Legends at Wenatchee Speedway
By Barb Robinson
thThe 7 scheduled race of the 2007 Northwest Legends Touring Series took place ndat Wenatchee’s banked ? mile oval on Saturday June 2. Bright sunshine and 90 degree
temperatures greeted the racers as they unloaded the haulers in the designated pit area. This was the first appearance at the speedway for the series this year; with three additional race dates scheduled, including the 2007 championship event on September nd22. Several cars from Montana made the trek to Wenatchee to compete with the regulars of the Northwest Legends, a welcome addition to the field.
Practice time for the Legends began at 2:40 and the drivers were given three practice sessions an hour apart. Qualifying began at 5:30, with each driver being given one warm up lap and two qualifying laps. The #15 car of Scott Moore posted the fastest lap time of 14.880. Only one other car broke into 14 seconds; the #22 of Scott Dalla with a qualifying lap of 14.889.
Top qualifiers in each class:
Matt Henderson (SP) #6 15.215
Scott Moore (P) #15 14.880
Mike Gardner (M) 15.392
The top four semi-pro qualifiers made up trophy dash A: Matt Henderson #6, Kyle Oman #9K, Doug Anderson #92 and Brandon Sickler #23, with a complete car invert. After making it three wide in turn 3, Matt Henderson in the #6 took the checkered for the win. An additional trophy dash was held for the semi-pro class, and included Garrett Sisk #1, Austin Hoye #20, Natalie Sinner #1sc and AJ Butler #24. The #24 started on the pole due to the invert, and kept the lead for the entire 4 laps, taking the checkered, his first win in the Legends series. The combined top qualifying Pros and Masters trophy dash was made up of Scott Moore #15, Scott Dalla #22, Nick Johnson #97 and Alex Lessor #5. The field was lined up with a total invert, with the #5 starting on the pole. Lessor stayed out front and took the checkered flag to win the 4-lap race.
The field was split for the heat races, with the top ten cars making up heat race A and cars qualifying 11 through 21 making up heat race B. As always, the field was completely inverted for both heat races. Heat race A was won by Kyle Oman in the #9K, rdhis 3 heat race A win of the year. The #24 of AJ Butler won heat race B. It was an exciting night for AJ, as he won the B trophy dash and the B heat race. His consistent, mistake-free driving kept him out front for all eight laps of the heat, as he took the ndcheckered flag several car lengths in front of the 2 place #1sc of Natalie Sinner.
The cars lined up for the main in qualifying order, with a six-car pill-pick invert. The #6 of Matt Henderson and the #16 of Duane Swanson started on the front row. The pace car pulled off and the green flag waved for a scheduled 40 lap main event. On lap 1, due to a spin in turn four, several cars checked up. The #92 of Anderson suffering significant rear-end body damage, but Doug was able to continue with no handling problems. The field was reset for a complete restart. On lap three the #6,while leading the field, hit the wall hard in the front straightaway, with the car suffering extensive damage. Both front tires bounced though the field of cars, as the car slid along the wall in a
spectacular display of sparks and debris. After a long red flag stop the track was cleaned of debris, the car was removed on the hook, and Matt was checked over and released by the EMTs without any serious injuries. The cars lined up for the remaining laps of the race, but a couple of debris cautions and a couple of minor spinouts made for several yellow flag laps, as track officials tried to sort out the lineup and identify lap cars. Due to time constraints and track curfew, the cars were shown the checkered flag at lap 31, short of the 40 laps scheduled.
Lap 31 was the most exciting lap of the race as the #97 and the #22 battled for the lead to the finish, with Nick Johnson in the #97 beating the #22 of Scott Dalla by mere inches. Both drivers had to check out the scoreboard to see which car had finished in front. It was Nick’s fifth Pro win of the year, winning five of the six races in the 2007 season. Kyle Oman in the #9K won the semi-pro class, his third win of the year, as he rdfinished 3 overall. Mike Gardner in the #44 won the masters division, his fourth win of th2007. Mike overcame some mechanical issues, and took the checkered flag in 5 place
overall. All three winning drivers are the 2007 season point’s leaders in their class. Nick Johnson and Kyle Oman pleased the crowd with their burnouts after accepting their trophies and signing autographs. The #44, due to clutch problems, needed a push from the #9K to get back to the pits. Mike’s son, Chase, is certain that the next time his Dad wins, he too will do a burnout for the crowd.
Main Top ten finishers:
1) Nick Johnson #97 (P)
2) Scott Dalla #22 (P)
3) Kyle Oman #9K (SP)
4) Doug Anderson #92 (SP)
5) Mike Gardner #44 (M)
6) Austin Hoye #20 (SP)
7) Ty Hunter #8c (M)
8) Natalie Sinner #1sc (SP)
9) Garrett Sisk #1 (SP)
10) Brandon Sickler #23 (SP)
thOn June 9, the Northwest Legends Touring Series will make its last appearance for the season at Monroe’s Evergreen Speedway. Hope to see lots of Legends cars and thfans there for the last race at that track for 2007. We look forward to returning to the 3/8
mile track in Monroe for several races in 2008. th withSpeedweek excitement starts at Ephrata, Washington on June 16 a $5000 rdpurse, and continues at Kalispell, Montana on June 23. Speedweek at Kalispell is
always an exciting time as drivers compete with Legends cars from all over to US and Canada for the $10,000 purse. In 2006, Legends cars traveled to the track from as far away as South Carolina. The track is a great place to race and a great place to watch racing. Bring sunscreen and a fast car. See you there.