NST opener at Yakima

Yakima, WA May 11, 2001 - hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Opener Goes To Solwold State Fair Raceway in Yakima, WA, the site of the 2001 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour season opener, produced a 25 lap battle for the first feature win of the ...

Yakima, WA May 11, 2001 - hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Opener Goes To Solwold State Fair Raceway in Yakima, WA, the site of the 2001 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour season opener, produced a 25 lap battle for the first feature win of the season that ended with Jason Solwold of Burlington, WA edging out Rio Linda, CA's Roger Crockett by a little over half a car length at the line.

Crockett was a menace on Solwold's rear nerf bar for almost the entire race, challenging several times in the corners, then losing ground on the straights but seldom falling more that 5 car lengths behind. With only two yellow flags, laps 3 and 11, to slow the 25 lapper it was a fast paced race with traffic becoming a concern to the leaders the last five laps to the checkered.

Third place finisher Jayme Barnes of Everett, WA, held off defending NST champion Shawna Wilskey but could never close to less than a 5 car length gap on the leaders. Wilskey, from Lake Stevens, WA was challenged several times by Lynnwood, WA driver Barry Martinez but managed to hold 4th position to the finish line. Everett, WA driver Rick Fauver filled out the first six.

Richie Peterson of Great Falls, MT had the passing honors, picking up ten spots to finish eighth. Randy Ridge of Snohomish, WA and Duncan, BC's Scott Aumen both moved up 9 positions.

The Harness brothers, Jay R. and Brandon of the Bellingham, WA area, fought a wheel to wheel battle for the B-main win with Aumen third with Dan Menne of Ft. Jones, CA getting the final A-main transfer spot. Menne's move to the A-main came after a long duel with Mt.Vernon, WA's Rick Smith.

The race ended with a scary moment when last year's hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour rookie Shawn Rice stopped in turn 3 on the final lap and jumped from his car with his right foot on fire from leaking fluid. The Tacoma, WA youngster was slightly burned and walked away after the incident but indicated he would set out Saturday's Portland race.

The night's only red flag flew when Randy Vaughn caught the turn one wall and flipped on lap 11 of the B-main.

Kevin Journey looked good as the Springfield, OR driver went wire to wire for the win in the first heat. After a nasty crash at State Fair Raceway on April 20th that destroyed his car, Glenn Borden, Jr. was back running his dad's sprint to a second place finish over Crockett.

The second heat was a runaway for Peterson who had a quarter lap lead over the competition at the finish line. Jay Cole of Shelton WA came home second with Alan Munn of Granite Falls, WA and Ridge getting the final two transfers to the feature event. Aumen led the opining laps of the third heat, but motor woes sent him to the pits and it was all Martinez from there on out. Sedro Woolley, WA's Chad Hillier, Barnes and Solwold followed to the finish line.

The final heat of the night went to Mike Melwicks. As the Abbottsford, BC driver was leading the way, John Tharp of Snohomish, WA and Fauver put on a good race for second with Tharp ahead at the line. Levin of Marysville, WA picked up the final move up slot in fourth.

Solwold took the dash win over Barnes with Wilskey keeping Crockett at bay to get third. Fauver and Ridge followed to the checkers.

SUMMARY Fast Time - Roger Crockett- 15.132 Heat 1 - Kevin Journey, Glenn Borden, Jr., Roger Crockett, Randy Ridge, Jay R. Harkness, Brandon Harkness, Melissa Yates, Tony Menard, Jeff Pollard.

Heat 2 - Richie Peterson, Jay Cole, Alan Munn, Shawna Wilskey, Jeff Thompson, Jeremy Cooper, Gary Taylor, Phil Dietz, Shawn Rice.

Heat 3 - . Barry Martinez, Chad Hillier, Jayme Barnes, Jason Solwold, Dan Menne, Randy Vaughn, Jim Cress, Nick Enberg, Scott Aumen.

Heat 4 - Mike Melwicks, John Tharp, Rick Fauver, Tim Levin, Marvin Smith, Jeff Osborne, Mike Gable, Rick Smith, Clint Houston.

Dash - Solwold, Barnes, Wilskey, Crockett, Fauver, Ridge.

B-Main - B. Harkness, J. Harkness, Aumen, Menne, R. Smith, Thompson, Cooper, Taylor, Menard, M. Smith, Dietz, Gable, Osborne, Yates, Cress, Enberg, Rice, Houston, Vaughn, Pollard.

A-Main - Solwold, Crockett, Barnes, Wilskey, Martinez, Fauver, Menne, Peterson, Hillier, Aumen, Melwicks, Borden, Jr., Journey, Levin, J. Harkness, Cole, Tharp, Munn, Ridge.

-George Hespe

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