday night’s card and he finished 13th in the A-Main after winning the B. Bruce was the last racer to roll into the pits and didn’t make any of the A-Mains.

Another Large Group: Not to be outdone, the PHRA brought in a qualify field of 37 drivers. They didn’t have a C-Main, but they had a full B-Main in both programs. They put on an incredible show especially in the main events, as they were running close together and two or three-wide. They spend the majority of the season at tracks all across Oregon (Cottage Grove Speedway, Madras Speedway, River City Speedway, and Sunset Speedway Park), but they’ll be coming back to GHR on August 22.

Charging from the Back: Some PHRA racers had to come to through the B-Main, but they were very notable in the A-Main. Bergquist passed 19 cars on his way to win the make-up PHRA feature, while Corbin moved up 14 spots to finish third in Clay Goben‘s car. Gary Brogan improved 14 places as well, as he took ninth place after starting back in 23rd. Peters started the nightcap main event in 20th, and rebounded from a early spin to come home seventh to get hard charger honors.

Camden Cashes In: The 16-year-old from Medford, Oregon transferred from the go-kart ranks last year to go into the dwarf cars. After finishing fourth in the make-up main event, Camden took the lead on a lap three restart in the evening A-Main en route to his first career win at GHR. You can ride along with Camden at https://www.youtube.com/user/CamdenRobo25. He’s also trying his hand in sprint cars this season, as he was at Siskiyou Motor Speedway and Southern Oregon Speedway in late June during the Western Sprint Tour’s Speedweek Northwest campaign.

Number for the Weekend: 7. That’s how many former champions of the Modified Nationals who were racing: Trenchard, Shank, Mark Wauge, Casson, Beaulieu, Williamson, and three-time winner Jon DeBenedetti. Everyone was in Saturday night’s A-Main except for Wauge. Mark struggled all weekend long and the B-Main was the best he could do in both portions.

Consistency Award: Trenchard (modifieds) and Martinez (PHRA). He didn’t defend his title, but Nick had a second and a third for his efforts. Shank and Winebarger both got fourth and fifth-place finishes. Martinez, a former limited sprint car racer at Cottage Grove, had two top fives in his first GHR start since 2011. He almost got fourth in Saturday night’s main event, but Morton got that spot in a photo finish.

Hard Luck Award: Del Schnitzer. Del swerved to avoid the spinning Kevin Smith and Sam Potter, but nailed the turn four wall hard on the third lap in Friday’s second heat. Del was okay, but his car was mangled and his Mod Nats came to a crashing end.

“Never Say Die” Award: Miller. Scott was battling with Richey for the fourth and final transfer spot in Saturday night’s second heat when they made contact at the flagstand to complete the first lap. Scott spun around and the rest of the field missed him. Scott restarted at the tail, but he was up to sixth as the white flag came out. He took fifth from Sweatman in turn one on the last lap, and he quickly went to work to try to take fourth from Matthew Drager. Scott got it by a nose at the flagstand to move on to the A!

Next race: The three World of Outlaws races during Labor Day weekend. It begins at Skagit Speedway on September 4 and 5 as part of the Monster Meltdown before they come down to GHR on the 7th. Donny Schatz won all three races last year to get wins number 18, 19, and 20. Schatz picked up his 21st win of ’15 on Sunday at Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, New York. The support classes are the Shipwreck Beads modifieds at Skagit and the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks at GHR.

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

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

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