ELMA — The street stocks earned the marquee Saturday afternoon with the division’s Iron Man 50 during the Grays Harbor Fair Races at Grays Harbor Raceway.
Aberdeen’s Austin Kerrigan went wire-to-wire in the second and final segment and nursed his car across the finish line for the Iron Man 50 feature victory. Cosmopolis’ Tom Sweatman went wire-to-wire to win the modifieds feature race for his third win of the season.
Tom’s son, Cory, won the tuners division race that finished the late-afternoon program.
Iron Man 50
Split into two 25-lap segments, the street stocks ran two A-main feature races in just under 90 minutes time. The modified feature race ran in between the segments, allowing most of the drivers a chance to work on their cars and get some rest.
“Drink a lot of water,” Hoquiam’s Jason Tole told the crowd when he was asked how to survive the two-segment race.
“I survived; I’m sweating from head to toe,” Hoquiam’s Jack Parshall added.
Austin Kerrigan, who did double duty in his modified car, needed every ounce of his car to finish the second 25-lap segment — his transmission was going out. He noticed it around lap 30 and made it around the track to the finish. Then, it went out.
“I knew it would go out trying to do a burn-out,” Kerrigan said. “I just made it.”
Kerrigan picked up the win in the first 25-lap segment and the pole position for the final 25 laps with a move out of turn four and down the front straightaway on lap 18. Austin’s father, Shane, did most of the fighting with Brenton Schnitzer in the first 25 laps and earned an air filter cover on his windshield for his troubles for the final 10-plus laps.
For the final 25, Austin Kerrigan went three-wide down the back straightaway twice in the early laps with Shane Kerrigan and Schnitzer. Then, in traffic, Shane Kerrigan spun out in turn two and never returned.
Parshall, who stayed out of trouble for the first 28 laps, inherited the second spot behind Austin Kerrigan and pressed onto his bumper for the remainder of the race.
Even with transmission troubles, Austin Kerrigan’s only threats came on restarts. The final one came with five laps to go and Austin Kerrigan kept Parshall and Tole behind him for the win.
Sweatman never relinquished the lead in this 25-lap feature, but had plenty of chances to work on his restarts. Seven caution flags flew in this race, allowing the field a chance to fight with Sweatman for the lead.
However, the veteran Sweatman roared away each time. The biggest caution came on lap 21 when three cars got involved in a major fender-bender coming into turn four. Inside the field, Dell Schnitzer and Austin and Shane Kerrigan found themselves entangled. Schnitzer and Austin Kerrigan never returned, while Shane Kerrigan was able to drive away. He finished seventh.
A late spin on lap 23 brought out a green-white-checkered finish. Sweatman, with Shelton’s Scott Miller right behind him, made it elementary with a quick restart and finish.
Cory Sweatman made it two in a row feature wins by going wire-to-wire in the 15-lap feature to end the festivities.
Several caution flags flew to bunch up the field, allowing Don Briggs Sr. to challenge for the lead with Sweatman. In the end, the young driver held on for the win.
Racing resumes Saturday with the Rolling Thunder Big Rigs. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.
Grays Harbor County Fair Race
Heat 1 — 1. 9 Jack Parshall, 2. 5 Tom Hecker, 3. 97 Tyson Blood, 4. 43 Shane Kerrigan, 5. 14 Jeff Daniel, 6. 19 Taylor Miller, 7. 99B Brandon Babcock
Heat 2 — 1. AK47 Austin Kerrigan, 2. 34 Jason Tole, 3. 42 Scott Fritts, 4. 87 Brenton Schnitzer, 5. 22X Kelly Fugate, 6. 27 Tiffany MacDonald, 7. 12 Doug Brewster, 8. 00 Kirk McGinnis
Iron Man Race — 1. Austin Kerrigan, 2. Parshall, 3. Tole, 4. Hecker, 5. Fritts, 6. Blood, 7. Daniel, 8. Schnitzer, 9. Brewster, 10. Fugate, 11. McGinnis, 12. Shane Kerrigan, 13. Babcock, 14. MacDonald, 15. Miller
Heat 1 — 1. 11 Tom Sweatman, 2. 12s Zack Simpson, 3. 28 Brian Harding, 4. 18X Sam Carlisle, 5. 43K Shane Kerrigan, 6. 44 Del Schnitzer, 7. 8 Steve Bulpitt
Heat 2 — 1. AK47 Austin Kerrigan, 2. 26 Scott Miller, 3. 14K Kyler Moore, 4. 4R Bill Rowe, 5. 17 Brian Izzi, 6. 47 Steve Signal, 7. 87 Tyler Walker, 8. 86 Dave Howard
A-Main — 1. Sweatman, 2. Miller, 3. Harding, 4. Moore, 5. Carlisle, 6. Rowe, 7. Shane Kerrigan, 8. Walker, 9. Bulpitt, 10. Izzi, 11. Austin Kerrigan, 12. Schnitzer, 13. Signal, 14. Howard
A Main — 1. 11 Cory Sweatman, 2. 13XXX Don Briggs Sr, 3. 21XL Robert Shoberg, 4. 3 Max Sanford, 5. 75 Chad Norton, 6. 23 Tyler Sundstrom, 7. 9X Myles Tozier, 8. 22 Kaleya Onasch, 9. 33X Jason Parmelee, 10. 7X Anthony Fenton, 11. 59 Josh Wharton, 12. 50 Brittany Diggle