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Spring brings return to local racing

Motorsports action gets into high gear Saturday as Stateline Speedway continues its opening-week schedule with Street Stocks, a Fever Four Fun Fest and Hobby Stocks all taking part in a full slate of activities at the Post Falls facility.

Wednesday Night Fever opened this week and continues throughout the season with admission $5.75 for fans 10 and older. Fans under 10 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Sunset Speedway, a one-fifth clay oval located on the grounds of Spokane County’s ORV Park, hosts its Promotional Fun Day on Saturday then swings into a full race schedule next weekend. The track features dirt go-karting for ages 5 and older with many affordable entry-level classes available.

Promo Day gives interested racers the opportunity to come to the track and try their hand at dirt kart racing and, if interested, speak with track officials about getting involved. Sunset officials will be on hand to assist interested racers in learning more about safety equipment and available race karts that are being offered for prospective racers.

Motocross racing action has been taking place at the Spokane ORV Extreme Motorsports complex since March 21. The Extreme Outdoor Series is off this weekend after hosting its opening rounds last Sunday and Monday. Action resumes on April 17-18 with rounds three and four on the challenging track.

Professional motocross action highlights a busy May for Extreme’s facility. To learn more go to the complex’s Web site at www. extmotor

Fans of late-model stock cars can venture to Yakima Speedway for the 44th running of the famed Apple Cup. Past winners of the event include one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, Hershel McGriff, Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, Montana’s Bob Schweigert and Hayden’s Jeff Bird.

This year Joey Tanner, winner of the 2009 Yakima Fall Classic, and defending Apple Cup winner Jason Fraser are set to do battle for the coveted late-model title along with many of the region’s top drivers.

More information on the 44th Annual Apple Cup is available at

Joe Kopp is enjoying some time off after his recent trip to Daytona for Bike Week and the AMA Flat Track Series. The Mica native struggled through an offseason with limited activity, which is not an enjoyable part of life for those that know the AMA champion.

Kopp battled a left knee injury for much of the second half of the 2009 season and did not return to riding and conditioning until January. With Daytona building a new short track, the perfectionist in Kopp dealt with many unknowns heading to one of AMA’s premier events.

“Once we arrived at the new track I was anxious to get practice going,” Kopp said in a recent e-mail. “The new track is a little shorter then the old one and looked to be much more round in the corners, kind of egg-shaped. One thing exciting about the new track is it’s right on the grounds of Daytona International Speedway beside the big race car track, which is pretty cool.”

The 2000 AMA Grand National Champion picked up a top-five finish in round one of Daytona Bike Week and followed that up one night later with a seventh-place run. Those strong starts have Kopp sitting second in overall points with April off before heading into a grueling May swing highlighted by the annual Springfield (Ill.) Memorial Weekend event.

To reach The Spokesman-Review’s motorsports correspondent, Doug Pace, send an e-mail to


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Lynn Hickey named athletic director at Eastern Washington University

UPDATED: 5:49 a.m.

updated  Her first choice was the right one, Eastern Washington President Mary Cullinan has decided. Lynn Hickey, whom Cullinan hired as interim athletic director 10 weeks ago, is now the school’s permanent Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics, university officials confirmed Tuesday night.