Tom Rayton of Centralia made a late charge to capture the main event as the Rolling Thunder Big Rigs made their annual appearance at Grays Harbor Raceway on Aug. 19.
All three main events featured exciting finishes. Don Briggs Jr. of Woodland and Tumwater driver Nathan Foster prevailed in the Street Stocks and Outlaw Tuners classifications, respectively, as a large crowd witnessed the proceedings.
Fourth for much of the race, Rayton made his move at the right time.
As Josh Sanaski of Napavine set the pace, Rayton first maneuvered to the high side of the banked clay oval. He eventually got past runner-up Tammy Rodstrom of Puyallup and third-place Dustin Smith of Renton, then set his sights on Sanaski.
Rayton took the inside groove out of turn two to set up a drag race down the backstretch with Sanaski. The Centralia driver won the duel and Smith also passed Sanaski to finish second.
Ocean Shores driver Jeff Daniel led for the first half of the 20-lap main event. But as the green flag flew following an 11th-lap restart, Daniel slowed with a broken transmission.
That gave the lead to Briggs. A handful of restarts gave pursuers Jason Tole of Hoquiam and Shane Kerrigan of Aberdeen a chance to catch the Woodland driver.
Tole tried to pass on the inside during the final lap, but Briggs withstood the challenge in another final-lap duel. Kerrigan placed third.
Foster exchanged leads with two Aberdeen drivers, Cory Sweatman and Tyler Sundstrom, over the balance of the 15-lap main.
Nearly side-by-side on the third turn of the white-flag lap, Foster’s and Sundstrom’s cars bumped coming off turn four. Foster then made a final pass for the lead and went on to his first career Outlaw Tuners win.
Sundstrom and Josh Wharton of Tenino (who had swiped the backstretch wall earlier in the race) rounded out the top three.
Wharton had earlier taken the makeup of the Grays Harbor Fair Race postponed by rain.
The PHRA Dwarf Cars will make their final GHR appearance on Saturday with their annual Pocket Change race. Racing is also planned in the Sprint Cars, Modifieds and Outlaw Tuners classes.
The gates open at 5:30 p.m., with racing scheduled for 7.
Heat One — Josh Sanaski. Heat Two — Mike Gibbons. Main Event — Tom Rayton, Dustin Smith, Sanaski, Scott Zahn, Dave Barr.
Heat One — Shane Kerrigan, Craig Loomis, Jack Parshall. Heat Two — Jason Tole, Don Briggs Jr., Arnie Case.
Main Event — Briggs, Tole, Kerrigan, Parshall, Loomis.
Fair Race Makeup — Josh Wharton, Devon Harper, Ryan Zaragoza, Trevor Dugent, R.J. Vacknitz.
Heat One — Tyler Sundstrom, Zaragoza, Cory Sweatman. Heat Two — Wharton, Dale Speas, Nathan Foster.
Main Event — Foster, Sundstrom, Wharton, Speas, Harper.