Four years ago Tim Shaffer won his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws race when he took the Friday night preliminary victory at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA. Tonight the Aliquippa, PA driver returned to the tracks winners circle for his...
Four years ago Tim Shaffer won his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws race when he took the Friday night preliminary victory at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA. Tonight the Aliquippa, PA driver returned to the tracks winners circle for his first feature event win in the 2002 season as he passed and then held off "The King", Steve Kinser of Bloomington, IN to win the 40-lap event and pick up $12,000 of the nights purse.
"We hit traffic in just the right spots tonight. We've been second so many times this year, but tonight the crew gave me a beautiful car", stated an obviously very happy driver. " Steve (Kinser) and I got pretty close a couple of times, but that's just racing and you can't give an inch, because this is a hard driving bunch." When asked about the track Shaffer said, "This race track was awesome tonight, but when I tried the high groove it wasn't as good as the bottom for the car, so I just went back down."
Steve Kinser took the initial lead by cutting low into the first turn on the start to take the lead from Mark Kinser. At the end of the second lap Steve had a 10-car length lead and Shaffer had taken 2nd from Mark by cutting under Mark in turn three.
Two laps later the battle for fourth between Dover, MO's Danny Lasoski and Jac Haudenschild of Wooster, OH was settled when Lasoski went low in turns one and two and exited onto the back straight with the position.
By lap six, S. Kinser had a 1.2 second lead but was headed into traffic allowing Shaffer to close the gap. In heavy traffic, Shaffer ran the high groove on lap 11 as Kinser found the track full of slower cars low and coming out of turn four Shaffer took the lead.
Action slowed on lap14 when local driver Glenn Borden, Jr. spun in turn one and collected 3rd place runner M. Kinser. Kinser pitted to replace a damaged header and restarted at he back of the pack.
Two laps later it was Toni Lutar rolling to a turn four stop with a flat tire to bring out another yellow. Under the yellow, Fargo, ND driver Donny Schatz pitted with steering problems and was unable to make repairs and return. M. Kinser also headed to the pit to replace a flat right rear tire.
With action hot and fast again, Haudenschild worked the high side in a quest to take third place away from but his best charge on lap 19 fell short of the goal.
At the halfway mark of the 40-lap event the leaders were again battling each other and heading back into traffic, as Shaffer's lead was 1.9 seconds. Five laps later S. Kinser had closed on and pulled even with Shaffer but couldn't make going to the top in one and two work for the lead.
Although S. Kinser's bid for the lead fell short, Haudenschild, still using the upper half of the track, took third from Lasoski as the came off turn two on lap 26.
With 8 laps to go Shaffer's lead had shrunk to .3 seconds but once out of the heavy traffic he opened the distance to win by 1.4 seconds over S. Kinser.
Asked what he was going to do in the time between tonight and next Friday's race, Shaffer replied, "I'm not sure. Maybe play some golf. It's been a long time since we've had a week off so I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but it will be a lot better after tonight."
The B-main had a tight race going for the lead as Shannon Wheatly and Jason Solwold went nose to tail and wheel to wheel for the first six laps before the tangled in turn two and Solwold took a wild ride for the second night in a row. Solwold was uninjured but damage to the car was beyond a quick repair and he was out for the night. Wheatly was able to re-start at the back of the pack but exited the field at the end of the restart lap.
Rick Fauver of Everett, WA took over the lead with Wheatly and Solwold out with 16th starter Jay Cole trailing in second. Cole had given lessons to several in the pack as the Shelton, WA driver had worked his way through the field to second place by the mid-point of the 15-lap event.
Four laps into the event, turn two had a five-car tangle bring out a yellow flag with Tony Menard the only car not returning.
Shaffer took the lead from Chad Hillier at the line on the finish of the second lap of the night's first heat. Following them to the checkered flag were P.J. Chesson and Danny Wood, all going to the A-main.
Shawna Wilskey led wire to wire in the second heat with the top four reading Wilskey, Daryn Pittman, Joey Saldana and Jayme Barnes.
Toni Lutar picked up the heat three win as he held off Donny Schatz. Randy Hannagan and Stevie Smith also finished in transfer spots.
The final heat was all Jason Meyers, although Craig Dollansky closed on lap 4 and again in traffic near the end. Brad Furr and Jeff Thompson were third and Fourth.
The O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash went to Mark Kinser.
The top non-Outlaws 410 finish went to Shawna Wilskey and Jeff Thompson was the highest finishing 360-motored driver. Both picked up an extra $500.
Wild Wild Northwest Tour action featuring the Pennzoil World of Outlaws next moves to Skagit Speedway north of Burlington, WA, where they will run for $51, 600 on Friday, August 23rd, 2002.