ALGER, Wash. – Three past champions showed why they will be forces to be reckoned with in the race season at Skagit Speedway in Saturday’s round two of the Dwayne Lane’s Family of Auto Centers Racing Series.
Former Sportsman and 360 Track Champion Kelsey Carpenter was victorious in the 410 division, multiple time Sportsman Champ Steve Parker was the winner in a thrilling Sportsman Sprint main and defending champ Freddie Vela won his second feature in a row in the Outlaw Tuner class.
Despite the slim field of competitors, the race for the 410 lead was thrilling. Carpenter led wire to wire, but both Skylar Gee and Tayler Malsam gave him everything he could handle over the final 15 frames of the 25 lap main. Carpenter can now claim victories in all three divisions of Sprint Cars at Skagit Speedway with the win. Malsam edged Gee late for second. Carpenter won the heat race and Malsam was quick time.
Using all of his veteran moxie and guile, Steve Parker raced to the win in the Sportsman Sprint division. Parker inherited the lead on lap seven when race leader Geoff Needham caught the inside berm in turn two and vaulted into the inside guard rail. Parker would build a small advantage that rapidly went away as he approached slower cars, as Devin Barnes was marching toward the front.
Amongst heavy traffic, Barnes snuck by Parker for the lead up high off turn four on lap 11 to grab his only lead of the race. Parker, to his credit, did not panic, diving back to the inside of Devin in turn one, and using a slower car like a basketball style pick, retook the lead at lap 12. Barnes kept the pressure high on Parker as the race wound down, and a lap 24 caution would remove slower traffic from the equation and create a green-white-checkered finish. The initial try failed as Clayton Sibley lost power, so the field bunched again for another go.
Parker got a good run on the next attempt, and the field completed lap 25 when caution flew again, this time for Brett McGhie. Steve and Devin led the field down one more time to green, and when the checkered flag flew on lap 27, it was Parker winning followed by Barnes and Bill Rude in third.
Freddie Vela had his hands full in the Outlaw Tuner main. The defending champ raced from 10th to the lead on lap five, then fended off a very racey Matt Powers who gave him everything he could handle before settling for second. Cliff Ballenger gave Powers a fabulous race for second before settling for third.
Kelsey Carpenter, Tayler Malsam, Skylar Gee, Jason Solwold, Nate Vaughn