The Appleway Chevrolet Parts Center ICAR Late Model Series has its season finale this weekend with Dan Garber nursing a 14-point lead over the region’s breakthrough teenage driving talent, Blake Williams. Each is vying for a chance to bring home ICAR’s unique championship prize – a new crate race engine, courtesy of Appleway.
When the green flag flies Saturday night at Stateline Speedway for the series’ Twin 50 lap main events, all eyes will be on the veteran and the youngster. Each has wins this season on the ICAR circuit, but what may be the deciding factor is experience in the big events – something Garber has and Williams is quickly gaining.
Garber has a championship from 2004 on the Inland Northwest Super Stock Association to his credit while this summer Williams became the youngest qualifier for the Idaho and Montana 200 super late model races and won the INSSA season finale on Sept. 11.
Spokane Valley native Garber just missed a late model divisional championship at Spokane County Raceway and an ICAR title in 2009 by a handful of points and is using that shortcoming as motivation this season.
“Trying to win the championship this year is motivated by that, but also having the chance to race my son Colton is very enjoyable and another factor in racing all season on the ICAR series,” Garber said.
Adding to his INSSA championship with a potential ICAR title, something that no local driver has accomplished, Garber knows that Williams will make him work on every lap.
“I consider each championship a hard-fought accomplishment and would be honored to add the ICAR title to the INSSA championship from 2004. It’s a tight points battle with Blake that we know won’t be decided until Saturday night,” said the driver of the Dan’s Total Automotive Chevrolet.
Experiences gained from racing on the INSSA circuit have helped Garber stay near the front of the ICAR pack all season, he said. Each series has its own format that makes it attractive for race teams and fans alike, Garber added.
“ICAR’s Twin 50-lap main event format versus a single 100-lap race for INSSA is a big adjustment for any driver,” he said. “The ICAR program is affordable for teams, but the competition is tough in either series. ICAR uses a different manifold, weight rules and compression (restrictions), which can change what the car will do versus an INSSA super late model.”
The Garber name is well-known, with late model and track championships throughout the Inland Northwest. Dan’s brother David is a three-time INSSA champion while their father, Bruce, has won on nearly every track in the region and has titles dating back to Spokane Fairgrounds and Spokane Raceway Park seasons of long ago.
Opportunities to race as a family in the ICAR or INSSA series is an enjoyable part of racing in the area, Garber said.
“It’s a lot of fun to race against Colton as well as my dad and David. We have fun, but there is no slacking off against them on the racetrack. We know we’re going to race each other hard when we’re all out there at the same time.”
This weekend it will be David, Dan, Colton and, potentially, Bruce Garber all in the same race as ICAR closes out its sixth season of competition. Qualifying for the ICAR Late Model Series begins at 6 p.m., followed by trophy dashes and heat races at 7.
Also racing this weekend at Stateline will be the Northwest Pro 4 Truck Series and the Early Stocks.
Race fans can kick the weekend off with an up-close look at the drivers and teams that compete on the ICAR series. Many of the teams in the championship points standings will have their cars on display at Appleway Chevrolet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
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