For the first time in a decade of racing, the Northwest Modified Nationals got its first repeat champion.
Nick Trenchard, the 2014 champion who erased a bad modified nationals memory from one year earlier with a dominating performance, worked his way through the field to claim Saturday’s Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals title at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.
Trenchard, a Klamath Falls, Ore. native, didn’t have the most laps led in the 40-lap championship final like he did in 2013 before he ran out of gas. He didn’t lead from the beginning in one of the fastest modified national finals history in 2014. All he did was patiently work the field and lead in the final seven laps.
Red Bluff’s Josh King, however, did go start-to-field-to-finish to pick up a sizeable check for winning the PHRA dwarf car A-main feature earlier in the night. He swept both night’s A-main features and he collected the Saturday Scramble as well.
Attrition played a part in Trenchard’s path to the winner’s circle on Saturday,. Starting 11th overall, Trenchard patiently watched the field knock each other out in front of him Jesse Williamson, of Coburg, Ore., had the best of luck in the championship final, staying in the top three through all of the carnage. He held the lead through most of the yellow flags — the largest spinout/crash came in lap 14 — before Trenchard moved into the top three with eight laps left.
From there, Trenchard made his move for the lead. A late spinout brought out the green-white-checkered finish and Trenchard held off a charge from Mark Carrell and Brad Martin for the victory.
Aberdeen’s Austin Kerrigan won the C-main event on Saturday, while Medford’s Brian Poppa claimed the B-main event.
On Friday,, Corbett, Ore.’s Collen Winebarger took the win in the 25-lap Race of Champions. Trenchard nearly swept the weekend, challenging Winebarger for the final three laps of the race.
Trenchard tried an inside slide in turn three and got right beside Winebarger for a drag race to the checkered flag — Winebarger picked up the wafer-thin win by .026 seconds.
King didn’t mess around on Saturday, taking the field to the green flag to start and took off.
Leading throughout, King and the field were bunched up a few times with yellow caution flags, allowing Brock Peters to take the lead from King on a lap-11 restart. King moved back into third, while Peters and Corey Estaban fought each other for the lead.
Then, on lap 15, King took second back from Estaban and reeled in Peters, retaking the lead for good on lap 19. A turn-four pass sealed the deal. One late caution flag allowed Estaban for one final shot at King, but he missed. King used the momentum from the high groove for the win.
On Saturday, Aug. 6, racing at Grays Harbor Raceway returns with the 360 sprints, focus midgets, street stocks and tuners running. Doors open at 5 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.