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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Keeping Pace

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series returns to Inland NW

Spokane County Raceway logo. (Courtesy SCR)
Spokane County Raceway logo. (Courtesy SCR)

This week's Keeping Pace, which hit the newstands on Friday, highlght's the return of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Northwest Pro 4 Alliance all competiing at Spokane County Raceway.

Doug Pace

The Spokesman-Review

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series returns to the Inland Northwest this weekend with two days of competition at Spokane County Raceway. Points will be awarded toward regional and national championships in addition to more than $500,000 in prize money up for grabs.

Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars, Sportsman Motorcycles, Pro Mods, the RH Racecars Top Sportsman cars and many of the best drivers in NHRA racing will be in action at what has become a racer and fan favorite track on the circuit.

Defending race winners expected to compete again this weekend include Aaron Strong (Comp Eliminator), Jackie Alley (Super Stock), Jim Mantle (Stock Eliminator), Ty Anderson (Super Comp), Eddy Plaizier (Super Gas), Becky Lindsey (Super Street), Barry Daniluk (Top Sportsman), Al Osmond (Sportsman Motorcycle) and Scott Hearn (Top Dragster).

Jeff Lane (Comp Eliminator) and Joe Sorenson (Super Stock), Norm Lapointe (Stock), Dick Vander Meer (Super Comp), Ken Harkema (Super Gas), Steve Lowe (Super Street), Shawn Herbst (Top Sportsman), Tom Keonen (Top Dragster) and John Jensen (Sportsman Motorcycle) lead their respective divisions heading into the weekend’s racing action.

The Spokane stop also features four contingency purse programs, the NHRA Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley Davidson, RH Racecars Top Sportsman Series, Northwest Top Dragster Series and the JEGS All-Stars.

While the drag strip is in the midst of its first big event of the year, the oval side of SCR brings in another crowd favorite in as many weeks with the Northwest Pro 4 Alliance on Saturday night.

Featuring Late Model-looking race cars powered by four-cylinder motors, the series is one of the most popular in the region with car counts strong enough at times to run B-main events. The SCR stop marks the second race of the season for the Alliance. Bud Rumsey, the series reigning champion, seeks his third victory in as many starts dating back to his title-clinching win in the Yakima Speedway Fall Classic.

The Inland Northwest Super Stock Association Rookie of the Year, Travis Allen, will join Ken Chandler’s team for the night as he returns to his four-cylinder roots.

“I try to race at least one Late Model four-cylinder race a year since I left those cars behind in 2009,” Allen said. “I called several teams on the Northwest Pro 4 Alliance series trying to find a ride for this weekend with no luck. On Tuesday, series director Bob Coply called me and put me in touch with (Ken Chandler) and I had to jump at the opportunity.

“This is the best equipment that I have had the opportunity to drive since we got out of the series.”

Also scheduled to compete this weekend will be Mead’s Steve Schovaers, 2011 champion Eddy Secord (who also drives on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series), 2012 Rookie of the Year Cody Walker, brothers Rick and Steve Thompson and many more.

Fans can get two shows with the purchase of one ticket on Saturday that allows viewing of Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series qualifying and final eliminations in the Pro Mod and Funny Car divisions on the drag side and also being able to take in the evening’s oval track program. Sunday’s NHRA elimination rounds get underway at 9 a.m. with tickets available at the track for that portion of the weekend.

Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.