East Wenatchee, WA – Garrett Evans broke through for his second victory of Northwest Super Late Model Series season as he earned the Neal Newberry 125 win at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval on Saturday, September 21.
Current series points leader, Trevor Cristiani, finished second with Robert Presley, Alan Cress and Brittney Zamora rounding out the top-5.
Zamora posted a lap of 12.717-sec. at over 70 mph on the .250-oval to lead the 18-car field in qualifying. The 19-year old Kennewick native was out to make it three consecutive Newberry victories and continue her Wenatchee hot streak of completing a NWSLMS main event inside the top-5 in each of her career starts at the track.
Based on the series re-draw of the top 8, Gracin Raz, who won the NWSLMS spring stop in Wenatchee, led the field to the green flag followed by Cristiani and 16-year-old Haeden.
Raz appeared to have lost power in his Chevrolet heading towards lap seven and came to a stop on the track, bringing out the night’s first yellow. A broken left front suspension ended his night early.
On the restart, Cristiani cleared Plybon and set the race pace for the next several laps. The night’s second caution came as the resulted of a turn No. 4 incident involving Chad Fitzpatrick and Alex Ludeman.
Plybon took the lead from Cristiani on the restart and held the point for much of the event’s early going. With pressure from Cristiani in that stretch, Plybon proved he belonged as the Spokane youngster maintained a three-car length lead over the series points leader. A spin on lap 30 by Christopher Kalsch raised the yellow flag once again.
Cristiani made the most of the ensuing restart as he cleared Plybon to retake the lead. Plybon slipped back to fourth place in the running order, as Evans and Zamora were both able to clear the teen. Plybon would recover and pulled alongside Zamora as the top-4 raced side-by-side over the next five laps.
Evans pursued Cristiani trying the outside line to take the lead, and then moving to the bottom groove on lap 36 to find an opening to take the top spot in the running order.
Zamora was next to pressure Cristiani for position as the pair battled for second place over the next three laps. Cristiani would yield to Zamora at lap 39 as both drivers work together to maintain contact with Evans who had built a six-car length lead.
As the race neared the hallway point, Evans lead stood at nearly a straightaway over Zamora, Cristiani, Cress and Presley. With 50 laps to go Zamora and Cristiani put some distance on Cress and company. Evans weaved in and out of lapped traffic and that allowed Zamora and Cristiani to reel the leader back in as the race entered the final 40 laps.
Plybon crept back into the picture and joined Zamora and Cress in the chase to get to Evans back bumper. With lap 90 underway, Evans lead had shrunk to five car lengths. Over the next 10 laps Evans added throttle to his race pace as the leader lapped cars up to 10th place Bryce Bezanson.
A yellow flag at lap 104 set-up an opportunity for Zamora to line up alongside Evans, who had Cristiani glued to his back bumper. As the green flag flew, Evans took a slight lead into turn No. 1 with Zamora and Cristiani once again battling for the runner-up position. Cristiani cleared Zamora by lap 106 and began to chase down Evans once again.
Braeden Havens and Agni Howell made contact on lap 115 bringing out the yellow and setting up a 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag.
Once again, Evans jumped out to a solid lead at the restart over Cristiani, who now had Cress and Presley pushing the Idaho native for the second position. Zamora slipped back to fifth place over the final 10-lap run.
With all the action behind him, Evans cruised to a 15-car length lead that he never relinquished en route to the victory.
HARD WORK GETS EVANS TO VICTORY CIRCLE:
“It means a lot to me to get this win. Neal (Newberry) was somebody I looked up to and helped me get my start. I can remember me and my buddies back in high school would come watch him race and I remember that Hamm’s Beer car he drove. I have to thank everyone on my crew for working hard to get this car together. It wasn’t even ready to race a week ago and they put a lot of hours into getting it here. I’m 63 years old and I’ve got to keep up with these youngsters and so I also want to thank my trainer Kari Hall for helping me with that”
NOTES OF INTEREST:
- Cristiani maintains his points lead over Cress and Evans with one race remaining in the season. The Neal Newberry 125 was the Idaho native’s sixth consecutive top-10 finish and fifth top-5 of the season out of six races held thus far. Cristiani’s lowest finish of the season is ninth place at the season-opening Leonard Evans 150.
- Rookie of the Year points leader, Tristan Haider had his first sub-par day of the season with a 13thplace finish. Haider maintains his position inside the top-5 championship standings and will clinch the Jefferson Pitts Racing ROTY award at the series next race, the Yakima Speedway Fall Classic on Oct. 6.
- Plybon, a regular in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series at Stateline Speedway, was the highest finishing rookie in the Neal Newberry 125.
- This is Evans first NWSLMS win at his home track of Wenatchee Valley.
- Montana Raceway Park veteran, Agni Howell, made the long trek from the Flathead Valley as he took part in is first NWSLMS event of the season. The Kalispell driver brought home a hard-fought 10thplace finish in the Neal Newberry 125.
- Dave Garber exited early from the Neal Newberry 125, but will move up to as high as eighth in the championship standings as the series heads to Yakima in two weeks.
NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
Neal Newberry 125
Wenatchee Valley Super Oval
125 Laps 31.25 Miles
Official Finishing Pos./No./Driver/Laps Completed
1 64 Garrett Evans 125
2 90 Trevor Cristiani 125
3 17 Robert Presley 125
4 91 Alan Cress 125
5 52 Brittney Zamora 125
6 55 Haeden Plybon 125
7 83 Braeden Havens 125
8 23 Corey Allard 125
9 7 Bryce Bezanson 125
10 1 Agni Howell 125
11 33k Christopher Kalsch 125
12 13 Matt Doyle 125
13 24 Tristan Haider 52
14 88 Dirk Bennett 34
15 93 Dave Garber 34
16 27 Gracin Raz 7
17 38 Alex Ludeman 6
18 12 Chad Fitzpatrick 6
DNS 2 Terry Halverson
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 sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Jostens, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Pitts Racing, Leonard Evans Used Car Super Store, The Ti Company and Pacific Steel Structures LLC. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email [email protected]
-Northwest Super Late Model Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo