Grays Harbor Raceway Completes First Race Of 2013
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Jim Marshall)
The first race of Grays Harbor Raceway is officially in the books. A night of exciting action took place at the 3/8-mile clay oval Saturday night that produced both new and familiar faces to victory lane. Classes that were on hand for the evening included 360 Sprints, Shipwreck Beads IMCA Modifieds, USAC Ford Focus Midgets, Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks, and Hornets.
For the second year in a row J.J. Hickle has won the first race of the season in the 360 Sprints. The defending 360 champ and Quilcene youngster had the field covered at the drop of the green flag all the way to the finish. Don’t forget that he also won the last race of the year in 2012 in this same division too and is currently on a roll.
Midget standout Evan Margeson of Tacoma knocked on the door a few times in the early goings but would eventually finish in second place followed by Enumclaw’s Henry Van Dam. Jay Cole of Shelton returned to GHR after sitting out much of last year due to an injury with a fourth place finish and Snohomish native Reece Goetz completed the top five finishers in fifth. Reece Goetz was fastest in qualifications earlier in the program with a time of 12.419 seconds and Jay Cole was the heat race winner.
Scott Miller of Shelton opened the season up with a victory in the Shipwreck Beads IMCA Modified division. The four-time champ would get into the lead early and would not give the position up at all in the main to dominate the competition for the entire distance.
Fellow Shelton chauffeurs Kris Asche and Del Schnitzer would finish in second and third place respectively which both were great runs. Carl Larson of Castle Rock posted a fourth place finish and crossing the line in fifth was Tom Sweatman from Cosmopolis. The victor in the one and only heat race of the night went to the two-time and defending track champion Joe German of Wishkah.
In USAC Ford Focus Midget action it was a race of attrition as several top drivers had issues that forced them to retire early. Jeremy Miller of Montesano led several laps until Chase Goetz from Snohomish was able to overtake him. Once Goetz grabbed the lead he would hold on to it to win his first race of the season.
Jeremy Miller would finish the night in second place followed by Dougie James of Richmond Beach in third. Chance Crum placed fourth followed by Robbie Vaughn of Monroe who completed the top five in fifth. Vaughn was quickest in qualifying with a time of 16.149 seconds and was also the winner of the only heat race of the night.
In the Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks main event Brian Izzi of Hoquiam set the pace early in the feature until Jack Parshall eventually would take the lead. Parshall, also of Hoquiam, made the pass on lap ten and would hold on the rest of the way but not without pressure from Cory Sweatman from Cosmopolis. Sweatman tried to work the top line but would be unable to get by Parshall who would go on to claim the win.
Cory Sweatman would finish in second followed by Brian Izzi in third. Finishing in the fourth spot was Don Briggs from Wishkah and Olympia’s Eddie Blood wound up in fifth. Jack Parshall was fastest in qualifying with a time of 17.697 seconds while heat race winners were Parshall and Oakville’s Brian Harding.
In the Hornet classification the main event would go from green to checker. Jeff Daniel of Ocean Shores would have his way with the field as he would lead the entire distance to earn the first win of the year.
Willie Wright would finish in the runner-up position with defending champion Chad Norton of Tenino in third. Also from Tenino Jeserae Norton crossed the line fourth followed by Mike Brewster in fifth. No qualifying took place for the Hornets but a heat race was ran with Willie Wright earning the victory.
Grays Harbor Raceway will be in action next Saturday night April 27th with another great lineup of classes on hand. Divisions on the card include 360 Sprints, Shipwreck Beads IMCA Modifieds, Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks, and Hornets. For more information be sure and log on to www.graysharborraceway.com for the latest news and stories.
2013 Season Opener
Saturday April 20th, 2013
Grays Harbor Raceway
Fast Time: Reece Goetz, 12.419
Heat Race Winner: Jay Cole
A-Feature: 1. J.J. Hickle, 2. Evan Margeson, 3. Henry Van Dam, 4. Jay Cole, 5. Reece Goetz
Shipwreck Beads IMCA Modifieds
Heat Race Winner: Joe German
A-Feature: 1. Scott Miller, 2. Kris Asche, 3. Del Schnitzer, 4. Carl Larson, 5. Tom Sweatman, 6. Kevin Keller, 7. Joe German, 8. Jeff Foster, 9. Zack Simpson
USAC Ford Focus Midgets
Fast Time: Robbie Vaughn, 16.149
Heat Race Winner: Robbie Vaughn
A-Feature: 1. Chase Goetz, 2. Jeremy Miller, 3. Dougie James, 4. Chance Crum, 5. Robbie Vaughn, 6. Renee Angel, 7. Garrett Thomas, 8. Hannah Lindquist
Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks
Fast Time: Jack Parshall, 17.697
Heat Race Winners: Jack Parshall (1), Brian Harding (2)
A-Feature: 1. Jack Parshall, 2. Cory Sweatman, 3. Brian Izzi, 4. Don Briggs, 5. Eddie Blood, 6. Doug Brewster, 7. Matt Babcock, 8. Shane Clark, 9. Dick Ewing, 10. Austin Kerrigan, 11. Mike Knox, 12. Brian Harding
Heat Race Winner: Willie Wright
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Daniel, 2. Willie Wright, 3. Chad Norton, 4. Jeserae Norton, 5. Mike Brewster, 6. Peggy Harding