Monroe, WA – Mike Holden held off Naima Lang over the final seven laps of the Central Welding 125 en route to his first career victory on the Northwest Super Late Model Series.
Trevor Cristiani, Doni Wanat and Garrett Evans rounded out the top-5 finishing order.
Tyler Tanner kicked off the evening’s racing action as he put his No. 65 Chevrolet atop the qualifying results. An invert of 10 put Cristiani on the pole with Tristan Haider alongside.
Cristiani held the top spot in the running order for the race’s first 67 laps as Holden worked his way through the field from his eighth starting position. A past champion at Evergreen Speedway, Holden used his experience to perfection as he weaved through traffic to pull up to Cristiani’s back bumper as lap 68 got underway.
Holden was able to get to Cristiani’s door as lap 69 came to a close, then moved to the point one lap later.
By lap 72 the top-7 drivers in the field were running nose to tail with each applying pressure to the other for a chance to move up and challenge Holden’s lead.
Lang used the tight racing to his advantage as he crept closer to Cristiani, finally closing to the Idaho native’s back bumper cover as the yellow flag flew on lap 95.
On the ensuing double-file restart, Cristiani mounted a charge in his lane to put pressure on Holden’s lead. At lap 100 the pair were running side by side with Lang keeping a close eye out for trouble amongst the leaders. With the close racing giving Lang the chance to pick a lane to run with the front two, he got behind Holden to clear Cristiani for second place in the running order at lap 105.
Cristiani fell back one more position to fourth place as Jeff Knight got by moving his No. 70 inside of the top-3 running order for the first time during the 125-lap shootout. Knight’s run in third would come to an end on lap 118, as he was collected in a late race incident entering the front stretch, bringing out the red flag.
The field took the evening’s final restart at lap 119 setting up a six-lap sprint to the finish. Holden held the pace, but the handle on his car was starting to go away just as Lang seemed to find a line that would allow him to pressure the leader.
Holden settled into rhythm that allowed him to put his car where it need to be, building a five-car length lead at lap 122. Over the course of the final three laps, Lang could get no closer than three car lengths as he saw Holden earn the checked flag.
HOLDEN GETS UP ON THE WHEEL IN THE CLOSING LAPS:
“It was an awesome race. We were losing a little forward bite there at the end, but we held on and were good for a few laps after that last yellow. It’s been awhile (since Holden’s last win at Evergreen Speedway). We’ve made some good changes (to the race car) over the course of the season. The whole team has worked their butts off the last couple of weeks to give me a car that was just awesome.”
NOTES OF INTEREST:
¥ Tanner earned his first fast time award of the season on the NWSLMS.
¥ Jefferson Pitts Racing Rookie of the Year points leader, Tristan Haider, finished ninth as he continues his stellar first season.
¥ Holden’s victory netted him a $5,000 winner’s check from Evergreen Speedway and Central Welding Supply.
¥ The win also scored Holden a trophy for one of his sponsors, Central Welding Supply.
¥ With a third-place finish, Cristiani assumed the top-spot in the chase for the 2019 NWSLMS Championship.
¥ Running fifth in the Central Welding 125, Evans continued his streak of top-10 finishes on the NWSLMS in 2019.
¥ Tyson Lang, son of runner-up Naima Lang, made the most of his debut on the NWSLMS with a seventh-place finish.
¥ Cress ends the night early after being collected in a lap 118 incident. His 15th place finish is the lowest of the 2019 season.
NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
Central Welding 125
125 Laps 46.875 Miles
Unofficial Finishing Pos./No./Driver/Laps/Reason Out
1 32 Mike Holden 125
2 00 Naima Lang 125
3 90 Trevor Cristiani 125
4 89 Doni Wanat 125
5 64 Garrett Evans 125
6 48t Tanner Holm 125
7 18 Tyson Lang 125
8 41 Mark Hubbard 125
9 24 Tristan Haider 125
10 3 Wyatt Gardner 125
11 65 Tyler Tanner 124
12 12m Trenton Moriarity 124
13 7 Bryce Bezanson 122
14 70 Jeff Knight 118 Accident
15 91 Alan Cress 118 Accident
16 62 Robin Fawcett 118 Accident
17 98 Greg Bennett 65 Mechanical
18 38 Chad Hinkle 41 Mechanical
19 31 Jessie Jensen 28 Handling
20 33 Christopher Kalsch 13 Accident
21 7m Kurt Meyer 12 Accident
22 39 Pete Harding 0 Accident
23 12F Chad Fitzpatrick DNS Mechanical