Brian Harding, inside, Jason Tole, outside, take the final lap in of the 25-lap Hobby Stock Main Event during Grays Harbor Fair Race night at Grays Harbor Raceway. Harding took Tole to the line and nudged him out for th ewin. Both drivers have won five times this season and are making the points race for the Hobby Stock class one to watch.
Fans get an early start to racing during fair week, the one race of the year when drivers finish before it gets dark enough to turn on the track lights. Here the Hobby Stock class re-groups after an early caution was raised due to a car getting too loose in a turn and stalling out in the middle of the track. Leader Brian Harding would take it the rest of the way for the win.
ELMA — For the first time in his Sprint racing career, Reece Goetz took the checkered flag at Grays Harbor Raceway. Brian Harding and Jake Mills returned to the winners’ circle with Harding taking the Hobby Stock flag and Mills in the Hornets.
In a limited field of cars, Goetz ran his pole position start in front of the rest of the pack for his first 360 Sprint win at the Elma dirt track.
With a false start reset, the group of five cars came back around the track and gave a clean start to a zero caution race.
Returning to the track, Henry VanDam chased Goetz the entire race and the duo started lapping Rob Johnson by lap 7. Double that again and at lap 14, Johnson was two laps down to the leaders. Goetz and VanDam ran tight through the first few laps and J.J. Hickle even tightened them up pressing them at lap 5 and later at lap 16.
The race finished just how it started, with no one really gaining any position on another and each driver settling down into their groove.
Running in the OJ car, Cody Ridge tracked behind Hickle with Johnson brining up the rear of the pack.
The Hobby Stock class never fails to delight the crowd. With a field of 19 cars starting, Harding, also working out of the pole, popped out for the lead until the first caution at lap three collected the cars back together. Eddie Blood looked to be the challenge of the night. He paced Harding through the first two cautions, until Jason Tole made his way around Blood and Ryan Haney to take over the chase of Harding for the night.
With Tole occupying Harding, Haney was trying to shake Jack Parshall off his tail. Haney was doing well and even lost Parshall back a place behind Tommy Hecker for a lap, until back to back cautions gave Parshall opportunity to slip in and hold fast to the third place position.
Running up front, Harding and Tole were pacing ten others on the same lap and took it to the finish in just that order. In the battle for third, Parshall had shut down Haney by the final caution of the night, Haney brought in fourth with Will Madson, who had started in the top five positions at the start of the race, managed to get back in the final five laps.
The first race of the night went in quick order as the Hornets were led by Jake Mills for the entire race. A clean race, the Hornets ran the 20-laps smooth as silk with little trouble. Chad Norton, the current points leader as of the last posting at the Grays Harbor web site, followed in Mills for second with Willie Wright four seconds behind in third. Jeff Daniels and Kyle Nast finished the top five spots.
The Modifieds are back on the schedule for Aug. 18 and will be joined by the Sprints, Hobby Stocks and Hornet classes.