Third annual Fred Brownfield Classic set for this weekend

ELMA — The Fourth of July weekend will kick off on Friday night when some of the best 360 sprint car drivers in the nation will join the Northwest’s best drivers at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.

The third annual Fred Brownfield Classic will kick off for two night, with the preliminary round on Friday and the championship feature on Saturday night.

Both nights will kick off at 7 p.m. The top-four drivers from Friday’s preliminary Classic feature race will automatically advance to Saturday’s championship Classic race.

The Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour drivers, plus a healthy group of Northwest drivers, faced off for three nights at the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway. A vast majority of drivers who competed at the Dirt Cup are expected to enter this weekend’s Classic.

A win on Friday night will net a $3,000 check, while the Classic championship will have at least a $4,000 check attached.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. was the big winner of the weekend, taking two of the three features, including the $15,000 to win the main feature on Saturday night.

Hafertepe moved into second place on the second lap and began to put pressure on Medford, Ore’s Roger Crockett.

By the eighth lap, Hafertepe Jr. took the lead away from Crockett, who had to contend with lapped traffic on the lower portion of the track.

After that, Hafertepe Jr. deftly avoided lapped traffic and held more than a five-second lead before a yellow caution flag came out on lap 36.

With four laps left, Hafertepe Jr. pulled away for the win, with Aaron Reutzel second and Crockett third. Jason Solwold and Blake Hahn rounded out the top five. Hafertepe won the Friday night preliminary race, while Rutzel won the Thursday preliminary race.

Last year, the Sunnyvale, Texas native swept both nights of the Classic and, judging by his performance at Skagit, a repeat may be in the dirt.

Hafertepe blew past Johnny Herrera in a first-lap yellow flag restart and never looked back. It was a virtual wire-to-wire performance for the Classic win. Herrera won the first Brownfield Classic in 2015, while Solwold won the Friday Classic preliminary feature race.

The Northwest Focus Midget series will be the supporting series again, with Tristan Thomas as the defending Classic midget champion.

MAVTV Motorsports is scheduled to tape the Saturday championship feature program and will air the entire night at a future date.