Northern Sprint Tour Riverside Speedway report 2001-05-26

<pre> hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Riverside Speedway Cottage Grove, OR May 26, 2001 Riverside Speedway Win To Home Town Driver </pre> Not many fans were using the back half of their seats, and some weren't using any of their...

<pre> hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Riverside Speedway Cottage Grove, OR May 26, 2001 Riverside Speedway Win To Home Town Driver

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Not many fans were using the back half of their seats, and some weren't using any of their seat, at the end of Riverside Speedway's hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour feature event in Cottage Grove, OR on Saturday May 26th. Dale Smith worked his way from an 11th place start to take the win at his home town track in front of a large cheering crowd.

Smith was up to sixth by the 4th lap, battled Friday night winner Barry Martinez and Jay R. Harkness for several laps to keep the position and then moved to 5th on a lap 11 re-start. He had 4th by the 18th circuit, got past Roger Crockett in traffic on lap 23 and then took over 2nd on lap 25 when Scott Aumen caught leader Jayme Barnes' rear tire and looped in turn three. Two laps later Smith made an out-side pass on the back straight to take the point from Barnes and go on to the popular win.

In a race that had enough close action to fill most fans' need to overflowing, Jason Solwold led the first 11 laps before spinning out in the first turn giving Crockett the front spot. Crockett soon had more competition than he wanted from Barnes as the two battled for the next ten laps. Heavy traffic had cars running three wide on the straights and both Barnes and Aumen powered down the front chute past Crockett on the 21st trip past the flagstand.

With slower cars holding up the leaders the next four laps had the top four nose to tail or side by side. Going through turn 3, Aumen's right front tire made contact with leader Barnes, putting Aumen into a spin with the loss of several positions and put Smith in position for his pass to the lead.

While all of the action was going on at the front of the pack, an equally tight race for 7th place raged from the start to the last 10 laps between Shawna Wilskey, Gary Taylor and Rick Smith with positions changing nearly every lap.

Martinez started to lose ground mid-race as the trio got past with Wilskey moving into 5th behind Harkness in the final five laps. Taylor went wide in turn three with only a couple of laps to go and dropped back to 10th as R. Smith retained 6th. Aumen worked his way back past 3 cars to finish in 7th place.

D. Smith exited his car to the bear hugs and back slaps of a very happy crew, congratulations from his fellow racers and the screams of his fans. Fans that had seen a race that will keep them talking for a long time.

Like Friday night, Saturday's B-main had several fast cars that had failed to transfer from their heats to the feature event, Jeremy Cooper grabbed the lead from Martinez on the green and never relinquished the point as he opened a 20 car lead to the win in the closing laps.

With Cooper out front and Martinez playing catch-up, Richie Peterson, Bryon Harvey and Jay Cole diced for position and a chance to run in third place. They all held the position with Cole in the spot at the finish. Peterson, who had battled fuel pump problems all evening, faded back to 8th at the end. Hard chargers Ron Cooper and Ron Wilson, who started 13th and 14th, moved up to 4th and 5th as they passed Harvey.

Jeff Thompson settled in between Harvey and Peterson while Gary Stevenson dropped to 9th after getting as high as 4th.

After losing 2nd to Cole a lap 11 re-start, Martinez regained the spot by winning a drag race to the checkered flag out of turn four on the final lap.

As Kevin Journey was going to the win in the first heat, R. Smith spent most of the race unsuccessfully trying to put an out-side pass on Wilskey for second. Crockett took third when Smith went high out of the last turn on lap 8 with J. Cooper filling out the top five.

Second heat action had Brandon Harkness going green to checkered out front. Solwold followed with Taylor besting Morgan and Thompson for third in the closest race or position.

Barnes came from 6th to take the win in the third 10 lap heat of the night. After chasing leader Tony Thomas since the 4th lap, Barnes took the lead exiting turn 4 going for the white flag. J. Harkness made a last lap pass on Vern Scever to get the final transfer spot.

D. Smith yanked the point position away from Mike Crawford on the second lap of the final heat, to go to the win with a comfortable lead. Aumen took second after a close race for the position with Crawford and Rick Fauver.

Crockett had the lead at the green for the dash, but slid wide into the first turn and ended up in 5th as Solwold, Barnes and Aumen freight trained by him. R. Smith brought up the tail in 6th.

SUMMARY

Fast Time - Roger Crockett - 11.882

Heat 1 - Kevin Journey, Shawna Wilskey, Roger Crockett, Rick Smith, Jeremy Cooper, Bryon Harvey, Gary Stevenson, Roger Oudman, Robin Wood, Shane Forte.

Heat 2 - Brandon Harkness, Jason Solwold, Gary Taylor, Gary Morgan, Jeff Thompson, Ron Wilson, Gus Cooper, Jeff Osburn, Richie Peterson..

Heat 3 - Jayme Barnes, Tony Thomas, Scott Adams, Jay R. Harkness, Vern Scevers, Jay Cole, Ron Cooper, Kevin Smith, Tony Menard.

Heat 4 - Dale Smith, Scott Aumen, Mike Crawford, Rick Fauver, Melissa Yates, Barry Martinez, Danny Horner, Kevin Griffitts, Eric Trask.

Dash - J. Harkness, Solwold, Barnes, Aumen, Crockett, R. Smith.

B-Main - J. Cooper, Martinez, Cole, R. Cooper, Wilson, Harvey, Thompson, Peterson, Stevenson, G. Cooper, Scever, Forte, Horner, Trask, Yates, K. Smith, Osburn, Oudman, Griffitts, Wood.

A-Main - D. Smith, Barnes, Crockett, J. Harkness, Wilskey, R. Smith, Aumen, J. Cooper, Adams, Taylor, Martinez, Fauver, Morgan, Wilson, Solwold, Thomas, Cole, R. Cooper, Journey, Crawford.

- George Hespe

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey , Gary Taylor , Roger Crockett