Portland Speedway 2000 recap

<pre> NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Cars Position Driver Final Points 1. Jody Tanner 742 2. Brandon Riehl 736 3. Tony Schmidt 707 4. Eric Sayre ...

<pre> NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Cars

Position Driver                 Final Points
1.  Jody Tanner                 742
2.  Brandon Riehl               736
3.  Tony Schmidt                707
4.  Eric Sayre                  676
5.  Dan Obrist                  625
6.  J.R. Perrott                609
7.  Eric Dahlquist              585
8.  Chris Gaboury               554
9.  Christopher Kalsch          553
10. C.J. Miller                 540

Doug Mitchell-Rookie of the Year Eric Sayre-Sportsman of the Year Christopher Kalsch-Most Improved Driver

Exide Shortrack Limited Sportsman

Position Driver                 Final Points
1.  Kenny Gummus                781
2.  Brad Stanwood               721
3.  Dale Holland                702
4.  Robert Eubanks              687
5.  Scott Winebarger            656
6.  Brad Tanner                 651
7.  Ron Prevost                 632
8.  Mike Graham                 536
9.  Darrel Hanson               500
10. Mike Evans                  397

Brad Stanwood-Rookie of the Year Brad Stanwood-Sportsman of the Year Brad Tanner-Most Improved Driver

Accel Street Stock

Position Driver                 Final Points
1.  Scott Puncochar             424
2.  Brad Tanner                 395
3.  Ray Elwess                  388
4.  Don Jenner                  357
5.  Curt Nusom                  320
6.  Sonny Sayre                 320
7.  Anthony Catalano            307
8.  Willy Thom                  283
9.  Andy Church                 275
10. Dave Cannon                 274

Curt Nusom-Rookie of the Year Brad Tanner-Sportsman of the Year Don Jenner-Most Improved Driver

Bumpin' Bombers

Position Driver                 Final Points
1.  Jeff Brookshire             254
2.  Danny O'Neil Jr.            218
3.  Ric Fors                    210
4.  Danny O'Neil Sr.            207
5.  Christopher Michael         202
6.  Dennis Krohling             201
7.  Jeremy Brookshire           187
8.  Jessie O'Hara               170
9.  Jeff Hoyt                   170
10. Robert Jenner               154

Danny O'Neil Sr.-Rookie of the Year Danny O'Neil Jr.-Sportsman of the Year Dennis Krohling-Most Improved Driver

Figure 8

Position Driver                 Fianl Points
1.  Dan Cherington              417
2.  Joe Cherington              408
3.  Brent Beall                 400
4.  Chuck Jordan                325
5.  Tim Patrick                 319
6.  Kelly Nace                  293
7.  Ray Perry                   287
8.  A.J. Clarke                 279
9.  Ron Henderson               263
10. Shawn O'Neil                234

Brent Beall-Rookie of the Year Joe Cherington-Sportsman of the Year Kelly Nace-Most Improved Driver

</pre> The Dave Nass Memorial Award for Outstanding service as an Official, went to Terry Farness for the 5th year in a row.

The Overall Sportsman of the Year Award went to our track chaplain and Exide Shortrack Limited Sportsman competitor, Mr. George Nordling.

What a year it was for Portland (OR) Speedway, the 75 year old North Portland facility that has stood the test of time and celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with one of the most exciting racing season in recent history. Speedway officials announced last fall that the racetrack would convert to a clay racing surface midway through the 2000 season after a 54 year run on the asphalt, but first, there were races to be run and champions to be crowned.

The tale of two season began in April with ever popular Fast Friday weekly racing program featuring the Bump-to-Pass Bombers, Figure 8 cars, Accel Street Stocks, Exide Shortrack Limited Sportsman, and the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Models taking to the historic track for one last season of asphalt racing.

Brandon Riehl and Tony Schmidt quickly established themselves as the early favorites for the NWRS Late Model title, the two never were seperated more than a couple of positions throughout the 18 race campaign. After a devestating start to the season in which he was involved in "racing deals" in 4 out of the first 5 races, Jody Tanner rose like the Phoenix out of the ashes to claim his first track championship after more than 20 years behind the wheel. Tanner's championship was a fiting tribute to his generosity, sportsmanship, friendship, and family for his many years of competition. Like a fine wine, Tanner peaked at just the right time to prevail over Riehl by a mere 6 points and claim the final asphalt Late Model crown. Schmidt finished the season in third place, with Eric Sayre climbing to fourth, and veteran Dan Obrist making a late season charge to round out the top five. By virtue of his twelfth place points finish, Doug Mitchell driving the #1 Timberwolf sponsored Monte Carlo edged out Tracy Powell for Rookie of the Year honors.

The chase for the Exide Shortrack Limited Sportsman title looked to be a one man race as Kenny Gummus proved that "lucky" and "good" make a killer combination. Over the 16 race campaign, Gummus found himself escaping disaster week after week finishing at the front of the competitive Limited Sportsman field every race. Gummus dominated the action finishing with 4 feature wins, 11 top five's, 14 top ten's, and one fast time. His fellow competitors could only shake their collective heads and say "way to go" as Gummus ran away with the championship and a seventh place finish in the Great West Region. Charging to a second place points finish was Rookie of the Year Brad Stanwood, followed by Dale Holland in third, with Dr. Robert Eubanks in fourth, and Scott Winebarger rounding out the top five.

Consistency is the key to success at any level of racing and Scott Puncochar proved the old adage, "In order to finish first you must first finish." Although Puncochar did not win a feature race all season, his poise and ability behind the wheel garnered him a championship. Ray Elwess lead the point standings nearly all season only to have bad luck strike during the last two weeks of racing, allowing "Mr. Consistency" to drive to the front of the Street Stock field. Puncochar finished the season with 5 fast times, 7 top five's, and 7 top ten's. He was chased to the end by Brad Tanner (Jody Tanner's son), who also competed all season in the Limited Sportsman division. Finishing a disappointing third in the point standings was Ray Elwess, followed by "Most Improved" driver, Don Jenner in fourth, and Rookie of the Year winner Curt Nusom in fifth.

Jeff Brookshire dazzled the fans week after week in the best of show Bump-to-pass Bomber division. Brookshire's on track exploits landed him a crowd pleasing Bomber championship. While giving his champions speech at the banquet, you would have thought the he won the Winston Cup by his enthusiasm and gratitude to all that helped with the winning effort. Danny O'Neil Jr. finished second, with Ric Fors in third, followed by Danny O'Neil Sr. in fourth, and Christopher Michael rounding out the top five. The father and son duo of the O'Neil's was further enhanced when Danny Sr. was named Bomber Rookie of the Year.

Every racing division has a "Hotshoe" and Dan Cherington showed why he is always on fire, as he owned the busiest intersection in Portland during 2000. The always-exciting Figure 8 division produced the most entertaining racing of the year, as two events where added to the schedule, much to the delight of the Fast Friday crowd. Cherington finished the season with 2 feature wins, 5 top five's, and 6 top ten performances, with 1 fast time. The championship was Cherington's second in a row and third in a row for his family. Joe Cherington (Brother) finished second in the final standings, with Rookie of the Year Brent Beall charging to third. Chuck Jordan drove to a fourth place finish in the points, with Tim Patrick rounding out the top five. The Figure 8 cars will be back next year competing on a half clay and half asphalt configuration. That is a sure recipe for excitement!

Special events showcased the 75th anniversary racing season at the historic Portland Speedway, starting with John Zeretski's dominating win in the "Final" Reybestos NW Series event to be held on the aging asphalt. The Victory was Zeretski's first win on the tour. During the month of June young Lonnie Adamson took charge and dominated The SRL Supermodified portion of the "Open Wheel Spectacular", and later that month rising star and Late Model championship contender Brandon Riehl won the annual BUD 100 for Late Models claiming the biggest win in his young career. In July, the NASCAR Winston West series rolled into town for their annual 4th of July clash. The NWWS event was special in that it was the final pavement race to be held on the historic half-mile paved oval, featuring driving legend Hershel McGriff. Jeff Jefferson of Yakima triumphed for his first series victory.

The construction crew showed up at 6 AM on Wednesday July 5 and by that afternoon had all the pavement removed from the "Monster" half-mile. The work crews worked virtually non-stop in preparation for the August 4 Grand Re-Opening featuring the Hy-Per-Lube Northern Sprint Car Series, where Dave Menne of California mastered the clay for his first ever NST victory. The month of August showcased the biggest racing event in the 75 year history of Portland Speedway, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws inaugural two-day festival of speed. More than 18,000 race fans witnessed "the greatest show on dirt", and watched Slammin' Sammy Swindell negotiate the new clay surface and sweep both features events for the two-day show. The month of September featured the Wrenchhead.com Flat Track Championship Motorcycle Series where more than 5000 fans packed the stands the day of the event. Later in September, Portland Speedway hosted a giant Stock Car Open, featuring Outlaw Dirt Late Models. More than 60 Late Models timed in to vie for a starting position in the 24-car field/50-lap feature event. In one of the most exciting events of the entire 2000 season, veteran Late Model ace Mark Grill edged out local track favorite Eric Sayre by inches after a last lap, last corner pass to take the checkers and close the racing season at Portland Speedway.

The racing action will resume in April of 2001 with a all new Friday night racing format that will feature the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand-American Modifieds, Exide Shortrack Limited Sportsman, Accel Street Stocks, Figure 8, and Bump-to-Pass Bombers competing on the brand new quarter-mile dirt track. Several special events on the half-mile clay oval will highlight the 2001 calendar, including the Pennzoil World of Outlaws, hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour, and the Outlaw Late Models just to name a few. Log on to www.portlandspeedway.com for all the latest news and information, as well as schedules, tickets, and merchandise.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Mike Evans , Sammy Swindell , Jeff Jefferson , Tony Schmidt , Andy Chu , Hershel McGriff