ALGER -- Nobody was going to stop Seth Bergman and the No. 23 car. Saturday night, July 26, was Bergman’s night and he’ll walk away from Skagit Speedway with a $10,000 check for his Summer Nationals win. Bergman won the A-scramble, securing his spot on the pole for the A-main, after a second-place finish in which he charged from 14th to 2nd on the first night of Summer Nationals on Friday.
The masterful performance in the scramble, where he won by more than a second-and-a-half should have been a sign for what drivers should have expected in the A-main.
When it got down to the A-main, Bergman looked like he could be beat by Jason Solwold, who took the high line into turn one on the start and jumped out to the early lead. Like a rocket, though, Bergman shot out past Solwold on the back straightaway of lap three. “Jason thought the bottom line would be fastest,” Bergman said. “I could either follow or try something. I went to the top and drove away.” From there, it was all Bergman, who originally hails from Snohomish, as he continued to increase his lead. He ran the track high, he ran the track low and he ran the track best. Lapped traffic was the only hope for Solwold and Trey Starks. But when lapped traffic came into play on lap six, Bergman handled it with ease. Often riding the high line, he cruised past lapped traffic while Solwold and Starks didn’t find it quite so easy. “I knew lapped traffic would be interesting, but I pride myself on dealing with lapped cars,” Bergman said. “My radio wasn’t working so I didn’t know if there were lapped cars in between me and the field. I just knew my car was good enough that nobody was going to catch me.”
On lap eight, Starks passed Solwold for the second spot where he would stay until he hit the wall out of turn four on lap 35. Starks ended he race in eighth. The first race stoppage came on lap 12 when Derek Roberts flipped on his side out of turn four. The restart had Bergman with a lapped car between him and Starks. A yellow flag on lap 13 forced another restart, this time with Starks in front of the lapped car. With no lapped traffic to interfere, this would be another test of how well Bergman’s car rode in clean air. Without hesitation, Bergman again opened up a huge lead, hitting traffic on lap 19. He responded the same way he did the first time around and passed through the lapped cars easily. Three more restarts all yielded similar results for Bergman, as he picked up his second win of the season in a 360 sprint car at Skagit Speedway. Bergman also owns five wins this season in the ASCS Sprint Car Series, a national competition for 360 sprint cars. Solwold finished second on the night, who was in his first event in a 360 sprint car this season. He sits 10th in the 410 sprint standings with two wins on the season. Colton Heath increased his lead in the 360 standings with a third-place finish and Nascar Truck Series driver Taylor Malsam came in fourth. Rounding out the top five was Kelsey Carpenter. The top five drivers were all part of the A-main scramble, which featured the top six in points after night one. B-main winner Matt Jensen finished 11th, the highest finisher from the B-main, which sent seven to the A-main. Jensen led the entire B-main, which paid dividends when Steve Reeves, who was sitting in the second position, flipped going into turn three. The scary wreck that saw the 5R car of Reeves, the B-main scramble winner, torn to pieces also caught Greg Hamilton, Steve James and Luke Didiuk — all with varying levels of damage. While Jensen was pulling away from the field, all eyes were on Brock Lemley, who started the race in 16th. Lemley weaved his way to a fourth-place finish to advance to the A-main, when he finished 17th. Racing continues at Skagit Speedway on Saturday, August 2, for Ladies Night Out. The first 5,000 women through the gate get in free. Reach Joshua Hart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 360-715-2851.