From Kaleb Hart
ALGER, Wa. (June 1, 2019) – Three of the four divisions at Skagit Speedway were running the rescheduled John Carroll Classic present by IRI on Saturday night, and two of those three divisions saw first time winners grace victory lane. The Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints, Skagit Aggregates Modifieds, Outlaw Tuners and Wicked Energy Gum Focus Midgets were all on the card with a total of 67 cars in the pits on a perfect weather night at the track.
The main event of the night featured the Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints where Sean Johnson grabbed his first career victory. Johnson took control early and built a lead of over a straightaway on Steve Parker as he entered slower traffic around lap nine. After lapping John Tharp, Johnson found the handle on his car starting to fade, allowing Tharp to unlap himself and Parker to close up to his rear nerf. Johnson tried lapping Bill Rude on lap 18, but the pair tangled and in the exchange, Parker would get past but it was all for naught, as Rude stopped on the track and drew a caution flag before Parker could cross the transponder loop in the lead. With Johnson not stopping on the track, he moved back into the lead as the lineup reverted to the previous completed lap. From their, Johnson moved his wing back on the car and recovered some of his missing handling, driving on to his fist Skagit Speedway win and the John Carroll Classic Cup for the Sportsman Sprints, with Parker taking second and Kelsey Carpenter third. Carpenter was quick time. Cory Swatzina and Eric Turner won the heat races.
The wildest main of the night came in the Skagit Aggregates Modifieds. Kevin Smith held the early advantage over his brother Rick Smith, as the pair raced away to a huge lead. As the cross flags were shown on lap 13 indicating the halfway point of the main, Kevin inexplicably slowed, letting his brother pass him and open a large advantage before Kevin found his speed again and started chasing him down. The pair were nose to tail again by lap 22 as slower traffic loomed. As Rick tried to lap Mel Decker down the front straight of the start of lap 23, Decker slowed for a spinning car at the bottom of turn one, causing a chain reaction behind him – Rick slammed into Mel’s rear, breaking suspension pieces and ending his race while Kevin spun to a stop, relegating him to the rear of the field. This gave the lead to Geoff Morris, in only his sixth dirt modified race and second time at Skagit Speedway who led the final laps to take the John Carroll Classic win. After a chaotic last four laps that featured more cautions, spins and general race physicality, Craig Moore ended up second with Mike Steltz third. Heat wins went to the Smith brothers.
Outlaw Tuners were the third division running the John Carroll Classic on Saturday. Kyle Hanson had a fast car all night long and took full advantage of it, racing to the lead on lap nine past a returning Tyler Ketchum and continuing on to the win, his second of the season. Brian Michelson and Vance Hibbard had a spirited battle amongst the plethora of traffic, with Michelson taking second and Hibbard third. Hibbard and Howard Vos won the heats.
The Wicked Energy Gum Focus Midgets were the special guest series on the night and they had an incident free main event that went all 25 laps without stoppage. Evan Margeson drove underneath Sawyer Lind on lap six in turn two to take the lead and was not challenged for the rest of the main as he masterfully navigated traffic, lapping up through 13th place on his charge to the checkered flag. Nick Evans went from sixth to second with Tristin Thomas fighting his way to third. Heat winners were Lind, Margeson and Thomas.
Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprints
Fast Time – Kelsey Carpenter 12.357
Heat 1 – Cory Swatzina, Steve Parker, Sean Johnson, Michael Bollinger, Kelsey Carpenter, Joe Lyon, Brett McGhie, John Tharp, James Bundy
Heat 2 – Eric Turner, Jayme Barnes, Ashleigh Johnson, Chase Goetz, Jesse Schlotfeldt, Malachi Gemmer, Bill Rude
Main – Sean Johnson, Parker, Carpenter, A Johnson, Barnes, Bollinger, Schlotfeldt, Goetz, Turner, Swatzina, Lyon, Bundy, McGhie, Tharp, Gemmer, Rude
Lap Leaders – S Johnson 1-25
Wicked Energy Gum Focus Midgets Series
Heat 1 – Evan Margeson, Nick Evans, Nik Larson, Hannah Lindquist, Jesse Conway, Matt Loving, Jeremiah Franklin, Brian Hayes
Heat 2 – Tristin Thomas, Mike Stryker, Alden Ostrom, Alex Peck, Greg Thornhill, Dave Mills, Ray Stebbins, Brenden White
Heat 3 – Sawyer Lind, AJ Fugitt, Ashley Thompson, Stewart Lee, Breanna Brostrom
Main – Evan Margeson, Evans, Thomas, Lind, Stryker, Larson, Lindquist, Ostrom, Loving, Fugitt, Thompson, Lee, Thornhill, Conway, Peck, Brostrom, Franklin, Mills, White, Hayes, Stebbins
Lap Leaders – Lind 1-5 Margeson 6-25
Skagit Aggregates Modifieds
Heat 1 – Rick Smith, Brent Morris, Jeff Blanton, Carl Franssen, Roger Drake, Mike Steltz, Dan Butenschoen
Heat 2 – Kevin Smith, Adam Holtrop, Craig Moore, Ben Gunderson, Geoff Morris, Mel Decker
Main – Geoff Morris, Moore, Steltz, Franssen, Decker, Blanton, Drake, K Smith, Gunderson, R Smith, B Morris, Holtrop, Butenschoen
Lap Leaders – K Smith 1-13 R Smith 14-22 G Morris 23-26
Heat 1 – Vance Hibbard, Adam Holtrop, Brian Michelson, Clint Meins, Jon Edwards, Mike Thomas, Megan White
Heat 2 – Howard Vos, Tyler Ketchum, TJ Campbell, Kyle Hanson, Rob Dozark, Nathan Merrill
Main – Kyle Hanson, Michelson, Hibbard, Ketchum, Campbell, Edwards, Dozark, White, Thomas, Colin Sims, Merrill, Vos, Holtrop, Meins
Lap Leaders – Ketchum 1-8 Hanson 9-17