Saturday afternoon saw the 3/8 banked clay oval of Grays Harbor Raceway roar to life during the Grays Harbor County Fair as the Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks had their biggest race of the year, the 50 lap Iron Man Race featuring the Road to the Iron Giant Street Stocks Series.
This special event was also in memory of Jeff Daniel, a fellow competitor and friend to many in the Street Stocks division.
Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks
The 50 lap Iron Man feature event saw Cory Sweatman of Aberdeen take the early lead. It didn’t take long for Kelly McDonald of Cottage Grove, Ore. to work his way to the front.
The first caution of the feature saw Shelton’s Jared Stevens come to a stop in turn one. On the restart, McDonald took the lead, Sweatman and Cornelius, Oregon’s Joey Tardio made contact on the front stretch. Both drivers continued on with Tardio moving into second.
Sweatman had tough company as Mollala, Ore. driver Jeff Marson and a pair of Hoquiam drivers, Jack Parshall and Jason Tole, were looking to take over third.
Marson moved into third, looking to chase down McDonald and Tardio.
Chris West of Woodland worked his way into the top five, looking to get around Marson for third on a long green-flag run.
McDonald had tough company late in the race as Austin Kerrigan of Aberdeen worked his way into second, and set his sights for the lead. McDonald saw mechanical issues giving up the lead to Kerrigan. Justin Evans of Lebanon, Ore. moved into the second spot, looking to take the top spot.
The battle for third between West and Montesano’s Scott Fritts was one of many battles to watch. Fritts looked to the low side, but couldn’t make the pass.
Lap 40 saw Kerrigan go to the pit area to change a tire, giving up the lead to Evans.
On the final restart, Evans led the field to the green flag, with West and Sean Cronk of Portland, Ore. in the top three. Kerrigan worked his way back through the field and quickly caught up with Evans.
Kerrigan took the lead from Evans with just a few laps left and picked up the feature win. Evans, West, Cronk and Fritts rounded out the top five.
Heat race winners were Portland, Ore’s Brian Cronk, Jeff Marson, Kerrigan and Parshall. Kerrigan won the dash and Mollala, Ore. driver Keith Marson won the B-Main.
Shipwreck Beads Modifieds
Scott Miller of Shelton took the early lead in the 25 lap Modified feature event. Seabeck’s Kyler Moore ran second and Shelton driver Dan West Jr. was third.
The battle for the fourth position saw BJ Wild of Redmond, Ore., Olympia driver Tyson Blood and Brenton Schnitzer of Shelton battle for position. Wild maintained the position. Blood looked to the outside a handful of times as both Wild and Blood joined in on the battle between Moore and West Jr. for second.
Miller continued to lead but had no room for mistake as the race way became tricky with the new track surface recently added.
On a restart midway through the feature, Tom Sweatman of Cosmopolis worked his way into the top five.
Miller pulled away slightly from Moore as West Jr. looked to make a move for second.
Sweatman, running the low side of the track, worked his way into second after a handful of laps and stayed close with Miller.
Contact with a tire on the inside of the track saw Miller’s night end early, giving up the lead to Sweatman.
A late-race restart allowed West Jr. to move into second. West Jr. looked to the low side a handful of times for the lead.
On the white flag lap, Sweatman and West Jr. raced side-by-side down the back stretch and it was West Jr. who made the move in turn four to take the lead and pick up the win. Sweatman, Moore, BJ Wild, and Blood rounded out the top five.
Heat race winners were Blood and West Jr.
Woodland’s Don Briggs Jr. took the early lead in the Outlaw Tuner feature, racing side-by-side into turn one with Tyler Sundstrom of Hoquiam.
The yellow flag quickly flew for Cory Sweatman of Aberdeen as he stopped in turn one. Briggs Jr. ran the high side early as Olympia’s Nathan Foster moved into second.
Raymond driver Maynard Barnum looked to the low side to take the second spot from Foster, but couldn’t make the pass.
Foster saw trouble going into turn one, almost making contact with the wall, losing many positions.
On a mid-race restart, Barnum took the lead from Briggs Jr., as the third position saw multiple cars battle. Contact between Josh Walker of Centralia and Zachary Stallsmith of Olympia saw Stallsmith spin into the front stretch wall, ending the night early for both drivers.
Barnum continued to lead on the restart. Briggs Jr. stayed within striking distance as Timmy Phillips of Spanaway moved into third. Briggs Jr. looked to the low side in turn two and took the lead on lap 12.
Briggs Jr. went on to pick up the win over Barnum, Sundstrom, Phillips and Foster.
Heat race winners were Sweatman and Foster.
Racing will resume Friday and Saturday night as Friday will see the Dwarf Cars and ISCS Limited Sprint Cars as it’s the final two nights of Speedweek for both divisions. Friday night will also see the Outlaw Tuners.
Saturday night, will see the finale for the Dwarf Cars and the ISCS Limited Sprint Cars Speedweek. The yearly appearance of the Rolling Thunder Big Rigs is also scheduled for Saturday.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and racing is scheduled to begin at 7 for both nights.
For ticket prices and more information, visit graysharborraceway.com.