Wenatchee, WA – Alan Cress battled Trevor Cristiani right down to the final lap of the South Sound 125 with a yellow flag coming out late that opened the door for the Stayton, Oregon driver’s second career Northwest Super Late Model Series victory at South Sound Speedway.
Cress held the point over Cristiani as the pair began lap 125, with Cristiani slipping underneath Cress down the backstretch, but a spin by Chad Hinkle before the leaders could cross the line resulted in the scoring being reverted back one lap and the race being declared final.
Braeden Havens. Trenton Moriarity and Robert Presley rounded out the top-5.
Cristiani got the night started with a record-breaking qualifying lap of 13.382-sec. at over 100 mph on the .375-mile oval.
Leading the 17-car field to the green flag with Cress alongside, the Idaho native led the first 50 laps of the 125-lap main event. Cress stayed with Cristiani and on lap 53 made a move to the inside that dropped Cristiani into the clutches of Austin Thom.
Thom kept steady pressure on Cristiani as Cress built a five-car length lead on the pair. At lap 58 Thom got around Cristiani for second. Thom held the spot for three laps then fell back one spot as Cristiani used a solid crossover move to take back the runner-up position in the running order.
What Cristiani could do Thom was also able to manage as the Portland native sprang the crossover move to his advantage to move back to second place at lap 62.
By lap 72 Chad Hinkle had also shown the strength of his car as he dispatched Cristiani to fourth place and began to chase down Thom. Four laps later, Hinkle found pay dirt as he passed Thom for second place and gave chase to Cress who’d built a 15-car length lead on the top-5.
As the race moved into its second-half with all but one car that took the green flag still on the track, Cress was able to lap the field up to ninth place Kurt Meyer.
Cristiani continued to fend off challenges for his fourth place position before finally giving way to Garrett Evans on lap 103. Evans time in the position was short-lived as he made contact with Thom bringing out the yellow flag at lap 113.
Havens found himself running as low as 10th in the running order, one lap down to the leaders, but used the lucky dog free pass to get back onto the lead lap with 12 laps to go in the race. Starting at the tail end of the field, Havens charged forward to fourth place by lap 117.
The night’s final caution flew at lap 118 setting up what looked to be a multi-car battle for the checkered flag. On the restart Cristiani powered his Chevrolet back into second place dispatching Hinkle to third place with Havens putting pressure on all three. Havens got by Hinkle as the handling started to go away on his car. Cress fended off Cristiani’s challenges right through to the white flag lap.
On the backstretch Cristiani nosed ahead on the inside of Cress, but with Hinkle losing control of his car and spinning, the yellow flag flew reverting the running order back to the previous lap and giving Cress the win.
CRESS HAS HARD WORK AND SOME LUCK ON HIS SIDE:
“Cars were spinning there in front of us (on the final lap) and I was doing everything I could to keep it low and get a drive off the corner. The guys at Kustom Fab are always working to make me better. We’ve had some problems with this car at times this year and I have to thank Todd Havens (owner of the No. 83 driven by Braeden Havens) for loaning me his transmission or we wouldn’t even be here right now.”
NOTES OF INTEREST:
• Cress drives a Chevrolet, with a Fury chassis underneath him that is sponsored by Oregon Tool. Kustom Fab based in Kennewick, Wash. prepares the racecar.
• The connection between Cress and the Havens teams goes back to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series where Cress made a 2016 start in Havens Chevrolet at his home track of Douglas County Speedway.
• Cress came into the night tied with Garrett Evans for the series championship points lead. With Evans running seventh and Cress bringing home the victory, that tie has been broken as the series heads to its July 27 stop at Evergreen Speedway.
• The win is the second consecutive victory for Cress as he won the series South Sound stop in August of 2018.
• Cristiani’s pole award is his first in his NWSLMS career.
• Jefferson Pitts Racing Rookie of the Year points leader, Tristan Haider, finished 11th on his home track.
• Havens has recorded three consecutive top-5 finishes at South Sound Speedway going back to the June 2018 race.
• Next up for the Northwest Super Late Model Series will be the Central Welding 125 at Evergreen Speedway on July 27.
NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
South Sound 125
South Sound Speedway
125 Laps 46.875 Miles
Unofficial Finishing position/Car No./Name/Hometown/Laps completed
1. 91 Alan Cress Stayton, OR 125 running
2. 90 Trevor Cristiani Boise, ID 125 running
3. 83 Braeden Havens Airway Heights, WA 125 running
4. 12 Trenton Moriarity Monroe, WA 125 running
5. 17 Robert Presley Olympia, WA 125 running
6. 31 Jessie Jensen Snohomish, WA 125 running
7. 64 Garrett Evans East Wenatchee, WA 125 running
8. 93 Austin Thom Newberg, OR 125 running
9. 38 Chad Hinkle Yakima, WA 125 running
10. 7 Kurt Meyer Tacoma, WA 124 running
11. 24 Tristan Haider Olympia, WA 124 running
12. 33s Brooke Schimmel Woodland, WA 124 running
13. 12b Shawn Jones Olympia, WA 123 running
14. 47 Steven Blankenship 123 running
15. 33 Christopher Kalsch Hillsboro, OR 109 handling
16. 60 Scott Graf 97 Newport, OR handling
17. 20 Jay Sauls Puyallup, WA 35 engine
ABOUT THE NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, Racing Dynamics, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Jostens, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Pitts Racing, Leonard Evans Used Car Super Store, The Ti Company and Pacific Steel Structures LLC. For more information on the series visit www.nwslmseries.com or on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email [email protected]
-Northwest Super Late Model Series Press Release
-Photo credit: MEWright