Jason Solwold Tops Dirt Cup Opener

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Jason Solwold (center) shared the podium Thursday at Skagit Speedway with Colton Heath and Taylor Malsam. (ASCS/Lisa Dynes photo)
Jason Solwold (center) shared the podium Thursday at Skagit Speedway with Colton Heath and Taylor Malsam. (ASCS/Lisa Dynes photo)
Jason Solwold (center) shared the podium Thursday at Skagit Speedway with Colton Heath and Taylor Malsam. (ASCS/Lisa Dynes photo)

ALGER, Wash. — The 44th Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box kicked off in fine style as Washington’s Jason Solwold notched his sixth victory of 2015 and first against the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.

Chasing Kyle Bellm for the first 11 rounds, contact with the slower car put the No. 14k pit side, giving the No. 18 the top spot. From there, Solwold led a podium charge of Washington drivers to the checkered flag.

“I just tried to get to the front as quick as I could. Lapped traffic as pretty hairy, and it got a little dirty going through a bunch of cars like that. It happens, but I have to give a hats off to all our local guys here that didn’t get beat,” Solwold said. “Our local guys are pretty strong so we’ll definitely give them a run for their money and a couple guys that ended up back there a ways will pick it up tomorrow and maybe we’ll have a local top-five.”

Falling back one on the start, fifth starting Colton Heath spent much of the night’s feature battling through the top -five with restarts on lap 11 and 23 proving effective for the No. 33x.

“It’s awesome running top-three with all the local guys here. We’ve been battling each other all year,” said Heath. “I was able to get Taylor running the bottom to middle area, I just didn’t need Jason to be there at the end for me to do anything because I wasn’t really good on the top but we’ll take it, we’ll move on, and hopefully have us in good position after tomorrow.”

Holding off several charges from Wayne Johnson throughout the closing laps, Taylor Malsam put the Rudeen Racing No. 26 on the final podium step. “It was fun,” he said. “We had a great car tonight, just a little free on the bottom and just picked up what we could. It’s hard to pass here and Colton got by me because of my error, but overall it’s a good points night going into the weekend.”

Wayne Johnson and Aaron Ruetzel completed the top five.

The finish:

Jason Solwold, Colton Heath, Tayler Malsam, Wayne Johnson, Aaron Reutzel, Jared Peterson, Willie Croft, Trever Kirkland, Travis Rilat, Brock Lemley, Robbie Price, Skylar Gee, Trey Starks, Jordan Weaver, Marc Duperron, Eric Fisher, Matt Covington, Cameron (Cam) Smith, Sean Macdonell, Seth Bergman, Kyle Bellm, Chase Goetz.