ELMA — Saturday evening started out with the Cut Rate Auto Parts and their 20-lap feature.
Tom Hecker of Spanaway took the early lead, with the battle for second between Kirk McGinnis of Renton and Ocean Shore’s Jeff Daniel in the race to watch. Daniel moved into second, while Cory Sweatman of Aberdeen moved into third.
The caution flag flew on lap two for McGinnis, after hard contact with the front-stretch wall. Hecker led Daniel and Sweatman to the green flag, as Hecker had no room for mistakes with Daniel stalking him.
The fourth and fifth position saw Austin and Shane Kerrigan, both of Aberdeen, battle for position for a handful of laps. On lap nine, Sweatman made a charge at Daniel for second, eventually taking the spot a few laps later.
Sweatman wasted no time on hunting down Hecker for the lead as lap traffic became a factor. Getting to Hecker’s back bumper, Sweatman took the lead on lap 14 coming out of turn four. Sweatman maneuvered through lap traffic and extending his lead and subsequently picked up his first win of 2018. Hecker, Austin Kerrigan, Hoquiam’s Jack Parshall and Shane Kerrigan rounded out the top five.
Sportsman Sprint Cars
Cory Swatzina of Sedro Woolley took the lead but quickly saw Bailey Sucich of Granite Falls take over the top spot, bringing Monroe’s Jake Helsel with her.
Sucich ran the low side of the 3/8 banked clay oval, with Helsel right at her back bumper. Swatzina sat in the third position, with Edmond’s driver Devin Barnes having a fourth-place battle with Kelsey Carpenter of Burlington.
Sucich started to pull away from the rest of the field, making perfect laps on a very dry, slick and tricky racetrack. Helsel looked to gain momentum on Sucich as lap traffic became a factor. Helsel looked to close in on Sucich, who sliced and diced her way through lap traffic.
Ultimately, Sucich crossed the line first to take the feature win with a wire-to-wire victory.
Helsel, Carpenter, Barnes and Kinzer Cox of Cottage Grove, Oregon rounded out the top five.
Normally running a 15-lap feature, the Outlaw Tuners were allowed to run 20 laps on Saturday.
Joseph Palmer of Shelton and Chad Norton of Tenino led the field to the green flag. Palmer quickly saw problems as his hood came up, blocking his view, bringing out the caution.
On the restart, Norton quickly jumped out front as Tacoma driver Trevor Dugent moved into second.
The caution flag quickly came out as Wishkah’s Don Briggs Sr. saw contact by Jeremy Jones, also of Wishkah. Briggs Sr. spun, and collected Aberdeen’s Tyler Sundstrom and Palmer.
On the subsequent restart, Norton jumped back out front as Belfair’s Max Sanford moved into the second spot. The battle for third between Nik Sheats of Olympia and Dugent was the race to watch. Dugent took over the third spot, looking to track down the leaders.
The caution flag flew for Maynard Barnum of Raymond and Belfair’s Mark Champine after both made contact on the backstretch.
Norton continued to lead the field, as Sanford chased him down. Dugent had Sheats on his back bumper for a handful of laps waiting for a mistake to take back third. Briggs Sr., who was involved in a earlier incident, worked his way back up to battle for third as Jones joined in to make it a four-car battle.
Norton went on to pick up the win over Jones, Briggs Sr., Sanford and Olympia’s Devon Harper.
Racing will resume Saturday with the 360 Sprint Cars, Shipwreck Beads Modifieds, Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks, and Outlaw Tuners. Gates will open up at 5:30 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit graysharborraceway.com.