By Andrew Kunas
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. – Kyle Miller ran a dominating main event again at Cottage Grove Speedway on Saturday and scored his second Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series main event victory of the season, and with his third career NWWT triumph he is now the all-time leader in main event wins in the tour’s short history.
The Eugene, Ore. driver started the 30-lap main event on the outside of the front row after finishing second to hometown driver Dale Smith in the trophy dash event earlier in the evening. Miller took the lead off the start and led the entire way, never looking back as he lapped everyone but second place finisher Colin Baker and third place finisher Evan Margeson. After a restart with seven laps completed, the final 23 laps went non-stop and Miller commenced on lapping one car after another aboard the Scott Miller No. 10 Nutter-powered Triple X.
Only ten cars were left on the lead lap after Lap 19. Miller lapped another three cars on Lap 22 alone to knock it down to five lead lap cars. He got the fifth place car on Lap 25 and then the fourth place car on Lap 27, and meanwhile Baker and Margeson were far behind most of the way. Only on a couple of instances early on was Baker able to get somewhat close to Miller as they made their way through traffic. Miller’s margin of victory was 4.6 seconds.
Baker, another Cottage Grove resident driving the family’s No. 23b Drummond-powered Maxim, briefly battled with Margeson, driving the Margeson Racing No. 50 Shaver-powered Eagle, for the second position after Smith had broken his front axle and spun out in Turns 3 and 4 on the second lap. Baker established himself in that spot and held it over Margeson the rest of the race, while the two lapped several cars themselves during the long green flag run.
Margeson had earlier won the Washington Midget Racing Association’s main event, giving the Tacoma, Wash. resident two podium finishes on the same track on Saturday.
Before the last 23 straight laps of green flag racing, there were only two cautions before, the first being for Smith’s misfortune with just one lap complete. The other came with seven laps completed for the spin in Turn 1 by Orion Redmond.
Ridgefield, Wash.’s Pat Canfield moved his way from the 11th starting position to eventually finish fourth in his own No. 25 Gambler. Albany, Ore.’s Gary Davis, who had won the last two NWWT main events before Saturday’s show, finished fifth aboard the Robert O’Neil No. 9 Triple X, while Gaston, Ore.’s Corey Esteban took a solid sixth place finish to maintain his NWWT points lead aboard his own No. 36 Chevy-powerd Eagle.
A NWWT record field of 29 non-wing sprint cars were on hand for Saturday’s event, necessitating a B-Main event for just the second time in the NWWT’s history. Per the old Northern Sprint Tour (and later the Northwest Sprint Challenge Series) format that was re-introduced by the NWWT this year, the first two finishers of the B-Main event, Dan Philpott and Raquel Ivie, got their qualifying times back (behind the six dash cars), and Philpott was able to start eighth and Ivie ninth.
Ivie, from Eugne, would finish seventh in the Poison Ivie Racing No. 1v Maxim and Philpott – out of Glide, Ore. – drove the Heather Loomis No. 29p Rocket to an 11th place finish. The 15th starting Zack Spaulding of Springfield, Ore. took eighth in the Ron Spaulding No. 24z EcoMachine-powered Eagle, followed by the 12th starting Mark Nichols of Eagle Creek, Ore. in his own No. 64 Ferguson-powered Zeitler. Mike Carrothers of Cottage Grove rounded out the Top 10 in his own No. 18 Maxim.
Also transferring out of the 12-lap B-Main and tagging the back of the A-Main field were Jesse Thistle and Doug Peter, who moved up from the 20th and final starting position to finish 12th.
Kyle Miller’s two previous Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series victories also came at Cottage Grove Speedway. He previously shared the top of the NWWT’s winners list with Kyler Barraza, Roger Crockett, Steve Vague and Davis, each of whom have two wins of their own since the NWWT’s inaugural season in 2009.
Heat races earlier in the evening were won by Davis, Spaulding, Redmond and Miller. The fastest six qualifiers who transferred out of those heat races were locked into the trophy dash, which set the first three rows of the A-Main. Smith became the NWWT’s fourth different dash winner this season with his win over Miller, Margeson, Carrothers, Baker and Esteban. Esteban remains the only driver to have made every single trophy dash in NWWT competition this year, securing himself Top 6 starting positions in every main event this year.
Baker paced the NWWT’s largest field ever in qualifying with a lap of 13.185 seconds around the ¼-mile, high-banked clay oval.
The next event for the Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series is Saturday, August 6th at Coos Bay Speedway, located by the Oregon coast, followed by an event at Sunset Speedway in Banks, Ore. on August 13th. More information on the Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series can be found online at http://www.nwwinglesstour.com.
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Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series
Cottage Grove Speedway
Cottage Grove, OR
July 30, 2011
29 cars (NWWT record)
Fast qualifier: 23b Colin Baker, 13.185 seconds
Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 9 Gary Davis, 2. 23b Colin Baker, 3. 64 Mark Nichols, 4. 22 Mike Romig, 5. 15 Tony Parker, 6. 7g Mike Griffith Jr., 7. 8j Justin McConville, 8. 2k Sterling Kane. First four finishers transfer to A-Main.
Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. 24z Zack Spaulding, 2. 41 Dale Smith, 3. 36 Corey Esteban, 4. 52 Tim Alberding, 5. 7k Kyle Mehner, 6. 29p Dan Philpott, 7. 3 Wayne VanRaden. First four finishers transfer to A-Main.
Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. 12 Orion Redmond, 2. 50 Evan Margeson, 3. 4e Nathan Ellertson, 4. 29 Tommy Moreno, 5. 4 Jesse Thistle, 6. 42 Doug Peter, 7. 55 Josh Horner. First four finishers transfer to A-Main.
Heat 4 (8 laps): 1. 10 Kyle Miller, 2. 25 Pat Canfield, 3. 18 Mike Carrothers, 4. 11x Kady Adelman, 5. 04 Brad Rhodes, 6. 28 Mark Herz, 7. 1v Raquel Ivie. First four finishers transfer to A-Main.
Dash (6 laps): 1. 41 Dale Smith, 2. 10 Kyle Miller, 3. 50 Evan Margeson, 4. 18 Mike Carrothers, 5. 23b Colin Baker, 6. 36 Corey Esteban. Finish determines first six starting positions of A-Main.
B-Main (12 laps): 1. 29p Dan Philpott, 2. 1v Raquel Ivie, 3. 4 Jesse Thistle, 4. 42 Doug Peter, 5. 8j Justin McConville, 6. 7k Kyle Mehner, 7. 55 Josh Horner, 8. 7g Mike Griffith Jr., 9. 15 Tony Parker, 10. 04 Brad Rhodes, 11. 2k Sterling Kane, 12. 3 Wayne VanRaden, 13. 28 Mark Herz. First four finishers transfer to A-Main.
A-Main (30 laps): 1. 10 Kyle Miller, 2. 23b Colin Baker, 3. 50 Evan Margeson, 4. 25 Pat Canfield, 5. 9 Gary Davis, 6. 36 Corey Esteban, 7. 1v Raquel Ivie, 8. 24z Zack Spaulding, 9. 64 Mark Nichols, 10. 18 Mike Carrothers, 11. 29p Dan Philpott, 12. 42 Doug Peter, 13. 52 Tim Alberding, 14. 22 Mike Romig, 15. 4 Jesse Thistle, 16. 11x Kady Adelman, 17. 4e Nathan Ellertson, 18. 29 Tommy Moreno, 19. 12 Orion Redmond, 20. 41 Dale Smith.
Lap leaders: Kyle Miller 1-30
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NWWT: The Northwest Wingless Tour sprint car series