Starting ninth in the completely inverted field, Tri_State points leader Randy Hvall of Grants Pass, Oregon took the lead away from Rick Spencer of Eugene, Oregon on lap 45 and drove the remaining 15 rounds to capture the "Robinson Rancheria Bingo & Casino Tri_State Challenge" at the Lakeport Speedway Saturday night. Hvall also won the six_lap dash and collected the $1500 prize and the three_foot tall trophy from representatives of Robinson Rancheria Bingo & Casino.
The Tri_State series clocked in 11 cars with Mike Sackett of Myrtle Point, Oregon breaking his own track record of 12.148 set one year ago, with a new track record of 12.120. Local late model driver Mike Doss of Upper Lake was second fastest with 12.312, Hvall clocked in 12.416 and Lower Lake's Danny Bishop was fourth fast with 12.430.
After the preliminary heat races that saw Jim Parnell of Loomis and Mic Moulton of Eureka the winners, the 60 lap feature got under way with pole setter Terry Gardner of Fortuna taking the lead. Parnell lost ground in the outside groove allowing Moulton and Spencer to slip into second and third. Gardner was nursing a car that had been badly wrecked at Redwood Acres Raceway one week ago, and on the seventh lap, Gardner's car broke loose and he spun in turn four. With no yellow to slow the pack, Gardner regrouped at the back and Spencer shot by Moulton to take the lead.
Hvall had worked his way toward the front and was running third by the eighth lap. Santa Rosa's Steve Starr settled into fourth with Sackett fifth. Not satisfied with running nose_to_tail, Doss decided to try the high side and passed Sackett on lap 18 and picked off Starr the following round. Hvall knew it was now or never so he moved out, too and began his hunt for the lead. Hvall passed Mouton for second on lap 21, and Doss inched by Moulton for third the following round. Meanwhile Spencer pulled away and was enjoying a half_lap lead.
Doss's car developed a fire under the hood to bring out the yellow on the 29th round. Doss pitted for repairs and rejoined the field at the back. The race was slowed again two laps later when Gardner's car spun again on the front stretch. Lap 36 saw Brad Wasmund of Ashland, Oregon spin and with no where to go, Doss was collected. Both cars continued but once again Doss had to start at the rear.
The final yellow flew on 39 for another Gardner spin. Four rounds later Spencer's car started to spray fuel and track official's watched with eagle eyes to make sure it would not cause a problem. Official's elected to let Spencer continue, but the distraction was enough to force Spencer to slow slightly, and it was all Hvall needed to make the winning pass. Sackett followed Hvall's lead and drove around Spencer for second on lap 56. The final circuits saw Bishop and last year's winner Dale Roth of Roseburg, Oregon gain position. Hvall was the $1500 winner, Sackett collected $850 for second, Spencer held on for a $750 third, Bishop was fourth for $650 and Roth earned $550 for fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Starr, Doss, Wasmund, Moulton and Parnell.
Fast Time: Mike Sackett, 12.120 NTR
Trophy Dash: Randy Hvall, Danny Bishop, Sackett, Mike Doss
Heat 1: Jim Parnell, Doss, Dale Roth, Bishop, Brad Wasmund
Heat 2: Mic Moulton, Steve Starr, Rich Spencer, Terry Gardner, Sackett, Hvall
Main Event: Hvall, Sackett, Spencer, Bishop, Roth, Starr, Doss, Wasmund, Moulton, Parnell, Gardner