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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Richards aims for big win

Paul Delaney Correspondent

With apologies to the Montana 200 at Kalispell, Mont., a win at the Fall Classic this weekend at Yakima Speedway is arguably a high point in a driver’s career. That’s why race teams go to such great lengths to try to win it, as is evidenced by how Kevin Richards has had his car prepared.

“Everything is new,” said Richards, just crowned the 2005 Inland Northwest Superstock champion in the McClintock & Turk Chevy. “We’ve changed the motor, the gearbox, clutch, brakes…everything but the body,” Richards added.

“There’s good money to win,” Richards said and because of that their team has brought in NASCAR Northwest Series driver Brandon Riehl to drive the teams other entry, a Ford, that normally has Don Williams at the wheel.

Riehl, who competed at the Idaho 200 in the same car, will also bring his NASCAR crew with him, according to Richards.

Riehl also brings some solid experience at Yakima and ups the chances of a Spokane driver bringing home a Fall Classic title. “Brandon owns that track,” Richards said. “He either wins or he wrecks. We hope his wrecking is done.”

The Fall Classic will be run in two 100-lap segments on the Yakima half-mile. At the half-way point the red flag will be waved and five cars at a time will enter the pits to take on fuel.

“There’s no changing tires at the break,” Richards said. “Tires can only be changed under yellow, or green.”

The race stretches over the entire weekend and each day offers competition to help the drivers fine-tune for Sunday’s race that pays the winner $15,000. Starting on Friday is a Race of Champions. “They draw the number of laps you run out of a hat,” Richards said.

Richards and Riehl will be joined by other Spokane area drivers including Rick Schultz, who was third in last year’s race. Dave Garber, Andy Brown, Tony Berry and Darren Rupinski are also expected to compete.

Info: (509) 248-0647; (509) 728-3768; www.yakimaspeedway.us

Pit Stops

Spokane Raceway Park concludes its season with a Sunday racing program featuring the Annual King-of-the-Hill competition on the drag strip. On the oval, the season championships are on the line in all classes. Gates open at 10 a.m. … Sunset Speedway will have one more race following Saturday’s double-points affair on the 1/5 -mile dirt oval. Practice is at noon with racing at 2 p.m. The final race will be next Saturday, a make-up date for an earlier rainout. … The Spokane Kart Racing Association closes out its season this Sunday at the Spokane Motorsports Complex with the 10th points race. Info: Bob Thompson (509) 924-6755 (days) or 928-0915 (eves.).

Streaks & Stats

Otis Orchards driver Rich Hatton carried on his dominating performance from his 2005 season in the Road Runners during Wednesday Night Fever to capture the first ever Fall 4 Banger Classic at Stateline Speedway on Saturday night. … Mark Jaremko, of Spokane, opened a huge lead early in his Lee Stohr Cars/Goodyear/Red Line Stohr WF1 and went on to win the D Sports Racing portion of the 2005 National Championship Runoffs in Lexington, Ohio. … Three wins propelled Jeff Jefferson to the 2005 NBASCAR Northwest Series season championship.

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