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Starks wins Summer Thunder Series feature at Yakima

From Kaleb Hart

Yakima, WA — (April 2, 2016) — The thunder and lightning were on the track, not in the sky as a beautiful Yakima Valley day helped provide picturesque conditions for night two of the Yakima Valley Sprintcar Challenge at Central Washington State Fair Raceway. When the dust settled, Trey Starks emerged with a fatter bank account after pocketing $3,200 in payout and bonuses.

Starting in the fifth position, Starks moved quickly to the top of the raceway in turn one and two and raced his way to third. Exploring the bottom of turns three and four, the Puyallup, WA driver dispatched of polesitter Michael Bollinger for second and set his sights on running down early leader Steve Vague, who was setting a torrid pace. Vague saw his near straightaway lead evaporate slowly as Starks charged forward. Trey used a groove half a car lower than Vague in te first couple of turns to pull alongside down the back straightaway on lap 15, then pulled past him coming out of four to take the lead. With slower traffic looming, Vague would pull even with Starks again on both lap sixteen and seventeen amongst the slower cars, but Starks was too strong and held off the challenge and asserted his lead as the pair hit clean air. A few laps later, Jason Solwold would clear Vague and take his shot at capturing Starks but it was not to be as Trey collected his first STSS win of 2016. Solwold settled for second after starting eighth with JJ Hickle taking third. Solwold was fast time with a lap of 16.190. Heat winners were Henry Van Dam, Joe Ramaker, Jared Peterson and Robbie Price.

As was the case at the 2015 event, the Washington Modified Tour tried to steal the show with their ultra entertaining 25 lap main. Jesse Williamson set out to a large early advantage as Mark Carrell worked his way through to the pack and began reeling in your race leader. Williamson rode the rim while Carrell worked his way patiently around the inside groove, cutting into the advantage by about a tenth of a second per lap. At the lap 15 mark, Carrell pulled even with Williamson in turn two and for the following two laps would go door panel to door panel with the race leader, passing him for the lead coming out of turn two on lap 18. It was not to be however, as a stopped car on the back straight away caused a caution before Carrell could complete the lap, giving Williamson the lead back for a Delaware style restart. Knowing Carrell would be coming strong on the inside, Williamson move down to the bottom of the first corner to block him, allowing Jason Beaulieu a clear path in the outside groove. The Canadian hot shot took full advantage passing Williamson around the outside of turn two. Carrell would pass Williamson shortly thereafter and again set sail for the leader, closing the gap on Beaulieu in an attempt to take the lead one more time. As the white flag flew, Carrell pulled even with Beaulieu out of two, but Beaulieu had superior drive off the corner and slammed the door shut on Carrell off the final corner to score his first win with the Washington Modified Tour as well as his first win in alomsot two and a half years. Carrell settled for a hard fought second with Williamson settling for third. Beaulieu, Carrell, Williamson and Don Jenner were the heat winners.

SUMMER THUNDER SPRINT SERIES

FAST TIME: Jason Solwold 16.190

HEAT 1: Henry Van Dam, Jason Solwold, Rob Lindsey, Steve Vague

HEAT 2: Joe Ramaker, Justin Youngquist, Travis Jacobson, JJ Hickle

HEAT 3: Jared Peterson, Trey Starks, Lance Sargeant, Michael Bollinger

HEAT 4: Robbie Price, Colton Heath, Cam Smith, Jake Helsel

A MAIN: Trey Starks, Jason Solwold, JJ Hickle, Travis Jacobson, Steve Vague, Robbie Price, Jared Peterson, Joe Ramaker, Justin Youngquist, Henry Van Dam, Bricen James, Rob Lindsey, Steve Reeves, Cam Smith, Colton Heath, Lance Sargent, Luke Didiuk, Michael Bollinger, Bud Ashe

LAP LEADERS: Steve Vague 1 – 15, Trey Starks 16 – 30