SSP Completes First Night Of Spring Challenge
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Jones)
Sunset Speedway Park hosted their first of two nights on Memorial Day weekend on Saturday May 24th for their Spring Challenge. A great car count and great crowd were on hand for the “Banks Bullring” to watch some breathtaking action. Classes in action at the ¼-mile clay oval was the Northwest Extreme Late Model Series, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, Dwarf Cars, and 4-Bee’s.
In the Northwest Extreme Late Model Series feature it was Newberg’s “Captain” Jack Marontate, driving his Metposite Flat Panel Wall Systems/Chehalem Sign Company/Turk's Newberg Tire and Auto Repair/Smokercraft Boats #56 Rayburn, seizing the early race lead. Marontate would set the pace in the feature for several laps before Greg Walters of Banks would make the pass on lap nine. Walters would blaze the trail for the remainder of the distance to capture his first win of the 2014 campaign. It would mark the thirteenth career Northwest Extreme Late Model Series win when the series has visited SSP for Walters and his T&G Trucking/Warpaint Motorsport Graphix & Web Design/Duncan Automotive #97 Victory Circle entry.
The big surprise of the night was the second place run by Portland’s Phillip Johnson in his Jackhammer Trucking/T&G Trucking #79 Rayburn entry followed by the Schram Brothers Excavating/Century III Stables/Bodies by Steve-O #16 MasterSbilt of Jerry Schram from Vancouver, Washington in third. The balance of the top five would consist of Jacob Myers of Salem chauffeuring the Baxter’s Auto Parts/Blasen & Blasen Lumber Corp./Powell Motors #9 Rayburn in fourth and the Ireland & Ireland at Law/Privateer Racing/Applebee Aviation #8 machine of Rob Ireland from Banks in fifth.
In IMCA Modified action it was Vernon “Bubba” Foster leading the entire distance of the feature. Foster, of Dayton, would get out in front on the first lap and would even hold of the likes of Redmond’s Mark Carrell in the final laps to earn the victory. It would be the first win of the season for the Busy Bee Cleaning/Pam Pam’s Auto Wrecking/J.B. Printing & Graphics #68 Allen of 2014 as well as the first of his career at Sunset.
Mark Carrell was a respectable second in his Mark’s Auto Body #27 GRT while third place would go to the GRV Mobile RV Repair/A.A. Automotive of Prinville #57 T.R.E. of Kenny Miller from Vancouver, Washington. Crossing the wire in fourth was B.J. Wild from Redmond in the Trinity Bikes/Threesixnine Custom Fabrication #12 Shaw and fifth would go to Jerry Schram in his Schram Brothers Excavating/Century III Stables/Bodies by Steve-O #16 machine.
In Street Stock competition Johnny Adams of Portland would pace the field early in his Gartner Racing/Elwood Motorsports/Sweere’s Trucking #70 Camaro. Adams would lose the lead on lap six to last week’s feature winner John Ireland from Banks. Ireland would lead the remainder of the distance in the Ireland & Ireland at Law/Transaction Transmissions/Applebee Aviation #88 Monte Carlo for his second consecutive win of the season.
Making a valiant attempt to catch Ireland for the lead but finishing in second was the JNR Construction/Molecular Motion Inc./Dockweiler Stainless Steel Tube Systems #14 Camaro of West Linn’s Brian Roden and behind him in third was the Claypool Racing #3 Camaro of Earl Claypool from Hillsboro. Coming home in fourth was McMinnville driver Freya Smith in her Sweere's Auto Body/McMinnville Tire Factory/Sweere's Trucking #37 Camaro while the top five was completed with the Kenton Station/Pfeifer's Mobile Concrete/Occidental Brewing #17 Firebird entry of Bert Pegg from Vancouver, Washington.
In the Dwarf Car main event Brad Hicks of Creswell would lead the early stages in his The Wright Shop/Hicks Family Racing/B-Rad Motorsports #77 B-Rad entry. Hicks would stay out in front but by lap five Yreka, California’s Dylan Chrisman, in his #66S machine, would take over the top spot. Chrisman would lead until lap ten when Ryan Martinez of Portland would take the position away from him. Martinez would lead the remainder of the distance to win his second race of the season but the first time the Auto Truck Wholesale/Van Raden Industries/St. John's Tire Factory #9 M&M would go to victory lane at Sunset in 2014.
Yreka, California pilot John Chrisman, driving the #88S machine, was second and in third was the Matt’s Auto Center of Scappoose/Finish Line Technologies #2 Hot Rod of St. Helens driver James Brinster. Brian Hicks of Creswell was fourth in The Wright Shop/Hicks Family Racing/B-Rad Motorsports #76 machine followed by the Dorie Motorsports #76X entry of Scott Dorie from St. Helens in fifth.
Last but not least the 4-Bee’s had an exciting main event. Leading the first half of the race was last week’s winner John Gartner of Portland in his Gartner Racing/Ram Light Truck/ACE Car Detailing/Foot Print Designs #48 Mitsubishi Eclipse. On lap eleven though Stan Asanovic from Gaston, in The Meyer Auto Body/Transaction Transmissions/Champion Signs #26, was able to seize the point and lead the rest of the distance. Also to note is that Asanovic was driving a borrowed car from friend Gary Meyer for the evening.
John Gartner was second while John Henry of Hillsboro was third in the Joe’s Auto Body and Paint/Social Lies Pub and Grill #77 Toyota Celica. In fourth was North Plains driver Nick Henry in the Joe’s Auto Body and Paint/Social Lies Pub and Grill #22 Dodge Neon and Vancouver, Washington’s Travis Koch was fifth in his North’s Plumbing/Dusty’s Automotive/Mac Tools #21 Dodge Neon.
Sunset Speedway Park is back in action for the second round of the Spring Challenge on Sunday May 25th. Classes in action at the ¼-mile clay oval was the Northwest Extreme Late Model Series, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, Dwarf Cars, and 4-Bee’s. Pit Gates will open at 2:00 PM, Front Gates open at 3:30, and racing starts at 6:00. Tickets for the event are Adults $12.00, Seniors/Military/Juniors (13-17) $10.00, Youths (Ages 12-6) $5.00, and Children under the age of 5 are FREE and a family pass will be offered for two Adults and up to four Youths for just $35.00. For more information log on to www.sunsetspeedwaypark.com.
Saturday May 24th, 2014
Sunset Speedway Park
Northwest Extreme Late Model Series
A Feature: 1. 97-Greg Walters; 2. 79-Phil Johnson; 3. 16-Jerry Schram; 4. 9-Jacob Myers; 5. 8-Rob Ireland; 6. 20-Josh Sim; 7. 67-Dave Walters; 8. 99-Brad Martin; 9. 76-Jason Johnson; 10. 56-Jack Marontate; 11. 28-Bob Trout; 12. 88-John Gamell; 13. 8X-Daniel Modaff; 14. 18-Kristi Somers; 15. 51-Ryan Bothwell
A Feature: 1. 68-Bubba Foster; 2. 27-Mark Carrell; 3. 57-Kenny Miller; 4. 12-B.J. Wild; 5. 16-Jerry Schram; 6. 66-Doug Lockwood; 7. 8-Rob Ireland; 8. 99-Jeremy Martin; 9. 05-Rayun McMichael; 10. 37-Steve Suckow; 11. X3-Chris Quinn; 12. 00-Kent Dollarhyde; 13. 99F-Ricky Frisbie; 14. 4D4-Danny Daniels; 15. 521-Shane Mills
A Feature: 1. 88-John Ireland; 2. 14-Brian Roden; 3. 3-Earl Claypool; 4. 37-Freya Smith; 5. 17-Bert Pegg; 6. 32-Robert Summerhalder; 7. 7-Doug Pitsch; 8. 70-Johnny Adams; 9. 5-Marc Farrar; 10. 00-Steve Begley
A Feature: 1. 9-Ryan Martinez; 2. 88-John Chrisman; 3. 2-James Brinster; 4. 76-Brian Hicks; 5. 76X-Scott Dorie; 6. 37-Guy Tow Jr.; 7. 77-Brad Hicks; 8. 94-Jeremiah Hester; 9. 66-Dylan Chrisman; 10. 48-Neal Hopwood; 11. 78-Kevin Hicks; 12. 33-Bill Lamm; 13. 12-Jenae Frelich; 14. 8-Chris McCleary; 15. 24-Mike Chadwick; 16. 777-Dennis Liebig; 17. 46-Guy Tow Sr.; 18. 3-Jessica Eaton; 19. 39-Tim Hester
A Feature: 1. 26-Stan Asanovic; 2. 48-John Gartner; 3. 68-John Henry; 4. 22-Nick Henry; 5. 21-Travis Koch; 6. 7-Gary Jones; 7. 11-Corey Watts; 8. 99-Ronald Sweere; 9. 53-Lonnie Jackson; 10. 11-Tammy Watts; 11. 46-Chris Cannon; 12. 9-Robyn Ruth; 13. 2-Jonathan West; 14. 97-Joe Loy