From Kaleb Hart
Alger, WA — (June 13, 2015) — With the 44th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup looming two weeks away, defending Dirt Cup Champion Brock Lemley tuned up for the big show with a win on Janicki Industries Night at Skagit Speedway. Joining Lemley in victory lane were Michael Hodel, Eddie Blood and Freddie Vela.
Two former Dirt Cup champions started on the front row for the 360 Sprint division A Main with Lemley, the 2014 winner, and Jayme Barnes, back to back winner in ’08 and ’09, on the outside. Barnes used the high side to stake to an early lead, with Lemley in tow never more than five car lengths behind him. Jayme entered slower traffic around lap five with Lemley hot on his heels and Jason Solwold and Colton Heath closing as well. All four drivers bobbed and weaved in and around slower cars, with lines changing rapidly, but no one able to really make the big move to advance position. At one point, Barnes Lemley and Solwold were three wide entering corner one, with Jayme driving off the high side to retain the lead. On lap 13, Jayme entered the corner low, opening up the high side for Lemley to try and make a momentum pass. The move stuck for Brock, and his pass of Barnes was official right before a caution flew. Under Skagit Speedway split yellow rules, Brock retained the lead. Barnes gave Brock a run on the restart, but it was Lemley who built and maintained a decent sized advantage for the rest of the contest in winning his first feature of the year in the Blake Cook owned #22. Barnes would hold off Colton Heath for second, whose battle with Jason Solwold was nearly as entertaining as the race for the lead. Tayler Malsam set quick time. Heat winners were Nate Vaughn, Justin Youngquist and Lemley.
The battle for supremacy in the Sportsman Sprints was almost as entertaining as the 360 class. The drama was centered on Dave Mead and Michael Hodel, who ran one and two for almost the entire duration of the race. Mead, the nearly 20 year veteran of the track, and Hodel, who has barely four years experience under his belt, were both looking for their first feature wins. Mead had a large advantage in clean air erased by a late yellow, and that’s when Hodel put his best foot forward. The race stopped multiple times on lap 19, 20 and 21 due to cautions and red flags. On each restart, Hodel would power up underneath Mead on the inside of turn two, only to have Dave drive off the middle and reclaim the lead on the back stretch. Hodel would finally get Dave when he figured out the entrance to turn three. Michael drove the car as hard and deep into the corner as he had all race to pull a whole car length ahead of Mead in turn three as they came towards the completion of lap 24. With room to complete the pass, Michael slid up and took away Mead’s line, securing the lead for good and scoring his first career win. Lance Sargent also slipped by Mead on the final lap to finish second. Greg Otis was awarded third post race when Mead failed technical inspection. Trevor Cook was quick time and heat wins went to Joe Lyon, Tyler Fox and Steve Parker.
Eddie Blood was the winner of the Street Stock race, putting together an easy 25 lap run on his way to the victory. Tim Phillips ran second and Chip Haney took third. Mike Knox Jr won the heat race.
Freddie Vela won yet another Outlaw Tuner main event. Vela took the lead on lap two from Clint Meins and streaked away for what looked like an effortless win. Brandon Berg collected second and Travis Meins came from last to take third. Vela and Matt Powers took home wins in the heat races.
Fast Time – Tayler Malsam 11.877
Heat 1 – Nate Vaughn, Colton Heath, Tayler Malsam, David Miller, Cale Brooke, Marc Duperron, Phil Schemenauer
Heat 2 – Justin Youngquist, Eric Fisher, Jayme Barnes, Greg Hamilton, Matt Jensen, Steve Reeves, Bud Ashe
Heat 3 – Brock Lemley, Jason Solwold, Cam Smith, Mike Bollinger, Travis Jacobson, Steve James
Main – Brock Lemley, Barnes, Heath, Solwold, Fisher, Jacobson, Bollinger, Smith, Youngquist, Hamilton, Jensen, Miller, Vaughn, Reeves, Brooke, James, Malsam, Duperron, Ashe
Lap Leaders – Barnes 1-12 Lemley 13-25
Fast Time – Trevor Cook 12.696
Heat 1 – Joe Lyon, Lee Hornbeck, James Bundy, Greg Otis, Trevor Cook, Clayton Sibley, Dan McGrew
Heat 2 – Tyler Fox, Dave Mead, Zach McCabe, Victoria Cantu, Brett McGhie, Ben Gunderson, Julian Fuentes
Heat 3 –Steve Parker, Lance Sargent, Michael Hodel, Bill Rude, Devin Barnes, Roger Oudman
Main – Michael Hodel, Sargent, Otis, Bundy, Barnes, Rude, McCabe, Fox, Parker, Hornbeck, McGhie, Cook, Fuentes, Sibley, Gunderson, Cantu, Oudman, Lyon, McGrew, Mead
Lap Leaders – Mead 1-23 Hodel 24-25