Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour opener preview

The "hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour" kicks off it's seventh year of bringing the best in wheel banging, dirt throwing, sideways wing to wing Sprint Car racing action to the fans of the great Pacific Northwest. Starting off the 2002 season is a...

The "hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour" kicks off it's seventh year of bringing the best in wheel banging, dirt throwing, sideways wing to wing Sprint Car racing action to the fans of the great Pacific Northwest. Starting off the 2002 season is a two day opener this coming weekend, May 10 and 11, at Skagit Speedway, located eight miles north of Burlington, WA on Old Hwy. 99.

Many of the drivers have already been behind the wheel at various tracks in California, Oregon and the northwest with some doing very well in this new season. Defending Northern Sprint Tour champion Roger Crockett has moved from Rio Linda, CA to Eugene, OR and will pilot the Mike and Janie Doyle # 11 sprint out of Springfield, OR. Crockett already has wins to his credit from races in California and will be looking to start the 2002 Northern Sprint Tour season on a high note.

Three time NST champion Shawna Wilskey, of Lake Stevens, WA, will be taking to the track in other venues during 2002. Although she will not be chasing a fourth championship, she does plan to participate in as many Northern Sprint Tour races as her schedule allows, and as her 2001 season 2nd place finish shows will be a force to contend with whenever she is on track.

Last years third place finisher, Burlington, WA driver Jason Solwold, will again be behind the wheel of a Huson Bros. Racing sprint car. Solwold was the 1998 NST champion and his association with the Huson team has been very successful.

Everett, WA's young lion, Jayme Barnes, has teamed with long time Northwest car owner Dave Dewitt for what looks to be a strong contender for a championship. Barnes picked up a win in 2001 and finished the season in fourth place.

Filling out the top five for last year was 1997 NST champion Rick Fauver of Everett, WA. Fauver will again be with the Bob Reynolds team looking for another successful year.

Other top Washington drivers ready to take to the Skagit clay this weekend are Shelton's Jay Cole, Rick Smith of Mt. Vernon, Barry Martinez of Lynnwood, Bellingham driver Jay R. Harkness and his brother Brandon of Acme, Chad Hillier of Sedro Woolley, John Tharp from Snohomish and Montesano's Donny Fry.

The Nanaimo, BC based V-Mac team of Scott Aumen and Tony Menard have committed to make the ferry ride from Vancouver Island to run the entire season for a shot at the top spot.

Oregon will again be providing their best to thrill the crowds as Cottage Grove's Smith brothers Dale and Marvin, Bill Nutter and Cale Carder of Central Point, Harrisburg's Jeff Thompson and Melissa Yates and Scott Adams of Roseburg are among those expected to be putting the pedal to the metal in 2002. Dan Menne of Ft. Jones, CA will also return in 2002 for a shot at the championship after a limited 2001 schedule.

After running the 2001 Northern Speedweek, four teams from Alberta, Canada are planning to run the entire 2002 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour season. Based in the greater Edmonton area, they are Jeff Hodgson of St. Albert and Dawn-L Morrison, Geoff Beck and Tyler Pincemin all of Morinville, AB. Hodgson has already ran several races around the country this year and has his sights set on the 2002 championship.

Also supporting the season with long haul drives from the state of Montana are returning drivers Richie Peterson of Great Falls and Joe Ramaker of Choteau.

Action a plenty is expected on Skagit Speedway's three-tenths mile clay oval as the best sprint car drivers in the Pacific Northwest go wheel to wheel and wing to wing for two nights of fast, exciting action. Fifty plus cars are expected to fill the pits for the Friday program with another 20 plus expected on Saturday night when the Sportsman Sprints will run a support class.

Pit gates will open at 2:30 PM with ticket gates opening at 4:30 PM. Racing is scheduled to get under way at 7:00 PM.

-hplns-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey , Roger Crockett