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Keeping Pace

Season begins to wind down at area racetracks

Plenty of racing is still on area racetrack's schedules but for Sunset Speedway in Airway Heights the season wraps up this month with a fun race weekend set for September.

Doug Pace

The Spokesman-Review

Temperatures may still be in the 90s this weekend, but fall is on the horizon as series and racetracks see their 2009 schedules winding down.

Sunset Speedway, located in Airway Heights, has two dates remaining in its season that span the next two weekends.

On Saturday, Adult Modifieds, including a tight points race between Larry Christen and James Townsend, will be the feature event. Neither driver has won a championship at the fifth-mile clay oval and only seven points separate them heading into this weekend’s main event.

Two-time Junior II champion Joey Bird has a 55-point lead on Rookie of the Year contender Corey McGuire with two nights of racing left in the season.

Junior I and Adult Clone Karts along with the Junior Clone competitors will also be racing at the Spokane County ORV Park facility.

Admission is free to Sunset Speedway’s grandstands. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Eagle finishes strong

Eagle Raceway in Republic has two dates remaining on its calendar including this weekend’s exciting Sprint Car race. The three-eighth mile clay oval holds its championship afternoon of racing on Sept. 12.

The track is located one-half mile south of Republic on Pendry Road.

With three classes in action this weekend and points becoming a high commodity, the Modified division has the tightest battle for a championship.

Ron Rampley leads Randy Sattler by just 14 points with Bill Hallam only 25 points out of first place with two races remaining for the Modifieds.

Also on Saturday afternoon’s schedule will be Pure Stocks and Fever Four racing. Gates open at noon with racing starting at 3 p.m.

Garber hangs tough

The Inland Northwest Super Stock Association has two races remaining in its season and two-time defending series champion David Garber has needed good finishes in every race this season to make up for a last place run back in April’s season opener.

Garber leads Jeff Fenton by 11 points and Greg McKinley by 48 heading into Saturday’s 100-lap main event at Stateline (gates open at 5 p.m.). More than $8,000 in prize money is up for grabs for the 20-car field.

With three wins at Stateline Speedway’s quarter-mile in 2009 along with a win at Montana Raceway Park’s bullring, Garber definitely has his small track setups figured out just in time for the final two races of the season – both at Stateline.

“I know the competition is catching up to us this year, which is really cool,” Garber said. “We’ve had some good luck at Stateline after getting off to a poor start, but I expect (Jeff) Fenton to have some good luck again after he ran into some tough runs the last few races. It’s his turn to have a strong night and I expect this to be a tough weekend.”

While the focus for most of the year has been to get back into the points chase, with just two races to go in the season winning a fourth main event will also be part of Saturday night’s preparation.

“We’re looking at both a points race and trying to get a win,” Garber said. “We’ll see how things fall on Saturday night because things are so close, but we know that if you get too wrapped up into the points deal things can get away from you, so doing what has been working week in and week out is our plan.”

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.