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Wednesday, May 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Finally, Hall’s Race Team Finds A Winning Formula

By Paul Delaney Correspondent

Hey! Ron Hall! Your NASCAR Northwest Tour race team has just won its second race of the season and you’re climbing in the points race. Where are you going now?

Unfortunately for Hall, he’s not heading to Disneyland.

“We go to Portland next, and it’s on Friday night,” Hall said, hardly looking forward to the long haul. “They always throw in a Friday night in Portland.”

It seems road trips have been about the biggest obstacle facing Hall, driver Monte English and the Lubrication Station Monte Carlo lately. The team, which won in Tenino last week, has one victory and two second-place finishes in its last three races.

It’s been a change of pace for Hall, who had been campaigning late-model superstocks locally for more than two decades before earning his first major victory earlier this year.

“It’s a combination of things,” Hall said. “Both the driver and car are working well.”

In the opinion of English, the 1991 NWT series champion, pre-race preparation lately has been better and a key to recent successes.

“We were thrashing up until just three or four races ago,” said the Port Angeles driver. “I think we’ve been a lot more consistent in getting the car ready lately. I think this has helped us out a lot.”

English has piloted the team to fifth place in the point standings.

Last Saturday’s race in Tenino wasn’t just a good one for Hall. Two other Spokane drivers, Rick Schultz and Mark Groskreutz, also had their best races of their Northwest Tour careers, and made a little history, too.

Schultz finished third - his best finish of the season - and was followed across the finish line by Mark Groskreutz, who was running in just his third event of the year

It marked the best finish for a Spokane contingent at a series race in the 11-year history of the NWT.

All in the Family - almost

The Hoerner family of Spokane came incredibly close to one of the most unique feats in drag racing history last Sunday.

Had things gone just a little differently, three generations of the family would have won major races on the same day.

Sunday afternoon, Rod Hoerner outdueled a 60-car field to win the Pro Gas title at the rain-delayed NHRA Division 6 race in Woodburn, Ore. It was Hoerner’s first win of the season and fifth divisional race win in his career.

Meanwhile, at Spokane Raceway Park, Rod’s son, Todd Hoerner, was just .013 seconds from winning the Modified Gas title at the AHRA World Finals. Todd’s son, Travis, wound up as runner-up in the Junior Dragster class at SRP.

Winding down

The Northwest Latel Model Superstocks pay their next-to-last visit to Stateline Speedway on Saturday night. The late models will be joined by both Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks, which take part in a two-day special race.

The local classes kick off the weekend with a Friday night race, starting with time trials at 6:30. Saturday’s racing begins at 6 p.m.

Cory Wolfe of Ronan, Mont., has all but wrapped up a second straight NWLM points title, leading Newman Lake’s Billy Swift by 86 points with two events left.

Pit stops

Spokane Raceway Park returns to a normal schedule after last week’s AHRA World Finals with bracket drags and stock car racing Saturday. … While John Force was, as expected, winning a fourth straight title in Spokane, a number of Sportsman racers secured World Finals titles for the first time. Brian Tibesar won in the 7.90 Class, while Perry Gorman was visiting the winner’s circle for the first time in the 8.90 Class. Jeff Mann won in the 9.90 and Dave Schliep in the 10.90s. Mike Bann of Lewiston won in the new Nostalgia Class, while John Moriarty of Nine Mile Falls was the Junior Dragster champ. … The Spokane County ORV Park in Airway Heights will be a busy place this weekend with the Northwest Off-Road Racing bringing in a sand drag and mud bog race both Saturday and Sunday. Also on Saturday the Spokane Kart Racing Association will run its eighth points race of the season. Sunday, motocross racing returns to the park with sign-up at 7 a.m. … The Northwest Modified Series visits Wenatchee Valley Raceway on Saturday night. … Also on Saturday, Northport International Raceway has stock car racing beginning at 4 p.m.

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