Portland, Ore. Sonny Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. captured his first career NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Grand American Modified victory Friday night as he lead all 35-laps of the feature event on the 1/3-mile clay "Bud Bowl" at Portland Speedway. Sayre was followed to the line by Gary Morris, Eric Sayre (brother), Richard Whiteman, and rounding out the top five was Dan Fox. Dale Holland picked up the honors in the ShorTrack Sportsman division to secure his fourth win of the season, while Willy Thom found redemption with his victory in the NASCAR Street Stock class after letting a win get away two weeks ago. Lisa Jesson-Tanner pulled off the hatrick by capturing wins in the WAR! Women's Auto Racing Trophy Dash, Heat Race, and 15-lap main event.
Eric Sayre of Vancouver, Wash. started the evening by setting a new track record for the Modifieds with a lap of 16.103/74.446mph but would have to work his way up to the front after starting the event in the eighth position due to the mandatory invert. S. Sayre and Dan Obrist out of Portland started the event on the front row and Sayre would rocket his modified into the lead on lap one and never looked back.
The action was slowed three times for cautions, but on each restart Sayre maintained the top spot by using the low groove and hooking up off the corner. Morris dogged Sayre throughout the event but was unable to take advantage as Sayre drove a flawless race. Morris finished maintain fifth place in the season point standing, just one point ahead of Fox. Sayre's victory allowed him to crack the top ten in the point standings, the win moves him into ninth place after 14 events.
"I am so happy right now," Sayre exclaimed while jumping on his car. " I owe a lot to my crew and family for supporting me and working hard. This is a win I have wanted all season."
Rounding out the top ten were Tom Pinkowsky, Gary Lee Morris, Scott Puncochar, Mike Obrist, and Dan Obrist. Fox picked up the Trophy Dash win, with Ed Farness, S. Sayre, and Ray Elwess winning the 8-lap Heat Races.
Brad Stanwood used a little luck to secure the top spot in qualifying for the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman with a lap of 17.950/66.786mph. Scott Winebarger lead the charge in the 4-lap Trophy Dash with a determined win over Stanwood as Winebarger wanted the top qualifying honor. Doug Mitchell, Mike Graham in his newly painted and re-numbered #18x, and Dale Holland all won Heat Races.
Holland was on a mission as he blazed a trail through the field to get to the front from his inverted starting position and wanted to put an exclamation point on his strength in the division. Perennial front-runner Brad Tanner of Clackamas had another disappointing evening as the six-time winner finished 16th. Point leader Martin Stanwood continued his steady pace to the championship with a solid 8th place finish in the 30-lap feature race. Following Holland to the line were Winebarger, Trevor Brotherton, B. Stanwood, and Andy Church rounding out the top five. Jody Tanner lead the next five which included Ross Roberts, M. Stanwood, Hal Farness, and new comer Martin Hallberg finishing tenth.
"I was just made tonight," said Holland. "I focused my frustration on the car and winning the race. It is always nice to win as it makes the other stuff not seem to matter."
Willy Thom of Dundee, Ore. felt he was owed something after a disappointing finish two weeks ago where a sure victory was snatched from the veteran. Thom had figured out the setup on his Camero and had begun to flex his muscle in recent weeks and it all came together Friday for his first win of the season. Point leader Scott Puncochar of Hillsboro, Ore. had to work his way to the front and finished sixth to maintain a 91-point advantage over Brad Tanner in the championship chase.
Dan Harris crossed the line in second, followed by Dustin Wilkenson, Curt Nusom, and Tracy Jones. Dennis Krohling took home the hardware by winning the Trophy Dash and the third Heat Race, with Tanner, Jones, and Rookie Brian Puncochar collecting victories in the other Heat Races.
"It feels great to win won of these races," Thom said. "I was surely disappointed when we got a flat two weeks ago, but tonight shows how strong we can be. I am having fun, but winning makes it a lot of fun!"
Lisa Jesson-Tanner rewarded herself with a victory in the WAR! Women's Auto Racing 15-lap feature event. Tanner, recently married over the past weekend dominated the action in the all-female division by picking up wins in the Trophy Dash, Heat Race, and main event. Corrine Flath won the 2nd Heat Race. Following Tanner to the line were Audra Jean, Jackie Graham, Paula Smith, and Kari Puncochar rounding out the top five.
Kari Puncochar continues to lead the point standings, followed by Flath only 10 points back. The win vaults Tanner back into third place, just 9 points behind Flath. Paula Smith and Pam Graham round out the top five in the standings.
"I would like to thank all may family, friends, crew, and my husband for all their support," Tanner said in victory lane. "Winning is why you race, and I like to win."
The regular NASCAR Weekly Racing Series divisions will take a week off as Portland Speedway-The Dirt Track makes preparations for "The Greatest Show on Dirt" the Pennzoil World of Outlaws. The Outlaws will invade Oregon for their only sanctioned race in the state and compete on one of only four half-mile clay ovals on the entire West coast. The action heats up Friday and Saturday, August 24 & 25 at Portland Speedway with the second annual Baxter Auto Parts/Auto Value Classic on the historic monster half-mile.
Sammy Swindell of Cordova, Tenn. will be back to defend his title as he swept both nights of action last year. Joining Swindell will be all the Outlaw regulars including, 16 time and defending WoO champion Steve Kinser, Mark Kinser, Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, Stevie Smith, and many more.
Tickets for this once a year event are still available by calling 503-285-2883 or by ordering online at www.portlandspeedway.com Two-day reserved seats start at just $40.