All Oregon Podium at NST Willamette Speedway Show In a 32 car field, Oregon drivers ruled the track in the June 4th Northern Sprint Tour feature event at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR, with Billy Nutter of Central Point taking the win ...
All Oregon Podium at NST Willamette Speedway Show
In a 32 car field, Oregon drivers ruled the track in the June 4th Northern Sprint Tour feature event at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR, with Billy Nutter of Central Point taking the win followed by five fellow Oregonians.
"This is great", stated Nutter. "I knew I had to run hard but I had to pace myself and run a smooth race, especially through traffic. The crew had the car set perfect, the whole car, chassis and all, was built in Oregon and Cale (Carter) did an awesome job with this ASCS motor. It's supposed to be next year's motor but we had problems with the other one so we put the ASCS one in the car. Yes, this is a big win."
Second place finisher Marvin Smith of Cottage Grove came back from a trophy dash flip that sent him out of the park in the first turn on the first lap. Helped by several other teams, Smith was able to make the feature and moved from his sixth place start to take second on lap 21 of the 30-lap event.
"I have to thank all the crews that helped get the car back together. When I went over the bank I thought that was it for the night" was Smith's first comment in his post race interview. "Billy runs a hard race. I thought I might have a chance in traffic but when he got a lapped car between us I ran out of time." Asked how he took second he replied, "After a couple of tries, I snuck past TJ (Winningham) in turn 2 after he got loose."
The yellow flew right after the green in the feature event when St. Albert, AB driver Jeff Hodgson tagged TJ Winningham's right rear in turn one and spun. At the same time, B-Main winner Chad Hillier pitted with a flat and went to the rear of the field. On the complete restart, Nutter out raced Gold Hill, OR's Winningham through the first two corners and never looked back.
Opening as much as a 10 car length lead, Nutter set a very fast pace on the three-tenths mile oval with Winningham and Smith giving chase while the next five cars followed at 2 to 5 car length intervals.
Lap 6 saw rookie Ron Ellis make hard contact with the front straight wall as he exited the fourth turn. Although he managed to keep the car up right, he had major damage and the Pleasant Hill, OR driver was out for the evening. Also getting involved was Jay Barnes of Everett, WA, who also tagged the wall and spent the rest of the evening in the pits.
Back under the green, Dale Smith his was dogging his brother Marvin's rear nerf as Jeff Thompson and Roger Crockett diced for 5th, place. Crockett, of Eugene, OR made the pass for the position on lap 9, but Harrisburg's Thompson took the spot back on lap 26 following some very close racing.
Caught in traffic, Nutter saw a 12-car length lead slowly disappear as worked to get past the slower cars. Finally finding a clear shot on the high side on lap 16, Nutter was able to keep his hold on the lead.
The third and final yellow was waved on lap 20 when Nick Evans spun in turn two. With an open track on the restart, Nutter and M. Smith were off and running as D. Smith and Winningham went wing to wing for third. Farther back in the pack Everett, WA driver Jayme Barnes in the Ft. Jones, CA Finley Farms car was in a tight battle with Hodgson for 9th.
With three laps to go Nutter, fighting his way through slower cars, put the Shawn Rice sprint between himself and M. Smith and went to the win. Following Nutter across the line were, M. Smith, D. Smith, Winningham, Thompson, and Crockett, with Shelton, WA driver Jay Cole the first non-Oregon car to finish.
Like the A-Main, the B-Main got off to a yellow flag start with a spin by Chris Adams of Nampa, ID in the first turn. Two more yellow flags, on lap two for a get together of Adams and Barry Martinez of Lynnwood, WA and lap ten as two cars tangled in turn four and sent 2nd place runner Jeff Thompson to the work area.
Chad Hillier of Sedro Woolley, WA had set the pace at the green and carried through to the win with his only problem being some mid race traffic. In a preliminary to the feature event, Crockett and Thompson spent the first 10 laps racing for 2nd place.
With Thompson out of the top group, Barnes moved into third with Cole following. Rookie Henry Van Dam of Enumclaw, WA made a good run to hold off all challenges for 5th place. Martinez moved from 15th to finish 6th.
In heat race action, Ellis took control at the fall of the first heat green and went wire to wire with Everett, WA veteran Rick Fauver giving chase but never catching the rookie.
Heat two had Meridian, ID driver Randy Pierce in control the full 10 laps with Nick Evans in second place. Jay Barnes, father of Jayme Barnes, made quick work of the third heat as Josh Dewitt could only follow to the finish line.
The final heat Had Chris Schmelzle out front the full distance, but the Vancouver, BC chauffer had Jimmy Trulli of Placerville, CA almost hooked to his tail from the 3rd lap on. The battle for 3rd between M. Smith and Tacoma, WA's Rice seesawed back and forth and Van Dam barely held off Crockett for 5th.
Setting up the top six starting positions for the A-Feature event, M. Smith got a little anxious going for the lead and hopped the rear wheel of Nutter as they entered turn one, sending Smith up and over the wall and onto the road outside turn one.
On the restart Nutter aced out Winningham in the first turn and went to the dash win. He was followed by, Thompson, D. Smith and Hodgson with M. Smith in the pits.
Fast time of the night went to Hillier with a pass of 12.878 seconds late in the qualifying period.
Fast Time -- Chad Hillier -- 12.878.
Heat 1 --Ron Ellis, Rick Fauver, Jeff Hodgson, Dale Smith, Glenn Borden, Jr., Chad Hillier, Randy Van Aagten, Dawn-L Morrison.
Heat 2 --Randy Pierce, Nick Evans, Shawn Smith, Jeff Thompson, Mark Torres, Bryce Fugate, Chris Adams, Jimmy Voytek.
Heat 3 --Jay Barnes, Josh Dewitt, TJ Winningham, Billy Nutter, Jayme Barnes, Jay Cole, David Gilmore, Barry Martinez.
Heat 4 -- Chris Schmelzle, Jimmy Trulli, Shawn Rice, Marvin Smith, Henry Van Dam, Roger Crockett, Travis Hawthorne.
Dash -- Nutter, Winningham, Thompson, D. Smith, Hodgson, M. Smith.
B-Main -- Hillier, Crockett, Jayme Barnes, Cole, Van Dam, Martinez, Morrison, Van Aagten, Gilmore, Torres, Hawthorne, Borden, Fugate, Voytek, Adams, Gary Vaughn (DNS).
A-Main --Nutter, M. Smith, D. Smith, Winningham, Thompson, Crockett, Cole, S. Smith, Jayme Barnes, Hodgson, Fauver, Dewitt, Trulli, Hillier, Schmelzle, Rice, Evans, Pierce, Jay Barnes, Ellis.