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Several tight points battles at Sunset

Sunset Speedway returns to its afternoon racing schedule on Saturday with just two events left in the 2012 season.

Kart racing on the one-fifth mile clay oval has been some of the closest in many years, resulting in several tight points battles for season championships.

One title chase of interest is the Junior I division, in which Alex Bartlett, who has earned maximum points available in five of the season’s nine races, has built a 111-point advantage over second-place Daniel Watkins. While Bartlett appears well on his way to a championship, Watkins will have to battle Riley Ayala through the season’s final two races as a mere two points separate the pair with fourth-place Bo Vawter 17 points behind Watkins.

Jimmy Laswell has been impressive as well in the Junior II division, with top points earned in six of nine races that have put him atop the championship standings by 118 markers over Abbygail Storer.

Seth Feltus, Shane Doney and Tate Oliver round out the top five drivers in the division with all five final points positions secured heading into Saturday’s race.

Modified veteran Larry Christen has been the most dominant driver of the season at Sunset with wins in eight of nine races held. While that win streak has boosted Christen to a 96-point lead over Ed Flatt, a three-man race has been the norm throughout the year, with Flatt notching second-place honors in four races while third-place Dan Watkins has claimed five second-place finishes and a win back in April.

Nor-Cal midget driver Jared Storer, who has been competing in selected dirt-karting events across the Northwest, holds down fourth-place in the Modified standings with a season-high second-place finish back in May.

Flatt will look to lock up two champion- ships this season as he is the 2-Stroke division’s third-place driver with two races left in the year, just 100 points behind leader Mark Tedrow with Karl Schmitz sandwiched in between the two and only 17 points off of Tedrow’s lead.

Rusty King brings a 41-point lead over Shawn Glander as the Adult Clone engine racers head into the final two races of the season. Also having strong runs in the class are Ed Marks (98 behind Glander) and Case Hinkins who picked up his first divisional win in Sunset’s last race held Aug. 25.

Racing begins Saturday with qualifying set for noon followed by racing at 1 p.m. Grandstand admission is free to the public. Fans interested in obtaining a pit pass can do so that the entrance gate for a fee. For more information contact Sunset Speedway at (208) 512-1806.

Race moving to Wenatchee

Officials with the ICAR Late Model Series announced this week that its 2012 season championship, which had been scheduled for Sept. 15 at Spokane County Raceway, will move to Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval. ICAR will make its first visit to the quarter-mile speedplant with many factors coming together to provide the race date to teams and fans.

ICAR’s first trip to WVSO is a potential windfall as the series has long worked to gain a date at one of the finest short tracks in the region, according to series director Corey Junke.

“Wenatchee Valley is a beautiful track and will be very fast for the cars and fun to compete on for this first-ever trip. We are very happy to have worked out an arrangement with the management of Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval to run our series and their Big 5 Late Models together for this event. The Big 5 events have had a solid car count this year and ICAR is expecting to see 16-18 cars for the race so a full 24-car field is not out of the question,” Junke said. “(ICAR) teams that compete will be rewarded with an accelerated purse and we will waive the entry fee for team’s that preregister for the 100-lap race.”

With SCR closing its oval track prior to Labor Day weekend, traveling series such as ICAR were left to find dates to host pivotal late-season and championship races. In addition to ICAR finding a home for its title show, the West Coast Street Stock Series, which was to have held a race on Saturday at SCR, also made the announcement this week that its championship race will now be part of the 25th Annual Yakima Speedway Fall Classic weekend, set for Sept. 29-30 with added benefits to teams that compete in the race.

Follow The Spokesman-Review’s motorsports coverage online at keepingpace. Reach Doug Pace at or follow him on Twitter @racingnewsource.

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