Celebrating 50 years of FEAR
In Memoriam: Mr. RICK NORTON 1944-2015
1965 - 2015
at Evergreen Speedway
BORRESON, JENKINS REPEAT AS CHAMPS…
AND THE “COWBOY” IS BACK, TOO!
2015 Final Race Recap
By Ben Chandler
The 2015 “Night of Champions” was a HUGE success for friends and fans of Evergreen Speedway. A good-sized crowd of both Seahawk and NASCAR fans saw, for the first time ever, 9 different divisions race for their Championships. As a fan of Figure-8 racing, which started 50 years ago this summer at Evergreen Speedway; it was extra exciting to watch, as, for the first time ever, each of the 3 F-8 divisions determined their own 2015 Champions on that same final evening, or in the case of the Stinger-8 group, on the very final lap!
First up was the fading “Outlaw” class, with just 4 cars appearing for Championship night, along with former Champ Steve Cox in his now “Super Stock” #7 car, and the old #96 Dart, driven by Keith Taylor. First to fall out of the 25 lapper was Chris Harrison’s #38 car, at lap 7. John “the Cowboy” Carlson started in the front and tried to hold off the #74 car, with Chris Curtis, who was on his tail in both the race, and the Championship point battle. Curtis got by around lap 16, and went on to win the race, but it was “Cowboy” Carlson in 2nd who got to “climb the fence” as he celebrated his 5th Figure-8 Championship!
Next up was my old Stinger-8 class, where 15 cars took the green flag for a wild and crazy 30 lapper. The top 4 cars were just a few points apart going into the night, 3 (Lance Ograin, Branden Lindberg and Matt Somerville) were looking to replace last year’s “rookie sensation” Toby Jenkins, again on top. The FEARRACING.ORG sponsored 10x Prelude, driven by Cody Hoopes, who was solidly in 5th, was first to get by early leader Mark Jenkins in his borrowed #18 Civic, around lap 12. And then the red flags and restarts began. First around lap 13, then 14 and 16! The race seemed fraught with needless hitting, and lots of blocking, but got back on track, as “super-rookie” Lindberg in the #88, running in 2nd behind young Hoopes (who won the race) looked likely to win the Championship, until a last corner tangle with the lapped #3 car of Keith Taylor, put Jenkins and his #11 Integra ahead for 2nd place, and the Championship…by just 1 point!
And finally it was time for the newest figure-8 division, the “Super Stocks,” to determine who was going to be 2015 Champion! “Nationals” winner Doug Delfel looked good in his familiar black #01 Chevy, and was just a few points behind the defending Champ #17 team, with my former mechanic Tommy Gapp again subbing for the injured Quenton “the one-armed Bandit” Borreson. Owner David Brandenburg had put him in the seat 2 weeks earlier, and Tommy (who built the car) actually won that race, his first, and wrestled the point lead back from “the Grizz” going into Championship night!
14 cars started the big 30 lap event, with the two Championship contenders starting together on the back row, as they should! It was exciting to watch as former Champ “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox picked his way through the field with Gapp, who had earlier posted his first “fast time”, in hot pursuit. Cox assumed the lead around lap 10, after finally passing Keith Taylor’s #96 Dart, and looked fast, while holding off the two contenders for the next 8 laps - until the #77 car driven by Brandon Florer smashes into him at the X, around lap 18. The restart put Delfel in the lead, until HE also gets smashed into at the intersection - this time by the #36 car, driven by Bill Fleischacker. The #V-8 (or #30) car of former Champ Steve”Battlewagon” Peters then assumes the lead and takes the Championship night win over Eric Allison and Gapp.
Congrats to repeat Stinger-8 Champ Toby Jenkins, 5-time Champ John Carlson and the #17 team of David Brandenburg, Quenton Borreson and Tommy Gapp - REPEAT FEAR Super Stock Champions of 2015! Thank You to Evergreen Speedway for allowing us to celebrate 50 great years of Figure-8 racing this season! And thank YOU for supporting whats left of our once gigantic club called FEAR - See you at the Awards Banquet in January! BC
DELFEL FINALLY WINS THE “NATIONALS”!
By Steve Mortland and Ben Chandler
Every race track in the country has something in common, it seems. There is always that one driver who has been slugging it out for as long as anyone can remember. He’s the guy that has supported his track for DECADES, no matter who the promoter might be. He represents his sponsors well and appreciates his crew, his family, his friends, and all of those people who have helped him and supported his racing over the many long years. And he is always ready to help his fellow racers, whether it’s with a part, some advice, a tool or perhaps a scolding. The guy that will take on a role that will help his fellow racers keep having a series to race in, and represent his club or group, to the best of his ability, because that is how he believes it should be done.
Doug “the Grizz” Delfel is that guy at Evergreen Speedway! His iconic #01 was retired (rather prematurely) when he was inducted into the FEAR Hall of Fame, back in 1999, honoring Doug’s (then) 25 years of service to the Figure Eight Auto Racing club. He had served as the President of FEAR four times, and was a board member six other times. A 3-time Figure-8 Champion over the years, Doug was named as one of the original 50 “Top Drivers” in the history of Evergreen Speedway, and even inducted into the Evergreen Speedway (NASCAR) Hall of Fame, in 2010!
Doug Delfel had competed 29 times in Evergreen Speedway’s famous “Figure-8 Nationals”, including the very first event. Created by (then promoter) Mickey Beadle and the late Mick Tomlin back in 1984, it was first won by the “Crazy Cajun” Vern Dietz. Several top 5 finishes in this big, annual event - and the 10-year newer “60 Minutes of FEAR” race, was (until now) all “the Grizz” had to show for his effort and dedication! These two big races are like the Daytona 500’s of the yearly FEAR calendar, and all the top F-8 drivers with the cool nicknames have dominated both events!
Past “Nationals” winners are usually also Figure-8 Champions, including the “Crazy Cajun” who went on to win this race 3 times, and his son, Ricky “The Kid” Dietz, who won it twice. Steve “Battlewagon” Peters is a 4-time winner, “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox and “The Cowboy” John Carlson have also both won it twice. Even Doug’s brother Brian Delfel won the Figure-8 Nationals 3 times, and he did it without a fun nickname! So needless to say, it was an emotional moment in time on the Angel of the Winds Victory Stage last Saturday night, after “the Grizz” finally captured his first Figure-8 Nationals victory, after trying some 30 times!
17 cars had started the big Super Stock Figure-8 Division’s Main event, their first “stand-alone” 75 lap race, ever. The group, sponsored by Monroe Grocery Outlet, had planned on 20+ cars, including a new one from Tom Gapp, with his late grandfather’s #32 on it, but mechanical woes hurt that effort. A couple of past “Nationals” winners, Steve Peters and Rich Groshong, were in the field, along with the son of the 2001 winner, Malcolm “The Maniac” Lindberg. In fact, “rookie sensation” Branden Lindberg started all 3 Figure-8 divisions that raced this big night!
When the green flag finally fell, Steve Peters quickly worked his trusty #V-8/30 car through the field, taking over the lead from Brian Little in the #23 Camaro around lap 8 - with Delfel, and defending division Champ, Quenton Borreson in hot pursuit. Quenton, aka “the one-armed Bandit”, finally got by both veterans to take the lead at lap 19, only to tangle at the X, 2 laps later with the #95 Camaro of Devin Jenkins! The restart had Delfel and Peters swapping the lead as they worked around crashes and slower cars. Behind them, Stinger-8 “rookie” Lindberg in the #V-88 was doing great in his first big-car 8-race, Steve Schoenfeldt was catching up in his #6 car, and Groshong was cruising along in his trusty #14, all maintaining top 5 spots. At lap 68 a mechanical issue forced Peters to turn the lead back over to Delfel, just after the #V-88 broke, and was followed into the pits by Schoenfeldt 2 laps later. “The Grizz” took the #01 to the checkered flag, followed by Rich Groshong and the #23 of Brian Little.
On the stage, an emotional Delfel thanked his family, crew and his sponsors, including Nutty’s Junkyard Grill, J2 Racing, the Everett Car Connection, and his own business, Harbour Pointe Towing & Service. Doug also expressed his thanks to the Monroe Grocery Outlet for their support of this exciting Figure-8 division, and for sponsoring the upcoming Figure-8 Super Stock “Shootout” that will take place during the Fair, on August 29th.
In the “Outlaw” Figure-8 division, 10 cars started the 50-lap “main event”. After 3 laps, just 8 remained. “The Cowboy” John Carlson lead early and looked fast, defending Champ Mike Steltz was holding down 2nd place, with Chris Curtis fighting to get past. Ricky Dietz looked faster and was catching up, but left at the halfway mark. After a black flag for Curtis, Carlson lead the next dozen laps, until Nick Gunderson drove his #33 Gunderson Speed Shop rocket past the #50 at lap 45, and on to the finish for the F-8 Nationals night win. Nick also won the MUCH longer "Nationals" race last season! Finishing second in his trusty old #50 was John “the Cowboy” Carlson, while third place went to 2012 Nationals (and 60-minute) winner “Slick” Don Eslick in his gorgeous #49.
The Buzz-Inn Steakhouse Stinger-8’s put on another great show for the 8-track fans that packed the beer garden and nearly packed the grandstands! Lance “Hammerhead” Ograin started the 50 lap Main event with his #74 Integra near the front of the 14 car field, following his teammate, Branden Lindberg, until the halfway point, when he powered by. Matt Somerville also got his #21 Integra by Lindberg and held on to finish 2nd, followed by Lindberg’s Prelude in 3rd. Lance wowed the crowd with the tightest reverse victory dough-nutz, perfectly placed in the X. And that was after a crazy earlier bicycle ride on just his left 2 wheels!
As noted above, Lindberg started in all three Figure 8 divisions Saturday night. The young “Iron Man” raced his familiar #88 Stinger-8 Honda, started the V-88 Sean Peters Tribute car in the Outlaw F-8 race, then raced into the top 4 of “the Nationals” before breaking. Nice job, Branden!
So that was the latest “Nationals” format, and I really liked it! A tightly run 175 laps of Figure-8 racing action - divided amongst all 3 divisions, racing for the first time in 3 separate Main events, all in one night! Most importantly, the fans seemed to like the variety of the show, which ended right at 10. And the weather was as perfect as can be. There was some grumbling online from some “traditionalists” but Outlaw cars are just so fast, and number so few, that they can’t comfortably race with the Super Stock cars and drivers! Can’t wait to see what happens next!
CODY HOOPES WINS STINGER-8 “NATIONALS”!
June 6th RECAP
By Ben Chandler
16 Stingers headed out to do battle on a very warm summer evening last week. At the front were 2 of the very best. Only one is a former champ, currently tied for the point lead, and was confident after a successful heat race win. Sure, Lance Ograin had won this 50 lap event before, he won the Puyallup Springfair smash-fest again this year, had set the “fast time” - and had the support of a couple of teammates lined up behind his #74 Integra. Heck, Lance was such a “sure thing” on this fine evening that I even got his Dad, Scott, to bet some cash on him! Next to Lance was 2nd generation FEAR star, Cody Hoopes in his white #10x, who also races (a pink one) in the Hornet Division. Cody, in the fearracing.org (sponsored) Prelude, was either most famous for rolling my last car a couple years back, while leading a Stinger race for the first time - or for truly dominating the March madness Enduro, and winning FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Behind these two were the 3 Integras of Nicole Pollard, “old-timer” Mark Jenkins, and his Kid, defending Champ Toby “Rookie sensation” Jenkins… Who only made it 5 laps before hitting the #8 DelSol driven by 17 year old newcomer, Talon Kolar in the Intersection! Speaking of “Kolars”, (Father, I believe) Bryce scared the beejeezus out of many drivers (and most fans) charging the intersection time-after-time in his somewhat slower #23 Civic! Anyway, 12 cars remained by lap 20, just 10 after lap 30 as Cody picked his way through the intersection, lap after lap. Nicole Pollard stayed in 2nd pretty much all night, getting her #89 kinda close to the leader only one time, towards the end. Wheels were flying off, cars kept getting tangled and untangled, but it was clear that Cody Hoopes deserved the big win! Behind Nicole, and rounding out the podium came previous week’s winner in her #04, Jessica Gray, also in an Integra, followed by the two tied point leaders, #21 Matt Somerville and “Hammerhead” Lance Ograin! The Stingers return on the 20th, with the Super stock Figure-8 cars!
Earlier that evening, Chris Curtis finally worked #74 “Liberty” past “the Cowboy” John Carlson in his #50, about halfway thru the 7-car/30 lap “Outlaw” race to take that win, with Nick Gunderson coming in 3rd.
REUNION NIGHT… A BIG SUCCESS!
We enjoyed another beautiful Saturday on the 13th of June for “Reunion Night” as well over a hundred folks stopped by our special party tent to honor former Club President Mick Tomlin, celebrate 50 years of FEAR (and FSCRA) and 30 years of NASCAR at Evergreen Speedway! The night was created by Doug and Traci Hobbs, both whom I thank, as I piled the tribute to Mick, and our 50th anniversary onto the chosen date last winter. Thankfully, Club historian Tom Claibourn offered to bring his gigantic collection of photo albums, model cars and FEAR memorabilia over the mountains to share with everybody, so thank you again, Tom. I also want to thank two Club sponsors, old friends and one-time figure-8 racing stars, David Brandenburg and Rick Hager for their support of this fun, now semi-annual event!
Over the past year we lost a total of 5 Evergreen Speedway Hall of Fame members! As it was the 30th anniversary of NASCAR coming to our track, when the Hall of Fame was first created, it seemed like the right time to actually invite all of the members to gather, for the first time ever, so I piled THAT on the scheduled date, too! FEAR racing hero’s like Carl, Ralph, Tobey and Lee were all there. Longtime employees in the Hall, like Althea, Dick, Dennis, Steve, Dale and Gail all stopped by, as did our Cascade Push-truck friends Gary, Doug and D.W…several families were also honored, including the Ruddells, Daggetts, Scrivers, Brookovers, Pierces and the Stewarts. Some still-active drivers that are in the Hall, like Gary, Tom and the “Grizz,” joined Doug, Mickey and myself, as we all celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Evergreen Speedway Hall of Fame!
Former promoter Mickey Beadle and I wrote a tribute to Mick Tomlin, which you might not have heard, during a poorly executed Memorial lap. Mick’s widow, Randi, a longtime track employee, also in the Hall, allowed us all this chance to say goodbye to our friend Mick, together - as a group for the very first time, and I thank her for sharing her man, her memories…and some great tasting sandwiches with all of our friends! After a pleasant afternoon “trackside,” most of the celebrants hung around for a very exciting Super Stock Figure-8 race, won by the #17 Brandenburg Special, driven by Quentin Borreson, over the #01 of Doug Delfel. All in all, a huge day for fans of Evergreen Speedway history!
STELTZ & BORRESON WIN “60-MINUTES of FEAR”!
By Ben Chandler
May was an eventful month for the 3 classes of Figure-8 racers at Evergreen Speedway. The hi-light certainly was the “60-minutes of FEAR” on the 2nd, with 17 cars in the field, on a pleasant day/ full moon night. Car count is a big concern for the “Outlaw” division this year, so several of the Super Stock-8 cars joined in again, and helped put on a pretty good show! This event was first run back in 1994, and won then by Ricky ”the Kid” Deitz, who looked good for another big win, after assuming the lead from the “fast-timer” and early race leading #33 of Nick Gunderson. Gunderson tangled with the new #40 hot-rod of Seth Funden around lap 21, killing both of their cars for the night. 30 laps later Deitz tangled with the #8 SS of Steve Peters going into the North corner, which ruined Ricky’s chances to win again in his super fast #76. Next to lead was the #7 of “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox, and he too looked like a sure winner, leading the next 60 laps, with “the Cowboy” John Carlson in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, David Brandenburg’s “SS” #17 car, driven by Quentin “the one-armed Bandit” Borreson was avoiding problems and hanging out with the top 4! It was pretty much around a dozen cars still running after the first 15 minutes, and all of the guys were putting on a show that kept the fans on the edge of their seats! At the 100 lap mark Doug Wilkinson had made it to 4th and the defending “Outlaw” Champ, Mike Steltz was in 5th. 11 laps later, it was “Mr. Excitements” turn to tangle with an SS car, when 3-time Champ Doug Delfels #01 car found the 4-time Champ at the X! Next to lead was 4-time Champ John Carlson, who just the week before had won the 7-car Main (tune-up) event, and “climbed the fence!” Mechanical problems killed the #50 this time, at lap 130, leaving the “Outlaw” of the Outlaw class in the driver’s seat of his #67 (that is still for sale) for the final 13 laps, AND his first 60-minute race win, 18 years after his brother Ron won it! Doug Wilkinson came in 2nd and Quentin Borreson came in 3rd, plus the “Q-man” won the Super stock race! He was followed by Steve Peters and Zach Larson.
Also on the card that night was an exciting 14-car 30 lap Stinger-8 race, won by the re-numbered DelSol of Branden Lindberg. Now with the unique #88 and paint like his Dad’s cars were, Lindberg started out in front and stayed there. This year’s “rookie sensation” put on a clinic at the intersection, as other drivers were crashing all around him! His teammate Lance Ograin made it up to 3rd in his #74 Integra, right behind the always fast #89 of Nicole Pollard. Gary Rarden’s #2 and Cody Hoopes rounded out the top 5!
The following week Matt Somerville set fast time and sailed to his first win of the season in his #21 Integra, over Cody Hoopes in the 10x Prelude, and the #74 Integra of Lance “Hammerhead” Ograin.
May 16th saw just 6 “Outlaws” put on an intense little race, in front of a huge crowd of “Big Rig” fans! The defending Champ of the division - and recent “60-minute” winner, Mike Steltz, started on the front row, jumped into the lead, and tried to hold off the seemingly faster #74 of Chris Curtis for most of the race. It kinda looked like Mike left an opening for Curtis to stick his nose under, going into the north corner, and according to track officials, Mike came back in, which spun both cars out, as it often does. Nick Gunderson flew by the two to take the win over John Carlson, Curtis and a steaming hot Steltz. A lot was said, social media and NASCAR involved. But all was worked out by Tuesday afternoon, thankfully!
Next up is the HUGE (Sunday) memorial Truck-fest extravaganza, which honors one of our own, Sean Peters. Smashing trucks and cars, plus Stinger-8 and Superstock-8 cars was what Sean did so well, before a tragic accident took his young life. This will be a huge event with boats, racing, fireworks and a massive, 4th of July sized crowd. It is important to remember those we have lost, and Memorial Day is perfect for not only honoring the loss of young Peters, but also the Evergreen Speedway Hall of Fame members lost over the past year. 4 were involved with FEAR, all were involved with the track for decades…and all will be missed. Mick Tomlin, Ron Daggett, Gordy Stewart and Don Perry along with others like Nelson Downey and Marie Young will be honored with a Memorial lap this weekend. Hopefully…on both days!
And 2 weeks later all will be honored again at the FEAR50 REUNION! That’s right, FEAR (and FSCRA) started 50 years ago, so we will ALSO be honoring ALL of you “old-timer” drivers on June 13th! Everybody is invited and we will start with the memorial for Mick Tomlin at 2pm. All Hall of Fame members should meet there around 4 pm for a special 30th anniversary ceremony. Just look for the tent and FEAR banner. Club historian Tom Claibourn is bringing his massive collection of photos and FEAR memorabilia back for this special night, and Doug Hobbs was so nice to offer up a big tent for the event! It should be located between the pits and grandstand, like the NAPA parties always were, hopefully with our own “beer garden”…and VIP/HoF entrance! “Beeners” Brookover will be in charge of getting lots of tables and chairs for the tent, and we are always looking for donated snacks and chips, too! And remember, the Stinger-8 “Nationals” is coming up June 6th …running with the "Outlaws"!
Summer is HERE! See you at the REUNION June 13th! -BC
THE 50th SEASON of FEAR IS UNDERWAY!
RECAP OF THE FIRST FEW WEEKS
by Ben Chandler
Opening night of the 2015 season marked the 50th year of Saturday night Figure-8 racing at Evergreen Speedway! It was an exciting evening for both the Stinger-8 and Super Stock Figure-8 classes, as a giant Seahawk inspired crowd enjoyed music, Hawk-induced car show and a handful of former players on a gorgeous spring day! Steve Peters battled Division Champ, Quinton Borreson and a high-flying Doug Delfel to take his first win of the year, ahead of Eric Allison, in the 9-car Main event. And Stinger-8 “rookie” Branden Lindberg held off Matt Somerville and Former Champ, Lance Ograin in an exciting (15 car) Stinger main event, that saw Jason Wilson total his #50 (my last car) - and last year’s Champ, Toby Jenkins, struggle to get a top 10 finish, while his Dad scared the poop out of the crowd with some incredible intersection work! Mark and I raced against each other some 35 years ago, and it’s neat to see another “old guy” actually do well. Welcome back #18 Mark Jenkins!
Speaking of “old Guys” I once raced with, the season opener happened a week later for the Outlaw division, which saw 7 cars struggling for survival AND traction on a rainy and cold track. Former Champ, John “the Cowboy” Carlson, had set fast time and won his Heat race, but gave up the Main win to Chris Curtis, with the defending season Champ, Mike Steltz coming in 3rd. And Toby Jenkins, last year’s “rookie sensation” raced his heart out to win the second Stinger-8 race of the season, over the new point-leader, Matt Somerville, again in 2nd, and young Cody Hoopes, in the fearracing.org sponsored 10x (white) car, after bumping Lance Ograin off the corner & podium, and into 4th. Last week’s winner, Branden Lindberg, wrecked his new DelSol, but should be back soon. His “teammate”, Lance Ograin, came back to win at “Slamfest” the following week, in Puyallup, the last place I ever won a Main event!
And speaking of bright young stars, 15 year-old Dawson Cox, son of “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox, tried out the 8 track for the first time, and did a pretty good job! Twice seen on the Hornet track now, Dawson looks like a natural! The Super Stock figure-8 guys put on another whale of a 9-car race, April 18th, with Tommy Gapps #58 car climbing on top of Steve Peters in the north corner, creating quite a stir, as Quenton Borreson raced the #17 to his first win of this young season, followed by Doug Delfel and (speaking of old guys again…) Tony Hill! I talk and write often of the “old days” here, and am always pleased to run into guys I first met 20, 30 or 40 years ago… OR their kids and now even grandkids!
It was exactly 50 years ago that Figure-8 and Mini-stock racers first got organized here at Evergreen Speedway. Pro sports were a far off dream in those early days for local sports fans, so car racing at many (now missing) local tracks was huge back “in the day”! This year’s season opening crowd kinda reminded me of those early days. My own Figure-8 “rookie season” happened exactly 40 years ago this month, after 3 years of doing Demo-derbies here. So I still remember how BIG Saturday night racing once was!
May 25th the Outlaws run again...THEN, the “60-minutes of FEAR” which is one of our 2 BIG races of the season, of course. Car count is crucial to the continuation of these “big money” Figure-8 shows, so if you have any kind of car sitting around, PLEASE bring it out May 2nd! And figure-8 drivers who want to join FEAR and be listed on the website, with your sponsors and pictures, can still join up for a (one-time) donation of $50. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of FEAR this coming June 13th, and all members, new and old, are invited to join us! Stay tuned here for more info to come. See you at the track, and thanks for reading! BC
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