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Press Open Wheel Extravaganza

August 15, 2010



August 15, 2010 (Yakima Speedway, ASA Member Track, Yakima WA) - Yakima Speedway played host to four of the most exciting open wheel touring series in the first ever Yakima Speedway Open Wheel Extravaganza on Saturday Night.


“This event was a huge success” said track owner and promoter Ted Pollock. “General Manager Steve Conduff put this event together hoping that the open wheel enthusiasts would have the opportunity to see this type of cars on the fastest ½ mile on the west coast and in turn build an event that will grow and entertain for years to come”.

In each series there was a wide variety of cars for fans to appreciate. The West Coast Vintage Racers is an organization whose purpose is to race old racecars.  While not prohibiting any type of car, they are mostly made up of Sprint cars, although there are several track roadsters, midgets and a few super modifies that race with them also. The intent is to give the owners of old racecars the chance to get out on the track and have some fun which is exactly what they did on Saturday Night. This Class kicked off the evening with an exhibition race that saw 87 year old Mel Anthony in the winners circle followed by Joe Davitt, Lenora McMurty and Jim Calhoun.

Yakima Speedway also welcomed the Vintage Modified. Modified racing is one of the oldest types of racing in the US, dating back to the days of the post-World War II coupes. Modified racing began as race drivers modified their cars to gain a competitive advantage over their fellow competitors. On hand Saturday Night was some of the most beautiful cars that well represented this series. Bob Whiller set a fast time with 21.791; Paul Field Jr raced and won both the Trophy Dash and the Main Event.

One of the fan favorites of the evening was the Washington Midget Racing Association series. Midget racing in the Northwest began in 1936 and the WMRA was formed in 1946.  Since then, the WMRA has sanctioned races every year, scheduled 1216 races, and had 124 main event winners. On Saturday Night the WMRA put on a fast show. Snake Livernash qualified with a fast 18.505. Mark Atkinson started on the pole but on lap one Evan Margeson was able to gain the lead and never looked back leaving the field to battle for the remaining podium positions. Ben Petter moved into second and would battle with Mark Atkinson for most of the race. These cars are fast and agile and split second moves made for an exciting event. In the end Evan Margeson took home the main event trophy followed by Ben Petter, Mark Atkinson, Dallas Melby and Snake Livernash.

The Cast Iron Nationals 360 Sprint Cars closed out the evening with a 25 lap exciting main event. Fast Time went to Craig Diever, Ralph Diever won the A dash and the Heat Race. In the main event Justin Mack started on the inside pole and the 9 car field started racing the methanol winged sprints three wide into turn one with Kurt Eklund who started in fifth claiming the early lead followed by Rickie Nelson and Justin Mack. On Lap 3 Justin Mack went low in turn three hitting the bottom of the track causing him to check up loosing several positions. Lap 8 highlighted the race for third between Mitch Holte, Craig Diever, Kevin Burke and Ralph Diever. By Lap 11 Craig Diever moved into the second position and set his sites on reeling in the race leader Kurt Eklund. Kevin Burke that had been racing in the top five was able to claim the second position  with 7 laps to go but would not have enough time to catch Craig Diever who went on to claim his first win at Yakima Speedway. Kevin Burke finished in second followed by Kurt Eklund, Jeff Bird and Mitch Holte.

Fans, Drivers and teams enjoyed this event and all of the series have committed to making this an annual scheduled race. Yakima Speedway will host the Second Annual Open Wheel extravaganza next year (date TBD).

Next week August 21st, Columbia Distributing presents Saturday Night at the Races featuring the Yakima Speedway Super Late Model Challenge Series, Tire Centers Super Streets, Burger Ranch Sportsman, Sea Galley Youth Hornets and the Mel’s Diner Bump To Pass. Visit for details.


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