Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour --Northwest Speedweek Southern Oregon Speedway -- Medford, OR July 15, 2002 With 41 cars in the Southern Oregon Speedway pits on July 15th, the first night of the 6th annual hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour's ...
Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour --Northwest Speedweek Southern Oregon Speedway -- Medford, OR July 15, 2002
With 41 cars in the Southern Oregon Speedway pits on July 15th, the first night of the 6th annual hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour's Northwest Speedweek got underway at the Medford, OR clay oval. When the final checkered flag dropped, Campbell, CA veteran driver Brent Kaeding was in the winner's circle.
It was not a simple cake walk for Kaeding as he chased Travis Hawthorne for 16 laps before the Lake Stevens, WA driver went a little high in turns three and four giving Kaeding the opening he had been looking for to take the lead. Two laps later Hawthorne lost second as he again went too high and spun in turn three to bring out the yellow flag. Up to that point, the fans were seeing a great race as the top two had never been more than 3 -- 5 car lengths apart, even as they worked the traffic.
The action, close and fast on a very racy track, was slowed only twice for yellow flags, once on lap 3 for a car with a flat tire, and again on lap 18 for Hawthorne's spin. After the restart, with no traffic to slow him, Kaeding opened a comfortable lead as second place Jeff Hodgson had to deal with lapped cars.
Hodgson, who made the long haul from the Edmonton, AB area, handled traffic well as he held of Johnny Rodriguez for the opening 10 laps and then a very determined Andy Forsberg, the Auburn, CA driver that had started in 8th.
Showing that his ability to lead the first 16 laps was no fluke, Hawthorne worked his way back up to an 8th place finish.
During after race interviews Kaeding stated, "I'm sorry to see him (Hawthorn) spin after giving me a good race. He definitely had the second place car and was the one that had something to give me."
Following the top three were Rodriguez, Steve Kent, Shawna Wilskey, Jason Solwold, picking up 7 spots, Hawthorne, Roger Crockett and Glen Borden, Jr. to fill out the top ten.
A good tacky track made passing in the heats something less than easy putting names like Crockett, Barnes, Forsberg, Kent, Fauver and Menne, usually "A" Main regulars, into a "B" Main feature with several heavy hitters.
After a yellow for a stalled Geoff Beck at the end of the first lap, Jayme Barnes took the lead of what looked to be a train for the first 5 laps before going way wide in turn 4 with Kent in the lead at the end of lap 6. Forsberg also got by putting Barnes into a position swapping battle with Crockett for third. By mid-race the leaders had hit heavy traffic and Barnes continued to drop back giving up position to Rick Fauver and then Dan Menne who took fifth from him at the line with two laps to go.
Good mid pack racing for position between Todd Heikes, Chad Hillier, Todd Zeitler saw several changes and Bill Nutter worked into the fray also.
At the finish it was Kent, Forsberg, Crockett and Fauver transferring to the "A" Feature event.
Local driver Nutter led the "C" Main from green to checker after taking the lead over Jay Cole on the start. A fast paced race with no stoppages, there was little passing with the pack in a futile chase of the leaders for one of the two transfer positions to the "B" Main.
With Nutter and Cole into the "B", Robert McNulty, Matt Rogers and Melissa Yates filled out the top five. Nutter, after losing two motors earlier in the year, has teamed with Wil Kennedy for Speedweek.
The night's opening heat looked to be all Jason Statler's until the engine broke with just one lap to go, giving the win to Hodgson. Borden and Heikes provided the closest competition in their battle for last transfer spot.
Heat two was all Cale Carder's from the pole with Jason Finley doing the chase for 10 laps. Steve Tiner and Fauver diced for third the first half of the race with Tiner getting the spot. Fauver dropped another spot when Hawthorne got by with a lap 5 back straight pass.
Dawn-L Morrison got the jump on Ron Myska at the start of the third heat and held for the win despite pressure from first Menne and then Wilskey. Myska went to the rear after spinning on lap 2 and Menne, who suffered motor problems all night, dropped out after stalling on the restart.
Dale Smith was the third driver to lead the entire heat when he won the final heat. Eric Trask saw his night come to an end when he oiled the front straight on lap 5. Following Smith to the wire was Herman Klein.
Setting the start of the first three rows of the "A" Main, the dash finish read Hawthorne, Hodgson, Kaeding, Rodriguez, Wilskey and Scott Aumen.
Action now moves to Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR on Tuesday, July 16th.
Fast Time -- Brent Kaeding -- 12.186
Heat 1 -- Jeff Hodgson, Brent Kaeding, Richard Brace, Glenn Borden, Jr., Todd Heikes, Geoff Beck, Jay Cole, Jim Cress, Jason Statler, Andy Forsberg.
Heat 2 -- Cale Carder, Jason Finley, Steven Tiner, Travis Hawthorne, Rick Fauver, Todd Zeitler, Bill Nutter, Tony Menard, Roger Crockett, Melissa Yates.
Heat 3 -- Dawn-L Morrison, Shawna Wilskey, Johnny Rodriguez, Chris Schmelzle, Joe Ramaker, Tyler Pincemin, Anthony Nunes, Matt Rogers, Ron Myska, Dan Menne.
Heat 4 -- Dale Smith, Herman Klein, Jason Solwold, Scott Aumen, Jayme Barnes, Steve Kent, Robert McNulty, Dan Dunlap, Chad Hillier, Eric Trask.
Dash -- Hawthorne, Hodgson, Kaeding, Rodriguez, Wilskey, Aumen.
C-Main -- Nutter, Cole, McNulty, Rogers, Yates, Dunlap, Charlie Thompson, Nunes, Cress.
B-Main -- Kent, Forsberg, Crockett, Fauver, Menne, Barnes, Zeitler, Heikes, Hillier, Nutter, Myska, Pincemin, Ramaker, Rogers, Cole, Menard, McNulty, Beck.
A-Main -- Kaeding, Hodgson, Forsberg, Rodriguez, Kent, Wilskey, Solwold, Hawthorne, Crockett, Borden, Finley, Aumen, Brace, Carder, Schmelzle, Klein, Tiner, Fauver, Morrison, Smith.