hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Skagit report 2002-05-11

hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Skagit Speedway Alger, WA May 11,2002 Thriller of a night for second hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour race of 2002. Fans were asking "How they gonna top that race?" when the checkered flag ended Saturday night's ...

hy-per-lube Northern Sprint
Skagit Speedway
Alger, WA
May 11,2002

Thriller of a night for second hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour race of 2002.

Fans were asking "How they gonna top that race?" when the checkered flag ended Saturday night's hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour feature event at Skagit Speedway. Winner Kasey Kahne, originally from Enumclaw, WA, runner up Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR and third finisher Jason Solwold of Burlington, WA had provided one of the most exciting NST finishes ever and given the Skagit fans something to talk about for a long time to come.

Take a yellow flag seven laps from the end of a fast paced race that had the last three laps with the leaders in heavy traffic and action is guaranteed. All three going into turn three together on the final lap found a slower car running mid track and how disaster was averted is still being questioned.

Without missing a beat Kahne swung high, Crockett and Solwold went the low road and Ron Myska narrowly missed losing wheels on both sides of his car. Kahne's high side move proved to be the quickest way to the finish line with Crockett and Solwold just hundredths of a second behind.

In the winners circle Kahne noted that after clipping a spinning John Tharp on the 10th lap "I knew I had bent wheel a bit but the car was still handeling well so I felt pretty confident we could run flat out to the end." Now runningout of Huntersville, NC for the Roberts Yates NASCAR Busch Series team, Kahne stated that he was having " A great time being home with my brother and some of the old crew helping with the car."

Crockett commented, "I wish the yellow hadn't come out. I think I had a better chance for a pass in traffic and could see that Kasey had a wheel problem. But it was a great race, a lot of fun and I'll look for the win the next time."

Friday night winner Solwold would have liked to have made it two in a row but said he was satisfied with his run.

On the opening green flag it was Skagit veteran driver Alan Munn taking the lead over Crockett and Kahne with Crockett putting the pressure on. After pulling even a couple of times, Crockett finally got past the Granite Falls, WA driver when he got along side Munn at the finish line on lap seven and then took a solid lead as they went into the first turn. Munn held off the advances of Kahne until a lap 11 restart caused by Tharp's spin.

On the restart, Kahne went to the wall and was out of two like a slingshot, jumping two spots and into the lead. Munn not only lost second on the restart,but Solwold also managed to get by and take third pace. Kahne's5 car length cushion ended on the 13th lap when the turn one wall caught Cottage Grove, OR's Dale Smith. Smith, who had came from 18th to finish fourth on Friday night took nasty flip that ended his weekend of racing. Again, Kahne opened up a good lead until slower cars had him in traffic by lap 20. Then Crockett was looking for the lead as the top three wove their way through the slower cars until Jayme Barns tagged the turn three wall and flattened both right side tires on the end of lap 23.

With a Team Dewitt car in the lead and at the end, some thought the show was going to be all Kahne's and Barnes had made the brake, but they were in for a surprise, as the great racing of the last 7 laps proved.

After being passed by Solwold, Munn held off challenges by both by Rick Fauver and Barry Martinez. Fauver, of Everett, WA, and Lynnwood, WA driver Martinez also had a good duel going with Martinez finally getting the fifth place spot. Fauver fell back in the final dash for the flag as both Chad Hillier of Sedro Woolley and Ft. Jones, CA driver Dan Menne made it past him.

Running a solid race for 10 laps, Travis Hawthorne of Everett, WA took home the B-Main win over Martinez. Slowed by a red flag on lap 3 when Rod Perkins tagged the back straight wall and flipped into turn three, and a yellow for a spinning Tony Menard two laps later, Hawthorn opened a good 10 car lead over the competition, maintaining it even after encountering lapped traffic. Martinez, who had flipped in his heat, had competition from a hard charging Dale Smith but held for second.

The battle for the last A-Main transfer spot was a good one with Cal Herdson finally getting past Jeff Jansma just past the mid way of the 15 lap race. Joe Ramaker was also in the battle until he tagged the wall on lap eight. He dropped back but still hung on to round out the top six.

Cottage Grove driver Danny Horner took the C-Main feature in his newly purchased car, the former Marvin Smith #41 sprint. Horner grabbed the lead coming out of turn four on the eighth lap from Anacortes, WA's Rod Perkins who had lead from the opening green flag. One car to watch was the #18 of Travis Jacobson. The Lake Stevens, WA driver picked up 9 positions and was gaining on the next one when laps ran out and he finished fifth. Also doing well was Richie Brown of Alvadore, OR who gained 8 places.

In the D-Main Woodinville, WA wheel man Danny Kirkpatrick led from green to checkered with first Ron Florence and then Brown giving chase but never catching. Battling for the last transfer spot, Melissa Yates and Gary Vaughn came together on the back straight. Yates got up on two wheels but saved it while Vaughn spun into the inside berm of turn three. Yates held on for the last transfer to the C-Main and Mark Hinkle filled the top five.

Todd Heikes led all 10 laps for the first heat with Munn dogging his rear nerfthe whole race. The night's fast time car, Jeff Hodgson of St. Albert, Alberta, ran a close third with Steve Tiner in the last transfer spot.

Heat two went to Jayme Barnes in a close race over team mate Kahne. Menne ran second until the 4th lap and then held third over Cale Carder. B-Main winner Hawthorne took fifth.

Heat three had Billy Nutter's name in the lead on every lap, but an inside low groove move by Chad Hillier in turn two on the third lap took second place away from Crockett and almost took the lead. Nutter held on and then got some relief when Crockett moved to duel with Hillier. They went to the wire in that order as Solwold beat out Chris Schmelzle for fourth in the closet heat of the night.

The final heat went to Scott Aumen as the Canadian driver led from wire to wire. Tharp moved past Ramaker for the last A-main transfer and then took third as Myska drifted high in the corner on lap eight.

Taking the non qualifiers races were Joe Constance and Bob Stevens.

Kahne won the dash followed by Munn, Crockett, Hodgson, Solwold and Fauver


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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Roger Crockett