NWS: Evergreen II: The 0.375 mile oval preview

NASCAR Elite Division goes back in time at Evergreen Speedway Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series to race Evergreen's .375 Mile Track - first time since 1989 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 3, 2003) -- NASCAR racing returns to Evergreen Speedway's .375...

NASCAR Elite Division goes back in time at Evergreen Speedway
Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series to race Evergreen's .375 Mile Track - first time since 1989

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 3, 2003) -- NASCAR racing returns to Evergreen Speedway's .375 mile medium banked oval for the first time since 1989 with the running of the NUPRECON 125 presented by NAPA, May 10th at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. Many NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series drivers will enter new territory and compete for over $40,000 in posted awards.

Last time the NW Series raced Evergreen's .375 mile track was July 15, 1989, when Ron Eaton led all 100 laps of the race beating Tobey Butler, and Pete Harding.

Harding, of Surrey B.C. drives the L & P Body Shop / Harding Forklift, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and currently sits fourth in the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series championship point race. A competitor in the 1989 event, Harding took the pole position setting a NW Series track record on the .375 mile track with a fast time of 16.879 seconds. That record still stands today.

The NUPRECON 125 presented by NAPA is the third of fourteen races on the NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brake Northwest series Schedule. This event will present new challenges for each team racing the series.

2002 series champion Kevin Hamlin, of Snohomish, Wash., driver of the D.T.G. Chevrolet Monte Carlo, comes to Evergreen's medium banked speed plant 11th in series points after taking a mechanical DNF at Tri-City Raceway April 26. Hamlin began his late model career at Evergreen Speedway, but finds no great advantage with his background on this track.

"It's been too long since I've been on that track. The track is so different, the tires are so different, and I drive so differently now. It's just like going to any new place. I mean I've had some laps there, but it's bee n a while. We're just going to have to start from scratch like everyone else," said Hamlin.

He continues, "We're going to test there on Thursday I think, and see how it runs. It will be fun to go back to the old school place where I got my late model roots. Always love going to Monroe, it's close to home, it's a fun track, the fans are great."

Fourteen years has passed since the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series has raced Evergreen's .375 mile track. Teams have lined up for track time; many will race the Evergreen Superstock event May 3rd for additional seat time.

Jason Jefferson, of Yakima, Wash., took his second career Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series win at Tri-City Raceway on April 26th. With this historic win, racing the 2003 Dodge Intrepid, Jason Jefferson became the first driver in NASCAR Elite Division history to win for the Dodge nameplate.

He arrives at Evergreen the series point leader, and first in the Victory Circle Chassis rookie-of-the-year point standings.

Winner of the 2002 Goodyear Cup Challenge, on Evergreen's .625-mile track, Jefferson has never raced on Evergreen's .375-mile oval.

"We're going to head over next weekend for a late model race. We're going to try and get familiar, see if we can figure it out a little bit. It'll be interesting; I don't think we've (NW Series) raced over there for 10 or 15 years. It'll be something new for all of us," said Jefferson.

With two races in the books Joe Benedetti, of Auburn, Wash., driver of the #2 RaceCals Pontiac Grand Prix, has one top five and one top ten finish and sits respectively in the No. 2 position in the series championship point race. Benedetti likes a seasoned race track while holding local racers in high regard.

"I've been looking for a worn out ole' race track ever since they paved South Sound Speedway. That was my bread and butter down there. I haven't been back there (Evergreen Speedway); that's probably the most unique race track we'll go to. Getting in to turn one is almost off camber, then it ramps up a little bit, but it's so worn out. I think it's kind of wide open to what grove you want to take. It's more than a one or two grove race track. There's going to be some guy's like Rob Touchette, he's going to be bad fast there. The guys that run the local show know the track. It takes such a weird set up to be fast there. I'm looking forward to it on one hand, but not looking forward to having a local guy like Tom Moriarity hand it to me," said Benedetti.


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Drivers Jason Jefferson , Kevin Hamlin