Celebrating 50 years of FEAR
1965 - 2015
at Evergreen Speedway
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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