Northern Sprint Tour opens 2003 season

With new series sponsor U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. on board, Northern Sprint Tour kicks off it's eighth year of bringing the best in action packed, wheel banging, wing-to-wing Sprint Car racing to the fans of the great Pacific Northwest. Starting...

With new series sponsor U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. on board, Northern Sprint Tour kicks off it's eighth year of bringing the best in action packed, wheel banging, wing-to-wing Sprint Car racing to the fans of the great Pacific Northwest. Starting off the 14-race season will be an exciting three-race weekend in Oregon on May 23rd, 24th and 25th.

The action starts on Friday the 23rd at when the season's first green flag flies at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR. Last year three-time NST champion Shawna Wilskey, of Mount Vernon, WA, took the first race of the season on Willamette's tight three-tenths mile clay oval, and will surely be looking for a repeat showing. Be it Wilskey or some other driver, following the action the seasons first feature event winner and the rest of the drivers and crews will move south to Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, OR.

The fast third mile track at SOS has always provided the fans with exciting action and Saturday night should be no different. Rick Fauver of Everett, WA took the first 2002 race at the Medford track in an exciting race that had him with out brakes at the finish. Behind Fauver a three-way dice for second had more wheel banging contact that most races have all night. They may not get as much banging this year, but the action is sure to be fast and close.

The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Northern Sprint Tour will finish it's Memorial Day Weekend opener with a rare Sunday visit to The Grove in Cottage Grove, OR. The first race at The Grove in 2002 did not come until Speed Week in July with California's Brent Kaeding taking the win. The last winner Cottage Grove's quarter-mile bullring was Fauver, who made a last lap, last corner pass to take the September 14th race over Billy Nutter of Central Point, OR. Action is always close on the small track, and The Grove is a favorite of both racers and fans.

Most of the drivers have already been behind the wheel at various tracks in California, Oregon and the northwest with some doing very well in this new season. Two time and defending Northern Sprint Tour champion Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR has had good success in California, Cottage Grove OR's Dale Smith already has a feature win to his credit and 1998 NST Champion, Burlington, WA's Jason Solwold, who had three NST wins last season, has been un-beatable his first three outings of the season.

Three-time NST champion Wilskey, of Mount Vernon, WA, finished 2002 in second place returns again, looking at the possibility of being the first four time Champion. Fauver, 1997 NST Champion, will again be with the Bob Reynolds team looking for another successful year after finishing the 2002 season in third place.

Edmonton, Alberta's Jeff Hodgson, who placed fourth in the 2002 standings, has been chasing races around the country since early in the year and has his sights set on a top three in 2003.

Other top Washington drivers ready to take to the clay over the weekend are Shelton's Jay Cole, Everett driver Jayme Barnes, Barry Martinez of Lynnwood, Lake Steven's Travis Hawthorne, Chad Hillier of Sedro Woolley, John Tharp from Snohomish and Glenn Borden of Raymond.

The Nanaimo, BC based V-Mac team of Scott Aumen and Tony Menard will make the ferry ride from Vancouver Island to run the season with fellow Victoria driver Chris Schmelzle expected to make several shows also. Dawn-L Morrison is again making the long tow from the Edmonton, AB area to chase the points in 2003.

Along with defending champ Crockett, Oregon will again be providing their best to thrill the crowds as Cottage Grove's Smith brothers Dale and Marvin, Bill Nutter, Cale Carder and Ron Smith of Central Point, Harrisburg's Jeff Thompson and Melissa Yates and Scott Adams of Roseburg are among those expected to be putting the pedal to the metal in 2003.

Dan Menne of Ft. Jones, CA has a win to his credit already this year and is always strong in NST action. Jason Finley, also of Ft. Jones is also out again this year and veteran California driver T.J. Winningham has returned to the sprint wars.

The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Northern Sprint Tour will return to all three Oregon tracks again later in the year along with appearances at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA and Central Washington State Fair Raceway in Yakima, WA.

For information on individual tracks, contact: Willamette Speedway -- 541-258-8503; Southern Oregon Speedway -- 541-772-6264 or 541-826-6825 (track); The Grove -- 541-688-5848 or 541-942-7561 (track).

For more information on the "U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Northern Sprint Tour " please contact; Brownfield Promotions, Inc., PO Box 556, Snohomish, WA 98291. Phone 360-568-CLAY (2529) fax 360-568-0577. Web site - www.brownfieldent.com

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Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey