Sunset Speedway Park Gets Season Opener Completed
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Jim Marshall)
Despite some chilly weather conditions the action was hot at the Sunset Speedway Park for their first race of the season. The Banks bullring had four divisions in competition which included the Northwest Extreme Winged Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, and 4-Bees.
Mitch Hoffsess of Beaverton scored a big win in the Northwest Extreme Winged Sprint feature. Seizing the lead early it was apparent that he was the dominant car and eventually would build a very large lead. Lapping all the way up to fourth place Hoffsess would earn his first win of 2013 and his third career victory in the division.
Theo McCarty of Hillsboro would finish in the runner-up position followed by Oregon City’s Ryan Bothwell in third. Completing the top five finishers were Sammy Wright of Vancouver, Washington in fourth and Forest Grove native Jake Gilman in fifth. The victor of both the heat race and trophy dash earlier in the evening was Sammy Wright.
Kenny Miller of Vancouver, Washington picked up from where he left off in 2012 in the IMCA Modified division. Capturing last year’s final race of the season he was able to earn the victory in the first race of 2013. Seizing the lead late in the race after a great battle with Jeremy Martin of Warren he would retain the lead for the rest of the distance for the win.
Hometown driver Rob Ireland from Banks would make a pass on a late race restart to get by Jeremy Martin for second place while Martin himself would cross the strip in third. Collen Winebarger from Corbett managed to finish in fourth followed by Doug Davenport of Vernonia in fifth. Heat race winners were Rob Ireland and Kenny Miller with Ireland picking up the victory in the trophy dash.
In the Street Stock classification two-time and defending champ Craig Loomis of Vancouver, Washington would record his first win of the campaign. Loomis, who won last year’s opener in the same division, took the lead from Sherwood’s Marc Farrar on the high side. Once Loomis was in front he was off and running building a comfortable lead for the rest of the distance.
Portland’s Robert Summerhalder would finish in second followed by Hillsboro driver Earl Claypool who after early race problems climbed up to finish third. Nick Bessette of Battle Ground, Washington was fourth in the feature and earning fifth would be Tony Catalano of Forest Grove. Tony Catalano and Craig Loomis were heat race winners with John Ireland the trophy dash victor.
Last but not least the 4-Bees were in action on opening night. Jason Blythe of Buxton showed the field how it was done once he got the lead from Vancouver, Washington driver Cody Jones around the halfway mark. When the checkered flags came out Blythe would earn the win.
Fellow Buxton driver Travis Koch would finish in second behind Blythe and Cody Jones would end the night third. John Henry of Hillsboro managed to place fourth and the top five was completed by Gresham’s Chris Cannon. Jason Blythe would win the heat race while John Henry won the trophy dash.
Next Saturday the Sunset Speedway Park will return to action for another night of racing. Classes in action for the April 27th date will be the Northwest Extreme Late Model Series, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, PHRA Dwarf Cars, and Women’s division. Front gates open at 3:30 PM with racing at 6:00. To stay up to date with the latest information regarding SSP log on to the official website at www.sunsetspeedwaypark.com.
2013 Season Opener
Saturday April 20th, 2013
Sunset Speedway Park
Northwest Extreme Sprint Cars
Heat Race Winner: Sammy Wright
Trophy Dash Winner: Sammy Wright
A-Feature: 1. Mitch Hoffsess, 2. Theo McCarty, 3. Ryan Bothwell, 4. Sammy Wright, 5. Jake Gilman, 6. Dave Walters
Heat Race Winners: Rob Ireland (1), Kenny Miller (2)
Trophy Dash Winner: Rob Ireland
A-Feature: 1. Kenny Miller, 2. Rob Ireland, 3. Jeremy Martin, 4. Collen Winebarger, 5. Doug Davenport, 6. Donald Schott, 7. Mark Reser, 8. Joey Tardio, 9. Chris Hallberg, 10. Tanner Baldwin, 11. Doug Lockwood, 12. Russell Schultz
Heat Race Winners: Tony Catalano (1), Craig Loomis (2)
Trophy Dash Winner: John Ireland
A-Feature: 1. Craig Loomis, 2. Robert Summerhalder, 3. Earl Claypool, 4. Nick Bessette, 5. Tony Catalano, 6. Brian Rhoden, 7. Marc Farrar, 8. Rod Lowe, 9. Andrew Johnson, 10. Tom Lauzon, 11. Roger Hubbard, 12. Ben Sauter, 13. Kent Dollarhyde, 14. Johnny Adams, 15. John Ireland
Heat Race Winner: Jason Blythe
Trophy Dash Winner: John Henry
A-Feature: 1. Jason Blythe, 2. Travis Koch, 3. Cody Jones, 4. John Henry, 5. Chris Cannon, 6. Nick Henry, 7. Gary Jones