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Keeping Pace

Sun., July 5, 2009, 5 p.m.


 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

ASA Sanctioned Yakima Speedway wrapped up a two-day racing weekend on Saturday the 4th of July with the first annual Washington Street Stock Open featuring 21 of the regions top Street Stock drivers competing for a big open comp purse. Also on the race night were the CWI Security/EZ Credit Auto Sales Hornets and the Northwest Legends.

Courtesy: Kelly Hart, Yakima Speedway Media Relations

            With temperatures still in the triple digits at race time the Hornets kicked off the night by time trials with Daniel Morfin besting the 13-car field by taming the 1/7th mile oval in 17.783 seconds. In the Trophy Dashes good competition featured wins by Ryan Kallenberger and Chris Marang. The Heat Races were also won by Marang and Kallenberger. After Tyler Breshears led the first 3 laps of the 20-lap Hornet Main Event, Jessica Tidrick used a great low-line pass to take over the top spot. Into heavy traffic already Kallenberger had crept through the field put serious pressure on Tidrick with both drivers splitting cars and taking whatever line was necessary to stay on the top spot. Finally on the 12th lap, Kallenberger managed to put a lapped car between himself and Tidrick and hang on for the victory.

            The NW Legends made their only appearance at Yakima Speedway with five cars in the field. Veteran Yakima Speedway and Northwest hot shoe Jeff Sisk set fast time for the group with a 23.185 turn around the ½ mile oval. Duane Swanson won the Trophy Dash and Heat Race. In the 15-lap Main Event, Sisk took off with Swanson and Jon VanGesen on his rear nerf bar. Repeatedly Swanson made runs at Sisk in turn 2 pulling up close enough that the two were touching with VanGesen sitting in wait, biding his time for something to happen. On the ninth lap Swanson made his move, crossing up coming out of turn 4 going low underneath Sisk. The two cars tangled with one landing on top of the others hood, while VanGesen managed to escape unscathed. Damage on both Sisk and Swanson cars made them unable to continue with VanGesen leading Ian Hunter-Smith and Norm Smith to the line for the checkered flag.

            In the Washington Street Stock Challenge race competitors who run normally in the Yakima Speedway Super Street class and some Sportsman drivers who moved up as well, took to the track to race against Northwest Outlaw Street Stock touring series drivers and racers from the tracks in Hermiston, Wenatchee, and Ephrata. With competitors from all over the Northwest lining up to take on the best of the Washington Street Stock Challenge field the soaring temperatures were clearly causing problems. Many engines ran hot all day and were hard to cool down at all. This went on from the first practice session until the main event later in the evening and took its toll. In practice Michael Knutson and Mike Easley had mechanical woes, Knutson a motor and Easley fighting a transmission issue causing them to load up early.

            Wenatchee veteran Kim Wennerberg took top qualifying honors with a 21.526 clocking just missing the Yakima Speedway track record by a tenth of a second. Josh Ingram of Wenatchee and Ben St. Mary from Moxee won the Trophy Dashes. After winning 5 straight Sportsman races, Yakima driver Randy Marshall, Jr. moved up to the Street Stock division and made his first night a good one winning his Heat Race decisively and looked really fast for the field. St. Mary followed up his Trophy Dash win with another one in the other Heat Race.

            Staring off the main event, 19 cars too the starters green flag. Randy Marshall, Jr took off an built a nice comfortable lead as Dusty John of Moxee, Ingram, Gary Flammang and Josh Wilson from Everett, Wennerberg and Selah’s Mike VanAmburg broke free from the field. Marshall, Jr. looked very strong in his Street Stock debut racing out to the early lead just like he did in his dominating Heat Race win. On the 15th lap, Billy Benge took a wild ride off the end of turn three, into the field outside of the north turns down the raving and up the side of the berm landing with the nose pointing almost straight up in the air. This closed the field on the back of Marshall, Jr. with Wennerberg making a quick move around Ingram from third to second and started running down Marshall on the restart. Wennerberg and Marshall, Jr. went wheel to wheel coming out of 4 with Wennerberg coming out up front, Marshall, Jr. fighting hard to maintain his advantage on the outside. Wennerberg prevailed on lap 21 and took off with Ingram, Marshall, Jr. and Wilson in tow. On the 30th lap Marshall, Jr began to overheat with a blown radiator hose and he retired to the pit area done for the night. A great debut in a Street Stock for the young driver. On the 50th lap the field of 10 remaining cars took a 10 minute break for adjustments and water and many of the drivers were overheated from the 130+ degree temperatures inside their drivers compartments.    

            During that first 50 laps local racers Mike VanAmburg, Ben St. Mary and Tony Huffines all had to pull off because of hot running or blown motors. Jason Ogle had a power steering problem and Kevin Carver fought ill-tempered motor woes coming in and out of the pit area all night.

            For the final 25 laps, the field was left watching Wennerbergs left rear brakes heating up and showering sparks, and Ingram and Wilson swapping second and third place on lap 60. Back in the pack, Dusty John, Gary Flammang and Bill Rutherford battled for 4th, with West Richland’s Brian Tischler and Puyallups Robert Mears running hard for 6th position. As they were coming down for the checkered flag, Wilson took one last, tire smoking run at Wennerberg coming off turn four but it fell short as Wennerberg picked up the first ever Washington Street Stock Challenge 75-lap Main Event win.

Saturday night July 11th is the first of two Midseason Championship Nights at Yakima Speedway with Late Models, H&H Furniture Pure Stocks, Burger Ranch Sportsman and Yakima Driving School Youth Hornets racing for double points.


RESULTS 7/4/09



FAST TIME 70 Kim Wennerberg 21.526

B DASH 12 Ben St. Mary, 64 Bill Rutherford, 02 Todd Connell, 03 Ken Mullins

A DASH 97 Mike VanAmburg, 91 Gary Flammang, 51 Josh Wilson, 70 Wennerberg

B HEAT 12 St. Mary, 64 Rutherford, 8 Billy Benge, 02 Connell, 60 Brian Tischler

A HEAT 52 Randy Marshall, Jr., 38 Dusty John, 98 Josh Ingram, 70 Wennerberg, 97 VanAmburg

MAIN 70 Kim Wennerberg, 51 Wilson, 98 Ingram, 91 Flammang, 38 John, 44 Robert Mears, 60 Tischler, 64 Rutherford, 03 Mullins, 8 Benge, 02 Conell, 16 Barry Mueller, 52 Randy Marshall, Jr., 40 Jason Ogle, 7 Tony Huffines, 97 VanAmburg, 12 St. Mary, 11 Taylor, 41 Kevin Carver

LAP LEADERS 52 Marshall, Jr. 1- 20, 70 Wennerberg 21-75



FAST TIME 69 Daniel Morfin 17.783

B DASH 34 Chris Marang, 24 Eric Coble, 76 “Mad” Michael Beck, 91 Tyler Breshears

A DASH 4 Ryan Kallenberger, 69 Morfin, 18 Tim Breshears, 20 Chris Morrison

B HEAT 34 Marang, 71 Anthony VanLeven, 24 Coble, 91 Tyler Breshears, 76 Beck

A HEAT 4 Kallenberger, 12 Keith Erickson, 69 Morfin, 26 Jessica Tidrick, 18 Tim Breshears

MAIN 4 Ryan Kallenberger, 26 Tidrick, 69 Morfin, 34 Marang, 12 Erickson, 24 Coble, 16 Josh Parmentier, 20 Morrison, 71 VanLeven, 76 Beck, 48 Michael McCartney, 91 Tyler Breshears, 18 Tim Breshears

LAP LEADERS 91 Tyler Breshears 1-3, 26 Tidrick 4-11, 4 Kallenberger 12-20



FAST TIME 1 Jeff Sisk 23.185

TROPHY DASH 16 Duane Swanson, 1 Sisk, 17 Jon VanGesen, Ian Hunter-Smith

HEAT 16 Swanson, 18 Hunter-Smith, 1 Sisk, 17 VanGesen

MAIN 17 Jon VanGesen, 18 Hunter-Smith, 11 Norm Smith, 1 Sisk, 16 Swanson

LAP LEADERS 1 Sisk 1-9, 17 VanGesen 10-15

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Keeping Pace

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