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Keeping Pace

Mon., July 20, 2009, 1 a.m.

ASA Northwest Late Model Tour Heads To Evergreeen Speedway Looking To Stop Lewis

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

Gary Lewis sits in second place in the chase for the 2009 ASA Northwest Late Model Tour championship, just six points behind leader Brent Harris. The 38-year old Snohomish, Wash. driver has momentum heading to Evergreen Speedway this weekend after winning his thrd straight Montana 200 and just two weeks earlier grabbed a win at Pacific Raceway's road course.

Courtesy: Scott Ellsworth, ASA NWLMT Media Relations

Marysville, WA (July 19, 2009): The American Speed Association Northwest Late Model Tour will resume the 2009 chase to the championship on Saturday July 25. Monroe, Washington’s Evergreen Speedway is set to bring the only premier Super Late Model traveling series to the longest circle track in the Northwest. With only four races left to decide who will be the 2009 champion, Evergreen’s 5/8-mile oval has, over the years, been a deciding facture in the outcome of many championships.


Current series point leader Brent Harris (E. Wenatchee, WA) takes a 6-point edge to Evergreen for 175 grueling laps. Harris has had marginal success in the past on the monster oval. Harris has used the four week respite in the 2009 ASA NWLMT schedule to rest up and get ready for the stretch run to the first ever series championship.


Harris is being pursued by second in the points chase Gary Lewis (Snohomish, WA). Evergreen Speedway is Lewis’ home track where he has been very successful. The points lead is important for Lewis as he tries to add to his championship total. Winning crowns as a NASCAR and ARCA West racer an ASA championship has eluded him to this point. In addition to taking over the chase to the championship, Lewis has the opportunity to win leg two of the Northwest’s four majors. Lewis will be one week off of winning an unprecedented three in row at the annual Montana 200. No one has won all four majors the Montana 200, Washington 500, Stateline Speedway’s Idaho 200 and South Sound Speedways Miller 200.


The 2009 ASA NWLMT Port City Racecars ‘Rookie Challenge’ is still in question on who will win the prestigious title. Three of the Northwest’s best young newcomers to the traveling race scene will be making their first laps ever on the 50 plus year old oval. Joey Tanner (Portland, OR), Alan Cress (Albany, OR) and Amanda MacDonald (Ephrata, WA) will be in the learning mode as they try to master a track many feel is to tough to master.


There will be little time for learning with just two 20-minute practice sessions for the ASA NWLMT before the start of the tour’s 175-lap portion of the 500 main event laps scheduled. Making up the remaining laps will be the NW Legends Series 30-laps 3/8-mile oval, Super Figure Eights 100-laps, Street Stocks 50-laps 5/8-mileoval and Super Late Models 125-laps 5/8-mile oval.


Many of the tour regulars and newcomers will be using the Friday night practice session as their learning and familiarization time.


In past Washington 500’s the feature division was the NASCAR West Grand National series. This year track officials decided to make the popular ASA Northwest Late Model Tour as the top guest division.


Who: ASA Northwest Late Model Tour, Northwest Legends Series, (Local Divisions) NASCAR Speedway Chevrolet Super Late Models, NASCAR Les Schwab Tires Street Stocks and NASCAR Pawn Exchange Super Figure Eights.


What: Fourth Annual Washington 500 (5-divisions – 500-laps total – 3 track surfaces – one night)


Where: Evergreen Speedway Monroe, WA


When: Saturday July 25 – Backgates open at 7:30pm – Practice for all divisions’ starts at 11:00am – Front Gates and Qualifying is at 3:00pm – First main at 5:00pm (NW Legends 50-laps; Super Figure Eights 100-laps; Super Late Models 125-laps; Street Stocks 50-laps; ASA NWLMT 175-laps)

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Keeping Pace

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