NW Legends Tri-City post race notes

Day of firsts for Northwest Legends Series Micah Sampson Takes first Series win at Tri-City Raceway West Richland, Wash. (April 24, 2004) -- Micah Sampson, of Kalispell, Mont., in the ...

Day of firsts for Northwest Legends Series
Micah Sampson Takes first Series win at Tri-City Raceway

West Richland, Wash. (April 24, 2004) -- Micah Sampson, of Kalispell, Mont., in the #66 Tanner Smith Construction / Nickel Charlies, 34 Chevy Coupe, raced for his first Northwest Legends Series main event win during the 35-lap the series opener at Tri-City Raceway (TCR).

With a six car invert Sampson took control of the race on lap-1. Starting on the outside of the front row Sampson crossed the line in front of the #6 Martin's Auto Service / Fast Signs / Garrett & Donna Haxby, 37 Chevy Sedan, driven by Joe Martin, of Bremerton, Wash.

Sampson raced with little threat until Pro Division competitor, Duane Swanson, of Burien, Wash., in the #16 Commercial Structures Inc. / Sunny Dale Muffler, 37 Ford Sedan closed in on lap-8.

Sampson and Swanson battled closely for the next twelve laps until Swanson went to the inside coming out of turn-3/4 of the tricky tri-oval, taking the lead on lap-21.

The two had the crowd cheering racing wheel to wheel many times on the half-mile track with several lead challenges over the next 13-laps. Sampson returned the favor with a similar inside move taking the lead out of turn-4 on lap 34.

With time constraints of additional events the race was shortened to 35-laps, Sampson powered home on lap-35 for the checkers.

While in post-race inspection Sampson said, "I feel elated, this is a brand new car and this was its first race. I think we have it figured out with this car, at least it's on the right track." He continued, "We had a tight race out there tonight, Swanson raced pretty clean. I think we would have swapped the lead many times if the race had continued."

Sampson looks forward to additional races within the series, "We plan to race one event at Stateline (Speedway) and we'll make the show at Legends Thunder in Kalispell, Mont., then we'll return to Tri-City later in September for the fall race.

In the Master Division, Bob Kronenberg, of Olympia, Wash., continued his winning ways. Racing for his 18th career series win, Kronenberg started twelfth on the grid and was the sixth car to cross the line.

Kronenberg was smiling during post-race inspection, "I feel pretty good, I was mired in a lot of traffic with drivers I didn't have to pass for the win, but when they gave me the opportunity I took it. The competition was pretty good tonight. I was sorry to see Ricky McNeill drop out early with problems. He looked pretty good, and I'm sure his car was better than mine before he broke," said Kronenberg.

Racing for the win in the Semi-Pro Division, Tom Matheson, of Pasco, Wash., in the #55 Powers Equipment / Matheson Painting / Hydro Consulting, 37 Ford Sedan was the second car to cross the line, five positions in front of the next driver in his division.

With two racers in the Bandoleros field, both drivers chose to race an exhibition event for the nearly packed house and the crowd truly enjoyed the show.

Ten year old Zachary O'Brien, of Everett, Wash., driving the #19 Trophies & Awards Unlimited of Everett / Evergreen Printing Bandolero started on the inside with Patrick Ahlgren, of Veradale, Wash. piloting the #5 Don Struther Hauling / Spectrum Powder Coating Bandolero on the outside.

Both drivers raced hard and swapped the lead eight times in only fifteen laps. With an "Earnhardt touch", Ahlgren let O'Brien hear the chrome horn on lap-9, sending O'Brien for a speedy loop, and the crowd roared with excitement.

The yellow flew and O'Brien recovered chasing down Ahlgren and taking the lead for the win on the final lap.

Following the race with a big smiling grin, Ahlgren couldn't explain the spinning incident when interviewed by NASCAR MRN radio broadcaster, Paul Bartholomew. And once again the crowd cheered, enjoying the moment with the young racer.

The season opener saw three divisional drivers claim the first Brock Rentals Pole Awards.

In the Pro Division, Duane Swanson, of Burien, Wash., navigated the half-mile tri-oval driving the #16 Commercial Structures Inc. / Sunny Dale Muffler, 37 Ford Sedan and set fast time for the day with a lap time of 21.427 seconds. Swanson won $225 for the effort and took the first Brock Rentals Pole award.

For the Masters Division, Rick McNeill, of Burien, Wash drove his #11 Commercial Structures Inc. / Sunny Dale Muffler, 37 Ford Sedan for a division fast lap of 21.728 seconds.

And in the Semi-Pro Division, Tom Matheson, of Pasco, Wash. took Brock Rentals Pole Award honors behind the wheel of his #55 Powers Equipment / Matheson Painting / Hydro Consulting, 37 Ford Sedan with a lap time of 21.638 seconds.

Pole winner and fast time for the day, Duane Swanson crossed the line in second position. His car was disqualified during post-race inspection after failing engine compression tests. Penalties imposed were a complete loss of championship points for the event and loss of second place prize money.

Tech-inspection is not required following qualifying sessions in the Legends Series. Swanson will retain the pole award and contingency money.

<pre> Northwest Legends Touring Series Pro - Master - Semi-Pro Divisions Tri-City Raceway, West Richland, Wash. - April 24, 2004 40 laps/20-Miles on a .500-Mile Tri-Oval (Event shortened to 35 laps)

Finishing position, starting position, driver, division, make of car, laps completed, reason out, money won. F St Driver Div Car Laps Status Money 1. (2) Micah Sampson P, 34 Chevy Coupe 35 Running $500 2. (5) Tom Matheson SP, 37 Ford Sedan 35 Running $450 3. (4) Garrett Haxby P Chevrolet 35 Running $200 4. (1) Joe Martin P, 37 Chevy Sedan 35 Running $100 5. (10) Eric Brechel P, 37 Ford Sedan 35 Running $50 6. (12) Bob Kronenberg M Legends 35 Running $400 7. (11) Matt Barret SP, 37 Ford Sedan 34 Running $100 8. (14) Jim Hilliard M, 34 Ford Coupe 34 Running $100 9. (17) James Landon SP, 37 Chevy Sedan 34 Running $75 10. (19) Bryce Hilliard SP, 34 Ford Coupe 34 Running $50 11. (13) Scott Dalla SP, 34 Ford Sedan 34 Running $35 12. (16) Jeff Mueller SP Pontiac 34 Running $25 13. (18) Ben Matheson SP*, 37 Chevy Sedan 33 Running $15 14. (9) Bradley Shaw SP, 34 Ford Sedan 29 Accident $0 15. (5) Evan Margeson SP*, 34 Ford Coupe 29 Accident $0 16. (8) D.J. McNeill SP, 37 Chevy Sedan 29 Mechanical $0 17. (15) Robert Hornbeck M, 34 Chevy Coupe 29 Mechanical $75 18. (3) Rick McNeill M, 37 Ford Sedan 16 Mechanical $175 19. (20) Frank Stainbrook SP*, 34 Ford Coupe 11 Mechanical $0 20. (6) Duane Swanson P, 37 Ford Sedan 0 DQ $225

Bandoleros 15-Lap Exhibition Race 1. (1) Zachary O'Brien - B, Bandolero, Running 2. (2) Patrick Ahlgren - B, Bandolero, Running

Divisions Table: P Pro Division - M Master Division - SP Semi-Pro Division

B Bandoleros Bandits Division  -  YG Bandoleros Young Guns Division
Failed to Qualify:  Randy Schaaf, Jake Grosswiler

Brock Rentals Pole Awards: Duane Swanson - P, Rick McNeill - M, Tom Matheson - SP

NEXT EVENT: The next event Saturday, May 1, 2004 at Port Angeles Speedway.

Please visit: www.nwlegends.com for the latest Northwest Legends Touring Series Information.

-nwlts-

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