East Wenatchee, WA’s Garrett Evans continues to be one of the top drivers in the Pacific Northwest. With a career spanning over forty years with close to 400 wins and seven championships across North America, the legend continues to put on a show with drivers much younger than he is.
He heads into Sunday’s Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway looking to win a race that has gotten away from him several times in its short history. He is looking forward to getting to the 5/8ths mile facility in Monroe, WA after being out of the car for a month.
“We’ve been idle here for a couple weeks so it’ll be exciting to be racing again,” Evans told Speed51.com. “It’s our biggest race of the year and it’s a 5/8ths, which is the biggest track we have out here. I think a lot of it has to do with tradition. They started having this race six or seven years ago and they continue to have it and it’s paid really good money to win. That’s another big thing, it pays $25,000 to win.”
At 63 years old, Evans continues to show he still has what it takes to run up front and win races. He won the Apple Cup at Yakima Speedway (WA) on May 11th for the second time in three years and posted a video to his team Facebook page saying “old guys rule.” He talked about how he has been able to win races for the better part of forty years and the challenges his team has faced over the past few years.
“You got to have a desire to do it,” Evans said. “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs for the last five years or so and it seemed like the downs made you want to work harder to get better again. It’s a challenge, technology’s changing so much prior to what it used to be and that’s kind of exciting and fun to deal with. I love racing and I’ve always wanted to do good. I’ve been fortunate to have good people, that makes a difference too.”
With the Summer Showdown being one of the richest asphalt Super Late Model races in the country, he was asked if the $25,000 payday would be the richest win of his career. Though it would be one of the biggest paydays of his career, there is one race that tops the Summer Showdown.
“The richest race I’ve won was back in 2000 at Yakima Speedway,” he said. “The Fall Classic had a bonus if you started in the back with fast time and won the race there during the season, and it paid $55,000 to win. I was fortunate enough to win that.”
Despite having twelve wins in major short track races at Evergreen over the course of his career, the Summer Showdown is one of few races in the Northwest Evans has yet to win. He has finished twice in the event in 2014 and 2015. Throughout the years, he has learned that any win is important because it could always be his last win. With his career winding down, a win at the Summer Showdown would be big as he attempts to cross remaining races in the region off his list.
“It would mean a lot, I’d love to be able to win it” he said. “I’m getting to the end of my career here, next year’s my last year. It would be awesome to be able to win it. I’ve won races at Phoenix and Tuscon and all over. They’re all important, no matter what race it is, anytime you win.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com