From Andrew Kunas
BANKS, Ore. – Following a bad night on the Oregon coast a month ago, Gary Davis has since caught fire. On Saturday night, Davis won the Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series main event at Sunset Speedway in dominating fashion for the second time in three weeks.
Davis, from Albany, Ore. was just a tiny fraction of a second’s time in qualifying from a second consecutive clean sweep. Davis came from the fourth starting position to win his heat race, got the luck of the draw and won the trophy dash from the pole, and then led all 30 laps of the NWWT main event aboard his No. 9 Chevy-powered Triple X. This follows his win at the same 1/4-mile, slightly-banked red clay oval just two weeks earlier.
On June 4th at Coos Bay Speedway, Davis was involved in a melee on the front stretch and destroyed his car in a wild series of flips in his heat race. Forced to sit out the main event and having already used up his throw-out when he missed the season opener on April 30th, Davis took a big hit in the point standings that night. With the two wins now, however, he has climbed back to fifth place in the standings, 53 points back of Corey Esteban with nine scheduled races remaining.
Just as he did on June 25th, Esteban finished second to Davis aboard his own No. 36 Chevy-powered Eagle, this time after starting sixth in the main event after a tough outing in the trophy dash. Esteban, of Gaston, Ore. got alongside Vancouver, Wash.’s Mike Romig coming out of Turn 4 on the final lap and edged him by 0.016 seconds at the finish line for the runner-up spot. Romig settled for third place in his No. 22 Raybourn-powered Eagle. For Esteban, it is his third runner-up finish in five completed NWWT main events this season.
The pass at the finish proved to be crucial for Esteban, who entered the night with a 10-point lead over Romig in the standings. Romig set fast time in qualifying and chipped seven points off Esteban’s lead, this before Esteban got three of them back in heat race action and bumped his lead back to six points. Had Romig held off Esteban, he would’ve cut Esteban’s lead to just three points. Instead, Esteban left Sunset Speedway with a nine-point lead.
Making just his second trip out to race with the NWWT this year, Joe Bosso Jr. of Gresham, Ore. took fourth place in the Bosso Racing No. 69 J&J-powered John Boy. Creswell, Ore.’s Jesse Thistle started eighth in the main event and drove his way to a fifth place finish in his own No. 4 Drummond-powered Maxim.
Romig’s pace setting time in qualifying was a trip of 15.039 seconds around the small 1/4-mile oval. Davis was second with a time of 15.055 seconds. The two points Davis missed out on was all that seperated him from a second straight perfect event score (169 points). Davis won the evening’s first heat race and the second heat race saw Esteban pick up his first heat race win of the season. Davis won the trophy dash race over Mark Nichols, Mark Herz, Romig, Bosso and Esteban.
The Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series will return to Sunset Speedway on August 13th and again on September 10th. The next scheduled NWWT event is its second visit of the season to Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. on Saturday, July 30th, followed by the NWWT’s second and final 2011 trip to Coos Bay Speedway out on the Oregon coast.
More information on the Northwest Wingless Tour, the Pacific Northwest’s premier non-wing sprint car series, can be found online at http://www.nwwinglesstour.com
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Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series
July 9, 2011
Fast qualifier: 22 Mike Romig, 15.039 seconds
Heat 1 (10 laps): 1. 36 Corey Esteban, 2. 64 Mark Nichols, 3. 22 Mike Romig, 4. 2k Sterling Kane, 5. 04 Brad Rhodes. First three finishers qualified for trophy dash.
Heat 2 (10 laps): 1. 9 Gary Davis, 2. 28 Mark Herz, 3. 69 Joe Bosso Jr., 4. 4 Jesse Thistle. First three finishers qualified for trophy dash.
Dash (6 laps): 1. 9 Gary Davis, 2. 64 Mark Nichols, 3. 28 Mark Nichols, 4. 22 Mike Romig, 5. 69 Joe Bosso Jr., 6. 36 Corey Esteban. Finish determines first six starting positions of Feature.
Feature (30 laps): 1. 9 Gary Davis, 2. Corey Esteban, 3. 22 Mike Romig, 4. 69 Joe Bosso Jr., 5. 4 Jesse Thistle, 6. 64 Mark Nichols, 7. 28 Mark Herz, 8. 04 Brad Rhodes, 9. 2k Sterling Kane.
Lap leaders: Gary Davis 1-30]
NWWT: The Northwest Wingless Tour