Cottage Grove Speedway Gets First Race In
By Ben Deatherage
The Cottage Grove Speedway got things underway Saturday night to open up the 2013 season. A nicely prepared race track provided some very exciting action at the famed ¼-mile clay oval. Divisions that were on hand included the Northwest Wingless Tour, Late Models, and Hornets.
Kyle Mehner of Clackamas ran a great race in the Northwest Wingless Tour feature leading the entire distance for his first career win in a Sprint Car. The youngster set a rapid pace and was all by himself for the majority of the main event. There would be two red flags in the race but neither stoppage slowed Mehner down as he cruised to the win.
Rob Lindsey from Wilsonville recovered from an early race incident to finish in second followed by Sterling Kane of Albany in third. Creswell’s Jesse Thistle was the fourth place finisher followed by defending series champ Bill Winsley of Molalla completing the top five finishers in fifth.
Vancouver, Washington’s Mike Romig was the quick clocker of the night with a time of 14.208 seconds. Tim Alberding from Salem was the trophy dash winner while victors in the heat races were Kyle Mehner and Sterling Kane.
Paul Culp of Springfield took full advantage of his pole starting position leading all thirty laps of the Late Model main event. For the most part he was all alone out in front even though Veneta’s Kevin Ropchan mounted a noble charge to try and take the lead from him late in the race. It marked the first time in a while that Culp had visited victory lane and celebrated a Late Model triumph.
Kevin Ropchan would finish in the runner-up position while Shaun Mayea of Bend crossed the line in third. Tony Brakeall of Lebanon was the man who finished fourth followed by Cottage Grove’s Kreg Britton.
Fastest in qualifying was Kevin Ropchan with a time of 14.321 seconds. Ropchan would also earn the victory in the trophy dash and Paul Culp was the winner of the only heat race.
Several cars in the Hornet division converged on Cottage Grove Saturday with a very good field of entries being represented. Shawn Hand of Cottage Grove for the majority of the race seemed to be the car to beat until Joe Maricle from Veneta caught him in lapped traffic and made the pass. From there on Maricle would hold on to the race lead and earn the victory.
Josh Corley also of Veneta made a late race pass to finish second after being involved in an early race incident and Shawn Hand was third. A pair of Cottage Grove drivers completed the top five positions with Mike Simmons placing fourth followed by Matt Ferguson in fifth. No qualifying or trophy dashes were run for the class but winners in heat race action were Hand and Dexter’s Taunton Swaim.
“The Grove” will be in action next Friday April 26th and Saturday the 27th for the return of the prestigious Grove Classic. 360 Sprints will be in action for both nights for the first big 360 show in the Pacific Northwest that is expected to draw a very good field of cars. Other classes on Friday will be the Late Models and Street Stocks while Saturday will have IMCA Modifieds and Hornets. For the latest news and stories be sure and check out http://www.cottagegrovespeedway.com.
2013 Season Opener
Saturday April 20th, 2013
Cottage Grove Speedway
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Northwest Wingless Tour
Fast Time: Mike Romig, 14.208
Trophy Dash Winner: Tim Alberding
Heat Race Winners: Kyle Mehner (1), Sterling Kane (2)
A-Feature: 1. Kyle Mehner, 2. Rob Lindsey, 3. Sterling Kane, 4. Jesse Thistle, 5. Bill Winsley, 6. Tim Alberding, 7. Kady Adelman, 8. Mike Romig, 9. Dusty Redmond, 10. Dan Philpot, 11. Orion Redmond, 12. Raquel Ivie, 13. Brad Rhodes, 14. Joe Bosso Jr., DNS Kyle Miller
Fast Time: Kevin Ropchan, 14.321
Trophy Dash Winner: Kevin Ropchan
Heat Race Winner: Paul Culp (1)
A-Feature: 1. Paul Culp, 2. Kevin Ropchan, 3. Shaun Mayea, 4. Tony Brakeall, 5. Kreg Britton, 6. Chuck Christian, 7. Steven Sturdevant, 8. Mike Peters
Heat Race Winners: Shawn Hand (1), Taunton Swaim (2)
A-Feature: 1. Joe Maricle, 2. Josh Corley, 3. Shawn Hand, 4. Mike Simmons, 5. Matt Ferguson, 6. Craig Alexander, 7. Opie Donaldson, 8. Jim Simmons, 9. Mike Swaim, 10. James Simmons, 11. Kayla Simmons, 12. Taunton Swaim, 13. Jess Burk, 14. Daniel Molina, 15. Chris Pierce