Garrett Evans scored one for the veteran guard Saturday night by winning the “Northwest Super Late Model 150” from Stateline Speedway (ID) on Saturday night. Evans won for the second week in a row, after taking home a win in a 100-lap Super Late Model event at South Sound Speedway (WA) the previous week. Evans led wire to wire after pulling the number one pill, after qualifying seventh in the 22-car field. The win was the eighth, in his Northwest Super Late Model Series career, and gave Evans cause for optimism heading into the bulk of the 2021 season.
“It’s great to win two in a row”, Evans beamed. “We got to run on the American Racing tire last week at South Sound (Speedway) and check that out. I’m excited that I’ve still got a little life in me and a few more races to run here. Hopefully, I get good enough to go back to Slinger (Speedway, WI). We’ll be going to Berlin (MI) three or four days before the Slinger Nationals and then we will head to Twin Falls (ID) (for the Northwest Super Late Model race) on the way home.”
The day started with Haeden Plybon scoring his second consecutive Five Star Racecar Bodies Fast Time Qualifying Award, with a lap of 13.160 seconds around the 1/4-mile oval. Tristan Haider was second for the second consecutive event with Tayler Riddle, Braeden Havens and Bryce Bezanson rounding out the top-five. Evans drew the number two pill to start second with Friday night Pro Late Model winner Jason O’Neil starting alongside on the pole. Tristan Haider lined up number three with Plybon, Owen Riddle, Tayler Riddle, Braeden Havens and Bezanson the remainder of the redraw participants.
Garrett Evans got a great start at the drop of the green and jumped out to the early lead. A yellow on lap 14 slowed the action, with another coming out two laps later. Haider worked his way by O’Neil and Plybon followed over the next 10 laps before another caution appeared on lap 30. Slowdowns on lap 35 and lap 45 gave Braeden Havens and Trenton Moriarity the opportunity to work their way into the top-five, dropping O’Neil and the Riddles just outside the top runners. The restart on lap 45 found Plybon going under Haider for second with Jason O’Neil’s top-10 run experiencing a setback, with a spin on lap 54.
The field settled down with Evans, Plybon, Haider, Havens and Moriarity settling into the top-five. As the field passed the 100-lap mark, Braeden Havens began to turn up the heat, getting under Haider for third, then running down Plybon, and taking second from the championship leader. The final yellow flew on lap 145, for a stalled Kole Raz, who developed motor issues. The slowdown gave Havens a final chance to wrestle the lead away from Evans. The double file restart found Evans up to the task, however, jumping to a two-car lead. Moriarity was able to work his way under Tristan Haider, securing position number four, with Haider securing the final top-five finish.
Evans was pleased with his car and the effort put forth to get the victory. He was thankful that the team’s effort finally paid off in another win for the 65-year-old Northwest racing legend.
“The car was really good”, Evans exclaimed. “You’ve really got to watch things as the fuel burned off, but we had a really, really good car tonight. It’s the best one I’ve had in two years. The guys have worked there a** off forever without much success, and we finally turned to corner here a little bit.”
After watching the rookies finish one-two at the season opener at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval (WA), the veteran racer scored one for the old guard. With the talented group of rookies and young guns in the series, Evans was happy to finally find his way to the top of the finishing board, and once again be competitive for wins with the strong youth movement, as he stated.
“I was talking to Terra Bridges on his show on Monday night, and I told him those guys are so much better than me right now, I can’t even see them, and I can’t race with them. But I said we ain’t giving up and we are going to keep trying and maybe we will get them in the near future, and we did tonight.”
The last NWSLMS winner at Stateline Speedway was Braeden Havens in 2016. The Pro Late Model Championship runner-up at Stateline Speedway, in 2020, choose to run a crate motor package on the abrasive ¼-mile asphalt oval surface, hoping the weight break would get him a victory at the end of 150 laps. The strategy almost played out for the Spokane, WA racer, who came home second.
“We just had to play it and push the big motor cars and wait for them to start to get loose and start losing tires and take advantage of it”, Havens explained. “Garrett started up front, so that helped him a little bit on his end, but I started back in seventh and I drove to second. We had a good run and I’m not gonna complain.”
Havens has battled with Evans many times over his career and has had his gotten in a more than a few wins over the Northwest legend. But Saturday night, he just didn’t have enough car to pull off the victory. Havens was close to his first win of the season, but his good friend was just a little better. It’s a manifestation he would love to change more frequently, when asked about the occurrence.
“I’ve run second to him to many times and that’s how I feel”, Havens chuckled. “I had fun! Garrett and I are good friends, so we always race clean. We always run side-by-side. So, when it is him and me battling it out, I know it’s gonna be clean and fun. It’s always a good time.”
Haeden Plybon came into the event at Stateline Speedway on a roll. He swept the Pro Late Model and Northwest Super Late Model Series races at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval just three weeks prior. He was just selected to the Speed51.com Short Track Draft in the #33 position, and is the defending Stateline Speedway Pro Late Model Track Champion. He had to be looked upon as the favorite heading into Saturday’s 150 lapper, after blistering the field with his second consecutive Fast Time. But at the end of the night, he ended up third after chasing Garrett Evans for most of the race, with Braeden Havens getting by him inside the last 20 laps. It is an experience he hopes to learn from for the future.
“We didn’t tighten the car up enough, and we didn’t expect to get so loose at the end there”, Plybon admitted. “We know for next time and hopefully we can get the next one.”
Despite the third-place finish, Plybon was happy to mix it up with the series veterans, knowing that the racing would be good.
“It makes it fun because I know they are going to race me clean”, Plybon stated. “It’s good competition and I’m glad they are here racing with me, helping me learn through all this. Overall, it’s just more fun competing with them out there.”
The next event for the Northwest Super Late Model Series will be a trip to South Sound Speedway on June 5th. After Evans victory at the facility one week ago, all eyes will be on the East Wenatchee racer, to see if he can score two wins in a row in both the series as well as at the facility.
Results: 1. Garrett Evans, 3. Haeden Plybon, 4. Tristan Haider, 5. Tristan Moriarity, 5. Tristan Haidar, 6. Bryce Bezanson, 7. Max Schroeder, 8. Dave Garber, 9. Jason O’Neil, 10. Trayten Tarr, 11. Cam Kellogg 12.Kole Raz, 13. Christopher Kalsch 14. Tayler Riddle, 15. Owen Riddle, 16. Dale Wennerberg, 17. Chris Kellogg, 18. Trevor Cristiani, 19. Kameron Mckeenan, 20. Corey Allard, 21. Matt Doyle, 22. Kaiden Anderson
ABOUT THE NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, AR Bodies, Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, AFCO/Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, Atomic Screen printing and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Racing, Driven Racing Oil, Vital Signs, Bassett Wheels, American Racer and The Ti Company. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
-Northwest Super Late Model Series Press Release and Photo