Chamber Night Brings Some Memorable Action
By Ben Deatherage
(Photos Courtesy of Madman Photography)
Saturday June 1st had some great action in front of a packed house at the Cottage Grove Speedway for Chamber Night At The Races. It marked the first time in several years that the Cottage Grove Area Chamber Of Commerce had been involved in an event at the ¼-mile bullring clay oval. Classes on hand were the American Sprint Car Series-Northwest Region, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Hornets.
At the start of the ASCS-Northwest Region feature when the green flag was dropped on the thirty-lap main J.J Hickle of Quilcene, Washington showed the way in the Meyer Electric/Kitsap Powdercoating #3 XXX. Hickle set a rapid pace on the bottom of the race track and running on the berm would build a comfortable lead. A lap one pile up would extinguish Hickle’s large interval as the red flag bunched the field back up.
On the restart Hickle would continue to set the pace until shortly another caution would come out. On the ensuing restart the field would have a solid green flag run. Everyone was quite impressed by the run of young J.J. even though a bit of smoke puffed out of the left side when he would enter the turns.
But it would be just before the field completed the halfway mark Hickle would be overtaken for the lead by Roger Crocket of Medford in the SKS Racing/Al Parker Racing Engines/Champion Racing Oil #11 KPC. Crockett, who started seventh, was on a mission to make up for his runner-up finish the previous night at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon. Before too long the driver that finished ahead of him the night before, Kyle Hirst, put himself past Hickle to earn second.
As lapped traffic got heavier and heavier Crockett would be briefly held up. Hirst, of Loomis, California, saw the opportunity to pounce on Crockett and looked to have an opportunity to put the Finley Farms/CLT Logging #77 A.R.T. in victory lane for the second straight night. Just when the battle was about to ensue the final caution of the night would come down on lap twenty-three after a car slowed to a halt.
In the final laps Roger Crockett would master the restart and would go on to win the race. It marked the seventh career ASCS-Northwest Region victory for him at CGS and the twenty-fifth series win overall which is the all-time on the win chart. But it was more than just that for the driver of the #11. It was Crockett’s one-hundred-seventy-ninth career Sprint Car victory. It has always been a number that he always chased his whole life because that is how many main events his father Brian had earned during his decorated career.
“179 main event wins is pretty incredible and I’m looking forward to make it 180,” commented Crockett, “it was nice to start from the fourth row that we didn’t have anything handed to us. The track was really interesting tonight and it was a lot of fun.”
Kyle Hirst would manage to finish in second to end his weekend on the podium once again for the Finley Farms team. J.J. Hickle held on to third place to leave Oregon with two top five finishes in the first two ASCS-Northwest races. The balance of the top five finishers consisted of Puyallup, Washington’s Trey Starks in the Starks Timber Processing/Blue Dot Fabrication/MASCO Petroleum #55 Schnee in fourth and the Lucas Oil Products/K&N Filters/JRi Shocks #5H Maxim of Clarksburg, California driver Jusytn Cox in fifth for car owner Harley Van Dyke.
Earlier in the night four eight lap heat races were ran. Winners of the heats were Brendan Boyce of Eugene, Oregon in his Boyce & Sons Landscaping and Building Materials/BC Motorsports/Don’s Powdercoating #65 XXX, the Held’s Automotive/Budget Lumber #68 J&J of Sutherlin, Oregon pilot Rob Held, Henry Van Dam from Enumclaw, Washington in his Kovash Logging/Johanson Excavating/Village Green Resort #33V A.R.T., and Californian Justyn Cox. A twelve lap consolation feature was also ran and would be won by Ridgefield, Washington chauffer Zach Zimmerly in the L.R.B. Race Products/Canales Racing/Konnected Clothing Company #83SA A.R.T. entry owned by Rod Tiner Jr. of California.
In IMCA Modified action it would be a caution filled race. A total of eight cautions would occur in the feature and due to so many incidents the race was shortened from its original twenty-five lap distance. Curtis Towns of Cottage Grove would take the lead in the early goings and appeared to have the car to beat in his SKS Racing/Valley Rose Construction #24 X-Factor.
Every time Towns would develop any sort of interval with his lead it would be wiped away with a caution. Much like his first win this season there was a bit of frustration in the cockpit due to the excessive amount of yellows. In the end a green-white-checker restart would be implemented on the final restart which Towns would master to win his second race of the year at Cottage Grove to become the first repeat winner of the season in the division.
“I was hanging around the bottom in one and two and it was pretty rough down there so once I moved up to the middle the car felt a lot better,” said Towns ,”there was a lot of cautions out there and I was just waiting for the race to be over. When you’re leading on the restarts everyone is on your rear bumper and I kept waiting and waiting for that white flag. I was so glad to see it once it finally came out.”
Greg McDonald of Cottage Grove was the runner-up finisher in the Jerry Robinette Performance Carburetors/J.J. and a K Racing/West End Performance #44 J-Car while third went to fellow Cottage Grove driver Braedon Hand in his D&D Automotive/Vintage Inn Family Restaurant/RDH Racing #5 Shaw. The rest of the top five would consist of Corey Russell of Cottage Grove driving the C&M Racing/Junction City Muffler Shop/I-5 Tire Factory #3RL Shaw in fourth and the B&B Motorsports Fabrication/Jeff’s Machine/R&S Welding Mentors #73 D&M of Salem’s Bryan Gray in fifth. Curtis Towns and Braedon Hand were heat race winners earlier in the night.
In the Street Stock defending champion Darin Crooks of Cottage Grove was the car to beat. His #73 Nova would lead the early laps but would get past for the lead by the #00 Nova of his father Darryl Crooks on lap ten. Darin would take the lead back on the next lap and would go on to win the race to become the third different winner Street Stock winner in 2013.
“I felt alright that the #00 was catching me but I didn’t want him to beat me,” stated Darin Crooks, “I don’t like it when my dad beats me. I got to thank all my friends and family for helping me this year.”
Darryl Crooks crossed the line in second while scoring third was the Froggy’s Towing #16K Camaro of Larry Crane from Eugene. Completing the finishing order was Mark Henderson of Cottage Grove in fourth chauffeuring his Fountain Gutters #0 Chevelle. Darryl Crooks was the trophy dash winner while Darin Crooks won the heat race.
The Hornets were added in the middle of the week for a non-point affair on Saturday. It looked as if Josh Corley of Veneta in his #7C entry was going to earn the victory which would be his first of the year. A single caution was the only thing to slow the field down so lots of racing took place. Corley had the field covered until coming to the white flag.
A car that spun in the infield reentered the track as the leader was coming out of turn four to take the white flag. Corley had to take evasive action and ended up running into the front stretch wall but as the white flag was out the race had to be completed. That would open up the opportunity for young Evan Britton to make the pass for the lead on the final lap. Britton, of Cottage Grove, would earn the victory in his second race of the season in the Gilkison & Dad Inc. #32 for car owner Kent Crump.
“I actually got to drive and get a feel for the car this week and got to start towards the front,” commented Britton in victory lane, “I got to thank my family and all the people that help on this car especially the car owner Kent Crump for letting me drive.”
Bob Goddard of Eugene would finish second in the Joe Maricle owned Ram Jack Foundation Repair #11 machine followed by Dexter’s Taunton Swaim in the Big Dog Recycling/A-1 Auto Supply #17 truck owned by Randy Kuhl. Crossing the line in fourth was Josh Corley and the Froggy’s Towing/Big B Tire #44 of Goshen driver Melvin Walker finished fifth. Heat race winners were Corley and the Ram Jack Foundation Repair #1 of Veneta’s Joe Maricle while Corley was the trophy dash victor.
The Cottage Grove Speedway returns to action this Saturday June 8th. Classes in competition will be the Northwest Wingless Tour, Late Models, Dwarf Cars, and Hornets. For more information be sure and visit the venue’s homepage www.cottagegrovespeedway.com or call the brand new Northwest Tracks Hotline at (360)-699-RACE. Saturday's Mylaps results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/906744.
Chamber Night At The Races
Saturday June 1st, 2013
Cottage Grove Speedway
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Heat Race Winners: Brendan Boyce (1), Rob Held (2), Henry Van Dam (3), Justyn Cox (4)
B-Feature: 1. Zach Zimmerly, 2. Raquel Ivie, 3. Kenny Allen, 4. Randy Pierce, 5. Allison Journey, 6. Jesse Thistle, 7. Colton Akerstrom, DNS Jake Waddell
A-Feature: 1. Roger Crockett, 2. Kyle Hirst, 3. J.J. Hickle, 4. Trey Starks, 5. Justyn Cox, 6. Henry Van Dam, 7. Rob Held, 8. Brendan Boyce, 9. Zack Spaulding, 10. Brent Hoover, 11. Kyle Miller, 12. Cam Smith, 13. Garen Linder, 14. Zach Zimmerly, 15. Kenny Allen, 16. Raqeul Ivie, 17. Brenton Nugent, 18. Reece Goetz, 19. Shane Forté, 20. Randy Pierce
Heat Races Winners: Braedon Hand (1), Curtis Towns (2)
A-Feature: 1. Curtis Towns, 2. Greg McDonald, 3. Braedon Hand, 4. Corey Russell, 5. Bryan Bray, 6. Jason Andrews, 7. Don Muth Jr., 8. Austin McTaggart, 9. David Day, 10. Gus Cooper, 11. Tom Berry Jr., 12. Steven Sturdevant, 13. Lester Free
Trophy Dash Winner: Darryl Crooks
Heat Race Winner: Darin Crooks
A-Feature: 1. Darin Crooks, 2. Darryl Crooks, 3. Larry Crane, 4. Mark Henderson
Trophy Dash Winner: Josh Corley
Heat Race Winner: Josh Corley (1), Joe Maricle (2)
A-Feature: 1. Evan Britton, 2. Bob Goddard, 3. Taunton Swaim, 4. Josh Corley, 5. Dan Jenkinson, 6. Melvin Walker, 7. Mike Simmons, 8. Mike Swaim, 9. James Donaldson, 10. Steve Moore, 11. Teresa Walker, 12. Kayla Simmons, 13. James Deatherage, 14. Joe Maricle, 15. James Simmons, 16. Jim Simmons, 17. Chad Cooper, 18. Jake Williams