Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Grays Harbor Raceway Park-- Elma, WA August 15, 2002 Solwold Wins In Last 30 Feet The thirteenth hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour points race saw plenty of fast action and ended with a thrilling last corner...
Hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour
Grays Harbor Raceway Park-- Elma, WA
August 15, 2002
Solwold Wins In Last 30 Feet
The thirteenth hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour points race saw plenty of fast action and ended with a thrilling last corner pass for the feature event win giving Jason Solwold a squeaker over Shawna Wilskey at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA on Thursday, August 15th.
It also set the stage for the two day Wild Wild Northwest Tour featuring the Pennzoil World of Outlaws by giving the fans a 360 cu. in. version of the 410 cu. in. Outlaws action they will see in the next two days.
Getting the lead from the outside front row position, inherited when the original front row was set back for a false start, Wilskey held fast through 4 yellow and two red flags in the first 13 laps and the Lake Stevens, WA driver looked to be untouchable as the last 17 went green to checkered.
Solwold kept working the high groove in the corners with Wilskey blocking his pass attempts as they raced down the straights. His persistence finally paid off when Wilskey committed to the low groove around a slower car going to the Checkered flag and Solwold went high. It was a drag race to the line with Burlington, WA's Solwold making the pass about 30 feet before the finish line.
The action started when Wilskey and Dan Menne had wheel contact as both went for the same spot going into the first turn at the green but barely slowed with Wilskey getting the point position.
Yellows flew on laps three, six, eight and ten with a three car tangle bringing out the red on the lap six restart and again on lap 13 when turn one saw Jeff Hodgson flip and Jeff Beck make heavy contact with the wall putting both out for the night.
Solwold took over second place early with his pass of Menne for third exiting turn two on lap four and was seldom more than 3-5 car lengths behind Wilskey till his winning pass.
Travis Hawthorne had the high groove figured out as the fast line around the track by the time five laps were in the book and had picked up seven positions before dropping out with engine problems on lap 11 while running in third place.
Although most of the fans were probably watching the tight race for the lead, Roger Crockett, Scott Aumen and Rick Fauver put on a great show as they diced for positions 4-6 mid race, sometimes running three wide. After running third for most of the race, Menne lost position to Crockett, Aumen and Fauver in the closing laps to finish in sixth place.
After the finish of the exciting feature event, Solwold commented, "I just ran harder the last lap than the ones before and it paid off. We've run a lot of races here and in some I fell short of what was needed. I figured I'd just have to do what I had to for the win. Now I'm looking forward to tomorrow night and running with the Outlaws"
"I just fell off a bit. He's (Solwold) a tough driver", stated Wilskey after the race. "I kept to the bottom of the track where the car was best for me. Now we'll come back tomorrow in a different car for the Outlaw show."
Crockett said he'd picked up some pointers from Danny Lasoski and "would have liked to win but will take the third place." Fauver grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag in the B-main and never looked back as they raced to the finish of the 15 lap B-main event.
While Fauver was making leading look pretty easy, Steve Walker and Jeff Thompson were having a battle of the number seven's with Walker's 7W finally taking second from Thompson's 7T mid-race.
In the closing laps Fauver and Walker opened a substantial lead over the rest of the field with Thompson, Randy VanAagten, Tony Menard and Dan Dunlap filling out the top six spots. VanAagten and Dunlap each picked up five spots but Mark Hinkle was best in the passing category, moving up seven places. VanAagten went on to pick up another 7 spots in the feature event.
Heat race action had Tim Levin taking the lead at mid-point when Billy Nutter had problems and dropped out. Chad Hillier was second with Hodgson winning third place from Glenn Borden, Jr. after some dicing for the spot.
Jay Cole had no problem with the second heat of the evening as Hawthorne and Wilskey trailed him to the line. Crockett went from 6th to the front and the win of heat three after getting the point position from Aumen on lap 6 as they entered the third turn.
Getting in the first lap in the final heat proved to be one of the hardest things to get done during the night. After three tries and three yellows they went to a single file start with Solwold coming from 6th to take the lead from Don Fry in the first turn on lap three. With Solwold in a run away it was Fry, Menne and Tyler Pincemin getting transfers.
Aumen picked up the dash win and Hodgson set fats time with a 13.623 second circuit.
During a break in the action, a special "Iron Man" award was presented to Rick Fauver by Fred Brownfield to recognize his dedication to the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour. Rick is the only driver to have competed in every race run by the tour. Along with a trophy that was about as big as Rick, and elicited a "Where am I going to put this?" statement, he was given a personalized travel bag for his racing gear.
Summary Fast Time -- Jeff Hodgson -- 13.623
Heat 1 - Tim Levin, Chad Hillier, Jeff Hodgson, Glenn Borden, Jr. Jeff Thompson, Randy VanAagten, Roger Oudman, Bill Nutter.
Heat 2 - Jay Cole, Travis Hawthorne, Shawna Wilskey, Jeff Bell, Ron Reed, Dawn-L Morrison, Brad Holmes, Rick Fauver.
Heat 3 - Roger Crockett, Scott Aumen, Jeff Beck, Mike Sather, Jay Barnes, Dan Dunlap, Tony Menard, Mark Hinkle.
Heat 4 - Jason Solwold, Donny Fry, Dan Menne, Tyler Pincemin, Robert McNulty, Steve Walker, Travis Jacobson.
Dash - Aumen, Crockett, Menne, Wilskey, Solwold, Hodgson.
B-Main - Fauver, Walker, Thompson, VanAagten, Menard, Dunlap, Barns, Hinkle, Morrison, Reed, Holmes, Jacobson, Oudman, McNulty, Nutter.
A - Main - Solwold, Wilskey, Crockett, Aumen, Fauver, Thompson, Borden, Hillier, Cole, Pincemin, Levin, VanAagten, Sather, Walker, Hodgson, Beck, Jacobson, Fry, Bell.
hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour action will next move to Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on September 13th.
Action at Grays Harbor Raceway Park continues with the opening race of the 9th Annual Wild Wild Northwest Tour featuring the Pennzoil World of Outlaws on Friday and Saturday, August 16th and 17th.