hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Southern Oregon Speedway Medford, OR July 16, 2001 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour "Northwest Speedweek" Opener to Kent With fifty four cars in the pits from four states and two Canadian provinces, Steve Kent...
hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour
Southern Oregon Speedway
July 16, 2001
hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour "Northwest Speedweek" Opener to Kent
With fifty four cars in the pits from four states and two Canadian provinces, Steve Kent opened the 2001 version of the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour "Northwest Speedweek" the same way he closed the 2000 version, with a feature event win. Kent, of Fresno, CA, wasted little time going to the front as he moved under leader Rick Fauver in the final turn of the third lap and was untouchable from there to the checkered flag at Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, OR on July 16th. Although Kent mentioned in the winners circle that he was having some motor problems in the final laps, it wasn't apparent to anyone else as he maintained a 15-20 car lead most of the race.
Kent's major competition came from Johnny Rodriguez, who managed to close the gap a couple of times but the Elk Grove, CA driver spent most of the race in a battle for second place. A restart on a lap 10 yellow for a stopped Barry Martinez saw Rodriguez take second from Fauver, but the battle for the position continued as Roger Crockett moved past Fauver for third on the next circuit and gave chase.
Although Fauver, from Everett, WA, regained third for a single lap just past the mid point, he and Jason Solwold had the best race for position going the last half of the 30 lapper as they diced for fourth place. Solwold, who started 18th, had steadily marched through the competition but it took a yellow flag with six laps to go before the Burlington, WA driver could find a way past Fauver into fourth.
Campbell, CA's Brent Kaeding, winner of last years Speedweek race at Southern Oregon, pitted with a flat rear tire on the mid race yellow, sending him to the rear of the pack on the restart. Kaeding moved back through the pack but had settle for 7th place behind Shawna Wilskey.
After getting past Willie Croft, Kaeding made fairly easy work of the B-feature event. Kaeding and Croft ran nose to tail for five laps as Dan Menne tried to unsuccessfully to catch the leaders from third. All three were soon separated by 10 car length gaps as the rest of the pack battled for position behind.
Scott Adams and Ron Myska diced for 5th behind Jay Cole mid race but both dropped back in the closing laps as Stan Yockey and Brandon Harkness got past the duo.
Moving to the A-feature were Kaeding, Croft, Menne and Cole with Yockey in the back-up spot.
The C-feature saw a very long red flag stop on the second lap, caused when Kevin Cory suffered a shoulder injury as several cars tangled trying to avoid Chris Schmelzle who spun in turn two. After being stabilized on the track, Cory was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
When action resumed, 1999 NST rookie of the year, Chad Bauer grabbed the lead from Marc Dupperon and took a commanding lead, looking to have the victory sewed up until the steering arm broke sending him off the turn two berm and into the wall on lap five.
Yockey took the front spot on the restart and was never challenged to the finish as Mike Crawford and Dupperon diced for second. At the line it was Yockey, Crawford, Dupperon, Mark Ellis and Ron Smith filling out the top five.
The first heat took four tries before successfully getting under way. On each of the first three starts, Rick Smith lost his lead over Steven Tiner when the yellow flag flew for problems in the second turn. On the fourth try, Tiner managed to out race Smith to the first turn and led all laps to the finish.
Destiney Hays, one of five lady drivers in the field, led all ten laps of the second heat. Kent made a last lap pass of Menne to grab the final transfer position to the A-feature.
Heat three had Scott Aumen lead all laps with Adams, holding second until the power steering went out on the white flag lap giving Jay Harkness the spot. Cole pitted after tagging the wall on lap 4 while running fourth behind Crockett, losing his transfer to Rick Fauver.
The final heat went to Jeremy Cooper. Herman Klein had second locked up until a broken balancer put him out with 2 laps to go. Picking up transfers were Cooper, Barnes, Jeff Hodgson and Shawna Wilskey.
Yockey led the way in the non-qualifiers race after taking the front spot from Klein with a pass at the line at the end of lap two. The dash went to Fauver and Johnny Rodriguez set fast time and a new track record of 12.311 seconds.
A total of seven drivers mad the long tow from the Edmonton, AB area to run Northwest Speedweek. There were also five lady drivers participating, possibly the most female drivers ever racing sprint cars on the same night at the same track.
Fast Time - Johnny Rodriguez - 12.311 NTR
Heat 1 - Steven Tiner, Rick Smith, Johnny Rodriguez, Barry Martinez, Jeff Osburn, Kaylene Verville, Melissa Yates, Gary Taylor, Jim Richardson, Brandon Harkness.
Heat 2 - Destiney Hays, Jason Solwold, Gary Morgan, Steve Kent, Dan Menne, Brent Kaeding, Ron Myska, Kevin Cory, Chad Bauer, Dave Smith.
Heat 3 - Scott Aumen, Jay R. Harkness, Roger Crockett, Tony Thomas, Marc Dupperon, Ed Weirsma, Scott Adams, Willie Croft, Jay Cole.
Heat 4 - Jeremy Cooper, Jayme Barnes, Jeff Hodgson, Shawna Wilskey, Steve Fehrman, Chris Schmelzle, Todd Zeitler, Cale Carder, Mike Crawford, Herman Klein.
Non-Qualifiers - Stan Yockey, Mark Ellis, Bruce Geige, John Tharp, Ron Smith, Jim Cress, Matt Rogers, Steve Cheffey, Geoff Beck, Dan Dunlap, Tony Menard, Dawn L. Morrison, Sean Fleming, Anthony Nunes.
Dash - Fauver, Rodregiuez, Kent, Morgan, Crockett, Wilskey.
C-Main - Yockey, Crawford, Dupperon, Ellis, Ron Smith, Yates, Zeitler, Cheffey, Rogers, Cress, D. Smith, Bauer, Osburn, Thomas, Geige, Tharp.
B-Main - Kaeding, Croft, Menne, Cole, Yockey, B. Harkness, Myska, Adams, Ellis, Schmelzle, Verville, Weirsma, Carder, Crawford, Taylor, Dupperon, Cory, Fehrman.
A-Main - Kent, Rodriguez, Crockett, Solwold, Fauver, Wilskey, Kaeding, Morgan, Cole, Hays, Hodgson, J. Harkness, Tiner, Menne, Barnes, Cooper, Rick Smith, Aumen, Croft, Martinez.