Solwold looks to build on success in home state Fresh off a dominant victory Saturday night in Montana, Jason Solwold looks for more success at home. Solwold and the rest of the National Sprint Tour drivers race at Grays Harbor Raceway in...
Solwold looks to build on success in home state
Fresh off a dominant victory Saturday night in Montana, Jason Solwold looks for more success at home.
Solwold and the rest of the National Sprint Tour drivers race at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26. The weekend starts with a Northern Sprint Tour show on Aug. 24.
"I'm ready to go home," said the Burlington, Wash. native. "I'm ready to race on the West Coast. I count my time going home by hours, not days."
Solwold, who drives the Lon Carnahan-owned City Wide Insulation/Owens Corning Fiberglas Insulation R19 Maxim, will get a few chances in the upcoming weeks to race on the West Coast. The National Sprint Tour goes from Elma to Cottage Grove, Ore. for an Aug. 29 race and then to Hanford, Calif. on Sept. 5.
On Tuesday, Solwold will take some of his racing buddies to the water in Mount Vernon, Wash. for a fishing day.
"We're doing our second annual fishing day," Solwold said with a smile. "It gives everyone a chance to check out God's country."
After some relaxing time at home with family and friends, Solwold will be fishing for victory at Elma against the likes of Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Tim Kaeding, Jason Meyers, Jason Sides, Paul McMahan, Brian Paulus, Shane Stewart, Dean Jacobs and more.
"It is definitely a fun race track. It turned out to be a really nice facility," Solwold said of the track which was extensively remodeled in 2003 and 2004 by the late Fred Brownfield, who started the NST last December. "When I first raced there it had old ratty guardrail. When Fred changed the configuration, he put a whole new face on it.
"I always told Fred I liked the old track because it was flatter and it had spots you could pick off people," Solwold added. "I still like the old track, but the facility is way nicer now. It's one of the premier facilities in the country now. It's always a good, racy show."
Back when Solwold raced just in the Northwest, he had plenty of time for fishing -- when he wasn't dominating tracks like Elma, that is.
Solwold won Brownfield's Northern Sprint Tour title in 1998, and won multiple track titles at Skagit Speedway. In 2003 alone, he won 23 features at Skagit.
Despite the success he had in the Northwest, Solwold was glad to start touring nationally last year.
"Racing is a lot different at home than out here," Solwold said. "They race for a living here. It wasn't as competitive at home. It teaches you bad habits. You don't experiment as much, and you get used to one track. I ran for points at Skagit most every year.
"You learn to race at one place, so when you get to a new place you're out to lunch," Solwold added. "It took me a little to get used to it out here, going to a different track each night. I'm better at it now, but last year was more difficult."
Running a touring series like the Northern Sprint Tour in 1998 was a sample of that for a younger Solwold.
"That was really neat," he said of winning the 1998 title while running various tracks including Elma. "It was big for me at the time. It was a different track every weekend. It helped me out with adjusting to new tracks. It gives you somewhat of a feel for what it's like, just a small taste."
Solwold, who celebrated his 31st birthday Aug. 14 by setting a series-leading seventh fast time of the year in McCool Junction, Neb., didn't jump to a bigger touring series after that title.
"I don't know if I was ready to run with these guys full-time back then," Solwold said. "Now I'm more mature. I do not go out and crash race cars. There's just a mental attitude for racing. That's the biggest thing. Racing is 99 percent mental for drivers."
Solwold has faced that this year. After a string of strong finishes, he had three straight races where he ran in the top-five until something happened. At other times, he has been mired in the middle of the pack.
"Sometimes you'll run good for a couple of weeks, then you'll be bad for a couple of weeks," he said. "You've got to work through those times when you struggle. That's the big thing. You can't let yourself get down. When you run 12th or don't finish, you take that and go to the next race."
For Solwold, the next two races are in his home state.
"I would love to win Elma with all my friends and family there," he said.