Total posts: 3279
posted November 03, 2000 05:20 PM
hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour - 2000 Season Recap
In 2000, the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour completed 16 of 21 races
scheduled at seven different tracks. The year saw 1999 champion Shawna Wilskey
successfully defend her 1999 championship and also become the first three time
Northern Sprint Tour Champion.
The season opener, scheduled at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on Friday,
May 5th fell to the weather giving the fans at Southern Oregon Speedway in
Medford, OR the chance to see the seasons first race the next night where Jay
Smith picked up the first of his three season wins.
A return trip to Willamette Speedway May 26th saw the drivers racing both
themselves and the weather with the fastest being Shawna Wilskey, who picked
up her first win of the year. Unfortunately, the May 27th race scheduled at
Riverside Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR became the second win for the rain.
Clear skies at State Fair Raceway in Yakima, WA graced the June 9th inaugural
race on the newly constructed 3/8 mile clay oval. Going into the record books
as the winner of the first sprint car race at the fairgrounds since the
mid-1950's was Shawna Wilskey.
As the drivers and crews went west over the Cascade Range on Saturday the 10th
to the season's first race at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma. WA, they were
again greeted with grey skies, rain and another rain out.
The long haul of the year was to Billings, Mt for races at MetraPark on June
30th and Magic City Speedway on July 1st. Several local drivers joined the
group of hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour drivers that had made the haul, but
at the MetraPark checkered it was South Dakota driver Randi Miller leading the
way to the win. Saturday's Magic City Speedway program got as far as the start
of time trials before heavy rain washed out the program.
Testing the drivers and crews the most in the 2000 season was the 4th annual
Northwest Speedweek with six races in six nights scheduled at five different
tracks and paying out $84,000 in purse money. Average car count for Speedweek
was 43, representing California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta.
Brent Kaeding took the opening race on July 17th at Southern Oregon Speedway
and continued his winning way at Riverside Speedway on the 18th and Willamette
Speedway the 19th. When the action moved to State Fair Raceway on Thursday the
20th, Kaeding had returned to California for NARC competition and Steve Kent
stepped into the winners circle.
Friday and Saturday had Speedweek culminating with the 5th Annual Evergreen
State Sprint Challenge at Grays Harbor Raceway Park on the 21st and 22nd.
Steve Kent again showed why he is one of the top drivers on the west coast by
taking the win on both nights. Washington's Rick Fauver ran to solid 2nd place
finishes behind Kent in the last three races.
The hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour's second chance to run the inaugural
race on a new dirt track was at Portland Speedway. The Speedway had returned
to dirt after 53 years of asphalt racing and on August 4th a packed house
watched Dan Menne tour the 1/2 mile track in 18.165 seconds to set fast time.
Menne then returned in the feature event to lead the pack to the checkered
flag and take the 'return to dirt' win.
The following night Riverside Speedway again hosted the tour with Jay Smith
picking up his second win of the season.
August the 17th the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour returned to Grays Harbor
Raceway Park for a Thursday night race to warm up the fans for the World of
Outlaws two day show on the weekend. Jay Smith was again leading on the final
lap making his season win total now three.
On Friday, September 8th, the tour suffered it's final rainout of the year,
which was also it's second at Lebanon's Willamette Speedway. Saturday saw
co-operation from the weather gods and local driver Dale Smith thrilled the
crowd as he won the last 2000 season race to be run at Riverside Speedway..
To close out the 2000 season, the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour traveled
to State Fair Raceway to high-light the opening weekend of the Central
Washington State Fair on September 23rd and 24th. Canadian Scott Aumen won his
first ever hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour feature event on Friday and Rick
Smith closed the season with a win and wrapped up 2nd place in the points race
on Saturday night.
In her march to the hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour 2000 Season
Championship, Shawna Wilskey again ran an outstanding year of consistency on
the track with only two finishes out of the top ten and had 10 top five
The top ten finishers of the 2000 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour season,
were; Shawna Wilskey - 1273 pts, Rick Fauver - 1245pts, Jay Smith - 1189 pts,
Dan Menne - 970 pts, Jay Cole - 894 pts, Chad Hillier - 823 pts, Jayme Barnes
- 782 pts, Rick Smith - 725 pts, Barry Martinez - 694, Jeff Thompson - 691pts.
Rookie of the Year was Shawn Rice who finished in 17th place with 418 pts.
In 2000 17 owners and drivers competed in 75% of the seasons races and were
eligible for part of the $30,000 Participation Fund. Along with the
Participation Fund, over $212,000 was paid out in purse money during the 16
races run in the 2000 season.