Leaders, near leaders take charge in hot August races
Division leaders and near leaders had the most success racing under hot August skies on Saturday night at River City Speedway.
Doug Davenport, Joel Beehler, Kathy McMullen, Ryan Martinez and Cody Smith all won main events to stay atop or near the top of the points standings in their respective divisions. Rick Rehanek and Clyde White both won their first main events of the year, while Gresham's Dave Walters captured his sixth straight Pacific Mini Sprint main.
White and co-driver Clark Tenney of Scappoose have combined for five top-five Sportsman main event finishes and are ranked third in the series point standings. The teammates drive their own cars, which are identical Chevrolet Monte Carlo's. Tenney competed in the first two races and Longview's White drove his car the last four weeks.
'It was fun to finally get a win, but I have to give lots of credit to Clark, David McDaniel and pit crew chief Gerado Caballero, who do a great job taking care of the car every week,' White said.
White led from start-to-finish in winning the 35-lap Sportsman main. White, also the trophy dash winner, won the main by five car-lengths over current division leader Curt Nusom of Gresham. Portland's Aaron Elwess, second in the points standings, was third.
Cody Smith, 14, captured a fourth straight Tracer class (age 13-15 year-olds) main event in addition to a trophy dash.
'Cody has won five of six Tracer main events,' said Dan Smith. 'The other kids in this class are getting better each week. I think this is a great thing for them and I hope more parents will let their kids get involved in racing. There's not a lot for kids to do in Columbia County, so it's a good thing for them to participate in and it keeps them from running around on the streets.'
In the Modified Division, Vancouver's Robert Jenner led from the outset of the 40-lap modified main and appeared to have a good shot at a victory. Tenney's modified racecar stalled in turn two for a lap-16 caution and he was then placed at the rear of the 15-car field on the ensuing double-file restart.
Vernonia's Davenport started eighth and moved up to second by lap 22 after passing Clint Petty of St. Helens. Jenner held onto a narrow lead as Davenport gradually closed the gap. After the two frontrunners circled the quarter-mile clay oval track side-by-side for four laps, Davenport went underneath Jenner on the inside of turn four to gain the advantage on lap 31.
'Jenner didn't want to give up the lead easily and we bumped each other a couple of times said Davenport, the trophy dash winner who leads the standings. 'I finally had an opportunity to pass, but I really had to work to hold onto the lead because I had to drive with a left front flat tire for the remainder of the race. It slowed me down a little, but I had to keep my momentum though to keep the weight off the tire.'
Davenport remained ahead for the last nine circuits to notch a fourth straight victory and fifth win out of six races this season. Davenport won by a straightaway length over Jenner, with Tenney getting a season best third and Sean Fox of Rainier, fourth.
Joel Beehler of St. Helens took the lead in the Mini Stock (4-cylinder) main after passing John Oyler on the inside of the back straightaway on lap 15. Joel, 18, maintained the advantage and moved ahead to get the win by a straightaway length over Oyler of Scappoose. Oyler's brother Tim, also of Scappoose, finished third.
'It was exciting to win the main and the dash, so I really had lots of fun,' said Joel, who notched his third straight main win and fourth overall. He leads the standings over his uncle, Brad Beehler of St. Helens. Uncle Adam Beehler had the division lead, but recently sold his race car. Joel was aware of his current position. 'If I can maintain my lead in the standings, then maybe I'll have a chance to win the championship. It's going to be a close points race though between me and Uncle Brad for the last four races.'
Rehanek, a driver from Vancouver, led all the way to capture the Street Stock main for his first win this year. The Nusom brothers of Gresham, John and Curt, were right behind him, followed by St. Helens' drivers John Haagenson and Brad Martin.
Defending Women's Division champion Kathy McMullen of Deer Island took the lead in the 15-lap main after passing Jenae Frelich of St. Helens. McMullen, who also won the dash, remained ahead to notch her fourth straight win with her McMullen Water Systems/Al's Transmission Chevy Malibu. Morgan Tenney of Scappoose was second, followed by Frelich, Victoria West and Tiffany Gee.
'I'm halfway there and now there's three races in the next two weeks,' said McMullen, who is trying to reach her goal of setting an all-time series record (eight) for wins in a season. 'The car runs good and my pit crew (Scott McMullen, Justin McMullen, and Darrin Rye) always prepare the car well and makes sure it's in great shape for me every week. Jenae and Morgan are both good drivers and they're improving every week.'
Martinez of Portland took the lead from Brad Martin on lap six of the Dwarf Car main and stayed up front the remainder of the 20-lap main to get his second straight victory and third this year in his Competition Motorsports race car. Martinez, 21, was unbeatable as he won the heat race and dash and was also the fastest in qualifying at 14.62 seconds. Martin, 15, took second, followed by Portland's Tyler Steenslid, Travis Tolman of St. Helens and Lucas Eaton of St. Helens.
The seventh event on the 10-race CCRA schedule is Aug. 27, followed by the Reser's Fine Foods Labor Day Races Sept. 3-4.
River City Speedway
(Aug. 20 Official Results)
Fast Time: Curt Nusom, Gresham 15.43. Trophy Dash: Clyde White, Longview. Heat 1: Kristi Somers, Portland; Sean Fox, Rainier; David Houston, Portland. Heat 2: Jesse Allen, Portland; Jesse Freeman, Portland; Stephen Kaptur, Deer Island. Heat 3: Dan Smith, Scappoose; Aaron Elwess, Portland; Brad Beehler, St. Helens. B Main: Fox; Chris West, Vancouver; Allen; Bob Berg, St. Helens; Houston. A Main: White; Nusom; Elwess; Smith; Freeman; Beehler; Fox; Larry Wetzel, Portland; Bud Russell, St. Helens; Berg.
Street Stock Division
Fast Time: Curt Nusom, 15.78. Trophy Dash: John Nusom, Gresham. Heat 1: Justin McMullen, Deer Island; Matt Jenner, Vancouver; R.T. Cutler, Portland. Heat 2: Curt Zelmer, Portland; Aaron Snook, Portland; Ron Dodge, Vernonia. Heat 3: John Haagenson, St. Helens; John Nusom; Curt Nusom. B Main: Cutler; McMullen; Derrik Beehler, St. Helens; Jenner; Tony Hendon, Portland. A Main: Rick Rehanek, Vancouver; John Nusom; Curt Nusom; Haagenson; Brad Martin, St. Helens; Jeremy Westrick, Portland; Ted Slape, Rainier; Cutler; Dodge; Mike Crase, Portland.
Mini Stock Division
Fast Time: Brad Beehler, St. Helens 16.50. Trophy Dash: Joel Beehler, St. Helens. Heat 1: Jake Porea, Portland; Kyle Frelich, St. Helens; James Wallin, Portland. Heat 2: Brad Beehler; Tim Oyler, Scappoose; Joel Beehler. Main: Joel Beeher; John Oyler, Scappoose; Tim Oyler; Brad Beehler; Mark Beehler, St. Helens; Jerry Wright, Scappoose; Charlie Ingram, Portland; Darrin Rye, Deer Island; Joneen Oyler, Scappoose; Frelich.
Fast Time: Don Jenner, Vancouver 14.88. Trophy Dash: Doug Davenport, Vernonia. Heat 1: Ron Daniels, Portland; Sean Fox; Curt Zelmer. Heat 2: Clark Tenney, Scappoose; Clint Petty, St. Helens; Davenport. Main: Davenport; Robert Jenner, Vancouver; Tenney; Fox; Daniels; Zelmer; Don Jenner; Ann Carter, Scappoose; Brian Blasier, Scappoose; Sam Jeffers, St. Helens.
Dwarf Cars Division
Fast Time: Ryan Martinez, Portland 14.62. Trophy Dash: Martinez. Heat 1: Tyler Steenslid, Portland; Travis Tolman, St. Helens; Shane Jordan, Portland. Heat 2: Martinez; Steenslid; Tolman; Lucas Eaton, Scappoose; Harrison; Mike Hagen, Oakland; Jordan.
Fast Time: Morgan Tenney, Scappoose 16.70. Trophy Dash: Kathy McMullen, Deer Island. Heat: Tiffany Berg, St. Helens; Jenae Frelich, St. Helens; McMullen. Main: McMullen; Tenney; Frelich; Victoria West, St. Helens; Berg.
Pacific Mini Sprint
Fast Time: Dave Walters, Gresham 13.90. Trophy Dash: Walters. Heat: Walters; Keith Everson, Marysville; Dan Beck, Castle Rock. Main: Walters; Everson; Mike Opaka, Centralia; Beck.
Fast Time: Tanner Baldwin, Portland 16.38. Trophy Dash: Cody Smith, Scappoose. Heat: Baldwin; Smith; Stephen Kaptur. Main: Smith; O'Conner; Jonathan West, St. Helens; Kaptur.