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Pace: Points races go down to the wire

Northwest Modified standout Chris Ochs has been the class of the series for much of the season, but he’s still looking to break through with a win at Stateline Speedway.

Going into the final Saturday night event of the year, Ochs holds a slim advantage over Don Webster, James Speiring and Kevin Ratel. His best finish at Stateline this season is as a runner-up to Speiring in July.

Joel Schrader and Steven Ellis will look to conclude their season-long battle for the Stateline Speedway Hobby Stock championship. Schrader holds a 44-point lead, but 55 points are at stake Saturday. Jody Duncan and Gerald Nash will battle for the third- and fourth-place positions.

In Yakima, Mead’s Steve Schovares has plenty on the line in this weekend’s Northwest Pro 4 Alliance finale. He hopes to move into the top 10 in championship points after a tough outing in the series’ last event, which was held at Stateline Speedway.

Schovares transferred into the A-Main on the strength of a third-place finish in the Last Chance qualifying race but was not able to advance forward in the 75-lap main event. A disappointing 19th-place finish dropped him outside the top 10 by eight points. Only 50 points separate positions eight through 12th in the standings.

Also in Yakima, David Garber looks to break through for a top-10 finish in the Super Late Model Fall Classic. Posting strong runs in his Concrete Cutters Pontiac since a top-five finish in August at the GET Rich 212 in Montana, Garber should be a factor in Sunday’s 200-lap event. Locals to watch in the West Coast Street Stock Series at Yakima include Spokane’s Kip Elliott and Okanogan’s Bryon Goetz.

Havens returns

Braeden Havens returns to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this weekend with the NAPA Auto Parts 150 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Havens, back after an eight-week layoff, is also scheduled to run in Sacramento, Calif., next month.

With just five starts, Havens has managed to climb inside the top 20 in the drivers points standings. Teammate and car owner Brett Thompson is just one position ahead. The pair shared the driving duties this season in the No. 61 Western Rail Inc. Chevrolet. Havens has two top-10 finishes.

Thompson Motorsports is 10th in owner’s points standings.

Havens, 18, has made the most of his limited opportunities with several runs toward the front that were cut short because of mechanical issues, flat tires or contact while battling for position.

“This team has had great cars in our races and we’ve shown the veterans on the series that we can compete,” Havens said. “Running well at Las Vegas, Evergreen Speedway (Monroe) and Lake Havasu has given us plenty of confidence.

“Saturday’s race will be my first time at NAPA Speedway, but I know the team will give me a good race car and we’ll keep working all night to get another top-10 run and maybe even get in there for a top-five finish if everything works out right.”

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