July 31, 1997 in Sports

Zimmerman In Battle With Ochs

Paul Delaney Correspondent
 

He’s proven himself as a pretty good race driver.

Now Jeff Zimmerman is perfecting his skills at predicting the future.

It was about a month ago that defending series champion Zimmerman was on a roll in the Northwest Modified Racing Series, winner of two straight and seeking his third consecutive victory which he attained.

“It’s been pretty nice (winning), but once the other guys get going it probably won’t stay that way,” Zimmerman said prior to his last race at Stateline Speedway.

Zimmerman was right on. The other guys - namely Colville’s Greg Ochs - have got it going.

Ochs is the new hot shoe on the circuit. The 1995 series champion has won two straight - the 100-lap feature in the Montana 200 two weeks ago and again at Ephrata the week before - and has closed within 22 points of Zimmerman in the race for the 1997 title.

The modifieds will be joined by the Northwest Mini-Supers and Northwest Formula Indys in the 6 p.m. show on Saturday.

Friday’s Stateline Speedway schedule, which begins with time trials at 6:30 p.m., will include Hobby Cars, Sportsman and Compact Streets.

Tour tales from Topeka

Greg Biffle, driving for Ron Hall Racing of Spokane, is coming off an impressive run in his first road-course race last Saturday at Topeka, Kan.

Working in 99 percent humidity and a 103 temperature, Biffle claimed the outside pole at Heartland Raceway Park in Topeka, Kan. Biffle was knocked from the top spot in the NASCAR All-Pro invitational race by Winston Cup vet Bobby Hamilton.

Biffle then went on to lead the first 11 laps before dropping back with a broken pan hard bar and finishing 18th.

Biffle finished third - his best finish to date - in his last outing in Wenatchee and is the leading local NWT driver heading into Saturday night’s series race at Yakima Speedway.

Spokane riders do well

Veteran flat tracker Andy Tresser won the 750cc main event in last Saturday’s AMA Hot Shoe National race at Playfair Race Course. Lon Kopp of Mica, Wash., was second and Steve Liberty of Post Falls fourth. Steve Mayfield was the 600cc champ with Stevie Smith of Spokane second and Jeff Annen fourth.

Ron Yamamoto won last Friday’s 750cc main with Lon Kopp second and Liberty third. Yamamoto’s brother, Rusty, led a Spokane sweep in the 600 with Annen second and Smith third in the Pro-Am portion of the Playfair event.

Pit stops

Spokane Raceway Park hosts the opening act of this weekend’s racing program with another race in the Mountain Dew High School Racing Series. On Saturday night, local drag racers get one more chance to tune up for next weekend’s 35th running of the AHRA World Finals. Gates open at 4 p.m. SRP will run both bracket drags plus a stock car program on the oval next door. The finals run next Friday through Sunday with competition from nitro funny cars and top fuel dragsters down to sportsman racers… . The Pro Outlaw Kart Racing Association will shift from its usual Thursday racing schedule to Saturday when they run a special benefit race for the Muscular Dystrophy Association at the Spokane County ORV Park… . Northport International Raceway will host the final race of the Northport/Republic challenge series Sunday beginning with time trials at 1 p.m and racing at 2… . Guy Lombardo, Russ Schleeh and Tom D’Eath will be inducted into the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum’s Hall of Fame during a special cruise, dinner and auction in Seattle next Wednesday. For ticket information call (206) 764-9453.

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