Grays Harbor Raceway Park race report 2002-05-25

Grays Harbor Raceway Park Elma, WA May 25, 2002 Borden, Lawhead, Parshall take wins in Elma. Leroy Lawhead staved off repeated challenges from Jon Swiglo to highlight Saturday night's racing at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma. Lawhead took...

Grays Harbor Raceway Park
Elma, WA
May 25, 2002

Borden, Lawhead, Parshall take wins in Elma.

Leroy Lawhead staved off repeated challenges from Jon Swiglo to highlight Saturday night's racing at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma.

Lawhead took the Modified main event, Glenn Borden Jr. claimed the Sprint victory, Jack Parshall Jr. won again in Hobby Stocks, while Marvin Nicholson teamed with John Taylor to win in Cruisers.

Scott Miller started the caution-filled Modified main event from pole and battled early with Lawhead, while Swiglo and Craig Moore battled for third.

All that changed in short order. Miller slowed on lap 6 with a flat tire, leaving Lawhead and Swiglo to battle up front. A few laps later, Moore spun on a restart and was hit by Randy Ward. The impact brought out the red flag and destroyed Moore's car, but he was okay.

Once the racing resumed, Lawhead and Swiglo again broke away from the field. Swiglo looked for a way past Lawhead in every turn, but no openings were given. Swiglo could get to Lawhead's bumper going into the turns, but he could not find the needed traction on the top of the track.

On the last lap, Swiglo swung to the high side at both ends of the track, but could not make it stick. Lawhead held on to defeat Swiglo, Don Jenner, Ward, and Greg Dineen.

Lawhead noted it was slick up high, so he stayed low while letting Swiglo try to pass high. "As long as I kept it low and didn't screw up, I knew I would be alright," he said. "I knew Jon would take it in deep, but there was no traction up high."

Swiglo has had problems so for this year such as a broken rear end and bent frame, so he was happy to be competing for the win. "That was a good run," he said. "We had a fast car tonight. It's about time we gave Leroy a good run. Leroy was driving where I needed to be. He knew he would make it hard for me, which is the sign of a good driver.

"There was not enough traction up there, and he knew that. I was just waiting for him to slip up. That's what it would take (to pass him)."

The two drivers noted the trust they had in each other, and how that added to the enjoyment. "That makes it all the more fun, when you can run side-by-side and not worry about nothing," Lawhead noted.

Said Swiglo, "I love racing like that. That was so doggone fun. That's what drivers dream of doing. I've always wanted to do that with him."

In Sprints, Borden and Cole battled for the lead from the start of the race. Borden took the lead at the start, but could not shake Cole. The leaders were constantly in lapped traffic throughout the night, and Borden stretched his advantage while Randy VanAagten caught Cole for second.

The red flag came out on lap 15 for Buddy Messick, who flipped in turn 3 and was quickly helped out of his burning car. During the red, Borden had his loose front wing pulled off, altering the handling of his car.

As the laps wound down, the top four of Borden, Cole, VanAagten, and Donny Fry stayed in close proximity to each other, but no positions were changed. Borden held on for the win, earning him a thumbs up from Cole.

The victory was especially sweet for Borden since he struggled in a Northern Sprint Tour race the night before in Oregon. "Last night was probably the worst night we've had in four or five years," he said. "We just missed the setup, so this win is a good confidence builder."

After losing his front wing, Borden noted his front end was sliding up the track. "I just tried to keep a good line, protect the bottom, and drive it off the turns hard and straight."

Cole offered his kudos Borden. "He had a good car, and drove a good race," Cole said. When asked how he could have won, Cole quipped, "I needed to start in front of Glenn."

Much like the week before, the Hobby Stock main event was a physical affair. Terry Bower grabbed the early lead, while Wayne Lemmon, Rick Milbourne, and trophy dash winner Parshall battled each other.

Following one of many yellows, Parshall took the lead from Bower, with Lemmon and Milbourne also getting by Bower. Lemmon and Milbourne put on a fierce battle for much of the race until Lemmon spun with a couple of laps to go.

Despite numerous cautions, Parshall jumped out to small but comfortable leads each time. He was able to hang on over Milbourne, Bower, Joe Richey, and Sharon Kelly. Lemmon ended up in sixth.

Even though he led much of the way, Parshall did not know where the competition was. "I thought Wayne was right there, so I was really pushing it," he said, adding that his car had a push and the track was rough. "That was tough. I had to earn that one."

Last year, Parshall's friend Jason Tole won the Hobby Stock title with his #34 car. Parshall couldn't resist putting in a jab. "Car 34, where are you?" he asked with a laugh.

In Cruisers, Nicholson teamed up with a different co-pilot than usual, but he and Taylor comfortably won their race. In a change from the usual, the Cruisers ran a 10-lap main event, their only race on the night.

-ghrp-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers John Taylor