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For Immediate Release: Yakima Speedway Media Relations

May 17, 2012

For Immediate Release: Yakima Speedway Media Relations

 Valdez will be in the hunt for Sportsman victory at Yakima Speedway

 Yakima, WA (May 17, 2012)-Coming off a strong performance last weekend in his first venture away from Yakima Speedway, Lucas Valdez will use the experiences gained in winning Spokane County Raceway's Hobby Stock Invitational to his advantage as the 2011 Burger Ranch Sportsman Rookie of the Year looks to make it two consecutive victories in as many weeks and do so on two different race tracks.

While Spokane and Yakima are half-mile ovals, each has different handling needs. Valdez was able to overcome any obstacles en route to a $1000 payday last Saturday. Valdez has struggle at Yakima Speedway thus far in the season but despite sub-par finishes still finds himself in the championship chase. The Kennewick native sits third overall in the standings, trailing defending champion and current points leader, Buck Noel Jr., by 42 markers with a mere eight points separating Valdez and second-place points runner, Kyler Conduff.

The focus may be on Valdez and his run to the front of the Sportsman field this weekend, but, Yakima Speedway will feature plenty action on Saturday night with a total of five exciting divisions to offer race fans.

 Joining the Sportsman on the famed half-mile's Saturday night schedule will be the H&H Furniture Pure Stocks, CWI Security/EZ Credit Auto Sales Hornets, Sea Galley Bump-to-Pass and Speedway Mini-Stocks.

Car count is growing in the first-year Mini-Stock division. With 9 racers taking part in the last event the class is proving to be a popular place for up and coming four-cylinder drivers to hone their skills. Cody Denton is the division's points leader heading into the weekend with Joshua Henne and Casey Chambers rounding out the top-3. Denton has a main event victory and a runner-up finish to his credit in the early going of the division's inaugural season that has propelled him to the top of the points ladder.

In the wild and crazy Bump-to-Pass division the field has been chasing Josh Aguirre in each event with no luck. Aguirre has shown to have the dominant car that has also come home each weekend relatively unscathed. Also having strong runs in the early season are Joe Stevens, Todd Nunn and Shannon Davis.

 James Norman debuted a new Hornet in the division's last event and stormed to victory, but, it's been Micheal Beck who has shown a consistent driving approach to lock down the number two position in the points standings just behind an equally consistent Jeff Ball. Only ten points separate the drivers heading into this weekend's action with Casey Chambers lurking three points behind Beck and 13 points off the top spot in the championship chase.

Chris Marang broke through on May 5 for his first career main event victory in the H&H Furniture Pure Stock division and has had the top car in qualifying over the early going of the season. Last year's Rookie of the Year now must contend with veteran Rob Allen, who had his two-race winning streak snapped at the last Pure Stock main event. Other in the division who have put together strong early outings include Tim Hitchcock, Jeff Wilkinson and Jeff Wade. All five drivers have led laps this season during a main event and this may be a year in which no one driver dominates the class' landscape.

 Additional information regarding this weekend's racing action at Yakima Speedway can be found by logging onto yakimaspeedway.us or the tracks page on Facebook. Saturday's qualifying action gets underway at 5:15 p.m. with racing set for 6:05. Tickets are available at the main gate beginning at 4 pm on Saturday or by calling (509) 248-0647.

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