By: Gary Jacob and Steve Reeck|
Where: Yakima, WA
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Yakima, WA -- Leading the final 16 laps after racing forward from 9th starting spot, 2003 series point runnerup Greg Walters from Portland OR was the $1000 winner in the 35 lap dirt late model main as the Pacific Coast Xtreme Dirt Car Series made it 's first 2004 season visit the Central Washington State Fair Speedway 3/8 mile clay oval. After weighing in to make the win official, Walters pulled back onto the track to accept his trophy. He did several victory donuts on the front stretch and then jumped out of his car and climbed the front fence in his celebration. In his interview, he stated that the track owed him a win as he broke a rear end leading the October $10,000 to win race late and had ignition problems cost him another 2003 win at the track. Walters runs a Rayburn Chassis using a Gray Racing Engine. Series point leader Jeremy Shank led the first 19 laps from an outside front row start and settled for a $700 second. Dan Miller from Hockinson WA debuted a new Rayburn in impressive manner as he set fast time over a 35 car field, won his heat and placed a $475 third in the feature ahead of defending series champion John Duty and Jason Wines.
The Yakima track is the largest sized track that the tour visits and D Miller's quick time was a 20.30 run. It earned him the Ringers Gloves Award. Russ Sell was second quick ahead of Casey Vitale, Shank, Gene Day, Jimmy Schram, Duty and Bob Jeffery. Walters was only 17th quick. Jeremy Schram broke a motor in time trials to end his night. The field was divided into four straight up heat races with the top four finishers in each moving into the 35 lap feature. Front row starters D Miller and Day were 1-2 in heat 1 ahead of 5th starter Walters and Frank Hazen. R Sell won heat 2 from the pole and fellow front row starter Jimmy Schram was second. Darren Coffell debuted a new Barry Wright car that he picked up in South Carolina during the offseason and placed 4th behind Wines. Front row starters Vitale and Duty ran 1-2 in heat 3 with fifth starter Josh Eyerly nipping 2003 third ranked Craig Hanson for third. The fourth heat also saw a 1-2 finish from the front row with Schram beating Jeffery. Trevor Glaser made his first Pacific Coast start of 2004 and ran third ahead of current Willamette Speedway dominator Rob Mayea. The four heat winners dueled in the dash for the starting order of the front two rows in the 35 lap feature. Outside front row starter Vitale got the Lucas Oil Products Dash win ahead of Shank, R Sell and D Miller. With 16 cars qualified for the 35 lapper, the remaining cars were split into a pair of 15 lap B Mains with 3 transfers out of each. Outside front row starter Tom Tesch was a wire to wire winner in the first, winning by a full straight over Cody Sell. Jason Johnson ran third ahead of Jerry Schram and Doug Davenport. Eric Sayre challenged Mike Miller early in the second B Main, but fell back as the race ran down. Sayre did finish second ahead of Brad Tanner and Tom Halter, who was driving a former Coffell car. Tesch ended up being a feature scratch as his oil pump belt came off during his B Main run and running with no oil pressure may have damaged the motor.
The larger track allowed the 23 car starting grid and Vitale, Shank, R Sell, D Miller, Day and Jimmy Schram filled the front three rows. Jody Tanner was added a provisional starter. C Sell spun to force a restart on the 35 lapper. Shank took a quick lead over Vitale, R Sell, D Miller and Day. On lap 4, Hanson spun and got hit hard by Jody Tanner. Both were done for the event and top runner Vitale parked his car along with Hazen. The Hanson team were to later draw a three race suspension as a team member touched an official in a confrontation. An extended green flag period followed as the field raced to lap 26 before the next caution. Walters had moved up on the track and was flying. Shank thought that he was setting a rapid pace until he watched Walters drive by him up high. Jeffery stalled high in turn 4 with a flat right rear tire for the second yellow flag. R Sell broke his engine and pulled into the backstretch infield. Walters now led Shank, D Miller, Day, Duty, Wines, Glaser, Jimmy Schram and Mayea. The final yellow flag came with just 2 laps to run as Johnson spun on the bottom of turn 4. After the race, Brad Tanner had his wrist examed by the medical personnel and he elected to go to the hospital for xrays as they felt he had broken his wrist when it got caught up in his steering wheel. The top 14 cars finished on the lead lap with Walters the winner ahead of Shank, D Miller, Duty, Wines, Glaser, Mayea, Jimmy Schram, Eyerly, C Sell, M Miller, Coffell, Sayre and Johnson. Day broke his engine late in the race. Walters was awarded both the Wrisco Industries Hard Charger Award and the Goodyear Tires main event winner award. The race drew a near capacity crowd and the regular Yakima flagman worked the show when series flagman Jim Nelson was involved in a Thursday accident.
Point standings as the teams moved several hours down the highway to Madras OR for the Saturday night action found Shank leading Walters by 35 points, Duty by 61 and Wines by 63. M Miller was just 10 points back of Wines and 26 ahead of Coffell.
Summary Fast Time-Dan Miller 20.30 Dash-Casey Vitale, Jeremy Shank, Russ Sell, D Miller. Heat 1-D Miller, Gene Day, Greg Walters, Rick Hazen, Jason Johnson. Heat 2-R Sell, Jimmy Schram, Jason Wines, Darren Coffell, Eric Sayre. Heat 3-Vitale, John Duty, Josh Eyerly, Craig Hanson, Tom Tesch. Heat 4-Shank, Bob Jeffery, Trevor Glaser, Rob Mayea, Lance Lewallen. 1st B Main-Tesch, Cody Sell, Johnson, Jerry Schram, Doug Davenport, Mark Carroll, Jason Cox. 2nd B Main-Mike Miller, Sayre, Brad Tanner, Tom Halter, Brady Sell, Lewallen, Jody Tanner, Rob Campos. A Main-Walters, Shank, D Miller, Duty, Wines, Glaser, Mayea, Jimmy Schram, Eyerly, C Sell, M Miller, Coffell, Sayre, Johnson, B Tanner, Jeffery, Day, R Sell, Vitale, Hazen, Hanson, J Tanner.