THE 2016 SEASON IS UNDERWAY!
By Ben Chandler
Opening night for this new season was April 2nd, and a HUGE crowd was there celebrating both the best racing, and the best NFL football team in the great Northwest! The weather was perfect, and the “Super-stock” figure-8 cars put on a pretty good show, with a dozen cars taking the green flag for their 30-lap main event. Tommy Gapp quickly worked his way to the front with his still new #32 car, followed by Steve Peters and defending Champ, Quenton Borreson in hot pursuit. Gapp runs that number, by the way, in honor of his grandfather, Gene Lovely, who I raced against some 40 years ago! Peters followed Gapp to the 20 lap mark, before forcefully taking over the lead, leaving Tommy stuck in the south corner with a clutch problem. It was Peters in the “Battlewagon” holding off “the One-armed Bandit” to the checkers! Borreson also set fast-time in David Brandenburg’s #17 for the night, and won his heat race, too… But wait, Peters forgot to “go to tech” after the event, and was actually DQ’d! I understand it was a colorful display of sportsmanship, missed by me, as Peters turned over the winner’s trophy to the #17 team. In pieces?
So, congrats to Quenton Borreson for his first big win (a clean-sweep!) of the new season, followed by Devin Jenkins and James Conley, both in good looking new cars. And congrats to “the Grizz” Doug Delfel for winning his heat race! The former Champ struggled in the main event, but should be ready for the big “90 Minutes tof FEAR” event, scheduled for April 30th. All 3 Figure-8 divisions will take part that night, and 30 minutes per division is currently the plan, the last I heard.
Speaking of the other 2 divisions, both started off their respective new seasons on week #2, which was “Scout Night”. Nice weather again blessed us as the Stinger-8 and “Outlaw” divisions were joined by Drifting, Pro-four trucks and Hornets. Plenty of 2nd and 3rd generation (former FEAR) racers were present for trophy presentations, as usual. Defending champ Doug Wilkinson (son of Mike) ended up running 2nd in the truck race, and last year’s “rookie sensation” Dawson Cox (son of Steve and grandson of Warren) took his very first win in the Hornet division. Cox was chased to the line by (Mark’s baby boy) Toby Jenkins, driving Dawson’s old #7 Prelude, which was, I might add, lettered “for sale”!
11 cars took the green for the 30-lap Stinger-8 Main event. Nicole Pollard quickly took her #89 Integra to the front, and held off (Troy’s boy) Cody Hoopes, in the late arriving 10x Prelude. 3rd went to the gorgeous new #21 Integra, driven by Matt Somerville, who easily had “fast-time” for the night, with 4th place going to Tyler Draper in his #13 car. The race was just 5 laps old when Mikaela Pedersen drilled Ryan Barber in the intersection. I believe they too are both second generation drivers! As is Jerry’s boy, Seth Funden, who chased Chris Curtis to the finish of the 4-car, 25-lap “Outlaw” main event. Yes, 4 cars...
Next up, again...it’s the big “90 Minutes-of-FEAR” for all 3 divisions, on April 30th!
And finally, we recently lost another racing family member. “My Boy” LeRoy Jensen passed away on April 4th. He raced with us 25 plus years ago, but remained a fan forever. He came to a couple of our reunions, and sat in the stands a few times each year. Happy to be recognized, and always with that big smile. You will be missed, LeRoy. So, welcome to 2016 everybody, I hope to see you at the track! -BC