By Ben Deatherage
Lebanon, Oregon- Another wild night of racing occurred at Willamette Speedway on Saturday August 18th for the annual Coors Clay Cup. The DirtCar Super Late Model had as many twists and turns as does a coastal highway but in the end hoisting the trophy in victory lane was Jeremy Shank. For the Salem pedal stomper it marked his second DirtCar win of the year adding to his Strawberry Cup triumph earlier in the season back in June.
As others relished in delight at the evening others left the facility in dejection and frustration as for some unfortunate few the gremlins were out to get them. Casey Vitale of Albany was one of those drivers as it looked like he would avenge his heartbreak a week prior after a driveline was spat out while leading the August 11th race. The Trademark Transmissions/Cottage Grove Yamaha Motorsports #3V X-Factor grabbed the lead from teenager Justin Duty on lap twelve.
But by the halfway mark Vitale found himself pitted in a battle with the aforementioned Jeremy Shank with lapped traffic coming into the equation rapidly. On lap twenty-one Shank worked the low line to get under a lapped car going into one forcing him to move high. Simultaneously on the high side was Vitale and he had nowhere to go. The two made slight contact and ended with Vitale parked into the wall of turns one and two.
From there Shank would keep his Left Coast Motorsports/South Pacific Auto Sales and Service Center #30 Swartz out in front and lead the rest of the distance. Shank would keep cool under pressure of several restarts as the feature witnessed a total of nine stoppages. It would also be an emotional win for Jeremy Shank who would dedicate his victory to friend and mentor who passed away recently passed away Don Eyerly.
Before the Shank and Vitale battle erupted for the lead amongst themselves a terrific contest for first place occurred between Justin Duty of Happy Valley and Aumsville’s Rick Wyatt. Both drivers were seeking their first win of the season. Wyatt would put his Elite Cabinets Plus/Don Frank Flooring #24W Rocket in the lead first, pacing the field for the first nine laps.
A caution would of occur on lap nine in which a broken control arm on Rob Mayea’s J&S Farms/Cornett Racing Engines #37 Victory Circle would allow the field to be bunched back up. On the following restart Justin Duty would seize the lead afterwards Wyatt would get sideways and spun collecting several cars. The wreck would take some time to clear the track so the red flag was presented of which allowed several drivers to make repairs in the work area.
Through the fortune of staying out of the later cautions Bend driver Rob Mayea placed his entry within the top five eventually working his way all the way to second place where he would finish when the checkered flag would fly. Joey Tanner managed to stay within the top five for much of the later stages and would come across the line in third place in his Jody’s Nothin But Fun Bar and Grill/Metro Services #111 X-Factor. Completing the top five would be the House of Duty with Justin finishing in fourth ahead of his father John in the Don Frank Flooring/Tony Carbaugh Racing Engines #5 Rocket.
Crawfordsville driver Kyle Yeack stepped into a DirtCar Super Late Model for the first time ever during qualifying placing the McDonald Racing/Stetson Racing Engines #8 Swartz atop the time in charts with a time of 15.706 seconds while normal chauffer Lynn McDonald from Sweet Home stepped into the car for the rest of the evening. Joey Tanner was the victor in the trophy dash a four-car four-lap affair featuring the fastest qualifiers of the night. Winning heat races were Rand Barley of Albany in his Dennis Automotive/Charlie James Racing Graphics #13B Rayburn, fellow Albany automobilist Randy Boyd in the Virgil Hanson Automotive Machine #94 Rayburn, Casey Vitale, and Rick Wyatt. Two fifteen lap consolation events were ran with the top three in each race transferring to the feature, those races were won by Rob Mayea and the Sureflow Concrete Pumping Services/Art Plus Signs and Designs #13 Swartz.
The DirtCar Super Late Models will take the week of August 25th off and come back for the Bill Workman Memorial on Saturday September 1st and Sunday September 2nd. Saturday night will be entirely of qualifications and heat races all concluding with a Race of Champions while Sunday will be main events only. Both nights will feature the DirtCar Super Late Models competing against the DAA Northwest Extreme Late Model Series presented by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.
For more information regarding the historic 1/3 mile oval log on to the official website www.trophymotorsports.com. Don’t forget to order your reserved seats for the Monday September 3rd World of Outlaws event by logging on to the track website www.trophymotorsports.com and following the link on the bottom of the home page or contacting the Ticket Force Call Center at 1-877-840-0457.
Coors Clay Cup
Saturday August 18th, 2012
Fast Time: Kyle Yeack 15.706
Trophy Dash Winner: Joey Tanner
Heat Race Winners: Randy Barley (1), Randy Boyd (2), Casey Vitale (3), Ricky Wyatt (4)
First B-Feature: 1. Rob Mayea, 2. Terry Hall, 3. Jimmy Whisler, 4. Tory Swayngim, 5. Randy Boyd, 6. Paul Culp, 7. Mike Peters, 8. Andrew Robertson, 9. Tom Pitts
Second B-Feature: 1. Tony Brakeall, 2. Bruce Hipple, 3. Trent Elliott, 4. Jimmy Schram, 5. Randy Barley, 6. Mark Gaylord, 7. Jordan Wright, 8. Keith Marson, 9. Dan Deibele
A-Feature: 1. Jeremy Shank, 2. Rob Mayea, 3. Joey Tanner, 4. Justin Duty, 5. John Duty, 6. Casey Vitale, 7. Lynn McDonald, 8. Tony Brakeall, 9. Trent Elliott, 10. Mark Thompson, 11. Jimmy Whisler, 12. Terry Hall, 13. Bruce Hipple, 14. Kevin Roberts, 15. Rick Wyatt, 16. Brian Cronk, 17. Trevor Glaser, 18. John Campos, 19. Kye Frick, 20. Steve Moore