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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Little guys hit Stateline

Paul Delaney Correspondent

The little guys get to act big this weekend at Stateline Speedway when the Fall 4-Banger Classic makes its debut Saturday.

The Fall 4-Banger Classic is a “best-of-the-best” race featuring stock four-cylinder Road Runner cars from Stateline along with competitors from other tracks.

The Road Runner is an entry-level compact race car that costs around $400. Drivers will use their respective track tire and car rules. The race will allow drivers from various track’s weekly racing series to compete along side one another. Drivers are expected from Wenatchee, Ephrata, Wash., and other Inland Northwest tracks.

“This is like the ‘Idaho 200’ for the Road Runners, Hornets, Bumble Bees,” said track spokesman Seth Sands.

The four-cylinder, small-wheel-based domestic and import front- and rear-wheel drive cars feature only modifications for safety. The cars provide for an entry-level way for participants to try their hand at auto racing in a safe, fun and affordable fashion.

The Northwest Late Model 4s and Winged Sprints will also be part of the program. Time trials begin at 6 p.m.

Nice night has nasty finish

Heard the one about going to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out?

Unfortunately, the same line apparently can now be paraphrased when referring to last Saturday’s Inland Northwest Superstock Association season finale.

The racing portion was a great show, with drama throughout at the Stateline Speedway event. Defending champion Dan Garber did everything he could to try to wrest the points lead away from Kevin Richards. He recovered from mechanical problems discovered in qualifying and went on to win his heat race and the Dr Pepper/7UP 100.

But in the end it was Richards, who finished third in the rough and tough 100-lap feature race and emerged as the 2005 champion by nine points.

Richards and Dave Garber waged a back-and-forth battle over the final half of the race, with Garber winning the battle for second place. The two traded paint – and positions – a number of times in the final 15 laps.

That, it appears, was part of the catalyst – along with alcohol – that helped ignite a post-race episode that shifted many fans’ talk from a fun night of racing to an ugly few moments of a roll-around-on-the-ground wrestling match.

This reporter personally missed it, opting to get post-race reaction from the prime players. One could sense that something was about to break loose, however, while earlier waiting in the group of people who wanted to cross the track and head to the pits following the race.

Insults and foul language punctuated the air, sounding a bit like high school days when rival student bodies might mingle at a key football game. Problem was, these were adults. The drivers who competed in heated competition on the track cooled off without incident. Too bad some fans couldn’t.

Hobby stock stolen

Jarrod Goodwin reports that his girlfriend’s Hobby Stock race car was stolen last week from her Greenacres home and he’s hoping the community will be on the lookout.

The car is a 1975 red Chevy Nova No. 75. The trailer is an open car trailer and is white with Idaho license. If found, please contact the Spokane County Sheriff’s office or Goodwin at 509-879-5082.

Zimmer chosen

Spokane Go-Kart Racer Andrew Zimmer was invited to join the Italian Motors Go Kart Racing Team out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Zimmer officially joined the team last Sunday for the Cascade Region Race in the Tri-Cities. Zimmer quickly adjusted to driving a brand new kart as he was just .002 seconds off the pole and qualified second out of 10 racers for his first day in the new kart.

The winter for Zimmer, 14, will be spent traveling to Vancouver for training with his coaches and the team will kick off 2006 with the “Stars of Karting” race in Norman, Okla.

Pit stops

Rounds three and four of the fall motocross series take place Saturday and Sunday at the Extreme Motocross track in Airway Heights. Info: 218-2014 or www.extmotorsports.com. … It’s season championship time on the drag strip and for the Northwest Late Model Superstocks Saturday at Spokane Raceway Park. Gates open at 3 p.m. for both tracks. … The Spokane Kart Racing Association will run its next-to-last points race Sunday at their track at the Spokane Motorsports Complex. Info: Bob Thompson, 924-6755 (days) or 928-0915 (eves.) … Northwest Water Competition will stage its final hydroplane race this weekend at Moses Lake with a two-day event sanctioned by the National Boat Racing Association. Racing runs both Saturday and Sunday. Info: Charlie Mackey (509) 892-6624. … The NASCAR Northwest Series also closes out its season with a race Sunday at the Wenatchee Super Oval.

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