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Keeping Pace

LONGTON SCORES BIG WIN IN BIG SKY COUNTRY

Leading over Brent Harris only to drop back to second place, and then having to chase the East Wenatchee driver down for the lead at lap 134, Mike Longton showed his GTB Ag Services Ford Fusion’s strength over the Sunday afternoon race.


For Immediate Release: Mike Longton Motorsports

MOXEE, Wash. (May 27, 2009)-Mike Longton has a late model championship under his belt and big wins at Yakima Speedway including a 2008 clean sweep of Fall Classic racing at the famed half-mile, but getting his first ASA Northwest Late Model Tour win–which included a $10,000 pay day–ranks among the highest honors the 28-year old has achieved in racing.

“Any big race is really special with all the great competition that’s out there right now so it’s tough to say (where the weekend ranks), but this win in the Big Sky 150 is definitely up at the top of the list that’s for sure,” Longton said.

Leading over Brent Harris only to drop back to second place, and then having to chase the East Wenatchee driver down for the lead at lap 134, Longton showed his GTB Ag Services Ford Fusion’s strength over the Sunday afternoon race.

Adapting to the track after limited practice in 2008, Longton’s only trip to Mission Valley Speedway prior to this event, is a testament to determination and testing on the series’ new Goodyear tire, he noted.

“The biggest thing for us was after the season opener in Monroe (at Evergreen Speedway) was rained out we took advantage of the three weeks off until the (Yakima Speedway) Apple Cup and went and tested four times in Yakima with the new tire. The results showed at the Apple Cup (where Longton won the pole and led the first 37 laps before breaking an axle) and it has certainly transferred over to the other tracks we have gone to.”

Mission Valley was one such improvement, Longton added.

“Last year we didn’t get much practice up there with all the rain that fell then we struggled in that race but having been there once before going into this race we had a better idea for a set-up with the Goodyear that we’d need for the track and it certainly paid off for us over the course of the weekend since we hit the pole and won the race.”

As the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour heads to Yakima for their next event June 6, all eyes will be on the defending Speedway late model champion and Fall Classic winner. While others may be keeping an eye on him at his home track, Longton acknowledge that Yakima itself is important and needs little energy to motivate their team for another Tour victory.

“Not really,” he confirmed. “I think our game would have been elevated coming to our home track even without the Montana win. This just makes it even more exciting to be racing at home with a chance to go for another win.”

Sitting fifth in the 2009 chase for the ASA championship, Longton concedes he isn’t looking at the points standings after just three races in the season.

“No matter what, first thing is first for our team and that is going for a win and letting the points fall into place after that.”

The ASA Northwest Late Model Tour takes to Yakima Speedway on June 6 with a 125-lap shootout featuring the best late model drivers in the Northwest, including Mike Longton. To learn more about the event log onto www.asanorthwesttour.com or www.yakimaspeedway.us


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

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