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WVSO GETS A TASTE OF BIG RIG RACING

Wenatchee Valley's Super Oval
Source — Kaleb Hart
Date Posted — August 04, 2001
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The loud and rowdy crowd had to wait until 11pm to see what they came to see. The Big Rig Racers were down from Canada, making their first ever appearance at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval. Semi-trucks, sans trailers, complete with roll cages and big beefy diesel engines took to war on the high-banked ¼ mile. Nine trucks set off on their 25 lap main event, and it was points leader Pete Van Dyke showing Jerod Johnson the way around WVSO. Johnson stuck his front grill right onto the rear end of Van Dyke’s pink colored Peterbuilt Semi. But Van Dyke shut the door on Johnson, making his machine as wide as he could, taking up at least 2 ½ grooves around WVSO en route to the victory. Johnson set fast time on the night with a lap of 17.878 seconds. Johnson also won a trophy dash. Darwin Berdahl won the other trophy dash, as well as the heat race.

Why did it take so long for the Big Rig main to push off? There were two major reasons. Reason #1 happened during the 40 lap main event for the Doc Rambo’s Big 10 Series Wing Modifieds. Monte Zema Jr. had a pocket rocket for a racecar, and sitting on the pole helped him jump out to a full straightaway advantage over the rest of the field. His main competition came from Sherri Howard, defending Wing Modified champion, who was hung up in traffic. Howard finally cleared traffic and set sail for Zema Jr., who saw his full straightaway advantage disappear quickly. Howard worked her up on the outside of Zema Jr. right as Monte got into traffic. Here’s where the fireworks started; Zema took the low line out of corner 4, right when RJ Fronsman was darting up the track. Zema ran over Fronsman’s tire, catapulting his car into the front stretch wall in a small ball of fire. Fronsman’s car was spun sideways into the infield, breaking numerous suspension parts. Needless to say, both drivers were done for the evening, and neither were too happy. This handed the lead over to Howard with only 4 laps left, and she took the victory with ease. Fronsman set quick time on the night at 11.883. Donnie Kudrna won the trophy dash. Todd Lolkus and Mike Roberts won the heat races.

Shane Mitchell and Brent Harris have been the two dominant forces in the Nascar Weekly Racing Series Sportsmen. Could anybody stop the two black painted cars from dominating another race night? Shawn Wood thought he could. After weeks of motor and clutch trouble, Wood returned to WVSO just hoping to finish the main. What he ended up with surprised him. Wood made his way around the high side of Steve Floyd on lap 6 of the 50 lap main to take the lead, then held on tight as Harris and Mitchell applied pressure. In his relentless pursuit of another victory, Harris lost power and had to pull off with very few laps remaining. This lead to Wood having to fend off Shane Mitchell for 7 laps. Wood drove like a madman, closing up any gap in his defense, on his way to his first main event win of the season. Wood said later that "It was intense, I couldn’t look in the mirror without seeing Harris or Mitchell there, so I just quit looking at the mirror." Harris was the fast time on the evening at 14.102. Wood also took the trophy dash win, with Tom Wentz and Ben Reid winning the heat races. Big delay #2 on the night also came during the Sportsmen main, when Ed Myers car hit the wall, going up in flames and losing gasoline over about a 20 foot patch of racetrack. The race resumed after a 25-minute delay. Myers was ok.

In the Jerry’s Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen, Shane Brim threw down the gauntlet early. We learned early in the evening that Brim was the NATIONAL LEADER in points for the Nascar Short Track Series. He went out during time trials and showed the crowd why, setting fast time at 15.588. He was the man to beat, motoring around the field at the start of the main event, assuming the lead on lap 15. However, his car gave out on him as the harmonic balancer broke, ending his night. Andy Stibal assumed the lead, after running 2nd for most of the race. Stibal was as dominant as Brim had been before he broke, streaking away from the field to take his 3rd win of the season. Mitch Kleyn won the trophy dash. Amanda Rowe took home her 4th straight heat race win. Mike Sims and Bill Patty won the other heat races.

Results

Big Rig Racing Fast Time- Jerod Johnson 17.878

Dash 1- Darwin Berdahl, AJ Watson, Pete Van Dyke

Dash 2- Jerod Johnson, Mike Gibbons, Darrin Berdahl

Heat- Darwin Berdahl, Watson, Van Dyke

Main- Pete Van Dyke, Johnson, Watson, Gibbons, Troy Pidherney, Darwin Berdahl, Merv Pidherney, Darrin Berdahl, Jeff Lynn

Doc Rambo’s Big 10 Wing Modifieds Fast Time- RJ Fronsman 11.883

Dash- Donnie Kudrna, Mike Roberts, Todd Lolkus

Heat 1- Lolkus, Richard Hill, Kudrna

Heat 2- Roberts, JR Ray, Sherri Howard

Main- Sherri Howard, Roberts, Ray, Kudrna, Brian Andruss, R.Hill, Dave Hill, Tim Parks, Monte Zema Jr., RJ Fronsman, Bo Swenson, Lolkus, Mark Jones

Nascar Weekly Racing Series Sportsmen Fast Time- Brent Harris 14.102

Dash- Shawn Wood, Brent Harris, Shane Mitchell

Heat 1- Tom Wentz, Gary Shales, Christian Roeder

Heat 2- Ben Reid, Mitchell, Harris

Main- Shawn Wood, Mitchell, Steve Floyd, Reid, Shales, Bob Greiner, Wentz, Jack Eby, Harris, Dan Schlatter, Roeder, Ed Myers

Jerry’s Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen Fast Time- Shane Brim 15.588

Dash- Mitch Kleyn, Scott Armstrong, Kevin Bull

Heat 1- Amanda Rowe, Steve Vickery, Lacey Ledbetter

Heat 2- Bill Patty, Brent Crowder, Vern Huson

Heat 3- Mike Sims, Nathan Schuyleman, David Patty

Main- Andy Stibal, D.Patty, B.Patty, Scott Jones, Sims, Crowder, Huson, Rusty Rise, Rowe, Armstrong, Schuyleman, Vickery, Joe Ludeman, Jeremy Osborn, Bull, Shane Brim, Kleyn, Ledbetter, Terry Osborn, Jeff Wagner, Dave Pierce, Shannon Mitchell####

See also
Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on August 04, 2001. http://www.racingwest.com

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