NST Evergreen State Sprint Challenge - Northwest Speedweek

<pre> hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour "Northwest Speedweek" "Evergreen State Sprint Challenge" Grays Harbor Raceway Park Elma, WA July 21, 2001 <pre> Night two of the 5th Annual "Evergreen State Sprint Challenge" was...

<pre> hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour "Northwest Speedweek" "Evergreen State Sprint Challenge" Grays Harbor Raceway Park Elma, WA July 21, 2001

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Night two of the 5th Annual "Evergreen State Sprint Challenge" was action packed as Steve Kent played the waiting game for a $6000 night at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA on July 21st. $5000 for winning the feature event and $1000 for earning the most points in the 20/10 Products Top 10. "I just stayed patient", said Kent, "and felt out the track as it changed till I found a way to get off of turn four."

Johnny Rodriguez took the initial lead after winning the race to turn three over Solwold and Rick Fauver on the opening lap. Shawna Wilskey moved up to sixth on lap 4 when Kent slid high in turn two dropping to 9th, but only for two laps.

Scott Aumen nailed the turn one wall on lap 8 and on the restart Fauver and Solwold went wing to wing for second behind Rodriguez. Fauver took second by inches at the end of the 9th lap while Kent was losing a couple of inside pass tries on Wilskey.

Fauver kept using the high groove for several laps in his bid to take the lead from Rodriguez with Solwold so close behind that the old ^Ñcould have covered them all with a blanket' adage was true in the corners.

The pass finally came mid way through the race on lap 20 as they headed down the front straight. Crockett still had fourth with Kent close behind and Dale Smith, having worked from 14th to 6th was putting pressure on Wilskey for 5th place as the red flew for a flipping Jay Cole.

Crockett lost 4th to Kent on the restart and with the laps running on the downside to the finish, the pace was fast and steady with the top five fairly evenly spaced at 4-5 car length intervals. On lap 31 Rodriguez fell victim to Kent's move to the front and Solwold was nearly even with Fauver.

Solwold went inside of Fauver on lap 33 to take the lead and on the next circuit it was Kent putting Fauver into 3rd place. With the crowd going wild, Kent made his move for the front as they exited the last turn on lap 36. As he was making the pass, Solwold spun at the exit of the turn, the same place Kent had spun while going for the lead the night before. This time Kent kept it straight to hold first place.

The last five laps had Kent opening a comfortable lead as Fauver, Rodriguez and Crockett battled behind him. Rodriguez tried unsuccessfully to get past Fauver on the inside and then lost third to Crockett on the white flag lap to finish fourth.

The race at the front of the pack didn't have all of the action though. Marc Dupperon and fast timer Jeff Hodgson had a good battle going till Dupperon had to exit with no brakes on lap 20. Hodgson then found himself in a fight for a top ten spot with Jayme Barnes, Jeff Thompson and Glenn Borden, Jr. for the last half of the race.

After race comments had Kent thanking his crew for providing a winning car for Speedweek and he was very happy to have won. Fauver said he lost his lead because it was hard to gauge his speed while trying to run smooth and just slowed enough to get passed. Crockett's comment, "I went high like everyone else, and I feel lucky to finish third."

The 20 lap B-main was filled with action including 3 yellows and a red in the first half while the last half was fast and clean.

Stan Yockey beat Borden to the line on the first lap with Jay Cole close behind. Borden lost second when Cole put a back straight pass on him on lap 4 and they ran to the checkered in that order.

Jeremy Cooper settled into fourth after fending off challenges by Wade Fleming and then Chad Bauer who had put Fleming down a spot on the 15th lap. Fleming continued to fade with Mike Crawford moving to 6th.

Barry Martinez brought out the first yellow when he got sideways out of turn 4 on the opening lap, was clipped and lost his front wing . He then exited with no brakes on the 4th lap.

After having spun once, John Tharp tagged Ron Myska on lap 11 with Tharp flipping in turn three causing the only red and the last stoppage of the race.

Yockey had a good 5 car length lead the last half with close mid pack dicing behind between Crawford, Shawn Rice, Chris Schmelzle and Melissa Yates.

Top six at the finish read Yockey, Cole Borden, Cooper, Bauer and Crawford.

Crawford took the C-main lead and win after going high into turn three to get past Tharp. Going wire to wire, Crawford quickly opened a wide gap in front of Tharp s the rest of the field strung out behind.

Jim Cress, Ron Reed and Yates had a good battle going for the last transfer spot to the B-main with Yates winning out at the checkered flag.

Since the feature events of Saturday night's race were to be lined up by points earned to that point during the two nights of the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge, the heats were the last chance to add to improve starting chances.

Barnes took his out side front row start to the lead on the first lap over Borden with Jeff Thompson, Fauver and Solwold in tow. Borden lost position to Thompson on lap six and another spot to Fauver at the end of lap 7. On the next go around Solwold moved past Borden to 4th and the top five went to the finish in that order.

Heat two belonged to Dale Smith with Scott Aumen in second. Rodriguez moved up 3 spots to third as Dupperon and Scott Adams filled the top five.

The third heat needed a complete restart after a green flag double flip by Ron Myska and Brandon Harkness in the first turn. With Donny Fry in the lead, Kent chased Yockey before making the pass for second on the back straight of the white flag lap. Gary Morgan and Jay Harkness followed.

Final heat action took five tries to get under way. After 2 spins, a flip and another spin, the driver were lined up single file for the final restart. Crockett took the lead over Cole as the two walked away from the competition. Tharp was third and Crawford held off a determined Reed as they finished 4th and 5th.

Fast time of the evening went to Hodgson with a 13.862 lap. <pre>

SUMMARY Fast Time - Jeff Hodgson - 13.862 Heat 1 - Jayme Barnes, Jeff Thompson, Rick Fauver, Jason Solwold, Glenn Borden, Jr., Jeff Hodgson, Chris Schmelzle, Steve Walker, Chad Bauer, Dan Dunlap, Melissa Yates. Heat 2 - Dale Smith, Scott Aumen, Johnny Rodriguez, Marc Dupperon, Scott Adams, Tony Menard, Geoff Beck, Shawn Rice, Dawn-L Morrison, Cale Carder. Heat 3 - Donny Fry, Steve Kent, Stan Yockey, Gary Morgan, Jay Harkness, Jeremy Cooper, Wade Fleming, Robert McNulty, Ron Myska, Brandon Harkness. Heat 4 - Roger Crockett, Jay Cole, John Tharp, Mike Crawford, Ron Reed, Barry Martinez, Shawna Wilskey, Rob Johnson, Jim Cress, Ed Weirsma. Dash - Rodriguez, Solwold, Fauver, Crockett, B. Harkness, Dupperon. C-Main - Crawford, Tharp, Johnson, Dunlap, Morrison, Carder, Yates, Cress, Jim Walker, Reed, Kaylene, Vervilla. B-Main - Yockey, Cole, J. Harkness, Cooper, Bauer, Crawford, Rice, Yates, S. Walker, Menard, McNulty, Weirsma, Tharp, Adams, Martinez. A-Main - Kent, Fauver, Crockett, Rodriguez, Smith, Wilskey, Hodgson, Thompson, Barnes, Borden, Solwold, Cooper, J. Harkness, B. Harkness, Morgan, Beck, Dupperon, Cole, Yockey, Aumen.

-NST

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Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey , Johnny Rodriguez , Roger Crockett