Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour --Northwest Speedweek Cottage Grove Speedway -- Cottage Grove, OR July 16, 2002 Night number two of the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour's Northern Speedweek at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR had ...
Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour --Northwest Speedweek
Cottage Grove Speedway -- Cottage Grove, OR
July 16, 2002
Night number two of the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour's Northern Speedweek at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR had Campbell, CA driver Brent Kaeding making a return visit to the winner's circle. Following Kaeding across the line for podium finishes were Andy Forsberg, Auburn, CA in second and Fresno, CA's Steve Kent third.
"We had a good night in qualifying", said Kaeding, "and the car felt good so we felt we had a good chance at another win. Forsberg was driving with his elbows up though, and did a great job. Crockett was fast and if he hadn't had a flat tire it's hard to tell what might have happened."
Forsberg commented that Brent was always pretty tuff and things might have been different if Crockett hadn't had to pit. The crowd loved it when he said, "My biggest problem was the yellows. The track was pretty rough and at racing speed everything will smooth out, but when you have to go, all that bouncing on a yellow is a problem."
Kent really didn't like the cautions as he was doing a better job of moving up in traffic, "Where I can pick them off one by one", than on the restarts.
While the preliminary races had suffered a few yellows, the "A" feature event seemed to suffer from a bad case of yellow fever from the beginning. On the original Dana Pon green flag, pole sitter Rick Fauver and Dale Smith came together in turn 3 with both coming to a stop. With new leader Roger Crockett and Forsberg now at the front, the rest of the pack was still having trouble and it took try number four to get a complete lap in. Crockett went to the rear on a lap 3 yellow after having to pit for a flat tire with Kaeding going to the front on the restart putting Forsberg into second for the duration.
The first of two red flags flew on lap 6 when contact between cars mid-pack had Glen Borden, Jr. doing a flip in turn one. Racing was close and fast behind the first two cars with Kent putting heavy pressure in Central Point, OR veteran Bill Nutter for third.
Back a few spots positions 7-10 were being fought for as Jayme Barnes tried to hold off Johnny Rodriguez along with hard chargers Dan Menne and Smith who were coming up fast from the rear of the pack. Several times they went three wide and wing-to-wing for position.
Yellows again closed the ranks on laps 10 and 13 but it was the loss of steering by Nutter on lap 16 that brought the show to a halt. Going hard into to first turn with Kent close on his rear nerf bar, Nutter suddenly veered into the wall and then went up and through the fencing, coming to rest outside the Jersey barrier.
As the silent crowd watched, Nutter soon climbed out unhurt. Talking to infield announcer Ed Williams, Nutter stated, "Something in the steering let go. I'm OK and we'll get to work on the car and be back for tomorrows race."
Back underway again, the top three were running at 10 car length intervals as Menne continued his climb up the ranks to fifth and continued to pressure Smith. Just behind them Barnes and Crockett were also in a tight battle for sixth.
With five laps to go the leaders were now in traffic, Kent was closing the gap on Forsberg and Smith went just high enough in the corner for Menne to make the pass for 4th place. Two laps later 8th place runner Shawna Wilskey brought out the final caution with a spin in turn 3.
It was a mad dash to the finish on the final three laps with Crockett providing the final thrill of the night when his right front wheel came of as he and Barnes raced down the back straight. While the wheel continued down the exit road to the pits, Crockett kept it pedal to the metal, finishing in 7th on three wheels.
The night's fast qualifier, Jeff Hodgson of St. Albert, AB, took home the win in the "B" Main over Nutter and Menne while fellow Canadians Scott Aumen and Chris Schmelzle saw their night end early when they tangled on the second lap.
With the field still bunched up going into the first turn, Aumen hopped Schmelzle's left front wheel and the damage sent both to their trailers.
Hodgson opened a good lead over hot and heavy action was behind him. Steven Tiner and Marvin Smith had contact early on, setting up a near race long battle for second place with Nutter joining the fray also. Chad Hillier and Richard Brace were dicing for 7th when they tangled and spun in turn 3.
There was additional contact on lap 10 between Smith and Tiner with Tiner's front wing ending up on his hood. As Smith and Tiner battled, Nutter moved to second. On lap 13 Smith slid wide in turn two and Tiner was in third with Menne now fourth.
Wheel to wheel action the last two laps had Menne up to third and Smith to fourth at the line over Tiner who's vision was partially blocked by his nose wing.
Only a single lap 3 yellow slowed the "C" Main race and after several tries, fourth place starter Jason Statler managed to work his way past Kevin Etchison and take the lead with just a couple of laps to go.
While Etchison and Statler were going for the top spot, Cale Carder was working his way up from an 8th place start to finish third, taking the spot Mike Crawford held when he exited to the pits with problems on lap 7.
Heat one went to Glen Borden, Jr. with Scott Adams and Rick Fauver trailing. Andy Forsberg gave the crowd a thrill as he went from 6th to 4th coming out of turn four on the last lap for the final transfer spot to the main over Hodgson and Richard Brace.
Crockett takes second heat after following Chad Hillier for eight and a half laps. Hillier slowed almost to a stop on the back straight but managed to finish the race.
For the third heat it was Herman Klein checking out to a 15-car lead by mid race with Jay Cole following. The race for third was tight as Barnes and Kaeding went wheel to wheel for several laps before Kaeding could make a pass stick.
Steve Kent had almost a front straight lead in the final heat when M. Smith spun in turn four while going for the last transfer spot on lap 9. Todd Heikes held second on the restart over Menne and Rodriguez.
Gus Cooper had no problem taking the non-qualifiers race.
In the dash it was Rick Fauver showing the field the fastest way to the checkered flag.
Action now moves to Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on Wednesday the 17th for race #3 of 6.
Fast Time -- Jeff Hodgson -- 11.092
Heat 1 -- Glen Borden, Jr., Scott Adams, Rick Fauver, Andy Forsberg, Jeff Hodgson, Richard Brace, Kevin Etchison, Jason Finley, Tyler Pincemin, Chris Schmelzle.
Heat 2 --Roger Crockett, Vern Scevers, Shawna Wilskey, Ron Myska, Steven Tiner, Scott Aumen, Mike Crawford, Geoff Beck, Tony Menard, Chad Hillier.
Heat 3 -- Herman Klein, Jay Cole, Brent Kaeding, Jayme Barnes, Bill Nutter, Dan Menne, Jeff Thompson, Joe Ramaker, Travis Hawthorne, Greg Brown.
Heat 4 -- Steve Kent, Todd Heikes, Dale Smith, Johnny Rodriguez, Jason Solwold, Jason Statler, Don Fry, Marvin Smith, Jeff Thompson, Dawn-L Morrison.
Non-Qualifier -- Gus Cooper, Robert McNulty, Jim Cress, Dan Dunlap. Dash --Fauver, D. Smith, Forsberg, Crockett, Myska, Kaeding.
C-Main --Statler, Etchison, Carder, Ramaker, Finley, Cooper, McNulty, Cress, Brown, Crawford.
B-Main -- Hodgson, Nutter, Menne, M. Smith, Tiner, Hawthorne, Etchison, Fry, Pincemin, Hillier, Menard, Morrison, Thompson, Solwold, Brace, Statler, Schmelze, Aumen.
A-Main -- Kaeding, Forsberg, Kent, Menne, D. Smith, Barnes, Crockett, Hodgson, Adams, Myska, Wilskey, Scevers, Fauver, Cole, Heikes, Nutter, Rodriguez, Borden, Jr., M. Smith, Klein.