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WASHINGTON STATE RACER RETURNS TO INDY

Indianapolis Speedrome
Source — Tory Stiles
Date Posted — August 22, 2001
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"They're faster than I thought they'd be." That was the first thing that struck Seattle, WA's Don Eslick as he entered his first World Championship 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race last year at the Indianapolis Speedrome. "Those guys really fly around there. They radar-gunned us at 60-70 miles an hour up here [Monroe, WA's Evergreen Speedway] but you guys are doing 80-90 at your peak." Eslick runs the weekly program at Evergreen Speedway since his rookie debut in 1988. Like many "cross-over pilots" Eslick is a Figure-8 specialist and has rarely run in regular oval events. "I had the parts for a late model and a buddy of mine had a figure-8 car so we decided to pool them together and take turns driving. My first lap ever was my time trial on the "8" and I ran my first race on the "8". The next week when it was my buddy's turn to drive he said 'No way,' and I've been driving ever since. Took rookie of the year that year." "We run maybe 20 cars in a feature out here and they're all Detroit stock. Full frame, you can't move the springs or shocks. We've been running Figure-8's out here since '66 or '67 and we're the tracks second biggest draw [racing talk for most popular] after the late models. We'll run some 100-lappers with maybe 30 cars and a 1-Hour Enduro like you do at the Speedrome but we don't have nothin' like your 3-hour." Last year was Eslick's first taste of the 3-Hour and he liked it. Eslick was the first west coast driver to run the chase and took the prestigious Sonny Eaton Memorial award for top finishing rookie with 11th place and 309 laps completed. Indy's Bruce Tunny won the 2000 running with 430 laps. Over 60 cars took part in the 2-day affair of qualifying races and the 3-Hour. The 2001 running pays $25,000 to win out of a $70,000 purse.

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Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on August 22, 2001. http://www.racingwest.com

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