Kevin Richards kicked off the running of the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 200 weekend with a win in the Friday night Inland Northwest Super Stock Association 100-lap main event.
POST FALLS, Idaho (July 30, 2010)-Kevin Richards recovered from contact early in the NAPA Duel for the Idaho 200 to win the kick-off event for the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 200, part of Stateline Speedway’s three-day extravaganza for late model race teams.
Kameron McKeehan led the 24-car field to the green flag Chris Kellogg to his right. As lap one came to a close McKeehan held the point with Rusty Webb and Kellogg in hot pursuit.
Richards and Kellogg made contact in turn No. 2 battling for third place which collected Amanda MacDonald. All three drivers continued on but we relegated to the end of the 24-car field for bringing out the yellow flag. On the ensuing restart Kellogg got together with last year’s night one winner, Zan Sharp, and both drivers suffered significant damage. Sharp was forced to withdraw from the remainder of the event while Kellogg came home with an 11th place finish.
Rising late model star, Blake Williams, made quick work of Webb on the restart and jumped into second place bringing Chris Hart to third as Webb was shuffled back in the running order.
Richards moved to seventh place near the race’s quarter-point then advanced to fifth place just after lap 35. A series of cautions slowed the race’s pace for several laps with David Garber coming out on the short end as the three-time INSSA champion was forced to the pits with a tire issue and lost four laps in the process. Garber recovered for a 15th place finish.
After a lengthy red flag stoppage, racing resumed with MacDonald finding herself running in third place just past the halfway point. Her night of strong performance was short-lived as she was forced to pit on lap 59 with an overheating issue. With MacDonald dropping out Mark Sundberg moved into the top-3 and worked with NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver, Jonathan Gomez, who had an off-weekend to compete in his late model. Both drivers chased down Williams and his teammate Richards who had built over a three-second lead on the field.
As Williams pressured Richards for the lead Gomez, Hart and Sundberg waged a spirited battle for third through fifth place. Williams lost ground to Richards in the final 10 laps with the current ICAR Rookie of the Year points leader riding out a runner-up finish to his teammate-the 15 year olds best finish in a late model event.
Sundberg held off Gomez and Hart to round out the top-3. It was the Seattle native’s best finish of his 2010 season after getting off to a rocky start with motor and handling issues.
Richards was pleased with his recovery en route to his first victory of 2010, he said in victory lane.
“I have to thank Don Williams for giving me the chance to drive his cars and a big thank you to Blake Williams for learning how to race hard and giving me a good fight. The upper groove was working good for us to get back up there and battle for the win. Late in the going the battery started going out and I was getting a little nervous so this is a good finish for us,” Richards said.
The Friday night victory is a step towards another Idaho 200 title, he added.
“We’re coming back for the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series race on Saturday and for sure the 200 on Sunday and we’re out to win all three if we can.”
Inland Northwest Super Stock Association NAPA Duel for the 200
Finisihing Position/ Starting Position/Name/Laps Completed
1) (10) Kevin Richards 100
2) (5) Blake Williams 100
3) (9) Mark Sundberg 100
4) (14) Jonathan Gomez 100
5) (12) Chris Hart 100
6) (11) Dan Garber 100
7) (8) Jeff Little 100
8) (4) Jeff Fenton 100
9) (3) Rusty Webb 100
10) (1) Kameron McKeehan 100
11) (2) Chris Kellogg 100
12) (24) Andy Brown 99
13) (19) Braeden Havens 99
14) (21) Thane Alderman 99
15) (13) Dave Garber 96
16) (15) Todd Havens 96
17) (23) Tim Eickstadt 84
18) (6) Amanda MacDonald 66
19) (18) Jason O’Neal 58
20) (16) Casy Akers 46
21) (22) Chris Ormsby 33
22) (7) Zan Sharp 8
23) (20) Ross Cooper 8
24) (17) Mike Behar 8
Fast Time Winner: Jonathan Gomez, 13.233-sec. 68.012 mph