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Keeping Pace

Fri., Aug. 20, 2010, 12:31 a.m.

Tight INSSA pack chases leader Garber down final stretch

David Garber's Pend Oreille Mechanical Pontiac in victory lane at Stateline Speedway. (Photo courtesy of INSSA Media Relations) (Picasa 3.0 / The Spokesman-Review)
David Garber's Pend Oreille Mechanical Pontiac in victory lane at Stateline Speedway. (Photo courtesy of INSSA Media Relations) (Picasa 3.0 / The Spokesman-Review)

David Garber, the man to beat for many years on the circuit, is holding three consecutive championship trophies heading into the weekend. For the first time in many seasons, the Spokane native has not one, but several challengers ready to pounce should he have issues in the final two runs of the year.

Doug Pace

The Spokesman-Review

The Inland Northwest Super Stock Association rolls into Stateline Speedway on Saturday night with only two events left in the 2010 season and a tight points race for the championship and rookie of the year titles.

David Garber, the man to beat for many years on the circuit, is holding three consecutive championship trophies heading into the weekend. For the first time in many seasons, the Spokane native has not one, but several challengers ready to pounce should he have issues in the final two runs of the year.

Leading the charge is Kameron McKeehan who sits in second place overall in the championship standings by a mere 29 markers. The Lewiston driver has been charging toward the top of the standings after a rough start to his season but is being chased by Amanda MacDonald.

MacDonald had been as high as second in the season championship standings, but a subpar run in the Idaho 200 weekend set her back to third place, eight points behind McKeehan but only six points ahead of rookie of the year points leader Braeden Havens.

While Havens may be inside the top five in championship points, he has a narrow 15-point lead on his closest competitor for rookie honors. As part of a two-car team, 16-year-old Havens has battled the INSSA regulars while keeping tabs on his father, Todd, who is second in rookie of the year points and only 58 points behind Garber for the championship.

With the top seven drivers in the title standings separated by 58 points, INSSA teams have shown race fans that the competition is close from week to week and will come down to the last two races to decide a champion and rookie of the year.

For more information on the Inland Northwest Super Stock Association, go to www.inssa.org.

Kopp takes thriller

Joe Kopp continues to lead the AMA Flat Track points standings by 18 markers over Jake Johnson, who crashed in the division’s Hagerstown (Md.) main event last time out. That allowed Kopp and Kenny Coolbeth to move out to strong advantages that neither relinquished en route to Kopp’s victory.

Coolbeth and Kopp thrilled the crowd with close racing throughout the main event. While AMA officially scored only three lead changes, there were instances in which the lead was swapped from one straightaway to the next and not recorded statistically.

“We had already gapped the rest of the pack by a good chunk,” Kopp said. “I started moving around and found a higher line that really let me enter both turns faster. I was really able to get through the middle of the turn and exits better (by changing racing lines in the final). Kenny and I had just one of the best half-mile battles I can ever remember, as I know we both threw everything we had at it and in the end I was able to go that little bit deeper and find what I needed to get the win.”

Kopp embarks on a five-race-in-six-week stretch this weekend beginning in Peoria, Ill., with three races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds between Aug. 28 and the conclusion of Labor Day weekend.

Fans can follow Kopp’s exploits on his website at www.joekoppracing.com, where the rider keeps a race-by-race update.




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Keeping Pace

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