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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Modifieds look for break

Paul Delaney Correspondent

Too bad the Northwest Modifieds can’t race on the water because they’d probably be pretty good at it.

After five scheduled races, three have been postponed or canceled because of poor weather.

“I hope we’re able to race,” said the group’s president, Leroy Keele of Spokane, whose voice echoes the frustration of drivers who are pleading with Mother Nature to give them a break Saturday night at Stateline Speedway.

The Modifieds will team with the Northwest Late Model 4s, the visiting Foreign Stock Car Auto Racers and Hobby Stocks in a show that begins with time trials at 6 p.m. and racing at 7.

“It’s a long haul,” Keele said of last week’s scheduled two-day program at Ronan, Mont. “It’s rough on our racers to have to travel that far and not race.”

Keele is negotiating a make-up date, most likely Sept. 17, that would bring the class back to Mission Valley Speedway’s 3/8ths-mile tri-oval.

Keele said since qualifying, trophy dashes and heat races had been conducted the night before, racers were close to getting the entire program in the books.

“They hurried to get us going because that’s what the fans came to see,” Keele said. “We were lined up for the main and then the rain came.”

While they didn’t complete a full program, enough of one was completed to alter the point standings going into Saturday. Blaine Sneva leads two-time winner Frankie Volz Jr. 242-239, with Steve Hudson at 219 and Mark Weaver at 216.

Racers reunion at Banks Lake

Over the past three years the Sunbanks Resort Racers Reunion held on Banks Lake was perhaps only a reunion in name only. This year’s fourth annual event – which brings together drivers and boats from four clubs from across the state – is much more in keeping with the race theme.

Seventy to 80 boats from clubs including Northwest Water Competition, Stateline Outboards, Seattle Outboasrds and the Whidby Island Roostertails will line the shore for two days of racing that will include competition in Flatbottoms and Outboards. Racing in the National Boat Racing Association-sanctioned event begins at noon each day.

Seattle Outboards are bringing 20 boats, according to Northwest Water Competition Executive Director Charlie Mackey. This is the first time in many years that so many clubs have come together in such big numbers to compete.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from some of the old-timers,” who want to come and race, Mackey said. “We have one guy in his 80s that wants to race.”

Info: Mackey (509) 926-3892.

Lawnmower drags in Spirit Lake

You won’t see any 4-second quarter-mile runs, but Sunday’s Big Back-In in downtown Spirit Lake, Idaho, might be just as entertaining.

What began a few years ago as a way to while away the winter and celebrate summer has evolved into quite a celebration in the lakeside community that lies in the shadow of Mt. Spokane.

Race organizer Marc Kroetch explains that the fund-raiser for local parks and recreation programs is, “a jab at the preferred way of parking motorcycles at the curb.”

The Back-In brings out the monster lawn mowers from local residents, Kroetch said. The entries include dragster replicas, complete with replica hood scoops and blowers found on real cars.

In years past the event has featured a street road race, but this year organizers decided to try Street Drags with a real Christmas tree starting system used at real race tracks. The “tree” is supplied by Camp Motorsports in Spokane.

Activities start at 11 a.m. with a line-up, and sign-up with racing at 2 p.m. New this year is a beer garden, conveniently located near the finish line for the best viewing, Kroetch said. The day culminates at 4:30 in the drawing of the grand raffle prize for the new 4-wheeler provided by Free Spirits Off Road.

Info: Marc Kroetch 208-623-5812 or

Pit stops

Extreme Motorcross in Airway Heights will host the second round of qualifying for the Loretta Lynn AMA national on Saturday and Sunday. Info: 218-2014 or

•Dirt track stock car racing is on tap Sunday at Northport International Raceway. Time trials begin at 1 p.m.

•Spokane Raceway Park hosts bracket drags on Saturday and Sportsman Superstocks on the oval on Saturday. Gates open on both tracks at 3 p.m.

Sunday at SRP is the ninth annual Nostalgia event with gates opening at 10 a.m.

•Rained out last weekend at Granite City, Ill., local racer Joe Kopp moves on to Syracuse, N.Y., for the sixth round of the AMA Flat Track series.

Streaks and stats

Rich Hatton has strung together three straight main event wins in the Stateline Speedway Road Runner class, while Darryl Carillo has two straight Bump-to-Pass wins prior to last night’s racing. … In news found on the Northwest Late Model 4s Web site, veteran Lewiston driver Bob Winker collected his first main event win since 1998. Winker held off points leader Kevin McKeehan on the last lap to claim the win. … Speaking of Hatton and Carillo, both lead their respective points races. Carillo has a one-point lead over Willis and Swift in Bump-to-Pass. Hatton has the biggest lead of any driver with a solid 442-343 margin over Dave Hatton in the Road Runners. Frank Reed holds a 390-385 lead over Matt Hatton in Fever 4 Hobby’s. Craig Felix takes a 397-391 lead over Robert Ballard into Saturday’s Mid-Season Championships, while Charles Fiorino has a 98-92 margin over Kay Burland in Street Stocks.

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