Wenatchee, WA – For the third consecutive season Garrett Evans has earned the Northwest Super Late Model Series championship. Evans adds to his already historic career as this year’s title marks the driver’s seventh late model touring championship en route to over 350-career main event victories.
Coming into the 2016 Evans still felt like he had something to prove having never won a race on the series since its was formed in 2014. Consistency paid off for the East Wenatchee veteran as he captured the series first two championships based on strong finishes. During his 2016 campaign Evans proved his team had taken their program forward with victories at Yakima Speedway (Apple Cup), Spokane (both series stops at the half-mile) Stateline Speedway’s Idaho 150.
“Heading into the Northwest Super Late Model Series season we were coming off some bad performances back East and at the Winter Showdown.” Evans said. “You start asking yourself questions, like maybe you’re losing your edge or if you’ve still got it. I really wanted to try and get a win on the series this year.”
The season started off with the 60-year old showcasing his talents by winning April’s historic 50th Annual Yakima Speedway Apple Cup.
“Wining the Apple Cup was pretty amazing, it had been awhile since I had won at Yakima Speedway and the race meant a lot to me with it being my first series win as well.”
Evans tried to carry that momentum with him into his home track of Wenatchee Valley Super Oval for the running of the Leonard Evans 150, a race named after his late father. Shelby Thompson bested the eventual series champion in a late-race shootout.
In May the series headed to the tricky half-mile Spokane Super Oval and once again Evans would take the checkered flag as he held off series championship runner-up, Braeden Havens. The series would stay in the Inland Northwest as they ventured to Stateline Speedway with Evans snagging his third victory of the season, the Idaho 150, in a hotly contested race.
“Winning three of the first four races showed myself and my crew that we had a great car and combination and it gave me some confidence back that I could still get it done.”
The series took a seven-week break then returned to Stateline Speedway for the Idaho 200, which showcased Havens as he captured his first career NWSLMS victory.
“The Idaho 200 was probably our toughest race of the year because we knew we had a car that could win. We got mixed up in a late race incident and it was a tough one for both the team and I. You work so hard each week and those are the races you wish you had back to do over.”
Evans 19th place finish after an accident was his worse of the season. That tightened up the point’s battle between Evans and Ryan Wells who at that time was sitting in the second position in the championship chase.
In late August the series made the journey back to Spokane Super Oval.
It was the same result for Evans as he held off a late race charge from young gun, Zack Beaman. With the series heading into the final two races of the year, Evans had built a commanding championship points lead.
As the series raced into the month of September with its Neal Newberry 125 event at Evans home track of Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, it looked as if the veteran had another win up his sleeve. After setting a new track qualifying record in time trials, Evans rode out a 15th place finish after a late race flat tire.
Evans strong qualifying efforts and solid race finishes throughout the season set himself up to be able to clinch the NWSLMS title by taking the green flag at Yakima Speedway’s 29th Annual Fall Classic. The series veteran did a little better and was battling for the race win, but finished second to Jason Jefferson in the historic race.
“It would have been amazing to win the Fall Classic and cap off the amazing year with that but I’ll take a 2nd place finish to a guy like Jason. We’ve had some bad luck at the Fall Classic the last couple of years and it felt good to finish that race on the podium.”
The season was a successful one for Evans as he captured the Wheel Chill Pole Award four times, finished first or second in six of the eight races en route to his four victories.
“I can’t thank my crew enough for all they did this year on the car and Brian Andruss my Crew Chief with all the hours he spends working on these cars to make them as good as they are. Thanks to all my sponsors and my family for the support this season. Thanks to the series and staff for all their hard work this year as well. I don’t know how many more years I have doing this racing thing but this was a special season for me and I won’t forget it.”
The Northwest Super Late Model Series Inc. is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Pacific Northwest. The series has many valued sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Racers Against Child Abuse, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Pitts Racing and Racing Dynamics. 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