In Memoriam: Vern Foster 1960-2013
2 NEW FEAR CHAMPIONS…AND ONE OLD ONE!
By Ben Chandler & Louise Coleman
Sept. 21, 2013 FEAR Racing Recap
The weather was perfect for our final 2013 Championship night. Rain was predicted all week as the 3 Figure-8 divisions, along with the Hornets and visiting Pro-4 trucks prepared for crowning season Champions, and their final regular night of racing at Evergreen Speedway. The excitement built all evening as super-rookie Scott Hunt barely lost the Hornet Championship to Cyril Greenwalt, in a race dominated by Stinger-8 star Nicole Pollard. Two Figure-8 drivers, Rick Shaver and Doug Wilkinson, raced hard in the Pro-4 Mini-truck Main that was won by Mike Tipps. I believe they crowned Nic Nicholson as their 2013 Champion. A huge point lead in the new “classic” or stock Super-8 division assured Doug Delfel his 3rd Figure-8 Championship; while a very comfortable point lead in the Stinger-8 division assured Todd Stillwell his very first!
But all eyes were on the final big race of the night, and the #76 of Ricky “the Kid” Deitz. With just a 25 point lead over Nick Gunderson, and 26 over Mike Steltz, the Super-8 division was poised to make history. No father and son had ever BOTH won Figure-8 Championships at Evergreen Speedway. Nick’s dad Brian, won one 2 years ago, and Ricky’s dad Vern “the Crazy Cajun” won it, well, all of the time, back when Ricky actually was still a “kid!” The only problem going into this night, from a historical sense at least, was that Nick’s car was busted, and Ricky’s motor had puked!
15 cars started the final 50-lap Super-8 Main Event of the year. Ricky, with a borrowed motor, set fast time, so he started near the back, with “the Cowboy” John Carlson, and “Slick” Don Eslick. “Slick” was running his own car, but with Gunderson’s #33 on it. Nick Dunham led the first 7 laps in his #15 “silver bullet” before the #74 of Pat Clark slid by, with the #6 of Steve Schoenfeldt right behind. Clark’s lead lasted 8 laps before contact with Carlson’s #50 in the X sent him spinning out of control. The restart had Schoenfeldt ahead of Dunham, until the #45 of Lance Ograin took the second spot near lap 20. By the halfway point Eslick had climbed to 3rd, Seth Funden’s #40 was in 4th, and Ricky carefully made it into the top 5. Lap 41 saw the 2 former Stinger-8 Champs (#45 and #40) tangle going into the “right-hander” which put Eslick’s #33 into the lead. 2 laps later Carlson and Schoenfeldt also tangled, knocking the #6 off the podium. Eslick held serve on the final restart, and won the night’s battle for the Gunderson clan. But in 2nd, it was Ricky “the Kid” Deitz winning the war, and his first Super-8 Championship ever! Seth Funden rebounded to take the 3rd place trophy, followed by Doug Wilkinson’s #55 and the #6 of Steve Schoenfeldt. Lance Ograin ended up in 6th a lap ahead of the #67 of Mike Steltz, but they were still beating and banging on each other, even as the race, and the 2013 season, came to an end! Ograin did however win the trophy dash earlier in the evening. Rich Groshong somehow beat Nick Dunham in the slow heat race, and Pat Clark won the fast one over Doug Wilkinson. Congrats to Don Eslick for the win, and to Ricky “the Kid” Deitz for finally winning a Championship of his own!
8 cars started the final, new “stock” classic Figure-8 Division 25-lap Main event. “Mr. Dizzy” Mike Buse looked pretty good leading in Sean Peters’ old Super V-8 car, until he nailed the new #8 car of Devin Newbom in the intersection, around lap 11. After that, it was all Quenton Borreson, again driving Dave Brandenburg’s #17 Ford to the win, ahead of Rich Groshong’s #14, Steve Schoenfeldt and the first Champion of this new division. Congrats, Doug “the Grizz” Delfel for winning your 3rd Championship!
17 4-cylinder Stinger-8 cars started their first ever 40-lap Championship race. And it was ALSO a “doozie”…in that just 11 cars made it past lap 9! One idiot drove across the middle of the south corner, in a weak attempt to take out the #04 of Jessica Gray. Ken Moi nailed Matt Somerville, then smacked the #35 of Jason Wilson, and the #2 Toyota of rookie sensation Gary Rarden. Other crazy stuff was taking place, like rookie Mark Fagler’s #42 getting hit TWICE in the intersection, while fast-timer and Championship point leader Todd Stillwell was crippled by a flat tire. But I was watching the #89 of Nicole Pollard. She FLEW from the back of the pack and took the lead by lap 7! Or so everyone thought! In 2nd place was Joselyn “Jaws” LaFleur, who stayed out of everybody’s way, followed by the #04 of Jessica Gray, who just couldn’t! Scott was so excited to note the historical significance! The first time in Evergreen Speedway history that 3 “gals” were on the podium (we thought …)! Alas, it was former Stinger Champ Seth Funden who climbed from the #89 Integra to take the top prize! But the Season, if not this night, was dominated by the fast little green, white and black #73 Honda Civic. Congrats to the new 2013 Stinger-8 Champion (and FEAR member) Todd Stillwell! Still more racing action at the track this year, I will see you there! BC
The NEW track program was finally released to the public Saturday, and it is fabulous! I spent all winter on it, so it’s definitely nice to finally see how it came out. Get one today at the office, or next Saturday.
QUINTON DOES THE IMPOSSIBLE DOUBLE!
Sept. 1, 2013
by Ben Chandler & Louise Coleman
Over the past 48 years there have often been two divisions racing on the figure 8 track in Monroe. At least it started out like that with the creation of FEAR back in the mid-sixties, until around 1980. From 1980 to 1995 we were all racing in just one HUGE “stock” division, as our “Superstock” group chose to race on the oval in the early 80’s - before breaking off from our club, and joining NASCAR. That’s right, the current “Late model” division…originally “sprang from the loins” of FEAR!
1996 saw the creation of the “X-treme contact” F-8 class, which lasted 10 seasons. A couple of years of “overlap” with the creation of the “Stinger-8” class 9 or 10 years ago for the first time ever, put 3 different groups on the 8 track between 2004 and 2006. This year, a new division of “older-style” figure-8 cars was created, and we are again back to 3 unique groups. I share this mini figure-8 history lesson because, well, F-8 history was made at Evergreen Speedway just last week! As the 2013 Evergreen State Fair was winding down, with a huge Sunday crowd, a demo derby, holiday fireworks and all 3 divisions racing on the 8 track, Quinton ‘the one-armed Bandit” Borreson was the first figure-8 driver, in the history of the world?… to ever win 2 A-Main events, on the same night, and with the SAME car!
Driving David Brandenburg’s #17 Ford, for just his 2nd time ever, Quinton took the (10-car) 25-lap “Stock” Main Event, leading nearly every lap! On his heels for the entire first half of the race was Doug “the Grizz” Delfel in his bright yellow #01 Buick. Rear-end problems slowed the Grizz, and Rich Groshong took over the 2nd place slot in his #14 “Discount Appliance” hot-rod. Chuck Widdis also got by the limping Buick, with his #58 Chevy, to take the final podium spot. The cool thing about typing out this last paragraph (and this new division) is that Chuck, Rich, Doug, David, Quinton and I … all used to race together 20 to 35 years ago! And THEY all look so OLD!
Everything had to be perfect for Quinton on this special night, to do what he wanted to do. The right starting spots (see: Bob Uecker) and a pretty fast car helped. Brandenburg’s “regular” driver, Tom Gapp was still injured, making the seat available. A couple of flags certainly went his way, and then several of the top Super-8 cars took the night off, after the race was changed to a non-points “open” event.
13 cars started the 40 lap Super-8 Main, with Quinton starting the #17 up front, again. John “the Cowboy” Carlson ran 2nd for the first 10 laps in his #50, before Pat Clark got by in the #74 called “Liberty”. But all eyes were on Quinton’s brother Jon Zaretzke, in Quinton’s own #21 rocketcar! Starting pretty far back in the field, and with little racing experience … the “Z-man” in the JZ motorsports sponsored “silver bullet”, worked his way up to 2nd place by lap 19, and was a-knocking on his brother’s rear, before getting bumped away by the #74. A black flag took “Liberty” off “the Q-man’s” bumper, while a red flag reset the #17 up front, after spinning a laps-down Chuck Widdis. This moved “the Cowboy” back into 2nd place, followed by the #55 of Doug Wilkinson, Zaretzke and the #6 of Steve Schoenfeldt for the final 15 laps. Congrats to old friends Quinton Borreson for the two big wins at the Fair, and FEAR sponsor David Brandenburg for HIS first win in 17 years as an owner!
The 3rd Figure-8 Main Event of the night was the biggest and perhaps the wildest! 16 Stingers started their intense-30 lap Main Event in front of the huge Fair crowd! The #42 Honda of newcomer Mark Bagler lead the first half of the race, but with “fast-time” again, and this year’s Championship well in hand, it was the #73 Civic driven by Todd Stillwell flying by the field, taking the lead at lap 16, and eventually the win! Bagler hung on for 2nd, ahead of the #21 of Matt Somerville. Jason Wilson and last week’s winner, Gary Rarden, rounded out the top 5 in this, the penultimate event of the figure-8 season!
Next up is CHAMPIONSHIP night Sept. 21st, SPONSORED BY ALFY’S PIZZA, as the beautiful Summer of 2013 comes to a close. Still lots of fun racing events are scheduled into the Fall, however. Check out the “Pumpkin Smash” small car Enduro for big fun around Halloween time. “Final Survival” night, drifting, Motocross, even a car show are on the Fall Schedule. Check it ALL out at EvergreenSpeedway.com!
I will see you at the track as we crown our newest Champions, and maybe eat some PIZZA! -BC
Curtis and Rarden WIN at the FAIR!
by Ben Chandler & Louise Coleman
The weather was perfect, and a pretty good sized crowd showed up to enjoy the sun, the Fair food, and as the night cooled, some pretty hot Figure-8 racing action! Morning rain apparently had something to do with not cleaning an extremely dirty racing surface, according to Scott, which will always affect our time-ins. It looked like those early 1960’s pictures, before they paved the inside of the 8 track! 11 Stinger-8 cars and 14 Super-8 cars struggled with the slippery conditions, with the “fast times” going to Nick Gunderson and Todd Stillwell. Stinger-8 Heat race winners were Gary Rardon (aka: “racer X”) in his #2 over the #35 of Jason Wilson, and Nicole Pollard in her always fast #89 Integra, over the newly rebuilt #10x Acura of Cody Hoops. The Super-8 guys had no Heat races to contend with, as they were scheduled for an evening-ending 100-lap monster Main. The Stingers had a more reasonable 30-lap Main Event, their first race in a month. Starting in the second row was “rookie sensation” Gary Rardon in his #2 MR-2 Toyota, and he was able to take the lead away from both Pollard and early leader Wilson, after Pollard tangled up with the #35 Civic going into the South corner. The Stanwood star held off Nicole’s Integra, the point-leading #73 Civic of Todd Stillwell, and constant intersection interaction with the #21 of Matt Somerville, to take his first Stinger Main, ever! Battling for 4th place right to the last corner were the Integra’s of Joselyn LaFleur over 5th place Jessica Gray, doing “double duty” for her first time ever.
The 100-lap Super-8 race BARELY got done by the 10 o’clock “curfew” even though the 14 cars started just a bit past 9. Dale Larson led the first couple of laps in his new “OZ” car, before Steve “Battlewagon” Peters flew by in his #30, followed by Seth Funden in his #40 and Quenton “the 1-armed Bandit” Borreson in David Brandenburg’s #17. They “tangle” for the first restart, which brings the #33 Gunderson hot-rod and the #74 Boney Bros. car called “Liberty,” driven by Chris Curtis, up to Peters’ rear bumper, by lap five. Another restart came at lap 16 when the super-slow #23 car lost a rear wheel, and a few laps later when two other slow cars tangled in the South corner with Ricky “the Kid” Deitz. Ricky was in and out of the pits a couple of times before finally killing his #76 rocket on a “uke” tire at lap 61. Doug Delfel bumped his way by a surprised Peters, with his re-bodied and re-painted #01 “Buick” to take the lead after a lap 24 restart. The “Grizz” was FLYING around the track with Peters in hot pursuit – until he got nailed in the intersection by the #04 of Jessica Gray, who was several laps down. So that killed two more cars, but provided a bit of excitement as Steve raced across the tarmac, trying to make sure the (Super-8) rookie was OK? So, eight cars are left at 9:30 and with still 60 laps to go, Gunderson has the lead over Delfel, who seven laps later goes 3-wide…and gets tangled up. Delfel later lost a front spring as he climbed up and into Larson’s “OZ” car, bringing out a red flag – but the #01 still came in 4th for the night! 3rd went to Mike Steltz who had his own issues and battles. Curtis got by Gunderson in “Liberty”, with the help of slower traffic, at the 76 lap mark, and drove a flawless final quarter to take his first win in, well, a LONG time! Congrats to Chris, and to the Boney Bros. Racing team!
Next up, the final Fair weekend of racing, with the Figure-8 guys scheduled for Sunday FUN! Then on to Championship night, two weeks later, as the season draws to a close. And if you want to join FEAR and get your driver’s profile and pictures posted on this website, the one-time cost is just $50. The neat thing is that all winter long you can show potential sponsors and friends what you do…“online!” And remember, the other racers at Evergreen do not have this marketing option! See you at the track, and at the FAIR this weekend. BC
RICKY “The Kid” DEITZ WINS F-8 NATIONALS!
July 27, 2013
by Ben Chandler & Louise Coleman
Advertised as the “30th annual”, Ricky Deitz is actually the 29th winner of “The Nationals” held every summer at Evergreen Speedway. His dad, Vern Deitz was, ironically, the very first winner of this big race, back in 1984! Now 150 laps long, and with a lot more prize money, the “Nats” was just 100 laps long in those days, and many of us thought we would run out of gas! Vern went on to win this event a couple more times – but never won the “60 Minutes of FEAR” race, which came along in 1994. Ricky, however won the very first 60 Minutes race, and went on to win it again in 2007 and 2010. But this is only the second “Nationals” win for the younger Deitz, and it took 11 long years to get it again! 18 cars started this one, and it actually took a bit less than an hour to complete it. Nick Gunderson had fast time in his #33 rocket and led the first couple of laps – before Ricky assumed the top spot, for the rest of the night. Gunderson, winner of the 88 Minutes of FEAR last month, left the race after just 14 minutes. Steve Peters in his #30 “Battlewagon”, even sooner. Lap 4 had Mike Steltz tangling with the vintage #01 Buick, driven by “the Grizz” Doug Delfel, who ended up getting rolled! Steltz went on to tangle with the #74 driven by Chris Curtis, and David Brandenburg’s #17, driven by Tom Gapp. In fact, six cars were already out by the 15-minute mark! The always fast #49 of “Slick” Don Eslick took over the runner up spot from Steve “Mr. Excitement” Cox about then, at lap 27, followed by “the Cowboy” John Carlson in his #50 silver bullet. Eslick blew up his motor at lap 55, Cox had a suspension problem around lap 118, but Carlson continued on to end up in second place. Former Stinger Champs, Seth Funden in his #40, and Lance Ograin in the #45 assumed the 3rd and 4th positions about then, as the count dribbled down to nine cars running. Steltz, currently in 2nd place for the season, ended up in 5th, ahead of Curtis and “the One-armed Bandit” Quinton Borreson’s #21. So Ricky set a torrid pace as he lapped the entire field a couple of times! He only slowed down one time, after a north corner tangle with Dale Larson’s “OZ” car around lap #85. Sure, many of the faster cars blew up or broke, and the car count wasn’t the biggest. But this was among the most dominating wins ever in the history of the Nationals, so congrats to Ricky “the Kid” Deitz and his crew. A dream win that he was able to share with his many-time Champion Dad, in a dream season, as he closes in on his own first Super-8 Championship ever!
Before the Nationals, the Stinger-8 class finally returned to Evergreen for their own 30-lap Main event. 15 cars took the green, but it only took three laps for the cream to rise, as the #73 Civic of Todd Stillwell, the current point leader, jumped into the lead from the middle of the field. Stillwell was followed by the defending Champ, Josh Young in his #22 MR-2, who had started in the last row! It was a spirited battle between last year’s guy, and this year’s heir-apparent, with Young getting by Todd for the lead at lap 9 – before a tangle in the intersection with the #87 of Ryan Barber sent him into the pits for a quick repair. Jessica Gray in her #04 Integra finally caught up to, and passed, Stillwell’s Honda to take the lead for good, with just a handful of laps left. Meanwhile, Joselyn LaFleur battled all kinds of traffic in her Integra, including Matt Somerville’s #21 Prelude, and a surging Josh Young, who came back to nearly take 3rd away from her, before another tangle with traffic forced him out of the groove. Nicole Pollard and Bryant Carlson thus rounded out the top five. And so it ended with the next Champ in 2nd place again, this time behind the newest winner, Jessica Gray! So the Stingers get ANOTHER month off as the “Outlaw” Super-8 cars try doing a two-track double-header this coming weekend. Just a week after a rough and tumble Nationals. What could go wrong here? We shall see!
I hope you all have a great Seafair weekend, I will be on “MisterWizard”, of course. We don’t need no stinkin’ Blue Angels! Then in RENO for “Hot Summer Nights”!!! -BC
MID-SEASON LOSSES … AND WINS!
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
The end of June was, for many decades, the mid-season mark for racing at Evergreen Speedway. FEAR would distribute special awards and “first half” trophies at our big annual picnic, and the points would actually be reset for the last half. The season lasted more than 20 weeks in those early days, and it seemed like we raced every single Saturday night! I mention this fact each mid-season as a reminder of the good times, and tough times, we all shared as a club. Perhaps some of those good times will return for the figure-8 racers of Evergreen Speedway … someday.
This time of year in the future will also remind me of the tragic loss of longtime FEAR member Mike Wilkinson, and our Club Webmaster, Vern Foster. Vern printed our Rule and History books and kept the FEAR website updated each summer. We also worked on the track program together each winter, so we were in contact and would chat almost weekly throughout the year. I held off writing this 4th of July recap until I could talk to Vern’s daughter, Maria, who assured me that she was going to fill Vern’s big and very busy shoes at Foster Press, and continue our mission together. So rest in peace, my friend. Welcome and thank you to our new Webmaster, Maria Hicks!
Last Saturday’s oval show started with well-attended Memorial Laps for both Mike and Vern. Scott had such nice things to say about both gentlemen, and there were bagpipes and tasteful music in the background. Thank you to all the drivers who took part, and to Doug and Tracy for allowing the longer memorial tributes to take place.
After a month off, figure-8 racing was back at Evergreen Speedway – and it was on the 4th of July, the biggest crowd night of the season! 20 cars started the wild 30-lap Stinger-8 Main Event, with nearly half being rookies and double-duty Hornet cars. Rookie sensation Cody Hoops in the FEAR-sponsored #10x Acura Integra took the lead early after an intersection incident involving the #38 of John Hilburn at lap 5. Ten laps later, the season point leader Todd Stillwell in his quick #73 Honda Civic took the lead away from Cody, with the #89 of Nicole Pollard in hot pursuit. Lots of traffic made the intersection difficult to manage for most, but it was entering the North corner that proved to be the bane of Pollard, as she hooked into the #73 and ended her chance for victory. Meanwhile the #21 Acura of eventual winner Matt Somerville was having a spirited battle of his own with Hoops in the #10x, who assumed the lead one more time. Everything looked perfect for the second generation figure-8 driver as the laps counted down, until contact with Ken Moi’s #81 car – and a “uke” tire – at the entrance to the South corner, put the #10x on its roof, this after leading over half of what was only his second figure-8 race at Evergreen Speedway! The lap 27 restart had Somerville and fellow sophomore rookie star Bryant Carlson in his #25 Prelude trying to hold off the 2013 Champ (to be). Matt did, but Carlson slipped to 3rd, which is how they finished. Congrats to Matt Somerville for his first Stinger win – ever!
The 50-lap Super-8 Main was not quite as exciting, as only 12 cars took the green flag – the final one before next week’s 30th Anniversary FIGURE-8 NATIONALS! Mike Steltz in his #67 hotrod led the first half, until earning a black flag for dumping a lapped car, the #38 of John Hilburn, dropping him back a lap. The “one-armed bandit” Quinton Borreson, and “the Grizz” Doug Delfel each ran a few laps, as did four-time Champ John “the Cowboy” Carlson. The #33 of Nick Gunderson completed 2/3 of the race, making it up to 3rd place before pulling off the track. In fact, by lap 40, only six cars were still on the track! Super-8 point leader Ricky “the Kid” Deitz took the easy win over Seth Funden in his #40, and an emotional Steve Peters in his #30 “Battlewagon” … as Steltz battled Pat Clark in “Liberty” to the finish line. Steve Schoenfeldt in his #6 car beat the #01 of Doug Delfel in the new “stock” figure-8 division, which started eight cars for 15 laps. So that’s the start of our second half of the 2013 season. See you at the Nationals on Saturday! -BC
Now called: 88 Minutes of FEAR!
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
June 1, 2013
60-Minutes of FEAR was expanded to 88 minutes, in honor of Sean Peters, who raced on the 8, with the #8 – but it actually took LESS time to complete this year, than it did in 2012! I went back to last year’s recap of the “60-minute” race to remind myself that it was actually a 2-HOUR event, whereas this one took around an hour-forty. And this one was nearly 70 laps LONGER! The reason was 26 cars started last time, for some reason, and it simply took 30 to 40 minutes of crashing and cleanup to pare the field down to 20 or so. 19 cars started this one, and it was constant-8 action right from the start! Nick Gunderson re-set last week’s Super-8 track record to 16.338 in his #33 Gunderson Motorsports hotrod, but had to share the front row with nearly as fast “Slick” Don Eslick, the winner of BOTH big races last year. The second row was packed with power, as well, with current point leader, Ricky “the Kid” Deitz and the now 2-time Champ Jake Repin both chomping at the dream of winning the huge $3.000.00 first prize! Eslick took the early lead in his canary yellow #49, and lead Gunderson for ALMOST all of the first 100+ laps. Pat Clark in the #74 called “Liberty” made it to 3rd, before “the Kid” got by him in his #76. Getting by Gunderson for 2nd place around lap 18 was exciting for fans of “the Kid,” but Eslick was still flying around the track putting almost everyone down laps. John “the Cowboy” Carlson looked good early, but left the track at lap 17. Jake Repin tangled in the intersection with the much slower #0 of Jessica Wilkinson, and left the track around lap 30. Deitz left the track around lap 50, as a “Uke” tire parked in the South corner caused a rare restart. The craziest accident of the night happened at lap 76, when Pat Clark somehow ended up in, and on top of, the yellow safety barrels out towards the motocross track. By lap 100, the #7 of “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox, and fellow FEAR Hall of Fame member, Steve “Battlewagon” Peters in his #30, were battling for the podium, and the car count had leveled out at about a dozen. Lap 108 was the game changer for everybody, as the leader, Don Eslick, tangled with the #67 of Mike Steltz, and had to leave the track with what looked like a tire problem. He returned 8 laps later, was still fast, but appeared to finally puke around lap 180. During a caution for Carlson’s #50 at lap 130, Gunderson headed to the pits, still a couple of laps ahead, apparently for gas, and upon his return, restarted behind “Battlewagon” and the Coxman, which created some excitement for “Battlewagon” fans, but that got resolved at a later reset. So, pretty much for the last 100 laps, it was Nick Gunderson, Steve Peters and Steve Cox, followed by Seth Funden and Mike Steltz. Not our “longest” figure-8 race ever “time-wise,” but at 239 laps it surely was the longest “lap-wise.” An exciting race, with great weather, a good sized crowd, watching some great driving … and, contrary to online concerns - most of the guys didn’t need to stop for gas!
The big night started out with a 14-car, 30 lap Stinger A-main Event, starring last year’s Champ, Josh Young in a triumphant return, as he battled this year’s Champ apparent, Todd Stillwell. The first dozen laps were lead by the #07 of Zach Bristol, before the #2 Toyota of Gary Rardon took over. Bryant Carlson clipped the leader with his #25 Honda, giving the lead to the fast #89 of Nicole Pollard at lap 22, which she held for 5 laps, before ending up 3rd. Meanwhile Stillwell and his #73 Civic made it to the front at lap 27, with Young in his always fast #22 MR-2 Toyota, taking it away 2 laps later. Welcome back and congrats to last year’s returning Champ, Josh Young. And how about that point lead Stillwell already has after just 6 weeks! So we have a whole month off, but lots of things are happening at the track, so we will see you then, or on the 4th of July, when the second half of our season gets under way! -BC
SEAN PETERS MEMORIAL WEEKEND
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
May 26, 2013
Scripted like a Hollywood movie, a good sized crowd came to our track this past weekend, to honor the young life of Sean Peters, which was lost way too soon in a late night auto accident this past winter. With dark clouds looming, a huge memorial lap with nearly a dozen “camo” and V-8 decorated racecars and trucks started the evening, followed by another great speech by his father, Steve. Lots of figure-8 racing took place, as Sean would appreciate, with the V-8 extremes joining the Stingers and both Super-8 divisions on the 8 track, for week #5, along with a truck demo derby, a perfectly timed rainbow…and fireworks to end the night!
Racing conditions were ideal early in the day, with Nick Gunderson in his #33 Super-8 car setting a new track record of 16.365! After that, it was all about Sean. The first Stinger heat race was won by rookie Cole Ograin, a friend of Sean, and driving Steve Peters’ #30. The fast heat was then won by friend and former classmate, Joslyn “Jawz” LaFleur in her #06 Integra. Then Steve Peters took the Super-8 heat race in his #30 Chevy!
The Stinger-8 Main event started on a scary note, as “Jawz” was taken from her car in front of the grandstands, and carefully put into the ambulance. It’s now Tuesday morning, and after checking with both Joslyn and her Dad, Dan, I can report that … she still isn’t sure what might be wrong! Exhaustion, stress, dehydration or carbon monoxide are all possibilities. But she feels fine today, and plans on racing this weekend! So back to our theme, as Sean and Steve’s good friend, Lance Ograin jumped into LaFleur’s #06, and started in the back row of the 30-lap Main Event. Brother Cole Ograin started out front, and lead the first 8 laps in the #30 “Battlewagon” Prelude. The next 5 or 6 were lead by the fast #89 Acura of Nicole Pollard, until forced off the track by the #77. By then, former Stinger Champ, Lance Ograin, had made his way through the 15-car field, lead the entire second half of the race in LaFleur’s #06, and took the win! Point leader Todd Stillwell followed Lance in his #73 Civic for 2nd place, while 3rd was won by young Bryant Carlson in his #25 Prelude.
The first separate “stock” or “classic”-8 Main of the year took place, with 9 cars going for 25 laps. A unique mix of slower, heavier stock-bodied cars, mixed with slower, heavier super-8 looking cars. Former “rookie of the year” (and 30-year vet) Bruce Wilson brought out his black #95, and lead a couple of early laps, before Steve Schoenfeldt flew by in his #6 car. Tom Gapp took the lead around lap 17, in David Brandenburg’s #17, then tangled in the intersection with his rookie nephew, Brandon Lovely in the #96 Dart, a couple of laps later. The restart had Schoenfeldt battling good friend Doug “the Grizz” Delfel for the lead, with Wilson in 3rd. Delfel slipped his old #01 Buick by the #6 in the North corner at lap 21, but got bumped into a spin-out there 4 laps later. Steve waited for “the Grizz” to gather up the #01, and followed him to the finish line. Classy and smart, that move! Grizz also won the V-8 Extreme Main Event!
Having been nice all evening, weather-wise, it started to rain - just as the 50-lap Super-8 Main got underway. And then a perfect rainbow formed over the track! Now, I’m not a “church-going” guy, but in the 40+ years I have hung out at Evergreen, I have never quite seen such a perfect, natural homage to a fallen fellow driver. That Sean was present in our hearts on this Memorial Day, goes without saying. That he might be somehow able to bring the rain, just when his Dad could use it, followed by the rare and spectacular ‘bow … was kinda spooky. So, 11 cars take the newly wet green flag. Steve Peters takes the lead from Mike Steltz around lap 5 … and checks out. Former Champ and well known “Cowboy”, John Carlson hung with Peters in the rain, until getting passed by “Slick” Don Eslick #49 around lap 8. Carlson spins out around lap 14, turning over 3rd to Nick Gunderson’s #33 rocket. From the back row, Doug Delfel and his P.O.S. Buick, get to 4th, then 3rd after Gunderson slips in the snot, falling back to finish 4th, with Ricky “the Kid” Deitz rounding out the top 5. It was an emotional “clean-sweep” win for Steve and Ann-Marie Peters, and for all of Sean’s family, friends and fellow racers who were there. It was a night he would have truly enjoyed - and a night that could not have happened without the help of Doug, Traci and Derek Hobbs, and all of the great folks who work at our favorite track. Next up is the “88 Minutes-of-FEAR!” with EXTRA LAPS, TIME and MONEY!!!
And finally on another somber note, another former FEAR member died recently - Olaf Woody, R.I.P.
Thanks for reading, thanks for your support of FEAR, and I will see you at the track! BC
WEEK #3 AND #4!
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
May 4 & 11, 2013
Military Appreciation Night at Evergreen Speedway, and week three for the figure-8 racers, seemed a lot like week one, except … no fights! Car and fan counts were both back up, a result of the perfect warm weather, lots of advertising and, well, Hornets. The Stingers started 14 cars in their 30-lap Main event, with Joslyn “Jawz” LaFleur in her #06 Acura jumping into the lead from the front row, due to mechanical problems during the time-ins. Second place was again Todd Stillwell in his #73 Civic, who easily retained the point lead after passing almost everybody – because he started in the back, where he should have! The #38 Hornet, driven by John Hilburn, came in third. Finishing fourth was Nicole Pollard, who also earned fast time for the night, in her #89 Integra. Rounding out the top five was Puyallup Spring Fair winner, Matt Somerville. The two heat races were won by LaFleur taking the slow one, and Bryant Carlson winning the fast heat, and now sporting cool mini-sideboards!
Week #3 for the Stock/Super-8 Main started 10 Supers and two “Stocks” for the big 50-lap race. This week it was Seth Funden who “kinda’ ran away with it,” with John Carlson, Ricky Deitz, Pat Clark and Lance Ograin, in Jake Repin’s #45 championship car, all fighting to keep up. Deitz put on a good show in the #76 car, dumping several slower cars on his way to a black flag – that came out several times between lap 25 and 30. Great to see “the Cowboy” John Carlson running fast again! John ended up in 2nd place, followed by Lance and Pat. Rounding out the top five was fast-time winner Nick Gunderson in his #33. Ricky did win the fast heat race, and Mike Steltz, in his cool looking #67 … won the slow one!
Foss Towing night, May 11th, marked the fourth night of racing in 2013 for the figure-8 guys and gals. The weather was again spectacular, and an OK crowd showed up, even on a Mother’s Day weekend. Car counts for both of our divisions, however, were surprisingly down. Six Stinger-8 racers, and one Hornet started the 30-lap A main – and the Hornet car won it! Zach Bristol jumped into the lead in his #07 Ford, and no one ever got close to catching him on the apparently slippery track. Hammering her way into 2nd place was the #04 Acura of Jessica Gray, with rookie sensation Matt Somerville taking 3rd, with a flat left rear tire! Last week’s winner, “Jawz” LaFleur blew up both her #06 Acura in the heat race, and later her back-up Civic, but still ended up in 4th. The point leader and heat race winner, Todd Stillwell, left the track with what looked like a flat tire, finally returning many laps down, to take 6th, behind fast-timer Nicole Pollard’s #89 Integra.
The Super-8 50-lapper started nine cars, lost two almost immediately as “the Cowboy” John Carlson and Heat race winner, Pat Clark, in “Liberty” both tangled with last week’s winner, Seth Funden, in his ill-handling #40. A couple more cars, the #01 of “the Grizz” Doug Delfel, and Richard Shanebrook’s #98, left before the half-way mark, as early leader, Ricky “the Kid” Dietz in his fast #76 started lapping the field. Ricky took the lead at lap 6 from Lance Ograin in the #45 Casino-car, and never looked back. If he had, he would have seen Mike Steltz, in the extra-wide, new #67 holding off fast-timer Nick Gunderson in his #33, for what seemed like 40 laps! Gunderson’s long battle allowed Ograin to catch back up, and with just a couple of laps to go, Lance went to beating on the stubborn Steltz, finally climbing up and over the rear wheels of the #67! It was an exciting finish, but probably did some expensive damage. 5th place went to last week’s winner, Seth Funden, and Lance was 4th. But it was Mike Steltz, Nick Gunderson and the now two-time winner, Ricky Dietz on the podium for trophies.
It looks like we have a couple of weeks off before the Sean Peters Memorial Night races, scheduled for May 26th. And the “88 Minutes of FEAR” is the following week, on June 1st. The season is now in full swing, so if you are finishing up a car for EITHER class, please HURRY, we NEED YOU!
I want to mention again 2013 FEAR memberships. Have your info & pictures posted and sponsors listed here on our exclusive figure-8 website, for only $25. All new members get FEAR stickers for your car, plus a FEAR patch for your driving suit. Just give me a call at: 425-747-4736.
Thanks for reading, thanks for racing … and I will see you at the track! - BC
“JAWS” AND “THE KID” WIN WEEK TWO!
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
April 13, 2013
It was Fan Appreciation Night at Evergreen Speedway and week two for the figure-8 racers – but it was weirdly the opposite of week one. Car and fan count were both down, a result of the cold wet weather, and no fights! The Stingers started just 11 cars in their 25-lap Main event, which had an interesting stat – every lap was led by a female, for the first time ever. The first four laps were led by the #44 of Melissa Repin, lap 5 by sophomore superstar Nicole Pollard in her #89, and the last 19 by Joslyn “Jaws” LaFleur in her #06 Acura Integra. In second place was Todd Stillwell in his #73 Civic, who retains the point lead after his win last week, followed by Pollard in third. Finishing fourth was young Bryant Carlson, the son of former Super-8 Champ John “Cowboy” Carlson. Bryant got fast time in his #25 Honda, and was even faster than some of the Super-8’s on the slimy track! The two heat races were also won by gals, both in Acuras, with Nicole taking the slow one and Jessica Gray in her #04 winning the fast heat.
The Stock/Super-8 Main was also a little weird, with just four Supers and two Stocks starting the 30-lap race. Ricky “the Kid” Dietz kinda’ ran away with this one, with Mike Steltz, Steve Peters, and Lance Ograin making his debut in Jake Repin’s #45 car all pretty far behind. Lance put on a good show in the defending Championship car, and won the heat race! The weirdest part of the Main was when Doug “Grizz” Delfel in his #01 and Chuck Widdis in the #58, the only two “stock” class figure-8 cars, tangled in the intersection just past the halfway point, causing both to leave the track. With over 50 years of combined experience between the two, it shows how tricky figure-8 racing can be!
The figure-8’s now have a couple of weeks off at Evergreen, but Stinger drivers will be getting $100 apiece just to show up and support the show at the Puyallup Spring Fair this Sunday, the 21st. With $300 to win, plus a cool trophy and lots of new fans, the Spring Fair is exciting and fun, too! Extreme V-8’s will be racing there Saturday night, also for $100 minimum each, “Mr. Dizzy” Mike Buse is doing stunts, plus fireworks and a demo derby. Get there early for the parade of race cars through the fairgrounds! The Spring Fair Stinger-8 race a few years ago was the last race I ever won, and is a ton of fun to be a part of.
Finally, I want to mention 2013 FEAR memberships. If you want your pictures posted and sponsors listed here on the website, it only costs $25. All new members get FEAR stickers for your car, plus a FEAR patch for your driving suit. Just give me a call at 425-747-4736. Our newest member is Cody Hoopes who bought my Integra, painted it blue and put the #10 on it. The son of Troy Hoopes who used to race with us, we welcome Cody as another second generation member! See you in Puyallup! -BC
NEW SEASON STARTS OUT … WITH A BANG!
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
March 30, 2013
Great weather, a good sized crowd and a solid car count made for an exciting opening “Scout Night” at Evergreen Speedway this past Saturday. The Stinger-8 division started 16 cars, the Super 8’s and new stock-8 class combined to start 13, sort of. There were more V-8 Xtreme cars, 16 I believe, and several new Hornets this season, that all put on great shows. And to cap it off, we had boat racing, Demo Derby, a mini-riot… and fireworks! A what, you ask? Read on.
It’s a sunny Easter Sunday, and my bike isn’t going to ride itself. But I wanted to share my thoughts about last night’s two main Figure-8 races, before my memory fades due to my advancing age, lack of track stats or ‘My-laps’ info. But first, I want to thank Doug, Derek and Traci Hobbs, and all of the great folks working so hard at Highroad Promotions, for all they continue to do at our track! The place looked great, the show ran pretty well, and they finally got the food concession, thankfully! Some “dead air”, missing driver info … and lots of scoreboard problems were the only flaws that I noticed.
Sadly, the second of three tribute events for Sean Peters started the evening, with a cool double-track memorial lap to honor not only Sean, but pace car driver Linda Jackson … and two others. I could not hear who exactly, but it was a nice touch. I loved racing with Sean; he was so talented and raced everyone cleanly. I was proud to have announced, with Derek Hobbs, at his last big race, an Enduro - which he DOMINATED! His next big tribute night is coming up late in May, and check out the new track Program (coming soon) for the new Sean Peters Memorial family section.
The 25 lap Stinger-8 Main was 16 cars strong, as it has been the last few years on opening night, due to the handful of Hornet drivers who joined the mayhem. And one, Zach Bristol, actually nearly won, but was knocked out of the way on the last corner by eventual winner Todd Stillwell, in his Civic. Coming thru the mess of spinning cars for 2nd place was “Rookie of the Year” candidate Matt Somerville, followed by (now senior) driver Jessica Gray, both in Acuras. Welcome back and congrats to big Todd.
Kinda weird not being out there after all of these years, but fun rooting for my last car, now painted blue!
The 50 lap Super-8 Main Event, had an advertised and very generous $1000 to win prize on the line, yet could only muster 12½ cars to start … Including a few of the new “stock” class cars. Seth Funden had overall fast time, but ran into the back wall at lap 16. Mike Steltz brought out his new car which looked good and seemed fast. Steltz tore up his front end in the heat race, but fixed it in time to end up in 4th place, behind “the Grizz” Doug Delfel in his trusty old #01 Buick. The battle for the dough was clearly going to be between the #08 of Greg Scott and the #33 of Nick Gunderson. Greg took over the lead on lap 5 after starting near the front, and was soon lapping the field. Delfel hung on to the runner up spot until Gunderson, who started near the back, slipped by around lap 20. Patiently stalking the leader for the next 30 laps, as the slower cars struggled to stay in, and out of their way, Gunderson’s hot-rod seemed quicker, Scott’s seemed a lot WIDER, but both raced just as cleanly as they could. On the very last corner they hooked bumpers. No one lost control, or lost a position, but that was how they crossed the finish line, with Greg first for the THOUSAND dollar first prize, followed by Nick in 2nd, who then came to a stop just north of the Intersection. A few seconds later, Greg drove up … and over the left rear tire of the #33, for some reason. That kinda cleared “the benches” as both crews ran towards the start finish line, stopping about 70’ short for a silly “dust-up” of their own. Just like the big-time racing on TV! Safely in the grandstands, I marveled at the quick responses by the two crews, and the responding track officials. Sadly, the top three drivers did not get to celebrate with their friends, families, crews, and the fans. Sorry, Grizz, you were awesome! Fines, “shutdowns” and of course, hurt feelings, will again affect the car count for the upcoming season in this exciting premier division. The many fans of Figure-8 racing I was sitting with, several who were new to the track, didn’t seem impressed by the fracas. None of the young Scouts sitting in front of me were, either. Entertained? Well sure! See you in two weeks for more Figure-8 action, or this weekend for the Mark Galloway Memorial races! -BC
2013 RACING SEASON IS HERE!
By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
With the holidays, Dakar, Barrett-Jackson and Daytona testing behind us, it is finally time to look forward to a great new season of racing at Evergreen Speedway!
Some 44 cars showed up for the 12th (?) annual Snowball Enduro, and the Racers’ Swap Meet recently took place for the second time at Evergreen. And for the third January in a row, Figure-8 and NASCAR racers and their friends, families and sponsors gathered to celebrate the previous season’s Champions at the NASCAR Awards Banquet. Traditionally squeezed in amid Halloween, the FEAR banquet, WARPA, and Thanksgiving, it’s now a more relaxed affair, thanks to the hard work of our promoters Doug, Traci and Derek Hobbs. A few years back, the ticket cost had climbed to twice what was charged this year; there was a fancy catered dinner and entertainment, with evening gowns and tuxedos everywhere. By contrast, the FEAR Banquet for over 40 years was always a more casual affair, with a buffet dinner, some attendees in jeans and a lot of t-shirts, a LONG "happy hour" and, of course, nice trophies. The combined banquet now feels more like a “blended” event, with the best of the fancy NASCAR banquet, mixed with the simpler, more affordable fun of the last four decades of FEAR’s big night, including many of the figure-8 guys still in jeans and sneakers for some reason! The new track food sponsor, Buzz-Inn Steakhouse provided a great prime rib and chicken buffet dinner, and Scott Ellsworth flew back from vacation in Arizona to emcee the event along with “Mr. Dizzy” Mike Buse. Mike introduced his upcoming TV show, plus provided some great stunt videos and witty “color” commentary. Some computer glitches with the videos were the only flaw in an otherwise perfect evening. I was sitting dead center at the Street Stock Champion’s table and enjoyed finally meeting Frank Cowgill and his lovely wife. Also with us was Darrell Lutovsky, driver of the #53 street stock, longtime track supporters John and Billie O’Mack, and new track photographer Jeff Harris.
The evening began with Doug Hobbs telling the audience about upcoming events, improvements in track food, scheduling, and an exciting new figure-8 class! Honored for some 20 years of service to Evergreen was retiring pit boss De Ann Argle, and later in the evening, Mr. Don Perry was inducted into the Evergreen Speedway Hall of Fame. Don was truly a pioneer, working as the flagman in the early days of racing at Evergreen. I look forward to writing up his interview that will soon be posted on the EvergreenSpeedway.com website. Super-8 driver Ricky Dietz was honored for his awesome display of racing prowess this past season, as was former Stinger-8 driver, “Crashin” Kenny Bates, who received the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award. FEAR supporter Vern Foster honored the Foster Press Mini-Stock drivers, and the nice folks at Central Welding, Longacres, and Rick Hagar’s RPM Motorsports all donated great prizes. Everyone who attended also received a cool Angel of the Winds Casino folding umbrella, a program and Evergreen Speedway license plate frames.
Congratulations to all the 2013 Evergreen Speedway Champions. I look forward to soon interviewing the several first-time Champs, and to insert their profiles in the 2013 track program, including the youngest Champion ever, 15-year-old Hornet Champ Chad Fitzpatrick. Chad and new Stinger Champ Josh Young, Mini-Stock Champ Jon Roberts and Street Stock Champ Frank Cowgill will join two-time Super Figure-8 Champion Jake Repin and four-time Super Late Model Champion Naima Lang in the new 2013 “heritage-themed” program that I’ll be working to create with new track steward, Chris Cunningham in the next couple of months. Look for it when the official 59th racing season starts March 30th. It should prove to be a great new season, with better food, even more cool cars and drivers, continued great management, and perhaps no “Wizard” racing the goofy #99 for the first time in 40 years! See you at the track! -BC
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David C. Ryder