Grays Harbor report 2002-08-31

Borden, Tole, Lawhead win in Elma. Racing for the first time in three weeks, competitors at Grays Harbor Raceway Park returned in style Saturday, August 31. Glenn Borden Jr. fought back from problems to claim victory in Sprints; Leroy Lawhead...

Borden, Tole, Lawhead win in Elma.

Racing for the first time in three weeks, competitors at Grays Harbor Raceway Park returned in style Saturday, August 31.

Glenn Borden Jr. fought back from problems to claim victory in Sprints; Leroy Lawhead held off Jon Swiglo to win in Modifieds; Jason Tole won in Hobby Stocks; and the duo of Marty Caudill and Michelle Glick won in Cruisers.

Borden^Òs victory was hard-fought, and came after problems. In the trophy dash, Borden and Jay Cole got together, damaging both cars somewhat.

John Youngquist took the lead at the start of the Sprint main event over Robert McNulty. Cole quickly moved up to battle McNulty for second. Contact between them on lap 4 brought out the yellow, and left Borden in second.

Youngquist and Borden broke away from the field, and on lap 14 Borden grabbed the lead. From there on, he pulled away. Cole, meanwhile, charged through the field and put on a sterling battle with Randy VanAagten for third. At the end it was Borden, Youngquist, VanAagten, Cole, and Ron Reed.

^ÓMy car was tight to begin with,^Ô Borden said afterwards. ^ÓWe had to wait for the track to dry and come to us. It was hard to pass tonight. I was hoping we could get John in traffic. He moved up a little bit, and we got by.^Ô

In addition to the contact with Cole in the trophy dash, Borden noted he also had the power steering line break on him, and he had an incredible wheelie all the way down the frontstretch at one point as he battled Cole in the trophy dash.

^ÓThat was the biggest, longest one I think I^Òve ever done,^Ô he joked. ^ÓI really wanted to get by Jay. I couldn^Òt see a thing. It just wasn^Òt coming down.^Ô

Youngquist noted his lack of experience with the Elma track likely hurt him, as he didn^Òt know how the track would change. ^ÓFor a while we were good,^Ô he said. ^ÓThe track was pretty slick. I figured some of the guys who run here more had it figured out more. I slipped up a little, and Glenn got by. But I had fun.^Ô

After losing the lead, Youngquist thought for a while he might be able to reclaim the lead. ^ÓFor a little bit I did,^Ô he said. ^ÓThen I got too aggressive trying to get back by, and lost a little bit.^Ô

From the start of the Modified main event, Lawhead and Swiglo battled for the lead, with Scott Miller and Don Jenner right behind in an equally tight battle for third. Swiglo looked for a way by nearly every turn, but with only one racing groove he needed Lawhead to make a mistake.

Lawhead did not make any mistakes, and led a tight four-car train across the finish line. Miller and Jenner traded a couple of bumps late, but no positions were lost. Behind the top-4 was Craig Moore.

^ÓIt was a one-groover,^Ô Lawhead said of the track. ^ÓYou had to get out front quick and keep it there. The track was dry slick, real bad. Jon don^Òt tap you﷓he^Òs a good, clean racer. I love racing with him. One time I slipped up and he stuck his nose under, but I kept the lead. Catching a guy is one thing, passing is another. If Jon had gotten the jump, I don^Òt think I could have gotten him.^Ô

Winning the Modified championship means a lot to Lawhead. ^ÓThere^Òs been a lot of years of hard racing,^Ô he said. ^ÓI can put this one on the mantle now. I have to thank my crew﷓they helped me every week. I^Òve raced here a long time, in Super Stocks a long time and then Modifieds. It^Òs a good, competitive class.^Ô

Swiglo noted the one-groove nature of the track. ^ÓI could reel him in, but I couldn^Òt get by,^Ô he said. ^ÓIf I was ahead, he couldn^Òt have gotten by me and vice versa Leroy^Òs so doggone smooth, and he had a great year. He is the champ, and he certainly deserves it. We could have bumped him, but that^Òs not the way we play. He doesn^Òt play that way either.^Ô

Tole led the Hobby Stock main event from the beginning, and was in front of a three-wide scramble for third at the beginning.

From the beginning, the points race took an interesting turn. Jack Parshall Jr. and Brandon Daniel﷓who later participated in another engine claim﷓came into the race just 24 points apart. Parshall blew an engine last week in Yakima, and suffered steering damage as well.

While Daniel battled with Kris Asche most of Saturday^Òs race for third, Parshall quickly dropped through the field, at one point dropping back to 14th.

Just past the halfway point, Tole came upon lapped traffic, and got caught behind Parshall. Rick Milbourn took advantage to take the lead. A couple of laps later a yellow came out. Tole was put back ahead of Milbourn, something both drivers questioned afterwards.

Tole held on to beat Milbourn, Daniel, Asche, and J. Dien Jr. Parshall picked up the pace late to finish ninth, but his lead is unofficially down to just four points with one race left.

Tole noted lapped traffic had let Milbourn catch him. ^ÓRick actually got me in lapped traffic, and I thought he earned the position,^Ô he noted. ^ÓWhen the yellow came out a couple of years later the officials put me back out front. I was willing to take it.^Ô

While Tole has won some races going away, he prefers close battles. ^ÓI love it when people pull up,^Ô he said. ^ÓThat makes it exciting. Winning^Òs always great, but you don^Òt like being way out front. It gets boring, like you^Òre in hot laps.^Ô

Milbourn noted he took the lead two laps before the caution but was still sent back. ^ÓI just let it go,^Ô he said. ^ÓYou can^Òt change anything. We^Òll just come back and try harder next week. It^Òs not the first week we^Òve had things like that happen. But it is tough mentally in the car (when that happens). You have to keep cool, and keep calm. You can^Òt get excited about stuff you can^Òt control.^Ô

Could Milbourn had held off Tole? ^ÓI can^Òt give you a yes or no,^Ô he responded. ^ÓIt was very hard to pass tonight. So what do you do? You take your lumps, and don^Òt throw a fit.^Ô

Milbourn, Tole and others stopped by the tech shack afterwards, where the Parshalls were claiming Daniel^Òs engine. Both Parshall and Daniel pointed to each other as the one who started the claiming.

^ÓHe started it,^Ô Parshall said of Daniel^Òs dad, Dan. ^ÓI don^Òt see how he feels I threw the first stone. Brandon^Òs dad was going to claim my motor through another car. Everybody loses in a claim. Someone^Òs going to lose worse than the other.^Ô

Daniel noted his engine was patched together with various parts, including some from Lawhead, and said he was surprised there was a claim. ^ÓI knew nothing about it,^Ô he said. ^ÓIt kind of blindsided all of us. Jack^Òs dad started the claiming business. He gave us no choice.

^ÓOur car gets through the corners way better,^Ô Daniel added. ^ÓWe went over to Yakima last week and kicked their tail. It ticks them off because their car doesn^Òt handle like ours. I^Òm really mad. We all agreed we^Òre tired of working on cars and pulling motors. There had been an agreement not to do it. Then Jack^Òs dad had to step in and be a jerk. They had to buy a championship.^Ô

Both Parshall and Daniel emphasized they want to settle the race on the track, and both acknowledged the claim war does take some allure off the championship. Additionally, both would like to see the claim rule abolished, and noted talk of going to a lower compression motor next year.

In the Cruisers division, once the usual contact subsided, the duo of Caudill and Glick won, and took the $100 prize put up by Larry Daniel and Aberdeen Transmission. One scary incident happened when Luke Brogan and Doug Marco rolled their car in turn 2. Both drivers were okay.

The season championship night is next Saturday, September 7. Cars will line up by points. Gates open at 5 p.m., with racing at 7.

-gh-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers John Young