Crockett first Northern Sprint Tour repeat winner. Grays Harbor Raceway Park Elma WA, June 8, 2002 Mostly sunny skies greeted the fans at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA on June 8th where Roger Crockett made it two in a row as he took ...
Crockett first Northern Sprint Tour repeat winner.
Grays Harbor Raceway Park
Elma WA, June 8, 2002
Mostly sunny skies greeted the fans at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA on June 8th where Roger Crockett made it two in a row as he took the checkered flag ahead of the field to become the first hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour repeat winner of the 2002 season.
In what seemed to be a full moon evening, caused partly by weather which had stalled track prep until Saturday morning and ruts in the first turn that defied repeated attempts to correct, Rick Fauver brought out the first yellow of the race on the opening lap when he got pinched low in the first corner, caught the inside berm and spun. After a restart, the defending Eugene, OR based hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour champion inherited the lead from early leader Chad Hiller on the third lap, when the two spun exiting the second turn while battling for the lead. Hillier, of Sedro Woolley, WA stalled on the track while Crockett managed to keep running.
As the leaders were just catching the slower cars, lap seven went amber when current Grays Harbor Raceway Park champ Glenn Borden, Jr. took a spin in the infamous turn one to close the field. Two laps later it was Stanwood, WA veteran Mike Sather taking his second ride upside down when he got sideways entering turn one and flipped.
Lap nine proved to be a bad omen for Scott Aumen also as the Duncan, BC driver ended on his top with a roll in the second turn. Damage was minor and he did return.
Fauver, who couldn't buy luck with a bag of gold, found lap nine hated him also as he was sandwiched between Brad Holmes and Tyler Pincemin as they went through the first two turns together. Pincemin took a flip in turn two and exited on the hook. While Fauver sat with his forward progress of the last nine laps wiped out. Dawn-L Morrison was also involved, making a trip to pits and back.
Twelve laps went in the books under the green with the leaders back in traffic and lots of action mid pack for position. Hillier was moving up with steady progress, taking sixth from Oregon's Cale Carder at the line on lap 14. A couple of spots back it was Borden going wheel to wheel with Jeff Hodgson for position.
As Crockett worked the traffic, Wilskey could maintain but not close the gap on the leader while Dan Menne had moved from eighth to third. The dreaded yellow fell again on laps 21 and 22 with the red flying on the lap 22 restart when Borden and Chris Schmelzle came together in the third turn. Schmelzle took a roll and Borden went out with front end damage.
At the final restart Crockett opened a good lead over Wilskey until they caught slower cars again. Wilskey lost a couple of tries for the lead in the last five laps when openings disappeared as slower traffic closed in front of her.
With Crockett, Wilskey and Menne in the top three, Jay Cole took fourth while Hillier and Hodgson ran wing to wing for fourth. At the line it was Hillier by inches for fifth place.
The B-main had a good battle between Fauver and Menne for most of race with a 2 -- 5 car length difference. Menne led the first 11 laps with Fauver looking for an opening to pass but not finding the chance. Behind them, Sather and Geoff Beck diced mid race in a tight go for fourth place. Fauver challenged for the lead in turn 3 on lap 10, but his efforts failed to produce the pass. Two laps later Menne got a bit high going into third and Fauver powered by through turns three and four to take the lead.
Sather took his first wild ride as he brought out the red with one and a half laps to go by flipping out of turn two and into the infield. Fauver held the lead to the finish line and Cole made a great last lap pass out of four to take second from Menne. Lance Sponberg was fourth and Beck fifth.
Todd Heikes lost the lead on lap 3 of the first heat when he spun in the fourth turn and met Dan Menne nose on when he stopped. Menne was off to the pits while Heikes and Steve Walker, who had also gotten caught up, went to the back of the pack. This gave the lead to Wilskey who led to the checkered flag. Heikes moved steadily up from rear getting past Tony Menard for second on lap 8 while Walker's motor went up in smoke the last lap.
Heat two had Scott Aumen take the lead out of turn four in a close three-car group with Robert McNulty and Beck. McNulty beat Beck out of second place and then Beck's spun to bring out the yellow after he and Borden, Jr. made contact in turn 1 lap on lap 7 while dicing for third place. Aumen took control again on the restart and Pincemin and Borden went wing to wing for third with Borden winning the battle on the next lap.
In the final heat, Hodgson led wire to wire with pressure from Hillier in the closing laps. Dawn-L Morrison and Fauver had a good side by side run going until Morrison hooked the first turn rut and lost a lot of ground. Fauver, running third, then caught the turn one rut two laps later, went up on two wheels and almost over but pulled off the save while bringing out yellow.
Crockett led the way in the dash to set the top six in the feature line up. He was followed by Hillier, Wilskey, Borden, Jr., Schmelzle and Menard.
Following the trophy dash Tom Schmeh, executive director of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, presented Fred Brownfield with a plaque for his selection as the 2001 "360 Sprint Car Promoter of the Year".
Mr. Schmeh commented on "the great work Fred has done in the promoting of sprint car racing in the region and in bringing Northwest 360 sprint racing and drivers to national recognition."
Mr. Brownfield stated, "I'm honored to be place in the company of the country's best racing promoters. I didn't do it alone. With out the divers and teams, faithful fans and a great crew it would never have happened. A big thank you goes to them to make this possible."
Fast Time -- Shawna Wilskey 13.492
Heat 1 - Shawna Wilskey, Ron Reed, Todd Heikes, Tony Menard, Brad Holmes, Steve Walker, Dan Menne, Jay Cole.
Heat 2 - Scott Aumen, Robert McNulty, Glenn Borden, Jr., Tyler Pincemin, Chris Schmelzle, Geoff Beck, Lance Sponberg.
Heat 3 - Jeff Hodgson, Chad Hillier, Brian Crockett, Dawn-L Morrison, Glenn Borden, Jr., Mike Sather, Rick Fauver.
Dash -- Crockett, Hillier, Wilskey, Borden, Jr., Schmelzle, Menard.
B-Main -- Fauver, Cole, Menne, Sponberg, Beck, Sather.
A-Main -- Crockett, Wilskey, Menne, Cole, Hillier, Hodgson, Fauver, Heikes, Carder, Menard, Beck, Aumen, Morrison, Reed, Sponberg, McNulty, Holmes, Schmelzle, Borden, Jr., Pincemin, Sather.