Northern Sprint Tour Riverside finale

"It's great to win the last sprint car race of the season for the home town fans" said Cottage Grove's Dale Smith, as he acknowledged the cheering fans at Riverside Speedway, his home track. Last year Smith had his car come out...

"It's great to win the last sprint car race of the season for the home town fans" said Cottage Grove's Dale Smith, as he acknowledged the cheering fans at Riverside Speedway, his home track. Last year Smith had his car come out of gear as he exited the last corner of the last lap, and his race long drive was for naught. But this yea, Lady Luck smiled on him. As the green flag flew on the feature event, he and pole sitter Greg Brown were side by side with Brown pulling the front wheels off the track down the front straight. When they entered the first turn, Smith went wide to miss Brown, got high and ended up at about 7th place as the pack came out of turn two. But Lady Luck was smiling, as Richie Brown spun to bring out the yellow flag and a complete restart, giving Smith back his front row position. This time Smith got the lead going into the first turn and never looked back as he went wire to wire for the win. G. Brown mounted a challenge a time or two, but at the finish he was still holding down second place. Points leader Shawna Wilskey made a good move on the back straight on the opening lap to move from 5th to 3rd, but that was as far as her forward progress would go as Bill Nutter and Dan Menne trailed in a battle for fourth. Into the back markers by the 8th lap, Smith's 5 to 10 car lead vanished with a yellow, as Jeff Thompson spun n the next lap while in a battle for 10th place. Four laps later Kevin Cory's spin closed up the pack and as Smith led the pack on the restart, Jayme Barnes lost his 6th place spot when he drifted high in the corner and the tight running trio of Scott Adams, Jay Smith and Rick Fauver blasted past. As Barnes watched the battle for his lost position in front of him, Jay Cole, Rick Smith and Ty Mayden were treating the crowd to an equally exciting wheel to wheel battle for 10th place. On lap 23 J. Smith got past Adams coming out of turn four to take 6th and put pressure on Menne. Then on lap 27, Menne spun in the fourth turn and collected Ron Wilson in the process putting them both at the back of the pack. Two laps latter it was Cory and Barry Martinez in turn two contact setting up a green, white, checkered situation for the finish. It was all "Hammer Down" on the last two circuits of the season, with positions holding steady to the final flag. At the line it was D. Smith, G. Brown, Wilskey, Nutter, J. Smith and Adams in the top six. Fauver, Mayden, R. Smith and Cole filled out the top ten. J. Smith and Mayden both advanced 6 spots while Chad Hillier gained 7 going from 20th to 13th. In the B-Main it was Jay Smith leading the entire 15 laps after Marvin Smith and Barnes were set back for a bad start. Smith took the lead from Hillier and never looked back with Barnes back in second and trailing the distance. A spin in turn three on lap 6 by Kevin Journey sent Mike Griffith heading for the pits with a flat right rear after Griffith ran out of room between Journey and the inside wall. Then C-Main winner Matt Rodgers and Kirk Haefs had their good race for position end when they tangled coming out of four on lap 9 and did a double flip down the front straight to bring out the red flag. At the checkered flag it was J. Smith, Barnes, Cory and Hillier making the transfer to the A-Main with Marvin Smith coming up one position short. It took a couple of tries to get started, but once the C-Main was going Matt Rodgers took the point position and refused to give it up. Timothy Gallaway took control of second and Monty Cox had a lock on third until he hit the front straight wall midway through the 10 lap race and garnered the high flyer award of the night for his very high flip with a scary and violent landing. Although thoroughly shaken from the hard landing, Cox climbed out on his own to the cheers of the once silent crowd. Rodgers stayed in control on the restart with Gallaway following as Greg Price, Vern Wheeler and Ron Cooper diced for third. At the finish line it was Price picking up the final transfer to the B-Main with Cooper and Wheeler filling the top five. In the evenings opening heat, Richie Brown came out the winner with Mayden, Adams Menne taking A-Main spots behind him. On the opening lap J. Smith took an easy lay over as he got up on two wheels in turn four, almost saved it and then a bump from another car kept him from coming back down on all four. After an easy up-righting by the safety crew he was back in business but only worked back up to 6th. Heat two had Cory leading for the first 7 laps with Barnes close on his rear nerf bar. On lap eight Cory got sideways as he came out of turn four and the hard charging Barns, unable to avoid him went up and over in a quick flip. Barnes was able to straighten his top wing enough to rejoin at the back of the pack, but not Cory. On the restart it was third running D. Smith now in the lead and taking the win. Mike Crawford was second and with the original top two out R. Smith and Ron Wilson picked up transfers to the A-Main. Jay Cole took the front spot as the third heat went green with Martinez, Fauver, G. Brown and Hillier giving chase close behind. Hillier tagged the front straight wall mid-race but gained control before losing any positions. Fauver managed to get second from Martinez as they worked traffic on lap seven but G. Brown had to settle for fourth as Martinez held him off during the last couple of laps. The final heat went to Bill Nutter with Gary Stevenson, Wilskey and Jeff Thompsontaking transfer spots also. One of the best battles in the race was between Thompson and leading rookie Cale Carder during the last half of the race. Carder slipped to 6th when Ron Ellis got by on the last lap. Setting up an Oregon front row for the A-Main, G. Brown and D. Smith raced wheel to wheel until Brown finally got the lead midway through the second lap of the dash. Chasing the top two to the finish were Menne, Nutter, Wilskey and Adams.

SUMMARY Fast Time - Dale Smith - 11.208 Heat 1 - Richie Brown, Ty Mayden, Scott Adams, Dan Menne, Marvin Smith, Jay Smith, Monty Cox, Monty Smith, Pat Desbiens, Corky Ferrel, Kevin Etchison. Heat 2 - Dale Smith, Mike Crawford, Rick Smith, Ron Wilson, Shawn Rice, Mike Griffith, Greg Price, Seth Carder, Jayme Barnes, Ron Cooper, Kevin Cory. Heat 3 - Jay Cole, Rick Fauver, Barry Martinez, Greg Brown, Chad Hillier, Melissa Yates, Timothy Gallaway, Kirk Haefs, Jim Cress, Kevin Journey, Sloan Taylor. Heat 4 - Bill Nutter, Gary Stevenson, Shawna Wilskey, Jeff Thompson, Ron Ellis, Cale Carder, Vern Wheeler, Matt Rodgers, Robin Wood, Eric Trask, Jeremy Cooper, Gus Cooper. Dash - G. Brown, D. Smith, Menne, Nutter, Wilskey, Adams.. C-Main - Rodgers, Gallaway, Price, R. Cooper, Wheeler, Ferrel, Cress, Trask, Taylor, Wood, S. Carder, Cox. B-Main - J. Smith, Barnes, Cory, Hillier, Marvin Smith, Rice, J. Cooper, C. Carder, Ellis, Desbiens, Journey, Price, Griffith, Monty Smith, Yates, Haefs, Rodgers, Gallaway. A-Main - D. Smith, G. Brown, Wilskey, Nutter, J. Smith, Adams, Fauver, Mayden, R. Smith, Cole, Menne, Barnes, Hillier, Thompson, Desbiens, Stevenson, Crawford, Wilson, Cory, Martinez, R. Brown.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey