Grays Harbor Raceway
Drager Wins Modified Clash Prelim, Thomas and Williamson Feature Winners
The 2023 IMCA Modified Clash started with a strong field of IMCA Modifieds as the skies were blue and the sun shined bright on the 3/8 banked clay oval. Also on hand were the Wingless Sprint Series for their first night of the Salute to Indy double header. The IMCA Northern SportMods made their first appearance of 2023 as well.
IMCA Nothern SportMods
Sandy Sanders of Junction City, Ore led the field to the green flag. Eugene, Ore's Kevin Williamson took the lead in turn one. It was a battle for second between three drivers, Sanders, Trevor Points of Salem and Brayden Brookshire of Vancouver, Points took over the runner up spot with Sanders and Brookshire battling for third. Points looked to set his sights on Williamson for the lead. Both drivers raced side by side, Points on the low side, Williamson ripping the high side of the raceway. Points took over the lead on lap 4 with Williamson looking to take the lead back. Sanders and Brookshire battled for third, racing side by side for a handful of laps. Brookshire looked low in turn three and worked his way into a podium spot. The first caution of the feature saw Rainier, Ore driver Kody Greer spin in turn four and moments later Points spins to avoid, making contact with Greer. Points did regain his position back as leader. On the restart it was Points, Williamson, and Brookshire leading the rest of the field. Brookshire went to the high side looking to make a two for one pass, getting around Williamson and looking to track down Points for the lead. Brookshire and Williamson continued to battle for second, with Williamson regaining the runner up position. Points slowly put some distance on the rest of the field. The final lap saw problems for Points as his right rear tire started to go flat. Williamson made one last charge and took the lead down the backstretch. Williamson picked up the win, Brookshire, Points, Sanders and Greer rounded out the top five. Sanders picked up the heat race earlier in the evening.
Wingless Sprint Series
The 30-lap feature event saw Springfield, Ore's Ricky Ashley and Garrett Thomas of Elma set the front row. Ashley took the lead, with Thomas right on his back bumper. Tacoma's Evan Margeson moved into third with Sherwood, Ore's Rob Lindsey looking to take over the podium spot. Thomas and Ashley put on a side-by-side battle with Thomas taking the lead on lap 3. Lindsey saw tough company as Everett's Michael Hodel look to work his way into fourth. Thomas put some distance on Ashley and Margeson, as Ashley, Margeson and Lindsey battling for position. Margeson looked low a few times to make a bid for second, taking the position on lap 7. Thomas put some distance on Margeson and Ashley, as he looked to work his way into lap traffic. Lap 15 saw the red flag for Hodel and Albany, Ore driver Tim Alberding on the backstretch, both were battling for sixth. Alberding ended up getting upside down. Both drivers were ok. On the restart it was Thomas, Margeson, Ashley, and Lindsey leading the rest of the field to the green flag. Margeson looked to stay to the back bumper of Thomas momentarily. Thomas running the low side of the raceway put slight distance. Garrett Thomas picked up his first career sprint car win over Margeson, Ashley, Lindsey and McMinnville, Ore driver Lance Hallmark rounded out the top five. Ashley and Hallmark picked up the heat race wins, with Ashley winning the dash and Hodel picked up fast time.
32 IMCA Modifieds signed on for the evening, with 24 starting the feature event. Tyson Blood of Tumwater and Vancouver's Robert Jenner set the front row. Blood took the early lead from Jenner, as Matthew Drager of Albany, Ore and Seabeck's Kyler Moore battle for third. Oakville's Brian Harding moved in on the battle, getting by Moore and setting his sights on Drager and Jenner. Drager worked his way into second, shuffling Jenner back to third. Blood put some distance on the rest of the field, as Drager slowly started to inch closer every lap. Fourth position saw numerous cars battling out as Harding, Moore, Eugene's Jesse Williamson, Aaron Elwess of Vancouver and Port Hardy, BC driver Lawrence O'Connor all wanted the position. Blood, Drager and Jenner put almost a straightaway on the rest of the field as they battled it out for the lead. Jenner and Drager was one of the many races to watch across the 3/8 banked clay oval. Lap traffic started to become a factor, as the raceway was slick and wide. Drager made a bid for second, racing side by side with Jenner, as both drivers were on the back bumper of Blood. A slight bobble by Blood in turn two allowed Drager to take the lead. With no room for mistake and heavy lap traffic, Drager, Blood and Jenner ran the low side of the raceway. Williamson joined in on the battle late in the feature as Drager was hung up by lap traffic. Williamson found a higher groove on the raceway, working his way around Jenner for third. The top four were at each other's back bumpers. Williamson looked to the high side again looking to get by Blood, setting his sights on Drager for the lead. Blood fought back at Williamson. Drager put slight distance on Williamson, maneuvering through lap traffic. Blood worked his way back into second as a slight mistake from Williamson moved him back to third. In a non-stop, green to checkered feature event it was Drager picking up the win. Blood, Williamson, Elwess and Jenner rounded out the top five. Williamson was the Elma Lane's Hard charger, going from 12th to 3rd, moving up 9 positions. Two sets of heat races started the night with Drager, Blood, Dustin Comer of Eugene, Ore, and Jenner winning the first set. The second set of heat races saw Drager, Elwess, Williamson and Austin Rognlin of Elma picking up the win. Seabeck's Craig Moore picked up the B-Main event.
Racing resumes tonight with the final night of the 2023 IMCA Modified Clash, along with the Wingless Sprint Series Salute to Indy. Also on hand will be the IMCA Northern SportMods. After all the action on the raceway, the skies will light up with a GIANT FIREWORK SHOW. Gates open at 4:30PM with racing at 6PM. For more information go to www.graysharborraceway.com
Grays Harbor Raceway
May 27, 2023
Wingless Sprint Series "Salute to Indy"
Heat 1A: 21A Matthew Drager
Heat 2A: 97TB Tyson Blood
Heat 3A: 12 Dustin Comer
Heat 4A: 5R Robert Jenner
Heat 1B: 21A Matthew Drager
Heat 2B: 48 Aaron Elwess
Heat 3B: W5 Jesse Williamson
Heat 4B: 81 Austin Rognlin
B-Main (Top 8 Transfer):
- M14 Craig Moore, 2. 67 Ryen Haney, 3. 43K Shane Kerrigan, 4. 42 Kevin Valen, 5. 1 Riley Scherer, 6. 17 Brian Izzi, 7. 714 Zach Fuller, 8. 18 Miles Beaulieu, 9. 93 Elliott French, 10. 40 Mike Knox Jr, 11. 16 Chaz Wilder, 12. 46 Jeremy Miller, 13. 419 Jeff Hunt, 14. 69R Shane Rau, 15. 34K Jason St. Paul
- 21A Matthew Drager, 2. 97TB Tyson Blood, 3. W5 Jesse Williamson, 4. 48 Aaron Elwess, 5. 5R Robert Jenner, 6. 14K Kyler Moore, 7. 12 Dustin Comer, 8. 28H Brian Harding, 9. 27EH Lawrence O'Connor, 10. 81 Austin Rognlin, 11. 26 Scott Miller, 12. 87K Brenton Schnitzer, 13. 31Z Zane Miner, 14. 58 Devon Reed, 15. 67 Ryen Haney, 16. 42 Kevin Valen, 17. 18 Miles Beaulieu, 18. 1 Riley Scherer, 19. 34 Jason Tole, 20. 17 Brian Izzi, 21. M14 Craig Moore, 22. 714 Zach Fuller, 23. 81 Chris Beaulieu 24. 43K Shane Kerrigan
Elma Lane's Hard Charger - W5 Jesse Williamson, 9 positions (12th to 3rd)
IMCA Northern SportMods
- 43S Sandy Sanders, 2. W7 Kevin Williamson, 3. 11 Trevor Points, 4. 10 Brayden Brookshire, 5. 2G Kody Greer, 6. 11T Troy Points
- Williamson, 2. Brookshire, 3. Trevor Points, 4. Sanders, 5. Greer, 6. Troy Points
Wingless Sprint Series:
25 Michael Hodel
- 85 Ricky Ashley, 2. 9 Garrett Thomas, 3. 11 Evan Margeson, 4. 39 Jojo Batalgia, 5. 33 Victoria Woolf
- 8H Lance Hallmark, 2. 23 Rob Lindsey, 3. 25 Michael Hodel, 4. 52 Tim Alberding, 5. 18 Gene Cannon, 6. 8 Tony Offutt
- Ashley, 2. Thomas, 3. Lindsey, 4. Hodel
- Thomas, 2. Margeson, 3. Ashley, 4. Lindsey, 5. Hallmark, 6. Woolf, 7. Cannon, 8. Offutt, 9. Batalgia, 10. Hodel, 11. Alberding,
Article Credit: Aaron Reed