YAKIMA, Washington — After a successful 46th Annual Apple Cup opened racing in the Northwest, Yakima Speedway sets its sights on the
"2012 regular season-opener this Saturday night featuring the Burger Ranch Sportsman, H&H Furniture Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, CWI Security/EZ Credit Auto Sales Hornets and the Sea Galley Bump to Pass cars."
2012 regular season-opener this Saturday night featuring the Burger Ranch Sportsman, H&H Furniture Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, CWI Security/EZ Credit Auto Sales Hornets and the Sea Galley Bump to Pass cars.
Two of the divisions, Sportsman and Pure Stocks, have gotten track time in racing conditions during Apple Cup weekend while the Hornets, Mini Stocks and Bump to Pass drivers will hit the track for the first time this season.
Buck Noel Jr. rides into Yakima Speedway fresh off an impressive victory at Apple Cup as the Selah native drove a patient race charging to the front late en route to a convincing victory over Lucas Valdez and Jack Anderson. The field saw 17 drivers take the green flag with many expected back for this weekend's season-opener.
Rob Allen wheeled his Pure Stock to a fast time award during Apple Cup weekend and followed that up with a main event victory over Jeff Wilkinson with Chris 'the Wildman' Marang rounding out the top-3.
Allen had a strong car all weekend but it was Wilkinson who showed heart and determination as he recovered from an incident during qualifying that caused significant damage to his Chevrolet.
Working through the night Wilkinson made much-needed repairs and when the green flag flew was one of the fastest cars on the track as he moved from his 13th starting position into the top-5 over the race's first 10 laps. Gunning for Allen late left Wilkinson just one spot short at the checkers setting up a great battle for Saturday's racing action.
This weekend marks the debut of the Mini-Stock division which features four-cylinder cars that have been built with safety and engine modifications in mind to tackle the half-mile oval. For many years four-cylinder stock-style cars have run an interior track at Yakima but have seldom ventured onto the famed half-mile. Saturday marks a new beginning for compact sized cars at Yakima Speedway.
Hornet racers chased Josh Washington throughout the 2011 season and this year will be no different as the winner of seven man events will be out to make it two championships in as many years. Standing in his way will be Julie Melville, Jeff Ball, Josh Henne, Jeff Ball and a host of fan favorites.
Many a night at Yakima Speedway closes with the wild and crazy Bump to Pass division and it's appropriate that the 2012 regular season should include the craziness that has become one of the track's most popular divisions.
While drivers such as Pepe Rojas and Josh Aguirre are taking part in other track divisions, many of the drivers who provide the thrills and spills of Bump to Pass racing return including champion Joe Stevens along with Donnie Stevens, Wes Heigh and Dennis Clouse. With new drivers building Bump to Pass cars all year long, fans will want to stay through the night's final checkered flag to see the bumps and bangs of the nightly finale.
Yakima Speedway pit entrance gates open at Noon with spectator gates opening at 4 pm Qualifying gets underway at 5:15 with opening ceremonies slated for 6 and racing to follow.
For ticket and other information call Yakima Speedway's fan hotline at
(509) 248-0647, log onto yakimaspeedway.us or find Yakima Speedway on Facebook.