Grays Harbor race notes 2002-08-03

Walker, Lawhead, Parshall victorious in Elma. Last week, Steve Walker ran out of time in Sprints at Grays Harbor Raceway Park, while Jack Parshall Jr. saw his winning streak in Hobby Stocks come to an end. This week, both men returned to...

Walker, Lawhead, Parshall victorious in Elma.

Last week, Steve Walker ran out of time in Sprints at Grays Harbor Raceway Park, while Jack Parshall Jr. saw his winning streak in Hobby Stocks come to an end.

This week, both men returned to victory lane.

Walker used lapped traffic to get by Donny Fry to win; Parshall once again held off Brandon Daniel to win a tight race; Leroy Lawhead extended his points lead in Modifieds with a win; and the duo of Bob Tillman and Joe Brenneman won in Cruisers.

Fry started the Sprint main event from pole after winning his trophy dash, and jumped to the early lead as Glen Borden Jr. settled into second.

Walker was able to get by Borden for second on lap 5, but had some ground to make up. A yellow a few laps later erased Fry's lead, but he was able to regain the lead after the restart.

On lap 20 of 25, Fry came upon the lapped car of Mike Sellers just as Sellers got to Rich Kelley's car. Fry was momentarily blocked going into turn 3 on the low side, allowing Walker to sweep past on the outside for the lead.

When a yellow came out with three laps left, Walker had two lapped cars between himself and Fry, who was slowed with a steering problem. John Tharp, Borden, and Cole were able to get by Fry in the closing laps, but there was no catching Walker.

"Lapped traffic is what got Donny," Walker said afterwards. "I figured he was probably going to stick to the bottom, since the bottom was definitely the place to be. (Going high for the lead) was just a calculated move, I guess. It was good. We're happy."

Fry, who has run much better the last two weeks, acknowledged the lapped traffic let Walker get by, but he had other problems. "The car just went away," Fry said. "It felt like something stripped in the steering. I think I could have held onto second (without lapped traffic) but I couldn't get back to Steve."

In Hobby Stocks, Daniel won the trophy dash but the pill draw put Parshall on pole for the main event, with Daniel fifth. However, Daniel did not stay there long.

After an early yellow, Daniel forced his way inside Wayne Lemmon for second. Both cars went sideways after contact, but Daniel emerged with second.

The contact allowed Parshall to break away, but on lap 4 the red came out when Richie Mendoza landed outside the track in turn 2. Mendoza was not hurt, and returned to competition.

On the restart, Parshall and Daniel pulled away from the field, as behind them Kris Asche moved up, eventually claiming third.

Daniel got to the inside of Parshall of turn 2 a couple of times, but could not make the move stick. Parshall, who saw his winning streak snapped last week after a spin with Daniel, held off the McCleary driver for his seventh win of the season. Behind the front two were Asche, Terry Bower, and Lemmon.

Parshall didn't think his car was as good as Daniel's. "That was a tough one there," Parshall said. "Tonight we didn't have a better car than him. He was willing to throw it into the ruts a little harder.

Starting up front was a big plus, and Parshall admitted he likely wouldn't have won if Daniel had started on pole. "That would have been tough," Parshall said. "He would have to have given it to us."

Daniel noted it "may have been a different story" if he had started up front, but that didn't stop him from trying to make a winning pass. "I was trying all kinds of different stuff, different lines, different braking points," Daniel said. "I got next to him a couple of times, and thought I could hang with him, but I didn't want to push up into him."

In Modifieds, it was yellow fever as the caution flag flew early and often, including on the initial start. Craig Moore took the early lead from pole, while Randy Ward and Lawhead battled for second.

After a few laps, Moore was unable to keep his car on the bottom. Ward tried for the lead, but could not grab it. Lawhead was eventually able to get by Ward, and on lap 11 took the lead from Moore.

Scott Miller moved through the field and took second with a few laps remaining as Ward and Moore ran side-by-side for third. A few more yellows slowed the pace late, including one for a spin by Moore.

On a restart with two laps to go, contact between Ward and Miller sent Miller spinning. However, Ward was sent to the back while Miller was put back into second position.

In the end, Lawhead held on to defeat Miller, who had his hands full with the lapped car of Jon Swiglo at the end. Behind the front two were Greg Dineen, Ed Peters, and Moore.

Lawhead spent the early part of the race in a tight pack, and enjoyed it. "That was a good one," he said. "That's what makes it good racing. It's good to be leading, but it's also good to be side-by-side like that. I love racing side-by-side. That's what makes it fun."

Miller said he could see Lawhead getting loose at the end, but multiple cautions didn't allow him a chance to capitalize. "I was hoping it would go green for more than a couple laps at the end, since Leroy was going off a little. I would have probably needed a 10-lap run at the end to get by."

In Cruisers, Brenneman and Tillman dominated their event, and easily claimed the victory.

There will be racing next weekend in conjunction with the Grays Harbor County Fair. With the exception of Sprints, regular classes will be competing, as well as 4-cylinder late models. Fair admission doubles as track admission, though there is a parking fee. Racing starts around 7 p.m. on Saturday.

-ghrp-

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Series Sprint , Stock car