Wenatchee, WA (April 28, 2019) – Gracin Raz held off a furious challenge from Brittney Zamora and Alan Cress during the closing laps of the Leonard Evans 150 at Wenatchee Valley Super Oval en route to his first career victory on the Northwest Super Late Model Series.
Jessie Jensen and Mitch Kleyn rounded out the top-5 running order.
Cress captured his first fast time award of the season with a lap of 12.643-seconds, then drew the pole in the series new top-8 invert qualifying procedure.
The Oregon native held the point for the event’s first 47 circuits before yielding to Raz entering turn No. 1. Past NASCAR champion Jeff Jefferson, driving for his younger brother Jason, wheeled into third place just behind Cress and began to apply pressure to the top two.
Jefferson tucked behind Raz after a double-file restart on lap 45 and the pair put distance on Cress who had his hands full keeping Trevor Cristiani, Trenton Moriarity and Jensen at bay.
Over the next 10 laps Cristiani would clear Cress and mount a challenge to Jefferson and Raz.
At lap 70, Zamora began to make her charge to the front as she got past Moriarity for fifth place and by lap 83 had cleared Cress to challenge Cristiani for third place.
As the pair battled for the position, Cristiani lost the handle on his Chevrolet, which opened the door for Zamora and Cress to clear the Idaho native in the top-4 running order.
Cress got around Zamora on lap 87 to take over third place with his sights set on catching Jefferson and Raz in the closing laps.
A yellow on lap 99 bunched the field on the ensuing double-file restart, which opened the door for Cress and Zamora to move past Jefferson. Over the next 20 laps Jensen continued his patient approach to the race and moved past Jefferson to nab fourth place.
The night’s final yellow flew at lap 137 setting up a shootout between Raz, Cress and Zamora with Jensen waiting to pounce. Cress was slow to get up to speed as the green flag came out, allowing Zamora to clear for second place. Jensen was unable to stay with Zamora’s move and gave room to Cress to fall in behind the leaders.
Raz was steady in the closing laps, hitting the marks just right to keep Zamora in his rear-view mirror. Over the final handful of laps Zamora drove her Toyota hard through the corners in pursuit of the leader but fell just short at the checkered flag. Cress was able to get his Chevrolet up to speed and moved out to a sizable advantage over Jensen over the waning stages of the race.
The win mark’s Raz’s best finish in a super late model event. A prodigy of Jeff Jefferson, Raz also has a win on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (2015) as a driver for Jefferson Pitts Racing.
RAZ HUMBLE IN VICTORY LANE:
“I just can’t believe that we were able to get this win. This is an awesome series to race on with the best drivers out here. It’s hard to believe I was able to win over guys like Jeff Jefferson, Garrett Evans and everyone who was here tonight. I have to thank my crew, my brother Kole and my parents for all they’ve done to make this happen.”
NOTES OF INTEREST:
- Garrett Evans, who has never won the race named for his father Leonard, rallied from a poor qualifying effort to bring home an eighth-place finish, advancing 10 positions on the night.
- Mitch Kleyn was the biggest mover of the race, going from his 16thstarting position to fifth place over the 150-lap race.
- While it seemed that Jefferson Pitts Racing Rookie of the Year candidate, Tristan Haider, did not advance forward from his sixth place starting position, the Olympia youngster put on quite the show moving to the front of the field after running outside the top-10 for part of the evening. Haider, who made limited starts in 2018 while preparing for his debut season, was the highest finishing rookie of the race.
- Boise, ID driver Dylan Caldwell was involved in a practice accident and was unable to make repairs in time for the event’s qualifying session.
- The race drew competitors from Oregon, Idaho and Washington in addition to the Canadian province of British Columbia.
- Next up for the Northwest Super Late Model Series will be the Yakima Speedway Apple Cup 125 on May 11.
NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
Leonard Evans 150
Wenatchee Valley Super Oval
150 Laps 37.5 Miles
Unofficial Finishing position/Car No./Name/Hometown/Laps completed
- 27 Gracin Raz Lake Oswego, OR 150 running
- 52 Brittney Zamora Kennewick, WA 150 running
- 91 Alan Cress Stayton, OR 150 running
- 31 Jessie Jensen Snohomish, WA 150 running
- 1k Mitch Kleyn Quincy, WA 150 running
- 24 Tristan Haider Olympia, WA 150 running
- 42 Jeff Jefferson Naches, WA 150 running
- 64 Garrett Evans East Wenatchee, WA 150 running
- 90 Trevor Cristiani Boise, ID 150 running
- 93 Dave Garber Spokane, WA 150 running
- 38 Chad Hinkle Yakima, WA 149 running
- 12 Trenton Moriarity Monroe, WA 149 running
- 33 Christopher Kalsch Hillsboro, OR 148 running
- 14 Brandon Carlson Victoria, BC 134 engine
- 32 Mike Holden Clearview, WA 121 handling
- 81 Darrell Midgely Sidney, BC 87 engine
- 17 Robert Presley Olympia, WA 48 accident
- 15 Tayler Riddle Naches, WA 45 engine
- 100 Scott Walker West Richland, WA 43 engine
DNQ – Dylan Caldwell, Boise, ID accident
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, Racing Dynamics, 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 or on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email [email protected]