Garrett Evans made the right move when it counted, as the final three laps of green flag racing were his only laps led during the event.
EVANS MAKES LATE RACE PASS HOLD UP FOR ASA VICTORY
By Doug Pace
EAST WENATCHEE, Wash.–Garrett Evans picked up the win Saturday night at his home race track, Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, in the Apple Blossom 125 for the iRacing.com ASA Northwest Late Model Tour.
Gary Lewis was second followed by Brent Harris.
Fast time winner, Wes Rhodes, was fourth with Kelly Mann, Dan Rhodes, Brad Standwood, Josh Roberts, Erick Hargraves and Mark Sundberg rounding out the top-10.
Evans used the series double-file restart rule to perfection as he choose the outside line on lap 119’s restart to get by Lewis and hold Harris at bay battling into turn No. 4. Lewis pulled alongside Evans to the inside coming off the corner but encountered the spun car of Amanda McDonald and checked up to avoid contact which allowed Evans to get back to the start/finish line as the caution came out.
With rain falling series officials called the event at lap 122 with Evans in the lead.
Jared Vorse held the point through the race’s first 40 laps as Lewis patiently waited for an opening from his second place position on the track. By lap 46 Lewis’ Nutter Racing Engines Chevrolet had glued itself to Vorse’s back bumper and the pair worked lapped traffic to perfection in building a five second lead on Harris.
On lap 61 Vorse dove into the pits with a flat right front tire allowing Lewis to inherit the top spot and bring Harris’ Ambitions Chevrolet and Evans’ Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore Chevrolet with him to the front of the field.
Lewis maintained the lead, holding off Harris’ challenges over the next 55 laps before the race went yellow for the final time in the event at lap 117.
With each competitor allowed to choose which lane they prefer for a restart both Lewis and Harris dove to the inside at the commit cone with Evans and Brad Stanwood taking the high side of the track.
Evans made the right move when it counted, as the final three laps of green flag racing were his only laps led during the event.
“It (the double file restart rule) helped out,” Evans said from victory lane. “I had no choice there, if I wanted to win the race I knew I needed to go to the outside (on the commitment line). Our problem was the car was real loose but we just kept working it there towards the end to stay close (to the front).”
As the points leader Evans has the potential to grab championship number five in a stellar late model touring career but with the economy impacting his business the Ardenvoir, Wash. native dismissed the chances of adding another championship.
“There is no way we can do that. With the (auto sales) business the way it is we have people to think about (at the lot) who need jobs and we have to use our money for that. I wish we could go for another championship but we’ll be back later this year to run with the Tour.”
As for Lewis, he was left to wonder what might have been as Evans collected his accolades in victory lane.
“We pushed the nose in there on the right front about halfway through the race and that made our car a little tight so I couldn’t get through the corners like we were before that happened. We had a great car all night but out front on that last restart the rain was falling so hard I couldn’t see out the window and Garrett got by us as I had to check up for the car sitting in the middle of turn No. 1,” he said.
Harris was all smiles with a third place finish as he battle handling issues most of the night just to stay close to Lewis, he noted.
“My car was way to loose to keep up with Gary. I didn’t think the double file restart was too bad there at the end but I knew that if I wanted a shot at beating (Lewis) I’d have to follow him on the inside and that opened the door for Garrett to go up there on the outside like he did.”
Next stop for the iRacing.com ASA Northwest Late Model Tour will be at Spokane County Raceway on May 9 for a 125-lap affair.
ASA Northwest Late Model Tour
Apple Blossom 125 Race Results
Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, .250-mile, East Wenatchee, WA
1) (4) 64 Garrett Evans, Ardenvoir, WA, Chevrolet 122 Running
2) (6) 73 Gary Lewis, Snohomish, WA, Chevrolet 122 Running
3) (9) 0 Brent Harris, Wenatchee, WA, Chevrolet 122 Running
4) (12) 6 Wes Rhodes, Yelm, WA, Chevrolet 122 Running
5) (11) 9m Kelly Mann, Monroe, WA, Chevrolet 122 Running
6) (10) 9r Dan Rhodes, Yelm, WA, Chevrolet 122 Running
7) (19) 20s Brad Stanwood, Portland, OR, Chevrolet 122 Running
8) (15) 9j Josh Roberts, Ephrata, WA, Chevrolet 121 Running
9) (13) 51 Erick Hargraves, Toppenish, WA, Pontiac 121 Running
10) (1) 7 Mark Sundberg, Seattle, WA, Ford 121 Running
11) (20) 11 Mike Holden, Snohomish, WA, Chevrolet 120 Running
12) (16) 91 Allen Cress, Albany, OR, Ford 119 Running
13) (2) 15 Don Vickery, Seattle, WA, Chevrolet 118 Running
14) (3) 21 Jared Vorse, Lacey, WA, Chevrolet 117 Running
15) (18) 76 Amanda McDonald, Ephrata, WA, Chevrolet 117 Running
16) (17) 13 Marty Wason, Chelan, WA, Chevrolet 116 Running
17) (8) 37 Mike Longton, Moxee, WA, Ford 105 Accident
18) (14) 36 Joey Tanner, Portland, OR, Chevrolet 104 Running
19) (7) 99 Shane Mitchell, Entiat, WA, Chevrolet 68 Mechanical
20) (5) 20 Jay Sauls, Puyallup, WA, Chevrolet 1 Accident