By Becky Abbey-Heckt Sunny, clear and then cold was how we greeted the second week of racing at the 3/10's mile clay oval last night. The first heat of the night for the 360's went flag to flag with the best mover being the 1B of Bobby Burrow...
By Becky Abbey-Heckt
Sunny, clear and then cold was how we greeted the second week of racing at the 3/10's mile clay oval last night. The first heat of the night for the 360's went flag to flag with the best mover being the 1B of Bobby Burrow going from his 6th place start up to 3rd in the first two laps. The #12 of Randy Ridge started second and took the lead early from pole sitter #27 Jack Wolfe. Randy went on to win the race, #48 Steve Tupper finished 2nd afer starting 4th, #1B Borrow, 3rd, Tyson Cross #09 was 4th, #27 Wolfe, 5th, #29 Jamie Barnes, 6th and #4 John Vonbrecht was 7th.
In the 2nd heat was not so clean. On the start the two front row cars #99 Shawn Becker and #11 Mark Ellis got together and took out the #5 Jeff Fletcher who started 5th. Jeff went flipping down the front straight and collected the #72 of Glen Borden Sr. while flipping. Fletcher was ok but his car and his night were over. The #99 car went to the pits on the red flag but was able to restart but the #72 was not able to. #11 Ellis jumped out in front with the #39 Rick Fauver in 2nd on the restart and for the next 3 laps we had a real good race between those two. Then just starting lap 4 in turm 1 Fauvers car broke a real axel and his right real trie went flying over the turn 2 fence. And while this was going on the #10 car of Billy Lemley spun in turn 3 when the yellow came out. The #39 didn't restart. When the Green went again the #11 of Ellis and #99 of Becker(who restarted dead last after going to the pits on the red flag) raced for the 5 remaining laps. Just when you thought he might take the lead from Ellis, the lapped car of Lemley got in his way and he had to settle for 2nd. The #6 of Brian Loy was 3rd and the #10 got forth.
Heat 3 featured #21 Jay Smith going from 6th at the start to 1st by the second lap getting by #24 Wes Gibbs who started 7th!! and the #97 Jeff Hartjoy running 3rd. After that Jay ran away from the rest of the field, with Gibbs in 2nd, Hartjoy 3rd, #15 Jason Sowold 4th, #3 Dan Pierson 5th, and #23 Richy Peterson all the way from Montana finishing 6th.
In the 4th and final heat for the 360's The #0J of Jay Cole sat on the the pole and never looked back. We did have one mishap on lap 2 when the #3D of Eddy Evans flipped in turn 1 and got t-boned from the under-side by the #28 of Rick Smith, in his first year of sprint car racing. The former Late Model driver had nowhere to go and those two cars were out of the race. The rest of the finish: #42 Alan Munn 2nd, #07 Jerry Paul 3rd and #55 Chuck Hanson 4th.
In the first of two heat races for the 410's last seasons rookie of the year #17 Travis Hawthorne jumped out to the early lead from his 2nd place start with #6pk Phil Sivo hot on his heels but the real battle in this race was for the third place between the 1B of Bobby Burrow and #04 of Butch Gilbert. For the first half of this race you could have put a blanket over those two. It was great racing. Finally on lap 5 Burrow got by Gilbert for the 3rd spot. Hawthorne went on to win, with Sivo 2nd, Burrow 3rd, Gilbert 4th, #73 Marc Huson 5th, #5 Shawna Whilskey 6th and #9 Todd Von Stroberg was 7th.
In the second heat #88 Randy Ridge started 4th and went to 2nd on lap 4 passing the #45 Shannon Wheatley and #23 Clint Houston. #77 Kirk Fellers started on the pole for this race and was only slightly challenged by Randy, Fellers went on to win, followed by Ridge, Wheatley, #42 Alan Munn, #25 Houston, #56 John Youngquist and #75 Raymond Speed. Just a personal note here, #45 Shannon Wheatley gets my vote for most improved driver so far in the 1996 season. I'ev never seen him race better!
Next up was the 360 semi main with the top 3 cars moving to the back of the main. this was a clean race, with #39 Rick Fauver and our Montana boy #23 Richey Peterson getting the outher move-up spot.
The 360 dash finish: #12 Randy Ridge, #21 Jay Smith, #0J Jay Cole with the #11 Mark Ellis taking his ride to the pits on lap 2 and finishing 4th.
The 410 dash finsh: Travis Hawthorne #17, Randy Ridge #88, #6 Phil Sivo and #77 Kirk Fellers.
Now for the 360 main we had 3 yellows and a red flag in this 25 lapper. Jay Smith went from 6th to 3rd in the first 5 laps then he got 2nd on 9 and was challenging for the lead on lap 12 when the first yellow came out for the #39 Rick Fauver. Randy Ridge took his car to the pits on the yellow, after starting 2nd with some unknown problem, he was off the pace from the very begininng of the race. The race leader through the first 12 laps was the #99 Shawn Becker, who started on the pole. On the restart Becker was being challenged by Smith when Smith lost a torque tube which ended his bid for the top spot and brought the 2nd yellow. On lap 13 #24 Wes Gibbs moves his machine to 2nd when the #0J Jay cole gets sideways in turn 1 and collects #23 Peterson for the 3rd yellow. During the yellow the 1B Burrows takes his car to the pits with a broken brake line. He was running in the top 6 after starting 10th and was on the move. On lap 14 we got our red flag when Tyson Cross #09 had a big flip in turn 1. Tyson was ok after one of the worse flips I'ev seen in a long time, but I can't say the same for his car. When the race was restarted Becker was leading with Gibbs in 2nd. On lap 21 Gibbs takes lead away from Becker in lapped trafic and goes on to win. Becker holds on to second, the 11 of Mark Ellis was 3rd, #48 Steve Tupper was 4th, Rick Fauver was 5th. Those five cars will go to the back of the 410 main.
the 410 main didn't get off to a very good start...twice. On the first start four cars #74 Speed, #24 Gibbs, #11 Ellis and #88 Ridge all got together in turn 2. I guess they were all trying to win the race on the first lap instead of waiting until the last one! anyway Ridge was the only one not to restart. On the second start, #45 Wheatley went airborne litterly coming down the back straight and landed in the turn three fence, about 20 feet in the air. We had a long delay while track officials tried to figure out how to get him down, get the car out of the fence and repair the fence so we could finish the race. When we finally got going again, #17 Hawthorne went over on his side in turn 2 lap 2 for another red. In the restart the 1b Burrow had a great jump and went into the lead from his 3rd place spot. Burrow lead the way until our next yellow came out on lap 12 for a spinning #39 Fauver. On this restart #5 Whilskey makes her move and goes from4th to 3rd on lap 14 from #73 Marc Huson. Then she set her cap on the 2nd place spot by getting by #6pk Sivo, but a red came out before that lap could be counted and so the pass didn't count. The red was out for the #17 Hawthorne who went on his side again and under the two flag rule was forced to the pits even though his car was still racable. With only 4 laps to go on this restart, the best race on the track was for the 2nd spot between Shawna in the #5 and Phil Sivo in the #6pk, but no one could catch Bob Burrow as he takes his second win in two races. 6pk Sivo holds on for 2nd, #5 Shawna Whilskey 3rd, Huson 3rd, Gilbert 4th, Fellers 5th, Youngquist 6th, Munn 7th, Gibbs 8th, Becker 9th and Ridge rounding out top 10.
Because we have a two year old and another baby due in July, I won't be going to Skagit every week this season, but we will get up there when we can and I'll send reports along whenever we do go up. Thanks for your letters and thoughts. Becky