Daniel 'claims' win amid controversy--literally. Even before racing began Saturday night at Grays Harbor Raceway Park, there was plenty of action in regards to Hobby Stock. Once racing began, Hobby Stock competitors provided even more ...
Daniel 'claims' win amid controversy--literally.
Even before racing began Saturday night at Grays Harbor Raceway Park, there was plenty of action in regards to Hobby Stock.
Once racing began, Hobby Stock competitors provided even more action.
Brandon Daniel finally claimed his first win of the year, passing Jason Tole with two laps to go. Leroy Lawhead extended his points lead with a win in Modifieds; Randy VanAagten won a non-points Sprint race; while Joe Brenneman and Bob Tillman combined to win in Cruisers. Racing was held in conjunction with the Grays Harbor County Fair.
Action in Hobby Stocks actually started about a week before the race, and involved the two point leaders. Jack Parshall Jr. led Daniel by 29 points heading into Saturday's race.
By the evening of August 4, Parshall had talked with Brandon's father Dan, and both knew the other would be claiming engines after Saturday's race. Hobby Stock is a $1,000 to claim class, though claims have been somewhat rare over the years.
Ironically, Parshall was involved in a claim battle two years ago with Glenn Raney while leading the points, a battle that quickly turned ugly and ruined the friendship between the drivers. Terry Bower ended up winning the title that year, while Raney has hardly raced in Elma since then.
Parshall and Daniel have been up front most of year. While Parshall's seven wins had kept Daniel out of victory lane, the McCleary driver usually ended the race on Parshall's rear bumper.
Both drivers raced Saturday with different motors than usual, knowing there would be claims. Parshall was racing with an engine he had claimed from Raney in 2000.
Once Saturday's race started, Tole jumped to the lead over Wayne Lemmon. Behind them, Daniel and Parshall exchanged a couple of bumps. When the first caution came out on lap 4, Daniel was third with Parshall fifth.
Shortly after the restart Parshall moved into fourth and joined Daniel and Lemmon in a battle for second. Daniel got by Lemmon on lap 11, while Parshall was unable to follow him by.
Once into second, Daniel closed in on Tole, who survived a close call on lap 15 when Mike McDougal spun right in front of him to bring out the yellow. At the same time, Joe Lambert stopped on the frontstretch.
On the restart Daniel attempted to pass Tole on the inside while Parshall tried the same move on Lemmon. The moves were not successful at the time, but with two laps to go Tole got loose in turn 2.
Daniel shot by to take the lead, while Parshall jumped into third and tried to get by Tole as well. Daniel went on to win over Tole, Parshall, Lemmon, and Rick Milbourn.
"I could see (Tole) was getting in the rough stuff and pushing up," Daniel said. "Mine went right through the rough stuff. He just jumped the cushion (with two laps to go) and got in the rough stuff. I had my foot to the floor, and wasn't going to lift. I've been the bridesmaid so long, I finally caught the bouquet."
In Modifieds, it took two tries for the race to get going. Once underway, Lawhead grabbed the lead from pole. Behind him, Don Jenner was on the move. Jenner started fourth and within a few laps was latched onto Lawhead's rear.
As Jenner hounded Lawhead for the lead, Glenn Vincent and Jon Swiglo battled each other much of the race for fourth. While the front two battled, Scott Miller moved into the picture.
On lap 18, Jenner nearly spun off turn 2 while going for the lead, and almost lost second to Miller. A yellow came out the same lap, and on the restart Jenner once again looked low on Lawhead.
As the leaders took the white flag, Dan Fowler spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. When the leaders passed the scene, Jenner spun after contact from Miller. Unfortunately, Jenner was not able to get restarted without a push, so he was sent to the back of the pack. He ended up finishing ninth.
With Jenner in the back, Lawhead took off on the restart while Vincent got by Miller to finish second. Swiglo finished fourth, with Randy Ward fifth.
Lawhead enjoyed the battle with Jenner. "It felt good," the points leader said, taking a moment to thank Brian Terry at AA Auto Sales as well as his wife and children. "He'll drive you clean. I saw the nose under there a couple of times, but I was already back on the throttle by the time so I wasn't worried."
Jenner was angry about the late incident. "It is very, very tough," he said. "It happens. The 26 (Miller) dumped me. The yellow was out, and I lifted going into (turn) 3 when I got dumped. Then the car couldn't restart so I had to be pushed. I guess that's why I was sent to the rear."
Jenner said he needed more time to get by Lawhead, but doesn't expect to be back to try it again. "I don't agree with several of the calls I've gotten this year," he said of track officials. "I don't want to come back. I won't come here next year for racing, and I'll talk to my sponsor to see if I don't have to come back anymore this year."
For the first time in a while, Sprints ran as part of the Fair race. However, with a big payday for Sprints in Skagit, the race was made a non-points event. Six cars raced, with VanAagten holding off teammate Donny Fry for the win.
In Cruisers, there was once again plenty of contact at the start. Once the dust settled, Brenneman and Tillman won the race handily.
Afterwards, a crowd gathered around the tech shack as the engines were pulled from the Parshall and Daniel cars.
"Both of us knew going in what was going to happen," Daniel said. "It started with rumors and escalated. Unfortunately, it did happen. It kind of took off last week--.It's a tough deal. I want to concentrate on the racing."
Daniel said Parshall's owner Roger Wilder came over last Sunday, then Parshall called Daniel's dad Dan. "It just escalated from there," he said. "I believe what I know. My dad was wanting to do a claim (before last week). We talked about it. I didn't want to be another Glenn Raney. But Jack threw the first rock. You gotta throw back."
Parshall said he had heard the rumors of a claim, which is why he called Dan Daniel last Sunday. Like Brandon, he wants to settle the title on the track. "I didn't want to do that to him," Parshall said of a claim. "I want to race for it. If I lose, I want it to be on the track, not because he claimed my motor. We will trade motors from now on, every week. At least we still get to race for it on the track."
Parshall emphasized there isn't the bitterness this time there was two years ago. "Not even close," he said. "We shook hands after the race. I didn't want it to be hard. There's two races left, and we're up 24 points. As long as his motor doesn't blow up, we'll be okay."
Regular racing at GHRP will return August 31 and finish the following week. This weekend, meanwhile, is the big racing of the year. Action kicks off Thursday night with the Northern Sprint Tour. That is followed by "The Biggie" with the World of Outlaws roaring in for two nights of racing. The City of Elma is holding "Outlaw Days" with a variety of events over the weekend, including a parade on Saturday.
Steve "The King of the Outlaws" Kinser comes to the Northwest off his 12th win in the Knoxville Nationals Saturday night. Kinser, a 16-time series champion, is also leading the points. He and defending series champion Danny Lasoski have swapped the lead back and forth many times this year, but Lasoski missed a few races after injuries suffered in a hard crash in late July. Lasoski returned to the seat for the Knoxville Nationals, finishing fourth.
To check on ticket availability for the Outlaw races in Elma, call 1-800-825-4832 or 1-360-568-2529.
(1. Randy VanAagten (2. Donny Fry (3. Steve Witte (4. Rich Kelley (5. Steve Vague (6. Marshall Slenz
(1. Leroy Lawhead (2. Glenn Vincent (3. Scott Miller (4. Jon Swiglo (5. Randy Ward (6. Craig Moore (7. Ed Peters (8. Jeff Foster (9. Don Jenner (10. Dan Fowler (11. James Wolford (12. Dan Fox (13. Kevin Beerbower (14. Dan Daniels 915. Matt Scherer (16. Dale Underwood (17. Greg Dineen (18. Butch Betrozoff
(1. Brandon Daniel (2. Jason Tole (3. Jack Parshall Jr. (4. Wayne Lemmon (5. Rick Milbourn (6. Terry Bower (7. Kris Asche 98. Brian Lines (9. Joe Richey (10. Mike McDougal (11. Jake Sorenson (12. K. Kingery (13. Jim Petraitis (14. Brad Justice (15. Joe Lambert (16. Tim Drake (17. Jamie Belisle (18. Floyd Livingston
Cruisers won by duo of Joe Brenneman and Bob Tillman.