Northern Sprint Tour Willamette results 2001-05-25

The residents of downtown Lebanon, OR may well have known when Barry Martinez picked up his first sprint car win on Friday night at Willamette Speedway. The Lynnwood, WA driver's shouts of happiness were loud and long after he held off the ...

The residents of downtown Lebanon, OR may well have known when Barry Martinez picked up his first sprint car win on Friday night at Willamette Speedway. The Lynnwood, WA driver's shouts of happiness were loud and long after he held off the competition through 30 laps and eight restarts to take his well earned win.

"I don't think I could be any happier. Yeeoowwh!!!!!!" There was no doubt Martinez was the winner. "It was a long race, but as long as I protected the bottom, I didn't think anyone could get by, even in traffic." It was the strategy that paid off and earned him "Great race" congratulations from second and third place drivers Dale Smith of Cottage Grove, OR, and Everett, WA's Shawna Wilskey.

With a turn four that was biting drivers all night long, it took three tries to get the first lap in. On the original green Jay R. Harkness ended up on his side with Jeremy Cooper, Rick Fauver, Mike Crawford and Scott Aumen all getting a piece of the crash site. By the time the race was ready to start, all had made repairs and restarted the race.

Try number two ended in turn four again, this time with Jason Solwold in the upside down position and Gary Morgan into him. Morgan made it back, but Solwold's night was over as time ran out as the crew scrambled to try to repair the car.

The third time was the charm, as Martinez again grabbed the lead over Smith from his pole position start. With Smith putting the pressure on in the corners, Martinez could open a gap on the straights as the leaders pulled away from third place Jeff Thompson, Wilskey and the rest of the pack.

Into traffic by the sixth lap, Martinez and Smith continued to run nose to tail with the gap seldom more than a couple of car lengths apart. Wilskey got by Thompson in traffic on lap 13 to take third place, with Jayme Barnes moving up to challenge Thompson for fourth.

Lap 17 saw the yellow flag fly for a stopped Greg Brown, bunching the pack and removing Martinez' traffic problem for six laps and Jay Cole took advantage of the regrouping to start his march from 12th to a fourth place finish.

On lap 26, turn four again became a problem with first Crawford and then Fauver bringing out the yellow. Smith looked to have a chance of an outside pass as Martinez spun the tires on the restart, but the out side was too far around as Martinez pulled away again on the back straight. A lap later Barnes, without brakes, and Morgan got together in turn 4 with front end damage putting Barnes out of the race.

Turn four bit Fauver with a second spin on lap 29 and Martinez was home free on the restart from what he said felt like a marathon.

The "B" main was filled with heavy hitters as Wilskey, Roger Crockett, Jason Solwold, Jeremy Cooper and the Harkness brother, Jay R. and Brandon were all looking to get one of the four transfer spots.

Crockett took the lead at the green, and after holding off a couple of wheel to wheel challenges from Wilskey looked to have the win until just three laps from the checkered when he collected a spinning Jeff Osburn and had to restart from the back of the pack. With only three laps left, Crockett came up one spot short of a transfer at the finish.

Heat action had Fauver with the win in the opening heat with Morgan trailing by a quarter lap in second. John Tharp held second for the first four laps with Morgan getting by a first and then Martinez making a pass for third on lap seven.

Greg Brown kept Tim Levin at bay for the second heat's 10 laps with Levin's motor breaking just after the checkered. Richie Peterson and Barnes picked up the other two transfers to the feature.

After holding off a pair of corner challenges for the lead by Gary Taylor mid-race, Scott Aumen had a five car lead at the finish to win the third heat. Crawford and Smith took 3rd and 4th.

The final heat had Scott Adams getting sideways in turn four on the opening lap and getting clipped by Wilskey, putting them both out. The lead again went to Ron Wilson who had no problem with the competition to the checkered. Cole had second over a newcomer to sprints, Roger Oudman. Oudman, with experience in super stocks on dirt, held Thompson to a fourth place finish.

The dash win by Martinez marked his first time to pick up a trophy. Barnes, in a battle with Smith, spun on the second lap while in second place and finished last. Morgan made his move for third on lap three as he got by Taylor. Thompson was fifth.

SUMMARY Fast Time - Roger Crockett - 12.694

Heat 1 - Rick Fauver, Gary Morgan, Barry Martinez, John Tharp, Jason Solwold, Roger Crockett, Tony Thomas, Melissa Yates, Kenny Cope.

Heat 2 - Greg Brown, Tim Levin, Richie Peterson, Jayme Barnes, Jeremy Cooper, Brandon Harkness, Tony Menard, Kevin Smith, Gus Cooper.

Heat 3 - Scott Aumen, Gary Taylor, Mike Crawford, Dale Smith, Rick Smith, Jay R. Harkness, Ron Cooper, Kevin Journey.

Heat 4 - Ron Wilson, Jay Cole, Roger Oudman, Jeff Thompson, Eric Hopkins, Jeff Osburn, Shawna Wilskey, Scott Adams. Dash - Martinez, D. Smith, Morgan, Taylor, Thompson, Barnes.

B-Main - Wilskey, Solwold, J. Cooper, J. Harkness, B. HarKness, Crockett, Journey, Menard, R. Cooper, K. Smith, Yates, Osburn, Cope, R. Smith, G. Cooper, Thomas, Hopkins.

A-Main - Martinez, D. Smith, Wilskey, Cole, Thompson, Taylor, Wilson, J. HarKness, Aumen, J. Cooper, Tharp, Peterson, Oudman, Crawford, B. Harkness, Fauver, Morgan, Barnes, Brown, Solwold.

-George Hespe

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey , Gary Taylor , Roger Crockett