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Columbia County Racing champs back in front

    -     Defending Columbia County Racing Association champions are contenders again.

Scott Dorie, Scott McMullen, Brandon Potter and Bob Berg were main event winners on Saturday, June 25, at River City Speedway, their hometown track.

Ray Elwess of Gresham, and Mike Opoka, of Vancouver, Wash., won Wilcox & Flegel Oil Co. (Longview, Wash.)-sponsored mains at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens.

The fifth race of the season is First Responders Night, to which responders with identification receive free admission, at 5 p.m. on July 9. A 50-lap paint to pass race will showcase four- and six- cylinder cars.

Dorie celebrated his 59th birthday two days early on Saturday as he led from start to finish to win the Dwarf Car 25-lap main. He also won the trophy dash and was second in the heat race in his Aaron Hardesty Construction-sponsored 1932 Ford Vicky two-third scale replica dwarf car.

Dorie's daughter, Kylee, 19, took a career-best third.

"It was a real good race, and I was sure happy that my daughter took third, so it was very exciting for both of us," said Scott Dorie, who won the 2014 Dwarf Car Division champion. "I'm preparing a new car and I'll have it ready for the next race, so this was probably the last race in [the Ford Vicky]."

McMullen won the Street Stock Divison trophy dash and main in his McMullen Water Systems/Alliance Automotive & Exhaust (St. Helens) 1979 Chevrolet Malibu.

McMullen's son, Justin, the 26-year-old defending champion and current points leader, was second in the Fast Lube and Oil (Scappoose) Chevy Malibu.

It's the second time that the duo notched one-two finishes. Scott won and Justin was second on June 4.

"It was lots of fun and we sure had a real good night," Scott McMullen, who started seventh, took the lead on the eighth lap and led the rest. "Things went real well in the dash, and I passed Bernie Lujan on the last lap to win that race. Justin was right behind me for most of the main, and we just continued running one-two most of the way, which was really fun. Justin got close to me a couple of times, but I was able to hold him off. I think he could've passed me if he had an opportunity, but I was able to stay up front and get the win."

Hunter Gollyhorn, 16, of Scappoose, sped to a career-best fifth in the Street Stock main finish in his Eaton's Tire & Service Center (St. Helens)/Versatile Glass Tinting (Scappoose) 1976 Camaro. The defending series champion won the Tracer Division trophy dash and heat, was the fastest qualifier and leads the 13-16 age group.

"It was pretty cool to get a top-five Street Stock Division finish, and it's definitely pretty exciting to get my best finish ever," Gollyhorn said. "I was running in the lower portion of the track and following other cars, but then I decided to move to the outside and pass them, and that worked out pretty good. It was pretty exciting at the end, too, when I had a drag race with Greg Brumbaugh down the front straightaway to get the fifth place position by just a very close margin. Getting a fifth-place main event finish is definitely the highlight of my stock car racing career. I'm pretty sure that I'll win another Tracer Division title as well, but I just wish there was a little more competition instead of having just a few cars."

Dustin Asher of Portland won the Tracer main.

Curtis Zelmer of Portland, Lujan and Matt Brown won the Street Stock heat races.

Berg won the Four-Cylinder Division main and heat race — his first victory in the series — in his Cozy Lawn Maintenance/Eaton's Tire & Service Center 1997 Dodge Neon.

Potter, 23, won the Modified Division main in his AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care (Corvallis)/Ri Ky Roofing, LLC (Portland) open wheel-style car. It marked the standings leader's third win in four starts, and he had the fastest qualifying car in 15.34 seconds on the quarter-mile clay oval track.

Pam Graham of Portland won the Modified trophy dash, and Blasier won the heat race.

Elwess won his third straight Sportsman Division main in his Cozy Lawn Maintenance (St. Helens)/Pacific Groundworks Inc. (Scappoose) Camaro, and he leads the series point standings.

Elwess, 55, started seventh and sprung to first in the seven-car race. He took the lead from Sean Fox of Rainier on lap eight, who had to exit the track into the pit area with a flat tire.

Fox changed the tire after a yellow flag caution period and returned to the track for the restart of the 25-lap race. He continued his strong effort and was runner-up in his Cascade Concrete Products Inc. (Scappoose)/Northwest Competition Motorsports Chevy Monte Carlo. Fox won the trophy dash and the heat race, and qualified first.

"It was a rough race and I had to drive the final two laps with a broken left rear spring shock bracket, which really slowed the car down a lot since it was so close to the ground," said Elwess, who won Modified Division titles in 2004 and 2006 and chases his first Sportsman title. "I had a big enough lead to pull out the win though. I'm going to try and win my fourth straight race at the next race."

Opoka, 63, won the Pacific Mini Sprint Division main event in his M & Z Properties/Hyper Racing open-wheel winged sprint car. It marked the fourth consecutive main event win for Opoka, the defending champion and current division points leader.

Official Results

Dwarf Car Division

Fast Time: Richard Petty, 15.11. Trophy Dash: Scott Dorie, Petty, Josh Rodgers, Teagan Fischer. Heat 1: Lucas Eaton, Kylee Dorie, Ken Provolt, Curtis Zelmer, Andrew Andexler. Heat 2: Neal Hopwood, S. Dorie, Fischer, Rodgers, Petty, Jake Tupper. Main: S. Dorie, Petty, K. Dorie, Fischer, Olivia Eaton, Provolt, Zelmer, Rodgers, Tupper, Eaton, Andexler, Dustin Reynolds.

Pacific Mini Sprint Division

Fast Time: Vinny Villeggiante, 14.12. Trophy Dash: Mike Opoka, Crystal Flath, George Nichols, Brian Beecher. Heat: Opoka, Flath, Nichols, Doug Pirtle, Beecher, Villeggiante. Main: Opoka, Flath, Pirtle, Nichols, Beecher.

Modified Division

Fast Time: Brandon Potter, 15.34. Trophy Dash: Pam Graham, Steve Kaptur, Potter, Mike Graham. Heat: Brian Blasier, Greg Greer, P. Graham, Potter, M. Graham, Kaptur. Main: Potter, Blasier, P. Graham, M. Graham, Kaptur, Greer.

Four-Cylinder Division

Fast Time: John Gartner. Trophy Dash:Dick Gaboury, Gartner, Jason Scheibel, Eddie Farness. Heat 1: Bob Berg, Adam Beehler, Dale Holland, Sam Simmet, Cheryle Thompson, Natasha Rye, Hal Farness, Doug Pirtle. Heat 2: Gaboury, E. Farness, Scheibel, Joel Davis, Gartner, Chico Brinster. Main: Berg, Gartner, Holland, H. Farness, Gaboury, Scheibel, Thompson, Rye, Beehler, Brinster, Simmet, E. Farness.

Sportsman Division

Fast Time: Sean Fox. Trophy Dash: Fox, Ray Elwess, Devon Reed, Steve Fenter. Heat: Fox, Elwess, Steve Schreiner, Fenter, Bill Montgomery, Jordan Robinson, Reed. Main: Elwess, Fox, Fenter, Montgomery, Robinson, Reed, Schreiner.

Street Stock Division

Fast Time: Justin McMullen. Trophy Dash: Scott McMullen, Bernie Lujan, J. McMullen, Ryan White. Heat 1: Matt Brown, Larry Wetzel, Mike Crase, Trenton Serface, Gannin Thomas. Heat 2: Curtis Zelmer, Randy Nutting, Gary Kordosky Jr., David Flack, Gary Kordosky Sr., Dillon Mathieu. Heat 3: Lujan, S. McMullen, J. McMullen, Terry King, White, Greg Brumbaugh. Main: S. McMullen, J. McMullen, Lujan, Kordosky Sr., Hunter Gollyhorn, Brumbaugh, Nutting, Brown, Flack, Wetzel, White, Thomas, Crase, Serface, Kordosky Jr., Zelmer, Mathieu.

Tracer Division

Fast Time: Hunter Gollyhorn, 17.27. Trophy Dash: Gollyhorn, Dustin Asher, Ryan Potter. Heat: Gollyhorn, Asher, Potter. Main: Asher, Potter.