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Keeping Pace

Sprint boat races become tradition

Sprint boats are launched into Web's Slough for Saturday's race. JED CONKLIN The Spokesman-Review (The Spokesman-Review)
Sprint boats are launched into Web's Slough for Saturday's race. JED CONKLIN The Spokesman-Review (The Spokesman-Review)

Three unique racing events have arrived to the Inland Northwest highlighted by the USSBA stop in St. John.

Doug Pace

The Spokesman-Review

United States Sprint Boat Association action returns this weekend to Webb’s Slough in St. John for what has become a one-of-a-kind tradition in the sport. With a venue nestled on the rolling plains of the Palouse, surrounded by wheat fields and a grass, terraced seating configuration, Matt and Amanda Webb have created a race course often referred to as the Daytona or Indianapolis of the sport.

USSBA racing pits a driver and navigator against the course. No side-by-side competition takes place; the winner is the team that can run the course in the shortest amount of time. The boats produce more than 1,000 horsepower and come complete with a roll-bar over the driver and navigator.

Saturday’s field should provide some of the fastest speeds the course has seen since its inception. Leading the charge will be past USSBA champion Dean Lautenschlager.

Festivities get under way today at 5 p.m. with safety inspections and a show-and-shine event on Front Street in St. John. Spectator gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday with qualifying at 10, followed by racing at noon.

For those interested in spending the weekend on the Palouse, the St. John Fairgrounds offers camping sites with full RV hook-ups. Camping is also available at the Slough without a reservation. Coolers are allowed, but race organizers ask that no alcohol be brought inside the spectator area.

Tickets can be purchased online by logging onto www.Brown

Walk-up ticket sales are available across the Inland Northwest, including Mark Webb Diamond Jewelers and Davis Office Furniture in Spokane; Ackerman Heating and Air Conditioning in Colfax; Webb’s Empire Foods in St. John; and the main gate the day of the event.

Additional information can be found at

Chambliss honored

Motocross action comes to the Spokane Fair and Expo Center this summer with a three-race series set to get under way on Saturday. This weekend’s event honors Ray Chambliss, a local rider who tragically lost his life. Local professional riders including AMA champion Joe Kopp will take part in the event.

Other riders expected in the professional division include Keith Anderson, Wyatt Maguire and Dustin Pruczinski.

An amateur class is also on tap with AMA 85cc national champion Wyatt Anderson headlining the entries. Regional riders Dustin Stout and Cameron Smith will also compete against Anderson and the field.

Both divisions will be racing on an eighth-mile course with cash prizes and trophies presented to eligible riders.

The Chambliss memorial features classes for all ages and skill. There will also be a motorsports display, racing industry vendors and musical entertainment throughout the day.

Gates open at Noon with main events at 7 p.m. For more information contact race organizer, Diamond A Motorsports, at (509) 990-4854.

Gary Miller 100

One of the Northwest’s premier modified races, the Gary Miller 100, returns to Stateline Speedway on Saturday.

The race honors the memory and dedication of one of the founding fathers of the 25-year-old Northwest Modified Racing Series. Past champions are a list of some of the finest open-wheel racers in the region, including two-time Miller winner Tim Sawyer and the ageless Blaine Sneva. Expected to enter the race will be 2009 Doyle Bratton Memorial race winner, Jeff Bird, along with veterans Rick Gemino, Sawyer and Greg Ochs.

Stateline’s schedule this weekend includes the Hobby Stock class which has a tight points race between Billy Swift and Gerald Nash. They are separated by just 14 points after the season’s first four races.

Qualifying is set for 6 p.m. with racing to follow. Learn more by calling Stateline Speedway’s Racer Hotline at (208) 773-5019 or logging onto

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Keeping Pace

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