The final night of the 20th Annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals and PHRA Dwarf Car Challenge saw a great field in both divisions on Saturday.
Shipwreck Beads Modifieds
Battle Ground driver Nick Bessette and Zack Simpson of Hoquiam set the front row of the 40 lap Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals feature event.
Bessette took the early lead. Simpson ran in the second spot, with Klamath Falls, Oregon driver Nick Trenchard in third. Vancouver’s Robert Jenner raced hard for the fourth position with Brad Martin of St. Helens, Oregon.
Race of Champions winner Collen Winebarger of Corbett, Oregon worked his way around Martin and set his sights on Jenner for the fourth position.
Bessette continued to lead as Trenchard looked low in turn one for second. Bessette used the low side of the 3/8 banked clay oval to his advantage, keeping Trenchard behind him. Trenchard looked to the high side and gained momentum in turn one.
The battle for third between Winebarger and Simpson was the race to watch as Winebarger raced side-by-side down the backstretch, taking third and looking for Bessette and Trenchard. Winebarger raced side-by-side with Trenchard down the backstretch, looking to work his way into second but couldn’t make the pass.
Bessette, Trenchard and Winebarger were bumper-to-bumper for a handful of laps. Bessette saw a pass from Trenchard down the backstretch on lap 13 to take the lead. Winebarger saw an advantage to move into second out of turn four.
Two of the top drivers of the weekend were set to duel it out for the remaining laps as Trenchard saw lap traffic up ahead. Trenchard ran the high side, Winebarger low in turn one and two as Winebarger saw his chance with a pass on the low side. Trenchard seemed to have a slight mechanical issue, but continued on, looking to catch up with Winebarger. Lap traffic became heavy for Winebarger as he timed his passes just right, putting some distance between himself and Trenchard. Winebarger continued to work his way through the traffic and went on to pick up a caution-free main event and his first Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals. Trenchard, Bessette, Jenner, and Simpson rounded out the top five.
Earlier in the evening Vancouver’s Matt Jenner won the C-Main and Salem, Oregon driver John Campos won the B-Main.
PHRA Dwarf Cars
Twenty cars set the field in the 25 lap PHRA Dwarf Car feature event.
Casey Warren of Yamhill, Oregon took the early lead, but the caution flag flew for Chris Kress of Roseburg, Oregon slowing to a stop in turn three.
On the restart, Warren took the lead. Happy Valley, Oregon driver Leo Ward moved into second momentarily. John Chrisman of Hillsboro, Oregon went from first to third in one corner taking over the lead from Warren.
The battle for second was one of the many races to watch as Cody Peters of Eagle Point, Oregon and Ward battled for position.
Chrisman continued to lead, slowly pulling away from the field.
Friday night’s winner, Josh King, saw problems in turn one bringing out the caution on lap 3.
Chrisman, Ward, and Peters continued to run the top three positions as Portland, Oregon’s Ryan Martinez moved into fourth from the back of the field.
A late-race caution for Ryen Haney of Elma gave Ward and Peters a shot at the lead. Peters moved into the second spot and raced three-wide with Chrisman and Ward for the lead, but was shuffled back to sixth as Martinez and Mollala, Oregon’s Henry Corbin III joined in on the battle.
Martinez worked his way past Ward for second and looked to track down Chrisman for the lead. Martinez continued to gain on Chrisman and looked to the low side in turn four, taking the lead. Chrisman looked to try and make a pass back, but Martinez continued to lead.
Martinez picked up the win over Chrisman, Justin DeMars of Sandy, Oregon, Ward, and Tigard, Oregon’s Shane Youngren.
Brock Peter of Eagle Point, Oregon, Chrisman and Youngren were heat race winners earlier in the evening.
Action will resume at Grays Harbor Raceway this Saturday and Sunday as Monster Slam 19 featuring Monster Trucks will be in action on the 3/8 banked clay oval. Monster truck rides cost $10 and a free meet and great pit party with admission.
The pit party starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday with monster truck action at 7.
On Sunday, the pit party begins at 1 p.m. with the show scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.graysharborraceway.com.