posted May 27, 2001 06:31 PM
Riverside Speedway Win To Home Town Driver
Not many fans were using the back half of their seats, and some weren't
using any of their seat, at the end of Riverside Speedway's hy-per-lube
Northern Sprint Tour feature event in Cottage Grove, OR on Saturday May
26th. Dale Smith worked his way from an 11th place start
to take the win at his home town track in front of a large cheering crowd.
Smith was up to sixth by the 4th lap, battled Friday night winner Barry
Martinez and Jay R. Harkness for several laps to keep the position and then
moved to 5th on a lap 11 re-start. He had 4th by the 18th circuit, got past
Roger Crockett in traffic on lap 23 and then took over 2nd on lap 25 when
Scott Aumen caught leader Jayme Barnes' rear tire and looped in turn three.
Two laps later Smith made an out-side pass on the back straight to take the
point from Barnes
and go on to the popular win.
In a race that had enough close action to fill most fans' need to
overflowing, Jason Solwold led the first 11 laps before spinning out in the
first turn giving Crockett the front spot.
Crockett soon had more competition than he wanted from Barnes as the two
battled for the next ten laps. Heavy traffic had cars running three wide on
the straights and both Barnes and Aumen powered down the front chute past
Crockett on the 21st trip past the flagstand.
With slower cars holding up the leaders the next four laps had the top four
nose to tail or side by side. Going through turn 3, Aumen's right front tire
made contact with leader Barnes, putting Aumen into a spin with the loss of
several positions and put Smith in position for his pass to the lead.
While all of the action was going on at the front of the pack, an equally
tight race for 7th place raged from the start to the last 10 laps between
Shawna Wilskey, Gary Taylor and Rick Smith with positions changing nearly
Martinez started to lose ground mid-race as the trio got past with Wilskey
moving into 5th behind Harkness in the final five laps. Taylor went wide in
turn three with only a couple of laps to go and dropped back to 10th as R.
Smith retained 6th. Aumen worked his way back past 3 cars to finish in 7th
D. Smith exited his car to the bear hugs and back slaps of a very happy
crew, congratulations from his fellow racers and the screams of his fans.
Fans that had seen a race that will keep them talking for a long time.
Like Friday night, Saturday's B-main had several fast cars that had failed
to transfer from their heats to the feature event, Jeremy Cooper grabbed the
lead from Martinez on the green and never relinquished the point as he
opened a 20 car lead to the win in the closing laps.
With Cooper out front and Martinez playing catch-up, Richie Peterson, Bryon
Harvey and Jay Cole diced for position and a chance to run in third place.
They all held the position with Cole in the spot at the finish. Peterson,
who had battled fuel pump problems all evening, faded back to 8th at the
end. Hard chargers Ron Cooper and Ron Wilson, who started 13th and 14th,
moved up to 4th and 5th as they passed Harvey.
Jeff Thompson settled in between Harvey and Peterson while Gary Stevenson
dropped to 9th after getting as high as 4th.
After losing 2nd to Cole a lap 11 re-start, Martinez regained the spot by
winning a drag race to the checkered flag out of turn four on the final lap.
As Kevin Journey was going to the win in the first heat, R. Smith spent
most of the race unsuccessfully trying to put an out-side pass on Wilskey
for second. Crockett took third when Smith went high out of the last turn on
lap 8 with J. Cooper filling out the top five.
Second heat action had Brandon Harkness going green to checkered out front.
Solwold followed with Taylor besting Morgan and Thompson for third in the
closest race or position.
Barnes came from 6th to take the win in the third 10 lap heat of the night.
After chasing leader Tony Thomas since the 4th lap, Barnes took the lead
exiting turn 4 going for the white flag. J. Harkness made a last lap pass on
Vern Scever to get the final transfer spot.
D. Smith yanked the point position away from Mike Crawford on the second
lap of the final heat, to go to the win with a comfortable lead. Aumen took
second after a close race for the position with Crawford and Rick Fauver.
Crockett had the lead at the green for the dash, but slid wide into the
first turn and ended up in 5th as Solwold, Barnes and Aumen freight trained
by him. R. Smith brought up the
tail in 6th.
Fast Time - Roger Crockett - 11.882
Heat 1 - Kevin Journey, Shawna Wilskey, Roger Crockett, Rick Smith, Jeremy
Cooper, Bryon Harvey, Gary Stevenson, Roger Oudman, Robin Wood, Shane Forte.
Heat 2 - Brandon Harkness, Jason Solwold, Gary Taylor, Gary Morgan, Jeff
Thompson, Ron Wilson, Gus Cooper, Jeff Osburn, Richie Peterson..
Heat 3 - Jayme Barnes, Tony Thomas, Scott Adams, Jay R. Harkness, Vern
Scevers, Jay Cole, Ron Cooper, Kevin Smith, Tony Menard.
Heat 4 - Dale Smith, Scott Aumen, Mike Crawford, Rick Fauver, Melissa Yates,
Barry Martinez, Danny Horner, Kevin Griffitts, Eric Trask.
Dash - J. Harkness, Solwold, Barnes, Aumen, Crockett, R. Smith.
B-Main - J. Cooper, Martinez, Cole, R. Cooper, Wilson, Harvey, Thompson,
Peterson, Stevenson, G. Cooper, Scever, Forte, Horner, Trask, Yates, K.
Smith, Osburn, Oudman, Griffitts, Wood.
A-Main - D. Smith, Barnes, Crockett, J. Harkness, Wilskey, R. Smith, Aumen,
J. Cooper, Adams, Taylor, Martinez, Fauver, Morgan, Wilson, Solwold, Thomas,
Cole, R. Cooper, Journey,