Local drivers continued to show off their skills at the 44th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup, despite it being the first time the American Sprint Car Series – one of the sports’ top circuits – has come to Skagit Speedway.
After the first night, where the top three guys in the points standings were locals, the first B-main on Friday, June 26, at Skagit Speedway, proved successful again for those familiar with the tricky speedway.
"The Flying Fireman" Derek Roberts got the B-main win and was followed by Justin Youngquist, both familiar faces at Skagit, as they earned spots in the A-main. Travis Jacobson, another Washington-native although he competes in the ASCS fulltime, took the third and final transfer spot to the feature event.
The two locals benefited from an odd wreck from the two leaders on lap 13, given both drivers would have qualified for the A-main. Nonetheless, the No. 52 of Blake Hahn challenged leader Wayne Johnson in turn 3 and the two collided hard, sending Hahn into the wall and giving Johnson a flat, forcing him to the back of the pack.
Roberts and Youngquist moved to the front on the restart and were able to hold their ground. It cost Johnson and Hahn spots in the A-main and left plenty of valuable points on the table.
The race went rather smoothly after a first-lap crash that was one of the scarier moments on the night. A collision in turn 3 caused several cars to bump and crash into each other before three cars ended up stacked on top of each other against the wall in turn 3.
All drivers were able to walk away from the crash after race officials used some borrowed machinery to pick up and untangle the cars from each other and the wall.
The second B-main also favored three familiar faces, including Colton Heath, who won the second B-main, Kelsey Carpenter and Trey Starks. All three advanced into the A-main, joining the heat winners, as well as Nate Vaughn, night one winner Jason Solwold, Seth Bergman, Johnny Herrera, Reece Goetz, Tayler Malsam, Cam Smith, Kelly Miller and Greg Hamilton.
The A-main wasn’t complete by press time, as racing got underway about 30 minutes late to avoid sun glare for pay-per-view watchers.
Heat race winners were Travis Rilat, Eric Fisher, Jordan Weaver, Aaron Reutzel, Willie Croft and Brock Lemley. Luke Didiuk was awarded the win in heat race 2 after Cale Brooke was disqualified for an illegal tire.
All heat race winners got automatic berths into the A-main, but it was all about acquiring points for the final day of Dirt Cup, where the racing order will be decided by accrued points making the night shorter than the first two because there is no need for heat races.
The final day of racing gets underway at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Skagit Speedway, where a local will try to steal the big prize from one of the sports’ big names.
Reach Joshua Hart at 360-715-2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup Day 3
Saturday, June 27
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Skagit Speedway