Northwest NEWS

July 9, 2001


Evergreen Speedway NASCAR Super Stocks

by Rick Leib
   Special to the Weekly
   In a great night of racing in the Pacific Northwest, race fans were treated to some of the best racing on the west coast on Saturday, June 30. This was no ordinary night of racing; our own local semi-professional drivers raced a hard and fast Mid-Season Championship.
   Race Results at Evergreen Speedway for Saturday, June 30 NASCAR Super Stocks: Trophy Dash, John Zaretzke; 75 lap Mid-Season Championship Main Event 1. John Zaretzke 2. John Bender 3. Tom Moriarity 4. Kelly Mann 5. Ken Olsen;
   John Zaretzke drove his #2 Better-All Motorsports, Keg-N-Cue, Innovations, sponsored Ford Taurus for the win in the NAPA 75 Mid-Season Championship. On the 27th lap John Zaretzke made a hard charge to the front of the pack taking the lead during a race restart. Zaretzke had the fast time of the night and started 6th to eventually win the 75 lap Mid-Season Championship and the points lead from Tom Moriarity.
   With his third win of the season, Zaretzke takes a four point lead over Tom Moriarity in the Super Stock season points standings, and has overtaken second position in the Great West Division of NASCAR's weekly racing series.
   I spoke with many of John Zaretzkeís fans in the stands that evening. His fans love his hard charging racing style and he is well known on the track by his fellow drivers as someone that will take any opportunity to pass and win a race. John is well respected and is on his way up in the racing world.
   Big names and fast cars invaded the Evergreen Speedway to race the Coors Lite 200 on Saturday, June 30. The winners were 1.Brendan Gaughan, 2. Mark Reed and 3.Austin Cameron
   Hershell McGriff, Bill Sedgewick, Erik Norris were just a few of the noted drivers to participate.
   Hershell McGriff, 73 years old, is the only Winston West driver to win the 5/8th mile oval four times at Evergreen Speedway, and was there to try for his 5th win, but finished 6th.
   "I don't feel old, but at my age, you can't be perfect," McGriff said.
   McGriff has been around from nearly the beginning of NASCAR, which celebrated its 50th anniversary three years ago. Although he won only five Winston Cup races, he was selected one of NASCAR's 50 greatest racers. In Winston West competition, however, McGriff is a legend. He still retains several records and won the 1986 title at age 58.
   Bill Sedgewick, from Colorado, placed 5th. Erik Norris is the son of famed actor Chuck Norris and placed 11th.
   Mark Reed had a 33-point lead over 2000 series champion Brendan Gaughan, but Gaughan was the defending race winner here at our 5/8-mile track. Gaughan took the lead in the Coors Light 200 on lap 110 and Reed moved into 2nd place on lap 115. Unfortunately for Reed, that would be the finishing order for the race. At the end of the evening his lead in the series was cut to 18 points. Mark Reed had never seen Evergreen Speedway prior to a test session at the track two weeks ago. Since the Food 4 Less Motorsports team was in a heated battle for the series championship, they felt the test would be necessary to level the playing field with the other competitors who had raced there in the past.
   There was a caution on lap-95 for a wreck in turn-1 involving rookie contender Johnny Borneman and three other drivers. Racing resumed on lap-105 and it only took five laps for Gaughan to assume the lead of the race. Reed moved to 3rd on lap-112 and was in 2nd place by lap-115.
   Neither Reed nor Gaughan elected to make pit stops during caution periods at laps 115 and 122. This decision would almost cost both drivers a top finishing position, as the race would run green to the end.
   For the last 40 laps, Reed raced Gaughan hard trying to force him into making a mistake. During laps 183 to 186, the two cars ran side-by-side, but Reed was never able to beat the 16 car across the line to register a lap led.
   After abusing his tires while dueling for the lead, Reed had nothing left for Gaughan. The only drama during the last 13 laps was whether either car would run out of fuel. Both drivers indicated that their cars sputtered coming out of turn-4 and ran out of gas crossing the finish line.