DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR legend Herschel McGriff as the honorary Grand Marshal. More than 30 track champions competing. A field of more than 50 of the fastest Late Models on the West Coast.
This weekend’s 3rd Annual Summer Showdown presented by Coors Light at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, is shaping up to be one of the premier events on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series calendar.
Race fans at the track and around the globe will have the opportunity to watch the action on FansChoice.TV.
Qualifying and heats are Friday, and the 200-lap feature race is scheduled to go green at 6:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.
Evergreen Speedway is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Doug Hobbs, president and chief executive officer of Evergreen Speedway and Highroad Promotions, said this year’s version of the track’s signature Late Model event has attracted more sponsors and competitors to the track than any time in his third-year tenure at Evergreen.
“We have drivers from 13 states and four different countries,” Hobbs said. “We have a fly-over with World War II aircraft to commemorate the track’s anniversary. The University of Washington alumni band will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems. And we will exceed the record of 53 cars trying to qualify for the feature event.”
Those competitors range from talented up and coming youth to veterans with multiple championships, including Pete Hardin, winner of the inaugural Summer Showdown in 2012.
Four female drivers will attempt to qualify for Saturday’s race.
Molly Helmuth, a 19-year old regular Super Late Model driver and 2012 Rookie of the Year at Evergreen , will be attempting to make her third Summer Showdown. When asked if her experience at the track gives her an advantage over the competition, Helmuth said qualifying is her first focus.
“I do have a little more track time at Evergreen than most of the drivers, and I know my strengths and weaknesses there, but I still have plenty of room to improve. First we have to qualify, and then it’s a survival race – everyone will be chasing that $20,000 first prize, and you really have to put your heart and soul into it,” she said.
McGriff, a member of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame and 1986 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion under the old NASCAR Winston West banner, will serve as the honorary Grand Marshal and also get to watch his granddaughter, Maria McGriff, attempt to qualify for the race. Her home track is Tucson (Arizona) Speedway, NASCAR’s newest Home Track, and she will be making her first trip to Evergreen. Jessica Dana, from Olympia, Washington, is a two-time entrant in the Summer Showdown.
The youngest of the four female drivers, 16-year old Nicole Behar from Otis Orchards, Washington, races at Stateline Speedway in Idaho and will be attempting to qualify for her first Summer Showdown.
Evergreen Speedway will host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West 150 on August 16th. Last year’s winner at Evergreen, NASCAR Next driver Dylan Lupton, is currently second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West standings.
For more information and updates throughout the weekend on the Summer Showdown, go the Evergreen Speedway website at EvergreenSpeedway.com
NASCAR IMC – Speed51.com photo