To some, Saturday night’s final appearance of the Spokane Pro Gas Association at Spokane Raceway Park is just another drag race.
It means a lot more for Rod Hoerner.
Riding on the outcome are a number of things, including the local racing group’s 1995 season championship. The competition among the 9.90 elapsed-time class will also help prepare some of the competitors, and Hoerner especially, for the season-ending NHRA Division Six race September 24th at Ashcroft, British Columbia.
“We just moved into fourth place in division points and are only about three rounds out of first place,” said Hoerner, who won his last divisional race at Woodburn, Ore., in August. Winning the division carries some perks for the 1996 season, including a cash bonus of $1,500, complimentary admission to both divisional and national events, and a shot at getting into the lucrative TRW Sportsman Challenge.
“(Racing in) both (classes) help out each other,” said Hoerner, who is atop the SPGA standings after four of five races. “The more seat time you get, the more beneficial it is. The more laps, the more you learn.”
He is close to dethroning a three-time defending champ, son Todd Hoerner.
With two wins, the elder Hoerner holds a 225-point edge. He said he “needs to go a couple of rounds” on Saturday to clinch his first title since 1991.
Although it is a local show, drawing drivers from about a 150-mile radius, “it’s just as competitive at SRP as it is at a national event,” said the elder Hoerner, driver of the Interstate Batteries/ Performance Corner Corvette. “All the drivers here have proven themselves.”
Regular SRP bracket racers will also be part of the show on Saturday. Time trials begin at 5:30, with eliminations at 7:30.
Stateline Speedway gets the jump on crowning its season champions when four classes take to the track Saturday night. Time trials begin at 6 p.m., with racing at 7:30 for the year’s final points competition in Street Stocks, Hobby Cars, Sportsman and Stateline CROW open-wheelers.
Nine-time main-event winner Randy Lasswell, along with Steve Cantrell and Matt Tarr, are locked in a tight battle for the Street Stock title.
The same holds true in Hobby Stocks, where John Ward and Wayne Reynolds are separated by just a few points.
Dan Noble may have won the battle Saturday, but Jeff Zimmerman edges closer to winning the war for the Northwest Modified Series points lead. With a second-place finish in the series’ next-to-last race last Saturday, Zimmerman closed within eight points of season-long leader Greg Ochs of Colville.
NW Tour wraps up with English victory
Monte English, driving the Lubrication Station Monte Carlo for Spokane’s Ron Hall, won Sunday’s 150-lap season finale in NASCAR’s Northwest Tour. With the win, its third this season, the English/Hall team finished fourth in series points, its best finish in nine years on the Tour.
Spokane Raceway Park will also have stock car racing on Saturday night, time trials beginning at 6. … The Northwest Late Model Superstock series has announced the addition of a race this Sunday at Mission Valley Speedway in Ronan, Mont. Hometown racer Cory Wolfe leads Billy Swift of Newman Lake by 84 points with two races to go. Time trials are at 1 p.m. with racing at 2. … Allen Swain completed a sweep of the seven-race schedule in the Compact Class at Stateline last Saturday night. … Joe Kopp of Mica, Wash., is riding high on the American Motorcycle Association dirt track series and is currently third in the AMA’s 600cc National Dirt Track points. … Eagle Trac in Republic closes its regular season Saturday with time trials at 1. … Tuscor Speedway in Trout Creek, Mont., has its Tri-State Light Sprint Championships on Saturday. Time trials are at 1 p.m.
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