Grays Harbor Raceway
Schnitzer wins Modified Clash Tune Up, Margeson, Austin Kerrigan, Esteban and Pirtle Victorious
Five classes of cars were on hand at Grays Harbor Raceway. The IMCA Modifieds were getting ready for their tune up to the two day Modified Clash coming up on May 27th and 28th. Also on hand were the 360 Sprint Cars, Super Stocks, and visiting series the PHRA Dwarf Cars and Pacific Micro Sprint Association.
Pacific Micro Sprint Association
Paul Cengic of Carson, WA and Corbett, Ore's Doug Pirtle set the front row of the 15-lap feature event. Cengic took to the early lead with Pirtle right on his back bumper. Pirtle looked to the high side on the opening lap, as both Cengic and Pirtle raced side by side down the front stretch. Pirtle took the early lead, Cengic ran in second. Woodland's Eric Dehning ran in the third position but saw tough company of Joseph Johnson of Vancouver. Johnson, looking strong, made his way into the top three, looking to track down Cengic for second. Pirtle put some distance between himself and the second place running Cengic. A mid race restart allow Cengic, Johnson and Dehning a shot at Pirtle for the lead. Cengic stayed close for a few laps. Johnson stayed right at the back bumper of Cengic. Pirtle continued to put some distance on the rest of the field. At the end of the feature, it was Pirtle picking up the win over. Johnson, Cengic, Chad Davis of Rochester and Olympia's Ed Hernandez. Johnson picked up the heat race win earlier in the evening.
Tom Hecker of Spanaway led the field to the green flag. Steve Vonheeder of Bremerton ran in the second spot as Port Orchard's Brenden White look to make a bid for second and took over the spot on the opening lap. Hecker put some distance on White as Montesano's Scott Fritts moved into third. Aberdeen's Austin Kerrigan quickly worked his way into fourth with Gig Harbor's Jayson Wolcott running fifth. White looked to close the distance on Hecker, after a slight bobble from Hecker in turn four. Austin Kerrigan and Fritts made it a four-car battle for the lead. Kerrigan moved by White and looked to the high side of Hecker out of turn two taking the lead. Austin Kerrigan put some distance on Hecker, Fritts, Shane Kerrigan of Aberdeen and White. The battle for the fifth position saw White and Wolcott put on a show for the fans. Hoquiam's Larry Paladin jumped into the mix getting by Wolcott and White. Another battle took place, this time for second between Hecker, Fritts, and Shane Kerrigan. Hecker maintained the runner up position. Austin Kerrigan put almost a full straightaway lead on Hecker, Fritts, Shane Kerrigan and Paladin. Fritts made a pass out of turn four and took over second, but the caution flag flew for White spinning in turn two, just as that happened Fritts spun in turn four. On the restart it was Austin Kerrigan, Hecker, Shane Kerrigan and Paladin leading the rest of the field. Austin continued to run out front with his father Shane Kerrigan moving into second. It was Austin Kerrigan picking up the win over Shane Kerrigan, Paladin, Hecker, and Wolcott. Austin Kerrigan also picked up the heat race.
PHRA Dwarf Cars
14 Dwarf Cars set the field for the 25-lap feature event. Crystal Flath and Doug Pirtle both of Corbett set the front row of the feature event. Pirtle took the early lead. Flath ran in the second position as the battle for third between Vernonia, Ore's Doug Davenport and Mike Shoen of Hillsboro, Ore was the race to watch. Davenport quickly looked to make a bid for the lead at Pirtle with a pass in one. Davenport took over the top spot, moving Pirtle to second. Shoen worked his way into third. The battle for third saw a five-car battle with Shoen, Flath, Mike Chadwick of HIllsboro, Ore, Mollala, Ore driver Henry Corbin III and Gaston, Ore's Corey Esteban. Davenport looked strong out front as Pirtle looked to chase him down. Chadwick ran in the third position making a bid for the runner up spot getting around Pirtle. Esteban worked his way through the field, looking to track down Davenport and Chadwick. Esteban worked his way into second, quickly getting to the back bumper of Davenport. Both drivers ran the low side of the raceway as Esteban looked a lane higher to try and take the lead. Lap 11 saw trouble for Flath, as she stopped on the backstretch, bringing out the caution. On the restart Davenport had to time his start just right. Esteban looked to the high side and took the lead out of turn two. Davenport had Corbin III and Chadwick behind him, looking to make a pass for second. Corbin III ran the very high side of the 3/8's banked clay oval, which allowed Chadwick to move into third. Esteban slowly put some distance on Davenport and Chadwick, as lap traffic started to become a factor. Lap 17 saw Mark Merritt of Bremerton spin in turn four, bringing out the caution. On the final restart it was Esteban, Davenport and Chadwick having their sights set on the lead. Chadwick moved into second. Shoen worked his way by Corbin III after falling back a few positions early in the feature event. Esteban picked up the win over Chadwick, Davenport, Corbin III and Shoen. Heat race winners were Esteban and Corbin III.
360 Sprint Cars
The feature event saw Kent's Jeff Dunlap take the early lead. Shelton's Jay Cole looked to make a slide job pass in turn four to take over the lead. Dunlap looked to the low side and took the top spot back. Tacoma driver Evan Margeson battled Cole for second, taking the spot out of turn two. Margeson set his sights on Dunlap for the lead. Dunlap looked strong running the high side, putting some slight distance on Margeson and Cole. Margeson slowly started to reel in Dunlap and made a pass for the lead on lap 9 in turn four. Dunlap looked to the low side to try and take the lead back but was unsuccessful. Margeson went on to pick up the win over Dunlap, Cole, Tim Martin of Shelton and Kelso's John Stuart. Dunlap picked up the heat race win. Margeson set fast time.
Gearing up for the Modified Clash doubleheader next weekend, 28 IMCA Modifieds signed in for the evening. Kevin Valen of Rochester and Aberdeen's Shane Kerrigan set the front row for the 25-lap feature. Valen and Kerrigan raced side by side with Kerrigan taking over the lead early. Shelton's Brenton Schnitzer worked his way into third, looking to make a bid for second on Valen. A three-car battle for the lead ensued with Valen looking low and taking the lead from Kerrigan. Scott Miller of Shelton looked to join in on the battle as Kerrigan and Schnitzer raced side by side for second. Schnitzer ran the high side of the raceway, moving into second early, looking to make a pass for the lead on Valen. Lap 6 saw Schnitzer take the lead from Valen, running the cushion all around the 3/8 banked clay oval. Scott Miller saw Graham's Zane Miner look to make a bid for the third position as Tyson Blood of Tumwater stalked both of them. Lap 11 saw the caution flag fly for Maytown's Riley Scherer, spinning in turn four. Schnitzer, Valen, and Scott Miller led the field to the green flag. Miller moved into second, getting by Valen and quickly raced side by side with Schnitzer for the lead. Miller ran the bottom, Schnitzer ripped the cushion, Valen and Blood stayed within striking distance. A handful of laps saw Schnitzer and Scott Miller continue to duke it out for the lead. Schnitzer had the momentum on the high side and put some slight distance on Miller. Valen and Blood continued to battle it out for third. Behind both of them, Elma's Austin Rognlin and Josh Sheller of Oregon City, Ore battled or the fourth position. Lap 17 saw the second caution flag, this time for Valen, spinning in turn two. Schnitzer, Miller, Blood and Rognlin led the rest of the field to the green flag. Miller once again pounced at the chance to take the lead as Rognlin and Blood battled for third. Schnitzer continued to power around the high side as Scott Miller saw Rognlin and Blood look to take over second. At the end of a very exciting Modified feature event, it was Schnitzer picking up the win over Scott Miller, Blood, Rognlin and Sheller. Zack Washington of Ellensburg was the Elma Lane's Hard Charger, coming from the B-Main and a 17th starting position to finish 6th, moving up 11 positions. Heat race winners were Kerrigan, Scott Miller, Miner, and Seabeck's Craig Moore, with Washington picking up the B-Main.
Racing resumes next Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th for Memorial Day weekend. The 2023 IMCA Modified Clash will be in action. Both nights will see the wild action of drivers from all across the Pacific Northwest. Also on hand will be the first appearance of the 2023 season for the Wingless Sprint Series and their Salute to Indy race. The IMCA Northern SportMods will be on hand. After the racing action on Sunday night, a GIANT Fireworks show will end out the evening. Gates will open at 4:30 with racing around 6PM. For more information and purchasing your tickets online go to www.graysharborraceway.com.
Grays Harbor Raceway
May 20, 2023
- 43K Shane Kerrigan, 2. 87K Brenton Schnitzer, 3. 97TB Tyson Blood, 4. 16 Chaz Wilder, 5. 92 Zack Washington, 6. 419 Jeff Hunt, 7. 23C Ron Comfort
- 26 Scott Miller, 2. 42 Kevin Valen, 3. 28s Rick Smith, 4. 98D Josh Sheller, 5. 27H Brandon Hoekstra, 6. 67 Ryen Haney, 7. 29 Dave Harmon (DNS)
- 31Z Zane Miner, 2. 81 Austin Rognlin, 3. 34 Jason Tole, 4. 75 Alan Grimbly, 5. 51 Brandon Nutter, 6. 46 Jeremy Miller, 7. 68 Jon Gunderson
- M14 Craig Moore, 2. 40 Mike Knox Jr, 3. 17 Brian Izzi, 4. 1 Riley Scherer, 5. 5 Tiernan Dietz, 6. 93 Elliott French, 7. 28H Brian Harding (DNS)
- Washington, 2. Nutter, 3. Hunt, 4. Gunderson, 5. Jeremy Miller, 6. Hoekstra, 7. Dietz, 8. Comfort
- Schnitzer, 2. Scott Miller, 3. Blood, 4. Rognlin, 5. Sheller, 6. Washington, 7. Grimbly, 8. Moore, 9. Kerrigan, 10. Tole, 11. Smith, 12. Scherer, 13. Valen, 14. Knox Jr, 15. Wilder, 16. Izzi, 17. Nutter, 18. Miner
Elma Lane's Hard Charger: 92 Zack Washington - 17th to 6th (11 positions)
360 Sprint Cars
11M Evan Margeson
- 15 Jeff Dunlap, 2. 11M Evan Margeson, 3. 0J Jay Cole, 4. 51 Tim Martin, 5. 71 John Stuart
- Margeson, 2. Dunlap, 3. Cole, 4. Martin, 5. Stuart
- AK47 Austin Kerrigan, 2. 43K Shane Kerrigan, 3. 2 Larry Paladin, 4. 42 Scott Fritts, 5. 83LSX Jayson Wolcott, 6. 90 Brenden White, 7. 19 Steve Vonheeder, 8. 5 Tom Hecker
- Austin Kerrigan, 2. Shane Kerrigan, 3. Paladin, 4. Hecker, 5. Wolcott, 6. Fritts, 7. Vonheeder, 8. White
PHRA Dwarf Cars
36 Corey Esteban
89Z Henry Corbin III
A-Main (Top 5):
- 36 Corey Esteban, 2. 19 Mike Chadwick, 3. 8 Doug Davenport, 4. 89Z Henry Corbin III, 5. 96 Mike Shoen
PMSA 600cc Mini Sprints:
- 13J Joseph Johnson
A-Main (Top 5):
- 00X Doug Pirtle, 2. 13J Joseph Johnson, 3. 37 Paul Cengic, 4. 66 Chad Davis, 5. 33 Ed Hernandez
Article Credit: Aaron Reed