To reach the top of the points standings Corey Juhnke has had to overcome the persistent Dan Garber and the improving Steve Bayne while also taking note of up-and-coming drivers such as Jason O’Neil, Colton Garber, Braeden Havens and Darryl Carrillio.
Stateline Speedway hosts its final Saturday night event of the 2009 season with the ICAR Late Model Series championship race and the Early Stocks on the schedule.
Corey Juhnke leads the ICAR points standings by 56 markers over Steve Bayne and hard-charging Dan Garber, who, despite missing the season’s first event, has managed to climb to third. Bayne leads Garber by five points for second place overall with Saturday’s twin main event format to go in the year.
This weekend’s race could provide the series with its largest car count of the season as most tracks hosting race cars similar to ICAR have already closed out their seasons. With the Yakima Speedway Fall Classic set for next weekend and no division to offer for teams that run a rules package like ICAR, a 24-car plus field is not out of the question, according to series organizers.
Juhnke has the unique and at times uncomfortable position of being the series points leader and one of its co-founders. Responsible for day-to-day needs such as finances and the selection of event dates, the Spokane Valley business owner is clear that on race day he is not a party to the overall decisions made at the track.
That choice has worked well with fellow competitors and race officials, Juhnke said.
“When I sign in at the back gate, I am agreeing to leave all of the daily tasks of the series behind and be treated like any other racer,” he said. “If someone has questions about what is happening on race day, I quickly point out that I am competing like them and those questions are for race day officials and not for me to decide.”
To reach the top of the points standings Juhnke has had to overcome the persistent Garber and the improving Bayne while also taking note of up-and-coming drivers such as Jason O’Neil, Colton Garber, Braeden Havens and Darryl Carrillio.
“The competition this season is as good as it has ever been in this series,” Juhnke said. “Entering our fourth season, if you can get an ICAR win it’s usually going to be over some good people like a (Dan, Colton or Dave) Garber, Steve Bayne and (Darryl) Carrillio. My race results this year are coming from dedication to details in addition to what I do in the shop from Monday to Friday.”
Spokane County Raceway’s late model class, in which Dan Garber finished second in the chase for the 2009 championship, has a rules package similar to ICAR and that has allowed good car counts in the area, Juhnke said.
“The ICAR series and this type of car are constantly getting better in competition, quality of drivers and lap times that are very close from top to bottom plus the races with our twin main event format are a great show for the fans,” he said.
“We’re showing that ICAR and this rules package is an affordable alternative to traditional late model racing in this area. Our cars are a limited style, even though none of us refer to them that way, to what is typically running. INSSA’s (Inland Northwest Super Stock Association) cars are a super late model, and this package that we’ve worked to develop is what I believe will be the wave of the future for late model racing.”
To talk with Juhnke, the series leadership side comes out with as much passion as the driver on the race track brings. If ICAR continues to grow Juhnke’s dedication to one part of the series may give way to another, he said.
“At some point it’s my hope that this series will have a consistent 20-car field and I can lead it at all times while racing in a Super Late Model program somewhere,” he said. “With the car count growing, that day may be ahead for us soon.”