Heading into Saturday night’s Foothills Toyota Tundra Racing Series action at ASA Sanctioned Skagit Speedway, Jesse Whitney was locked into a tightening point battle with Colton Heath for the title in the Associated Asphalt 410 Sprints.
Courtesy: Kelly Hart, Skagit Speedway Media Relations
Heading into Saturday night’s Foothills Toyota Tundra
Racing Series action at ASA Sanctioned Skagit Speedway, Jesse Whitney was locked
into a tightening point battle with Colton Heath for the title in the Associated
Asphalt 410 Sprints. At the end of the night with Heath watching from the
grandstands and Whitney garnering the checkered flag the point battle has widened
heading into Championship Night coming up September 19th. Also picking off Main
Event wins were red-hot Mike Melwicks in the Budweiser 360’s, Kelsey Carpenter in
the Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints and Ken Higby in the Outlaw Hornets.
Visiting driver Robbie Farr of Australia clicked off the fast
lap of the evening in time trials with an 11.217 trip around the 3/10th mile high
banked clay oval for the Associated Asphalt 410 Sprints. Winning the Heat Races were
Mitch Olson and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series leading Rookie point leader Tayler
Malsam. Entering the night with a 19-point lead Whitney and Heath found themselves
on the front row for the A-Main. On the initial start Whitney and Heath banged
wheels coming out of turn 4 and the start was called back. The second attempt was
good and Whitney ran off early for the lead. Into traffic quickly Heath started to
reel Whitney in and would pass him with a slick inside move between turn 3 and 4
driving the car on a straight line and halving the corner to take over the top spot.
The first yellow flag came out on the seventh lap for a slowing Kelleigh Johnson
heading down the front straightaway. One of the cars
slowing up to avoid Johnson was Farr who clipped the wheel of another car and spun
to the infield on the front stretch sending him to the back of the pack. Heath held
the lead on the restart until the tenth lap when his car lost power bringing out
the second caution. Back to the front was Whitney who never was challenged the rest
of the way.
In a race that featured 4 yellows and single red flag, much
of the passing was taking place in the back of the pack where 11th starting Eric
Fisher again impressed the crowd with a run forward to the 4th spot. In front of him
were third finishing Jason Solwold from his seventh starting spot, and Malsam the
runner-up spot from 4th.
The Budweiser 360 Sprint division has been dominated lately
by former 410 champion Mike Melwicks who won his third straight 25-lap Main Event on
a night when Skagit Speedway was honoring the U.S. Military. Melwicks stalked race
long leader Rod Perkins for the first 21 laps keeping the veteran within shouting
distance in heavy traffic. Perkins seemed to slip a little coming off of turn two
when Melwicks shot through the opening for the lead. After crossing the stripe for
the 22nd lap, a yellow flag came out for a slowing Shane Broers. On the restart
Melwicks showed his speed cruising out to a 1.223 second win three laps later.
Perkins closed the gap on point leader Brock Lemley who missed the main event with
mechanical problems. Rounding out the top five were Seth Bergman fresh off the ASCS
National Tour, Cory Chamberlain and Malsam doing double duty on the evening.
One of the more stellar seasons by any competitor in Skagit
Speedway history is coming to a close for defending Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprint
Champion Kelsey Carpenter. Carpenter used the invert of 8 to start on the front row
and lead all 20 laps for his 9th win of the season. Second year driver Devin Barnes,
last weeks winner Lyle Woods, Marcus Schutte and Paul Burdick rounded out the top 5.
Schutte and Nick Dunham won the Heat Races.
There were 24 Outlaw Hornets filling the hive on Trans-Ocean
Night. Teams struggled to find solid footing all night long and there were plenty of
chills and spills as well as yellows and reds. Don Ward and Thomas Warner won the
Heat Races. Ken Higby was the Main Event winner passing Wade Swatzina late in the
race for the win in heavy traffic. Swatzina had taken over the the top spot from
Freddy Vela 11 laps into the fray. The top five finishers were Higby, Vela, James
Bundy, Swatzina and defending class champion Ben Gunderson.
Skagit Speedway welcomes the Dirtcar I-5 Late Models and
Western AllStars along with the Outlaw Hornets on Thursday September 3rd, right
before the 2009 Edition of the World of Outlaws come to town Friday and Saturday
September 4th and 5th.
ASSOCIATED ASPHALT 410 SPRINTS
FAST TIME: ROBBIE FARR 11.217
HEAT 1: MITCH OLSON, JESSE WHITNEY, JASON SOLWOLD, RICK FAUVER,KEVIN SMITH
HEAT 2: TAYLER MALSAM, COLTON HEATH, ROBBIE FARR, NICK ENGBERG, JONATHAN ALLARD
MAIN: JESSE WHITNEY, MALSAM, SOLWOLD, ERIC FISHER, OLSON, SMITH, JOSH EDSON, ZACH
ZIMMERLY, KELLEIGH JOHNSON, ALLARD, ENGBERG, FAUVER, FARR, HEATH
LAP LEADERS: WHITNEY 1-5, HEATH 6-10, WHITNEY 11-25
BUDWEISER 360 SPRINTS
FAST TIME: EVAN FUNK 11.858
HEAT 1: ROD PERKINS, CORY CHAMBERLAIN, FUNK, TAYLER MALSAM, SHANE BROERS
HEAT 2: DANNY KIRKPATRICK, BRIAN KIRKPATRICK, LOGAN FORLER, JARED PETERSON, BUD ASHE
HEAT 3: MIKE MELWICKS, MICHAEL HARRIS, SETH BERGMAN, JASON BLOODGOOD, STEVE TUPPER
MAIN: MIKE MELWICKS, PERKINS, BERGMAN, CHAMBERLAIN, MALSAM, PETERSON, STEVE PARKER,
ALAN MUNN, BUD ASHE, STEVE JAMES, DJ KOSA, SHANE BROERS, B. KIRKPATRICK, D.
KIRKPATRICK, BLOODGOOD, LOGAN FORLER, TUPPER, PAUL HOPKINS, MICHAEL HARRIS, FUNK
LAP LEADERS: PERKINS 1-20, MELWICK 21-25
COOK ROAD SHELL SPORTSMAN SPRINTS
HEAT 1: MARCUS SCHUTTE, DAVE MEAD, RAY PARKER, DEVIN BARNES, MATT VANDERSYS
HEAT 2: NICK DUNHAM, PAUL BURDICK, LYLE WOODS, KELSEY CARPENTER, LUKE DIDIUK
MAIN: KELSEY CARPENTER, BARNES, WOODS, SCHUTTE, BURDICK, MICHAEL BOLLINGER, BILL
RUDE, N.DUNHAM, MEAD, DYLAN DUNHAM, CALE BROOKE, RON BUTLER, GLENN REINSTRA, CURTIS
CLARK, PARKER, TRAVIS CARPENTER, DIDIUK, VANDERSYS
LAP LEADERS: CARPENTER 1-20
HEAT 1: DON WARD, KEN HIGBY, WADE SWATZINA, FREDDY VELA, DOPEY THE MECHANIC
HEAT 2: 89 THOMAS WARNER, JAMES BUNDY, TYLER KETCHUM, HOWARD VOS, LARRY KWIK
MAIN: KEN HIGBY, VELA, BUNDY, W.SWATZINA, BEN GUNDERSON, CORY SWATZINA, VOS, WARD,
RICK YOUNG, KETCHUM, JON EDWARDS, TERRY GRAUL, ASHLEY LEWELLEN, MATT PLOEG, KEVIN
EVANS, LARRY KWIK, KALEB HART, BRIAN MICHELSON, DOPEY, JERRY BIRDSEY JR., VANCE
HIBBARD, WARNER, THE ROOKIE
LAP LEADERS: VELA 1-12, SWATZINA 13-15, HIGBY 16-17