Croft Wins Summer Thunder Sprint Series Feature, Zerbin and Margeson Victorious

ELMA — The Summer Thunder Sprint Series, Northwest Focus Midgets, and Shipwreck Beads Modifieds were on hand for Labor Day weekend on Sunday night as a great field of cars in all three classes took to the 3/8 banked clay oval track at Grays Harbor Raceway.

Shipwreck Beads Modifieds

Kevin Smith of Sedro Woolley took the early lead in the 25-lap Shipwreck Beads Modified feature.

Shelton’s Alan Muenchow ran in second as Lane Zerbin of Campbell River, BC quickly took over the runner-up position.

Lap 1 saw the caution flag fly for a multi car incident in turn two. On the restart, Zerbin stayed right with Smith and took the lead in turn one on lap 3.

Smith moved back to fourth as Muenchow and Shelton’s Scott Miller took over second and third. Muenchow and Miller raced for second with Miller taking the position a few laps later.

Zerbin continued to pull away as the rest of the field sliced and diced for position, providing a little breathing room for Zerbin.

Tom Sweatman of Cosmopolis worked his way into third looking to track down Zerbin and Miller. On lap 11, Miller saw problems as he spun into the infield on the front stretch. On the restart, Sweatman set his sights on Zerbin.

A three-car battle for second ensued between Sweatman, Aberdeen’s Austin Kerrigan, and Graham Cook of Campbell River, BC.

Lap 14 saw Kerrigan spin in turn four bringing out the caution.A late-race restart gave Sweatman and Cook a shot at Zerbin for the lead. Cook moved into second running the outside of the raceway.

Zerbin picked up the win over Cook, Sweatman, Kevin Smith and Scott Miller.

Northwest Focus Midgets Series

Eighteen Northwest Focus Midgets set the field as Poulsbo driver AJ Fugitt took the early lead.

Chance Crum of Snohomish moved into second, battling with Nik Larson of Lake Stevens.

Tacoma’s Evan Margeson also joined in, making it a three-car battle for second. Crum and Margeson looked to the low side of Fugitt for the lead, with Crum taking the top position out of turn two. Margeson stayed right at his back bumper waiting for any mistake.

The caution flew on lap 5 as Ray Stebbins of Seattle spun in turn four. Margeson looked to try and take the lead on the restart but was unsuccessful. Crum ran the low line, making sure Margeson didn’t have a chance to take the momentum away. The battle for third between Larson, Bow’s Shane Smith and Tristin Thomas of Burlington was one of the races to watch.

A mid-race restart saw Smith make a move at Margeson for second but couldn’t hold the position.

Margeson made a shot for the lead, taking the top spot in turn four on lap 15. A late-race caution gave Crum, and Tristin Thomas a shot at Margeson for the lead.

Thomas looked to stay right with Margeson in the closing laps but it was Margeson who picked up the win over Tristin Thomas, Garrett Thomas of McCleary, Smith, and Crum.

Summer Thunder Sprint Series

Greg Hamilton of Burlington took the early lead momentarily as Jared Peterson of Stanwood quickly took the position down the backstretch on the opening lap.

Hamilton was challenged by Medford, Oregon’s Garen Linder and Sacramento driver Willie Croft for second.

Peterson quickly pulled away from the field but the caution flag flew for Puyallup’s Trey Starks after making contact with a uke tire and suffering heavy suspension damage to his car.

On the restart, Croft looked to make a slide job move on Peterson but couldn’t make the pass.

Peterson quickly worked his way into lap traffic running the high side, which allowed Croft to stay close.

A lap 12 caution for Cobble Hill, BC driver Robbie Price allowed Croft to try and make a pass into turn one on the restart. The second time was unsuccessful as Peterson had more momentum on the high side.

Lap traffic became a factor again on a long green-flag run.

Croft made his move into turn one on lap 21, making the pass on Peterson, a few laps later Peterson tried to make a pass but couldn’t. Peterson stayed within striking distance.

Henry Van Dam of Enumclaw slowed to a stop in turn two, setting up a four-lap shootout between Croft and Peterson. Croft timed his restart perfectly and pulled away from Peterson.

Buddy Kofoid of Penngrove, CA gave Peterson a battle for second, trading slide jobs for a handful of laps.

Croft picked up the win over Kofoid, Peterson, Linder, and Marysville’s Colton Heath.

Steve Bulpitt (8) and Justin Austin race for position in the Modifieds class at Grays Harbor Raceway on Sunday. (Photo by AR Racing Videos)

Steve Bulpitt (8) and Justin Austin race for position in the Modifieds class at Grays Harbor Raceway on Sunday. (Photo by AR Racing Videos)