Youngsters win five main events in fifth race of the season
There was something of a youth movement at River City Speedway on Saturday night with four racers 21 or younger winning main events in their divisions.
The Columbia County Racing Association's fifth event of the year saw Brad Martin, 15, win the Street Stock Division main event; Joel Beehler, 18, win the Mini Stock main; and Aaron Elwess and Ryan Martinez, both 21, win the Sportsman, and Dwarf car race, respectively. Martin and Beehler are from St. Helens, while Elwess and Martinez are from Portland. Cody Smith, 14, won the Tracer Division.
Other main event winners included Kathy McMullen (Women's Division), Doug Davenport (Modified), Dave Walters (Pacific Mini Sprint) and Bob Westcott (Late Model Four Cylinder).
Martin's race was one of the closest of the evening. He started in the front row and led the first 10 laps. John Haagenson of St. Helens passed him on lap 11 and the two dueled the rest of the race. Martin took a slight lead on lap 36 and the two collided on the next lap, bringing out a race-ending caution. Martin was declared the winner by race officials.
'He just didn't like getting the win the way he did tonight,' said Brad's dad Jeremy Martin. 'I'm not sure if we'll be here for every race, but we'll try to make it. If you miss a race, it takes you out of contention for the championship. We might find something better to do on weekends other than racing, but we're still not sure what that would be.'
Brad Martin, a double-duty driver who competes in two divisions, was also runner-up to Martinez in the 30-lap dwarf car main with his two-thirds scale replica 1934 Ford sedan race car. Martin led early in the main event, but Martinez gained an advantage on lap 23 and moved ahead by five car lengths for the win.
Martinez was undefeated on the day taking first in qualifying at 13.81 seconds and winning both the heat and dash.
'I was slowed by lapped cars and I just couldn't get past him (Martinez),' said Martin, who has notched five straight Dwarf Car top-five finishes. 'I had a pretty good night though and I had fun in the street stock race. It was too bad that we had a crash at the end, but that's just part of racing.'
In the modified main, Warren's Dan Fox led the first 18 laps. Jeremy Martin then passed Fox on lap 19 and led the next six laps. Doug Davenport of Vernonia started 10th in the 12-car lineup and was able to challenge for the lead on lap 25. After a collision, Martin was sent to the back of the pack, and Davenport was able to hold off Fox for the win.
'Unfortunately, our battle was getting a little heated and that's what happens when two friends compete hard like we've been doing,' said Davenport, who recorded dash and heat wins and leads the division standings after a third straight win. 'It was too bad Jeremy spun out after we touched, but sometimes that happens in racing.'
Defending Mini Stock (40-cylinder) champion, Adam Beehler of St. Helens, took the lead in the main event on lap three after passing Portland's Danny Wallin. Beehler and his nephew, Joel Beehler, battled hard throughout the 40-lap race and exchanged the lead twice. Joel passed Adam on lap 12. Adam gained the advantage on lap 31. Joel regained the edge after passing Adam on lap 38 and he held on for the win. Brad Beehler of St. Helens took third, marking the second one-two-three finish by the Beehler family this year.
'I had lots of fun, but I sure had to work hard to get the win,' said Joel Beehler, who got a second straight win and fifth consecutive top five finish. 'Uncle Adam never backs off and he pressures you all the way to the end of the race. It was an awesome race and it was fun going back and forth like that, but I'm glad to get the win.'
Fox, who was competing in two divisions, led the first four laps of the Sportsman main. Fox was later sidelined though with an overheating problem and Elwess moved in front on lap six. He remained up front the final 10 circuits of the race, which was delayed by a number of caution flags as it concluded after just 16 laps due to the track's 30-minute time limit.
'It's too bad we can't even have 20 lap Sportsman races and it was only 15 laps the last race, so I don't know what the problem is,' said Smith, whose M and B Cylinder Heads sponsored race team includes his brothers Robert and Dennis. 'We're doing OK in the standings, but Curt is going to be tough to beat. My son Cody is having a great year in the Tracer class. He's won every race except for one heat and a main and my main focus this year is to help him.'
Cody Smith swept every Tracer event as he won the main, dash and heat. Cody also was the fastest in qualifying at 19.56.
Deer Island's Kathy McMullen won her third straight Women's Division main. McMullen, the defending champion, has a chance to break the all-time single season record of seven wins. There's five races left on the schedule, including the next event Aug. 20, when McMullen will try to get her fourth win.
'I kind of like to take things week-to-week, but it would be nice to set the record,' said McMullen. 'I don't want to contemplate that too much though, because then I would be afraid that something might happen. It's been a good season though and I'm having lots of fun, so we'll just see what happens.'
River City Speedway
Aug. 6 Results
Fast Time: Curt Nusom, Gresham 14.66. Trophy Dash: Bud Russell, St. Helens. Heat 1: Jesse Allen, Portland; Nusom; Larry Wetzel, Portland. Heat 2: Bob Berg, St. Helens; Eric Lindquist, Milwaukie; Matt Taylor, St. Helens. Heat 3: Bud Russell, St. Helens; Dan Fox, Warren; Kristi Somers, Portland. Main: Aaron Elwess, Portland; Lindquist; Dan Smith, Scappoose; Clyde White, Longview; Nusom; Devon Reed, Woodland; Russell; Berg; Taylor; Stephen Kaptur, Deer Island.
Fast Time: Dave Walters, Gresham 14.08. Trophy Dash: Doug Davenport, Vernonia. Heat 1: Davenport; Dan Fox; Clark Tenney, Scappoose. Heat 2: Clint Petty, St. Helens; Jeremy Martin, St. Helens; Walters. Main: Davenport; Fox; Tenney; Martin; Petty; Mike Harrison, St. Helens; Brian Blasier, Scappoose; Barry Lampier, Portland; TJ Richman, Portland; Walters.
Mini Stock Division
Fast Time: Adam Beehler, St. Helens 17.01. Trophy Dash: Tim Oyler, Scappoose. Heat 1: Adam Beehler; Brad Beehler, St. Helens; Charlie Ingram, Portland. Heat 2: Kyle Frelich, St. Helens; Jerry Winchester, Longview; James Young, Portland. Heat 3: Joel Beehler, St. Helens; Tim Oyler; Jerry Wright, Scappoose. Main: Joel Beehler, Adam Beehler; Brad Beehler; Travis Tolman, St. Helens; Tim Oyler, Scappoose; Ingram; John Gartner, Portland; Young; Lisa Oyler, Gresham; Frelich.
Street Stock Division
Fast Time: John Nusom, Gresham 16.21. Trophy Dash: Todd Newton, Portland. Heat 1: Rick Rehanek, Vancouver; John Haagenson, St. Helens; Curt Zelmer, Portland. Gerardo Maya, Portland; Curt Nusom; Justin McMullen, Deer Island. Main: Brad Martin, St. Helens; John Nusom; Curt Nusom; Newton; Zelmer; Steffan Strawn, Deer Island; Ken Bryan, Toledo; Dave Crawford, Portland; R.T. Cutler, Portland; Haagenson.
Pacific Mini Sprint Division
Fast Time: Dave Walters 13.68. Trophy Dash: Jesse Shannon, Centralia. Heat 1: Scott Reed, Toledo; Shannon; Keith Everson, Marysville. Heat 2: Walters; Greg Lane, Centralia; Dan Beck, Castle Rock. Main: Walters; Mike Opaka, Marysville; Beck; Lane; Reed; Tracey Titus, Manzanita; Everson; Shannon; Eric Dehning, Chehalis; Vern Delaney, Winlock.
Fast Time: Ryan Martinez, Portland 13.81. Trophy Dash: Martinez. Heat 1: Kevin Hicks, Creswell; Mike Hagen, Oakland; Brad Martin. Heat 2: Martinez; Todd Peterson, Portland; Jim Fischer, Portland. Main: Martinez; Martin; Fischer; Kevin Hicks; Peterson; Travis Tolman; Hagen; Brad Hicks, Creswell; Jenelle Harrison; Brian Taylor, Portland.
4-Cylinder Late Models
Fast Time: Dennis Pittsonbarger, Clackamas 14.17. Trophy Dash: Bob Westcott, Milwaukie. Heat: Westcott; Mike Christopherson, Portland; Jason Wesolowski, Hillsboro. Main: Westcott; Christopherson; Pittsonbarger; Lee Doty, Medford; Wesolowski; Eric Aos, Milwaukie.
Fast Time: Jenae Frelich, St. Helens 15.94. Trophy Dash: Kathy McMullen, Deer Island. Heat: Tiffany Berg, St. Helens; McMullen; Frelich; Victoria West, St. Helens; Morgan Tenney, Scappoose.
Fast Time: Cody Smith, Scappoose 19.56. Trophy Dash: Smith. Heat: Smith; Baleigh O'Connor, St. Helens; Jonathan West, St. Helens; Stephen Kaptur Jr., St. Helens. Main: Smith; West; O'Connor; Kaptur Jr.