West Coast late model star Jason Jefferson rode into town for a run in family friend Dean Boever's Dodge Charger. When the 50-lap main event was over he'd given Boever, SCR fans and David Garber just about all they could handle en route to victory.
By Doug Pace
AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. (May 30, 2009)–NASCAR West Coast star, Jason Jefferson, made the most of his second career late model start at Spokane County Raceway by lowering the track record in qualifying only to have David Garber reset the mark.
In the end Jefferson gained the prize of most value with a late race pass for the lead over Garber and first career victory on the SCR half-mile. Garber’s brother, Dan, came home third with nephew Colton fourth and Jason O’Neil rounding out the top-5
Darryl Carillio and Braeden Havens led the field to the green flag but Havens exited the 50-lap main event at lap eight with a broken water pump and Carillio battled a loose race car to fall into the hands of David Garber who took the lead at lap 15.
Jefferson, who hails from Naches, Wash. and was in town to drive for family friend Dean Boever, worked with SCR Late Model points leader Dan Garber to clear traffic and found themselves running second and third with 31 laps to go in the main event.
Over the next ten laps Jefferson moved past Dan Garber and gave chase to his brother David before the events first caution of the evening fell for the spinning Nathan Fleury in turn No. 3. Fleury was able to recover and finished sixth.
On the restart Jefferson and David Garber waged a great battle for the lead with several side-by-side and nose-to-tail pass attempts by Jefferson. Several times during the battle both cars crossed the start-finish line dead even and made scoring the leader a challenge.
Jefferson moved by Garber on the outside of turn No. 2 and made the pass stick at lap 37 then cleared Garber’s Golden Fitness/Osborne Racing Enterprises Chevrolet for a solid lead at lap 40.
The night’s third and final caution flew at lap 45 setting up one more challenge for the lead between the pair with Dan Garber in close pursuit and his son Colton closely following. Jefferson used a strong restart from his Hippo Car Wash Dodge to lead the final five laps en route to the victory.
“It was fun to race here at Spokane,” Jefferson said. “I enjoyed racing with the Garber’s. They really know their way around this track that’s for sure. David raced me clean and I’m sure we put on a great show for the fans. This is one of the best tracks in the Northwest for racing as far as I’m concerned and the people of Spokane should love to come out here and watch racing like what we had tonight.”
David Garber’s second place run was even more impressive when given consideration that he lost a power steering pump during the heat race portion of the event.
“I gave it everything I could to try and catch (Jefferson). It was real tough to drive without the power steering. I could have bumped him there late in a corner to try and get the lead at the end but he’d raced me so clean all night when we were running door to door that I knew it was his race.”
SCR Late Model points leader, Dan Garber, was satisfied with a third place run as it helped in the overall chase for the 2009 championship, he noted.
“It was way to loose to keep up with those guys during long green flag runs. I could stay with them on those few restarts we had but in the longer stretches it just wasn’t there,” concluded the driver of the Spokane Chimney Chevrolet. “I was thinking that if those two wrecked each other as hard as they were racing maybe I’d have a chance but they put on a great show and it was fun to watch from where I was.”
The Washington Midget Racing Association made their first of two 2009 appearances at SCR and with average lap speeds of over 120 mph thrilled the crowd with their close racing action.
Tony Seidelman took the early lead in the 25-lap main event then relinquished that to Ben Petter on lap two heading down the backstretch. WMRA points leader, Evan Margeson jumped up to third by lap 5 and a three-way battle for the lead ensued.
Margeson exited turn No. 4 strong and passed Seidelman and Petter for the lead to the inside heading into the front straightaway. Mark Atkinson began to make his presence felt and moved by Seidelman for third place and worked with Petter to track down Margeson.
By lap 14 Margeson had stretched his lead to several car lengths before ducking into the pit area with a mechanical failure that handed the lead back to Petter with Atkinson four car-lengths back. Pat Bliss and Seidelman waged a spirited battle for third place over the final ten laps with Bliss clearing at lap 21 for the final podium position.
Petter, who has raced midgets across the United States, gave SCR a rave review after his first race on the half-mile.
“It’s a blast to drive this track,” said the WMRA main event winner. “I’ve been racing back in the Midwest and this track is super quick but drives like a shorter (track). You drive it with the pedal a little bit and rally have to have a good car to get around here in one of these midgets.”
With the win Petter jumps to the points lead in the chase for the 2009 WMRA championship, but has not given much consideration to the title, he noted.
“We approach everything race to race but it’s sure great to come out of Spokane with a win and gain some points on the 50 (of Margeson).”
In the SCR Cops and Robbers division Harry Hatton picked up the 15-lap main event victory to go along with a win in the A-Trophy Dash.
Spokane County Raceway Late Models
50-lap Main Event Race Results
.500-mile, Airway Heights, WA
Fast Time: David Garber, Golden Fitness Chevrolet 19.1-sec.
1) Jason Jefferson
2) David Garber
3) Dan Garber
4) Colton Garber
5) Jason O’Neil
6) Nathan Fleury
7) Darryl Carillio
8) Scott Cannon
9) Andy Brown
10) Mike Hoover
11) Braeden Havens
Washington Midget Racing Association
25-lap Main Event
1) Ben Petter
2) Mark Atkinson
3) Pat Bliss
4) Tony Seidelman
5) Johnny Blair
6) Evan Margeson
SCR Cops & Robbers
15-lap Main Event
1) Harry Hatton
2) Brenden Tarr
3) Reesen Tarr
4) Garrett Rupert