By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Lebanon, OR
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Lebanon, OR -- Getting his first ever Willamette Speedway feature win in 13 years of trying, Portland’s John Duty drove his new Rocket Chassis to a $1000 win as the rain-delayed Bud I-5 Challenge Series finally completed leg one of it’s 2006 schedule on Saturday night. Duty was deemed to be too loud on his original qualifying attempt and given one lap at the end of the session. He timed in 13th quick in a 53 car field. He captured a win in the slow A Main heat and lined up fourth in the fully inverted 18 car A Main grid. It took Duty just four laps to take the lead and he stretched his lead to 1/3 lap before getting into lapped traffic late in the action as the 40 lapper was run with just one caution flag. The 40 year old Duty is an official Rocket Chassis dealer and uses engines built by Ben Eyerly Lyons. His crew chief is Craig Cassell and he is always quick to thank his wife Tricia and sons Justin and Griffin for their support of his racing efforts. The Duty team also wanted to dedicate the win to the memory of Grays Harbor Raceway promoter Fred Brownfield, who was killed in a tragic accident at that track on Friday night as they had developed a close relationship with Brownfield in their efforts to support dirt late model racing at that great facility. Duty’s sponsors include Don Frank Floor Coverings and Colonial Building Service. Eighth starting John Campos took second from Randy Boyd on lap 18 and finished in the $800 runnerup slot. With the cancellation of the remainder of the Northwest Modified Nationals at Elma following the Brownfield death, Rob Mayea was able to get back down to Willamette to race and he came from 7th to get the $500 third place money. He had passed R Boyd on lap 34. A graduate from the super sport class this season, Ron Burchard made a late move to fourth and won $400. R Boyd settled for the $350 fifth place money. The out of town Bud I-5 races pay $1500 to win, but the ones run at Willamette Speedway pay the track’s normal purse which is $1200 to win if the victor qualified for the fast dash, $1100 to win if he timed between 5th and 8th and $1000 to win if he raced in the slow A Main heat like Duty did tonight.
Willamette Speedway runs time trials at 3:30 in the afternoon as they time in all four racing divisions weekly. Young Cody Sell was quickest of the 53 cars this week with a 16.567 lap. Tim Zeller returned from his recent flip to time in second quick at 16.688, giving Swartz cars the top two slots. Defending track champion and second in points, Trevor Glaser ranked third with a 16.770 lap. Casey Vitale ran a 16.884 and Jeremy Shank was fifth with his 16.887. Point leader Mike Miller ran a 16.903 and the final 16 second entries were Todd Shandy, Burchard and Campos. Only the 16 fastest made it into the A Main and that group was rounded out by Mayea, Jason Cadwell, young Joey Tanner, Duty, Bill Workman Sr, Justin Dittman and R Boyd. It took a 17.184 lap to rank in the top 16. Fast time pays $50. Glaser had put together a new Mastersbilt mount after his hard crash of the previous weekend. He jumped into the lead in the dash, but clipped the turn 1 wall in his rim riding effort and fell out with Zeller getting the win ahead of Vitale and Sell. The freshly watered track was a little faster than time trials as Zeller ran a 15.97 lap and Glaser had a 16.27 before he dropped out. Burchard won the fast A Main heat ahead of Shank and Shandy. Duty was impressive in his win in the slow A Main heat over R Boyd and Tanner. Veteran Jack Marontate won the fast B Main heat over Lynn McDonald and rookie Steven Sturdevant. Gary Smith won the slow B Main heat ahead of Tony Seeley and last week’s A Main winner Jimmy Whisler. The fast C Main heat went to Jeff Herndon ahead of Justin Evans and hard charging Bob Boyd. Jason Sommer won the slow C Main heat in front of Mike DeSilva and Bill Story. Billy Workman Jr won the lone D Main heat ahead of double division racing Tom Conway and Clint Mitchell.
Only the winner was allowed to transfer from the 20 lap D Main into the C Main. Like the A Main, the B, C and D Mains are completely inverted with the fastest cars starting in the rear. Conway led the first 13 laps before Workman Jr got around him for the D Main win. Conway ran second ahead of Todd Sieg. At Willamette, you are allowed to race different cars in the different features so Whisler ran his backup car in the D Main. He came through the field to third before breaking a motor. This race was slowed by just two yellow flags and Mitchell ran fourth ahead of Story and J J Irvine. Again, just one transfer slot available in the 20 lap C Main that ran with just a single red flag and no cautions. DeSilva raced into the lead over Herndon and Sommer, but Evans climbed up to fourth in just 5 laps. B Boyd passed both Evans and Sommer for third on lap 8 and he took second from Herndon on lap 12. His chances of catching runaway leader DeSilva were slim, but the red flag fell on lap 14 when Sommer and Evans got tangled up on the front stretch and Evans did a lot of damage to the front stretch wheel fence when he climbed up on the wall. No one was hurt, but the Evans car was heavily damaged. The track crew did a great job of repairing the fence damage to keep alive hopes of getting all the laps in before the track’s 10:30 curfew. B Boyd was now right behind DeSilva and he made his winning pass on lap 16 to get the move into the rear of the highly competitive 25 lap B Main. DeSilva ran second ahead of Herndon, Sommer, Workman Jr, Jon Kaufman and Steve Moore. Only two cars get the option of transferring up from the 25 lap B Main that had 15 starters. Seeley led the opening lap as veteran Tom Pitts fell out. Jayme Van took the lead from Seeley on lap 2 and checked out. This race also ran with just a single yellow flag. B Boyd was flying from his 7th row start and he was 7th at the midway mark. He took fifth from Smith on lap 15 and a crash by third place Rick Wyatt produced the lone caution flag on lap 18. The yellow gave B Boyd a slim hope of making it up to second for the transfer. He drove around Seeley for third on the restart and then took second from Rick Hazen on lap 23 with an inside pass in turn 2. Van got the win ahead of B Boyd and both elected to give up their B Main money to start the 40 lap A Main. Hazen ran third ahead of Seeley, McDonald, Smith, Marontate and Darvin Tramel. Roger Lorenzini Jr made the long tow north from Yreka CA to run 10th.
The 18 car field for the 40 lap A Main was now set with the 16 fastest qualifiers completely inverted in the front and the two B Main transfers tagging. Like all of the preliminary features, this one was nearly caution free with just a single yellow flag on lap 12. R Boyd and Dittman shared the front row and Dittman did lead the first 3 laps. R Boyd settled into second over Duty. After running high on the first two laps, Dittman dove down to the bottom and he was quickly passed by both new leader Duty and R Boyd. Duty led the race from lap 4 on. Bill Workman Sr and Campos both passed Dittman for the 3-4 slots on lap 6 and Campos took over third on lap 9. Duty was ¼ lap ahead of R Boyd and Campos when Sell spun for a lap 12 caution. Jason Cadwell was sent to the rear for the restart. Mayea leaped into fifth on the green flag and point leading Miller began to lose ground after contact with the back fence left him with a broken spoiler on lap 16. Campos rode the high line around R Boyd for second on lap 18 and Duty wasted little time reopening his ¼ lap margin. Duty stretched the advantage to 1/3 lap before he spent the final 15 laps of the race in lapped traffic. At the midway mark, Burchard was sixth ahead of Dittman, Tanner and Zeller. Duty’s fast pace put Miller a lap down on lap 30 and Van was lapped on lap 33. Mayea took fourth from Workman Sr on lap 32 and third from R Boyd with an outside run on lap 34. Burchard broke into the top five on lap 35. Dittman was lapped late and Van became the only A Main dropout on lap 39. Burchard raced by R Boyd for fourth on lap 38. Duty was an excited winner having gotten the Willamette Speedway monkey off of his back. Campos was a season best second ahead of Mayea, Burchard and R Boyd. Workman Sr ran sixth ahead of Glaser, Zeller, Shank and B Boyd, who certainly got his share of laps in tonight. Sell, Tanner, Vitale and Shandy also finished lead lap.
In the track points, Miller carried a 21 point lead over Glaser into this race with Mayea and B Boyd tied for third another 27 points back. Vitale was five points behind the duo in fifth and 13 upon Shank. Campos held down 7th and 8th ranked Russ Sell missed this race awaiting a brand new Swartz car after crashing hard last week.
The teams get a rare event away from Willamette Speedway as the Bud I-5 Challenge Series moves to Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford on June 24. Tonight was supposed to be round 4 of the series, but the first three dates were all rained out and will not be made up. The July 15 and July 29 races here are also part of the Bud I-5 Series.
Summary Fast Time-Cody Sell 16.567 Dash-Tim Zeller, Casey Vitale, Sell, Trevor Glaser. Heat 1-Billy Workman Jr, Tom Conway, Clint Mitchell, Todd Sieg, Jimmy Whisler. Heat 2-Jason Sommer, Mike DeSilva, Bill Story, Jim Pearce, J J Irvine. Heat 3-Jeff Herndon, Justin Evans, Bob Boyd, Glenn Hackney, Steve Moore. Heat 4-Gary Smith, Tony Seeley, Jimmy Whisler, Rick Wyatt, Rick Hazen. Heat 5-Jack Marontate, Lynn McDonald, Steven Sturdevant, Anthony Potter, Roger Lorenzini Jr. Heat 6-John Duty, Randy Boyd, Joey Tanner, Bill Workman Sr, Rob Mayea. Heat 7-Ron Burchard, Jeremy Shank, Todd Shandy, Mike Miller, Casey Vitale. D Main-Workman Jr, Conway, Sieg, Mitchell, Story, Irvine, Willie Sutton, Tom Lewison, Steve Piefer, Pearce. C Main-B Boyd, DeSilva, Herndon, Sommer, Workman Jr, Jon Kaufman, Moore, Hackney, Cory Smith, Doug Mott. B Main-Jayme Van, B Boyd, Hazen, Seeley, McDonald, Smith, Marontate, Darvin Tramel, Hopper, Lorenzini. A Main-Duty, Campos, Mayea, Burchard, R Boyd, Workman Sr, Glaser, Zeller, Shank, B Boyd, Sell, Tanner, Vitale, Shandy, Miller, Jason Cadwell, Justin Dittman, Van.