NST Willamette race summary 2002-09-13

Hawthorne picks up first Northern Sprint Tour win. Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR had new clay on the track and Friday night's winner was more than pleased with it. "It was a great track tonight," exclaimed first time hy-per-lube Northern ...

Hawthorne picks up first Northern Sprint Tour win.

Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR had new clay on the track and Friday night's winner was more than pleased with it. "It was a great track tonight," exclaimed first time hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour winner, Travis Hawthorne. "I could really run the high side, and once I had the lead I knew for anyone to get by me they would have to split me and those running low and do it in heavy traffic. I felt pretty sure it was finally my time."

Hawthorne, of Lake Stevens, WA, came into the night's program sitting eight in the points race. "We've been struggling with mostly engine problems. We knew we had a chance to run in front if we solved them and tonight it went great."

Glenn Borden, Jr. of Raymond, WA took the lead from the pole position, with Hawthorne running in second close behind. The two were into traffic just five laps into the 30-lap feature with the traffic first helping and then hindering Borden as Hawthorne, Jeff Hodgson of St. Albert, AB and Everett, WA driver Jayme Barnes were closing to a tight battle.

By lap 10 Barnes was pushing to take fourth from Hodgson while the top two were nose to tail. Trailing the top four by about 10 car lengths were Rick Fauver of Everett, WA Lake Stevens' Shawna Wilskey and Steven Allard of Chico, CA had a tight race going for fifth. Allard put a pass on Wilskey with 12 laps in the books and Hodgson nabbed second from Hawthorne the next trip around but was only able to hold it for half a lap before slipping back to third.

Allard continued to come on strong and went into third over Barnes on lap 17 but got sideways a lap later and dropped back a spot.

Hawthorne took the lead exiting turn four on lap 19 and held past the flag stand, just before the yellow flag as Hodgson coasted to a stop on the front straight, his drive-line lying on the track in turn four. The yellow flew a second time on the re-start for a spinning Travis Jacobson in turn three.

With ten laps to go, it was Hawthorne, Borden and Barnes leading the way at a pace that had them into traffic on the three-tenths mile oval in just four laps. With five to go, Barnes aced Borden out of second place as the came out of the fourth turn and was closing on a slowed by traffic leader.

After a couple of laps of protecting the high groove, Hawthorne found some open track and the last three laps it was Barnes in a chase that came up short at the checkered flag.

Following Barnes Were Borden, Allard and Fauver. Jeff Thompson moved from 10th to fill the top six.

The B-Main was full of heavy hitters with Scott Aumen taking the lead over teammate and fast timer Tony Menard. Running second, Menard brought out the first yellow flag when he spun in turn 3 on lap five.

Two laps later it was a red flag stopping the action when Greg Brown, trying to miss a spinning Dan Menne in turn three on the high side, collected Menne and flipped into the outside wall to end his night of racing. Menne made repairs and returned to action.

At the end of lap 7 Don Fry coasted to a stop at the finish line in a cloud of smoke and steam with Steve Veltman exiting to the pits on the restart.

Back in action, it was Aumen holding the lead over Barnes for the final eight laps with his buffer varying from 2 to eight car lengths depending on traffic. Thompson and defending champion Roger Crockett trailed in the final two transfer spots to the feature event, as Menne and Mike Sather put on a good race for fifth.

Morinville, AB's Geoff Beck led in his first dash until the last lap, when Borden was able to pass in turn 3 & 4 for the win. In the post dash interview Borden said, "I like the new surface. A little different but it's treating me well. I hope it holds for the main."

In the night's opening heat, Rick Smith took the lead at the Travis Brearty green and pulled away to a half lap lead over field at the checkered flag. Heat two had a good, race long battle between Billy Sellers and Allard for the lead. With Sellers out front at the start, Allard took the lead at the end of lap 7 and held to the win.

Heat three took two tries to get started and on the re-start the red flag flew when Menne got up on Thompson's right rear tire just past the flag stand. Both cars flipped going into turn one with Menne going over the turn two wall. Thompson was able to make it back into heat.

The final heat had Dale Smith leading until slowing on lap five and pulling into the pits with engine woes putting him out for the night. Jay Cole took the lead on the restart and held off Borden to flag.

Fast time of the night went to Tony Menard of Nanaimo, BC with a 12.647 second circuit of the clay oval.

Action on the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour now moves to Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR for a race on Saturday, September 14th.

Summary
Fast Time -- Tony Menard -- 12.647

Heat 1 -- Rick Fauver, Randy Van Aagten, Shawna Wilskey, Chad Hillier, Scott Aumen, Tony Menard, Dawn-L Morrison.

Heat 2 --Steven Allard, Billy Sellers, Jeff Hodgson, Jeff Thompson, Jayme Barnes, Roger Crockett, Don Fry, Greg Brown.

Heat 3 -- Rick Fauver, Travis Hawthorne, Travis Jacobson, Mark Hinkle, Jeff Thompson, Mike Sather, Steve Veltman, Dan Menne.

Heat 4 -- Jay Cole, Glenn Borden, Jr., Tyler Pincemin, Geoff Beck, Robert McNulty, Jim Voytek, Dale Smith.

Dash -- Borden, Jr., Pincemin, Hawthorne, Hodgson, Wilskey, Fauver.

B-Main -- Aumen, Barnes, Thompson, Crockett, Crawford, Sather, Menne, McNulty, Voytek, Veltman, Fry, Brown, Morrison, Menard.

A-Main --Hawthorne, Barnes, Borden, Jr., Allard, Fauver, Thompson, Wilskey, Crockett, Aumen, R. Smith, Hillier, Pincemin, Jacobson, Cole, Beck, Hinkle, Van Aagten, Carder, Hodgson, Sellers.

-nst-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey , Roger Crockett