June 17, 2011 in Sports

NHRA drags at Spokane Raceway

Doug Pace
 

NHRA drag racing returns to Spokane this weekend with the annual Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series stop at Spokane County Raceway. With three days of action, the professional talent on display provides some of the fastest speeds recorded on the track’s surface during the season.

Race teams will be in testing mode today with qualifying set for Saturday and final-round action getting under way at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Divisions in action include Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars, Competition Eliminators, Super Stock, Super Gas, Super Comp, Super Street, Top Sportsman, Stock, Top Dragsters and Sportsman Motorcycles.

Weekend ticket package information is available online at spokanecountyraceway.com or by calling 244-3333.

Gary Miller 100 at Stateline

The Northwest Modified Series has witnessed a growth in car count and driver talent depth this season and Saturday night race fans will have the chance to see the excitement that has been renewed in the open-wheel division with the running of the Gary Miller 100. Held annually at Stateline Speedway, the open-wheel event salutes to contributions of one of the Inland Empire’s pioneers in motorsports.

Jeff Bird is the defending champion and will be back to battle with the likes of Greg Ochs (who has one main event victory this season) and perennial contender Zig Grunert.

Also racing at Stateline Speedway will be the Street Stocks and the Super 4 Modified Series.

Kip Elliott sits atop the Street Stock championship standings by a mere two points over Ned Pennington with third-place Aaron Nevers four points out of the top spot. Elliott picked up the division’s most recent main-event victory on May 28 with Nevers runner-up and Pennington third. Expect more of the close racing action Saturday night as each of the three have run in the top five finishing positions over the early portion of the season.

Since returning this season to Stateline as a regularly scheduled racing division, the Super 4 Modifieds have been a crowd favorite with their close-knit racing. Similar in appearance to their Northwest Modified cousins, the class has fielded a strong upstart group of drivers led by championship points leader, Matt Schoen. Despite not having earned a main event victory thus far, Schoen holds a two-point lead on Pat Norris.

Tickets for the Gary Miller 100 are available at Stateline Speedway with qualifying getting under way at 6 p.m. followed by racing at 7. To learn more log onto raceidaho.com

Sunset Speedway action

Sunset Speedway continues its night racing schedule Saturday night with action in the Jr. I, Adult Open, Jr. II and Adult Modified divisions.

Daniel Watkins’ win on June 4 allowed the Jr. I driver to build a 50-point lead on second-place Tanner Pugh. Brent Blake rounded out the top 3, just 93 markers from the top spot. Pugh picked up a win in the trophy dash, split the heat race victories with Watkins than ran a solid second place in the night’s main event. This weekend may be the opportunity Pugh needs to slice into Watkins’ points lead.

In the Adult Modified class, Jim Townsend has been the driver on the move over the last few weekends. Despite a sub-par run in the season opener – where Townsend was not able to take part in the main event – the current third-place driver in the championship standings has had solid top-3 runs since mid-May to close with 100 points of first-place Larry Christen. A solid top-3 run this weekend could move Townsend past second-place points runner, Diane Perry, who sits a mere 84 points ahead of her third-place competitor.

The tightest points battle thus far at Sunset Speedway is in the Adult Clone engine class, where first place Dan Watkins brings a slim 16-point margin over Ed Marks as the division runs its fifth race of the season. Also in the championship mix are Rusty King (34 out of first place), Ken McGuire (49) and Dave Reynolds (60).

Corey McGuire continues his quest for a Jr. II championship this weekend fresh off a top-5 finish in the division’s most recent main event. McGuire brings a 41-point margin over Jared Storer, who ran third in the June 4 main event. Past Sunset junior champion Jerid Pickens holds down a third-place points standing after a runner-up finish to Alivia Stenson in the June 4 main event.

To reach Motorsports Correspondent Doug Pace email him at racingnewssource@gmail.comKeep up with racing news at spokesman.com/blogs/keepingpace

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