Yakima, Wash. — In late February Garrett Evans was frustrated after a string of disappointing finishes during some East coast races and the Winter Showdown. Evans, who turned 60 earlier this year even questioned if he still had “it”. Well after Sunday’s dominating performance of the 50th Apple Cup at Yakima Speedway nobody is questioning whether Evans still has what it takes. The win gave Evans his fourth Apple Cup win and first since 2001.
The historic 50th Apple Cup weekend kicked off Saturday with qualifying for the 24-car field. The top-10 locked in for their starting position while the remaining 14 cars would have a 25-lap Qualifying Heat. The top qualifier was Evans with a lap of 18.839 seconds. Evans topped Tayler Riddle by .001 seconds to grab the Wheel Chill Pole Award.
Series veteran Mitch Kleyn won the 25 Lap qualifying heat later in the evening.
The field was set and ready to take the green with Evans and T. Riddle on the front row. After the green was thrown Evans would take the early lead from T. Riddle off Turn 2.
The green would stay out through the race’s first ten laps. A spin in turn No. 4 brought out the first caution of the day. During the following restart the field bunched up on the front stretch sending Clint Habart hard into the front stretch inside wall.
Evans took the field back to the green on the restart for another long run. At lap 27 the event’s second caution flew taking two cars from the race–Jay Sauls and defending Apple Cup Champion Shelby Thompson. Sauls was involved in a spin and received race ending damage while Thompson’s rear locked up during the caution.
The resulting restart would pit Owen Riddle against the two-time series champion Evans who took the lead once again. The field would see just one more caution before the break as Evans expanded his lead to 2.8 seconds over O. Riddle just before the 100-lap break.
During the break crews were able to change just two tires, add fuel and make any adjustments with drivers lining back up for the 50-Lap shootout.
Evans wasn’t able to take the lead as easy as he had done in the earlier parts of the race with O. Riddle right at his back bumper for lengthy portions of the next 50 laps. A caution on lap 111 would set up another chance for O. Riddle to get a run but Evans was lights on all of his restarts throughout the day.
Late in the race Evans had extended his lead out to 1.5 seconds but a hard charging O.Riddle would close the gap lap by lap all the way down to .289-sec. with just 4 laps to go. Zack Beaman lost a motor and brought out the day’s final caution setting up a four-lap shootout.
As they took the green for the final time of the race O. Riddle had one of his best restarts of the day. When the two drivers went into turn No, 1 Evans car slid up the track a little bit making contact with O. Riddle. The drivers continued the battle for the last few laps with O. Riddle getting a nose on the back bumper of Evans going into turn No. 3 with one lap to go but O. Riddle’s car slid up the track giving Evans the chance to extend his lead.
Evans would cross the line first followed by O. Riddle, Archer, Longton and Doni Wanat to round out the Top-5. This was Evans first win in the series after 21 career starts. Evans help fond the series in 2014 to bring a Super Late Model touring division back to the Northwest.
The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many great sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, 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 visit the series on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email [email protected]
1) 64 Garrett Evans East Wenatchee, WA 150
2) 10 Owen Riddle Naches, WA 150
3) 5a Garret Archer Maple Valley, WA 150
4) 37 Mike Longton Moxee, WA 150
5) 89 Doni Wanat Woodinville, WA 150
6) 39 Pete Harding Surrey BC 150
7) Tayler Riddle Naches, WA 150
8) 33 Nicole Behar Otis Orchards, WA 150
9) 86 Tom Berrow Surrey BC 149
10) 20s Andy Sole Marysville, WA 148
11) 5w Ryan Wells Hingham, MT 148
12) 52 Brittney Zamora Kennewick, WA 148
13) 23 Corey Allard Sandpoint, ID 148
14) 25b Zack Beaman Yakima, WA 146
15) 11 Ed Thomsen Pasco, WA 145
16) 3 Brion Philley Kirkland, WA 139
17) 1 Mitch Kleyn Quincy, WA 137
18) 51 Glenn Knutson Quincy, WA 108
19) 83 Braeden Havens Airway Heights, WA 102
20) 20t Tim Babcock Kennewick, WA 64
21) 20 Shelby Thompson Spokane, WA 28
22) 77 Toby Becker Highland, CA 28
23) 20j Jay Sauls Puyallup, WA 25
24) 09 Clint Habart Cranbrook, BC 11
-Northwest Super Late Model Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Northwest Super Late Model Series