NST: Reflections on Fred Brownfield by drivers

NST Drivers reflect on Brownfield at Elma ELMA, Wash. -- Over the years Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. has been a favorite stop for many of the top Sprint car drivers. The late August Elma weekend comes shortly after the ...

NST Drivers reflect on Brownfield at Elma

ELMA, Wash. -- Over the years Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. has been a favorite stop for many of the top Sprint car drivers.

The late August Elma weekend comes shortly after the Knoxville Nationals and gives drivers, families and teams a chance to enjoy the coast and other parts of Washington.

In 2004, promoter Fred Brownfield completed an extensive renovation on his Elma track. Immediately, the transformed track became a showplace track that drew wide acclaim.

Brownfield, founder of the National Sprint Tour, was killed while lining up cars on the track June 16.

The Aug. 25-26 NST doubleheader was not only the first visit for the series to Elma, but it also marked the first time for most racers to compete at Elma since Brownfield's passing.

Approximately 6,000 fans came out both nights to catch the action, much to the pleasure of Fred's widow Debbie.

"There are a lot of emotions," said NST points leader Danny Lasoski, who swept the weekend. "This is Fred's place. We know he is here. Our hearts are heavy right now. Fred had done a great job here, and with the NST."

Lasoski not only swept the emotional weekend, he also won in front of car owners Dennis and Teresa Roth who drove up from Fresno, Calif. Dennis turned 61 on Friday night.

"It really was a very special weekend," Lasoski said.

Dennis Roth called the weekend "just awesome," but said his own birthday celebration paled by comparison to who he was able to spend time with Saturday.

"Fred did such a great job here, and Debbie is here tonight," Roth said. "That is the epitome of everything. That was the most important thing."

Steve Kinser, a longtime good friend of the Brownfields, clearly wanted to win Saturday's 40-lap main and was disappointed with himself when he couldn't get back by Lasoski late.

"I wanted to win, I just couldn't get it done," Kinser said. "It's my fault. I had the race car to win, and I didn't get the job done."

Kinser's teammate Tim Kaeding, who got by Kinser for second in the final corner, said Fred Brownfield was missed by all.

"It was hard," Kaeding said. "You just expect to see Fred come through the gate. It was good to see Debbie, Carrie and the rest of the Brownfields here and doing well. It was a great weekend for the Brownfield family."

Paul McMahan said the whole week had a different feel than the usual trip to the Northwest.

"It just wasn't the same," he said. "We got here Monday. You always come out and see Fred. It just wasn't the same. The water truck was out Wednesday, but it was weird to not see Fred in it. It was tough to keep the emotions in check.

"He wasn't just the promoter, he was a true friend," McMahan added of Brownfield. "It was a tough weekend. It was good to see all of the fans come out, like they always do."

-credit: nst

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Series Sprint
Drivers Steve Kinser , Paul McMahan , Tim Kaeding