For West Valley High School senior Blake Williams, there hasn’t been much time to celebrate his win last weekend in the NAPA Idaho 200. Yes, he and his crew were all smiles as the trophy and cash payout were being handed out, but their thoughts quickly turned to this weekend’s Wenatchee 300 being run at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval.
Williams knows many of the competitors will be the best drivers from the region racing for another high-paying check similar to last week’s.
Local drivers were among the top qualifiers in the Idaho 200. In addition, all three leaders in the main event call Stateline Speedway home. That doesn’t mean that a home-track advantage is always the case in the big-money races across the region, Williams explained.
“I don’t think so because Garrett Evans (who finished seventh in the Idaho 200) and Gary Lewis (qualified fourth and finished fifth in the Idaho 200) ran the two prior Super Late Model races at Stateline Speedway this year.”
To be successful in a Wenatchee 300, Montana 200 or as in last weekend’s Idaho 200, a driver needs a solid car and a crew chief to lead them into the rigors of a long night. For Williams that crew chief is former NASCAR K&N Pro Series West star, Kevin Richards, who is also one of the top Late Model drivers in the Inland Northwest, including notching a few Idaho 200 victories of his own.
Williams has plenty of main event victories to his credit and has earned championships along the way but is prone to being snake-bitten in the region’s high-stakes Late Model events. That hopefully is changing with last weekend’s win as the McClintock and Turk Race Team gears up for 300 laps in Wenatchee, he said. Each time the car hits the track, winning is the goal no matter the setting, Williams added.
“That’s why we are going down there to Wenatchee.”
To win Williams will need to be in a defensive mode for the better part of the race, he acknowledged.
“You’ll just save your car a little more and pretend there’s an egg on the throttle,” he said. “I think we’ll be pretty fast down there but you’ll need patience, stamina and a really good car to contend for the win.”
Waltrip in race
It was announced this week that when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series visits Spokane County Raceway on Aug. 24, two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will be part of the field looking to win the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150.
Waltrip will be driving a car owned by Bill McAnally, who is the promoter of the NASCAR event at SCR. McAnally fields cars in the series and has worked with Waltrip over the years as his car owner on the West Series.
“I look forward to racing at Spokane County Raceway,” Waltrip said. “I watched the (Spokane) NASCAR K&N on television (in 2011) and the track and fans sure made it look like a great place to race.”
Waltrip is an analyst for Fox Sports while also making selected starts in the Sprint Cup Series.
“I enjoy racing in the NASCAR K&N with the upcoming stars of NASCAR such as we’ve seen with Kevin Harvick, Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Boyer,” he said. “This series is fun to race as you’re helping develop the future of NASCAR.”
Goodguys are here
Next weekend’s Goodguys Northwest Nationals being held at the Spokane County Fairgrounds will also serve as an opportunity for car enthusiasts to support Second Harvest.
Friday, those who wish to attend may bring two cans of food to the ticket gate and receive a $3 discount on admission.
“We continually look for ways to give back to the communities we visit,” said Goodguys Great Northwest Event Director, Betsy Bennett. “The Spokane community as well as the entire Inland Northwest have always been such great supporters of our event. We wanted to do something to help feed the hungry – something that everyone could participate in and help a great cause.”
For more information log onto good-guys.com or call (925) 838-9876.
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