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Keeping Pace

Holiday weekend offers grab bag of racing events for area fans

Several big racing events to be held in region over upcoming weekend from Yakima to Kalispell, Mont.

Doug Pace

The Spokesman-Review

Racing has a built-in tradition with the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, which is dominated by NASCAR’s Daytona weekend. For the first time in many years, the famed speedway will host a race complete with postrace fireworks on the night of national celebration.

Also on tap this weekend is the American Boat Racing Association’s Unlimited Hydroplane season opener on the banks of the Ohio River, in conjunction with that region’s holiday celebration. Steve David and the U-1 Oh Boy Oberto! team are the defending high points champions and will kick off defense of their championship in the city that owns David’s race team – Madison, Ind.

As a community-owned team, David’s U-1 is the face of an entire community at each of the series’ seven stops this season, including July 17-19 on the Columbia River in Kennewick for the running of the Tri-City Water Follies Lamb Weston Columbia Cup.

If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, a demolition derby is scheduled tonight at Stateline Speedway; drag racing takes place at Spokane County Raceway on Saturday and Sunday; a Street Stock invitational Saturday night at Yakima Speedway features several area drivers; and the ARCA West Macs Series Super Late Models includes several Inland Empire drivers at Montana’s Raceway Park, also Saturday.

Spokane County Raceway hosts the Hot Rod Nationals, featuring cars built prior to 1979 and/or drivers born before 1979. Headlining the event will be Ron Goran’s Top Eliminator dragsters, Alcohol Supercharged Pro Coupes and the Northwest Pro Nostalgia Association.

Stateline Speedway’s annual holiday celebration features Bump to Pass cars along with their annual demolition derby. Once the destruction and mayhem of the Derby is complete, a fireworks show rounds out the evening. For more information, call the Racer’s Hotline at (208) 773-5019.

While the Yakima Speedway Washington State Street Stock Challenge is not a points race for the traveling Northwest Outlaw Street Stocks Series, it is being run under a similar rules package that allows Inland Northwest drivers – including Bryan Goetz of Okanagan – the opportunity to run what is planned to be a yearly event at the Yakima half-mile.

The track hosts a demolition derby tonight to kick off its two-day event. To learn more about the Washington State Street Stock Challenge, go to

David Garber, a two-time Inland Northwest Super Stock Association champion, takes his Pend Oreille Mechanical Racing Team on the road this weekend to run in the ARCA West event at Montana Raceway Park. The Spokane native, who has had success at the quarter-mile in the last few years, including an INSSA win in 2008, will use this weekend’s race as a warm-up for the 19th annual Montana 200 set for July 17-18.

ARCA West Macs Series teams are primarily based in Western Canada, but this weekend’s Firecracker 125 has attracted several Pacific Northwest drivers as it is the last super late model event in Kalispell prior to the 200. Garber feels that will be huge when gauging his car against other high-caliber teams.

“We’ll go over there and run this race to see how the car does with our setup, then take next week off before turning around and going back for the 200,” Garber said. “There will be some very good drivers in this race, including the Knight Fire Protection-(sponsored) guys (Jared Vorse, a 2008 ARCA West Rookie of the Year winner and 2008 ARCA West champion Wes Rhodes), so this should be a good late model show for the fans and the racers.”

•Congratulations to Jake Bissett, who was featured in last week’s story.

The freshman from Valleyford earned the win in Montana Raceway Park’s eighth annual Legends Thunder 50-lap main event for the Semi-Pro division. Older brother Joe had one of the fastest cars in the field but was involved in a lap-one incident that relegated the recent high school graduate to the sidelines.

Both drivers will be back in action this weekend in Hermiston, Ore., for the Columbia River Speedway Legends Shootout – their first visit to the three-eighths-mile facility.

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Keeping Pace

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