Rolling Thunder Big Rigs take to the dirt track at Grays Harbor Raceway. Two Derby Dashes as well as a BIg Rig main event spirited the night Saturday along with a good set of Hornets and Hobby Stock cars.
Big Rigs thunder down the track three-wide during the final streach of the scheduled 20-lap race at Grays Harbor Raceway. The Rigs thrilled the crowd with their driving antics, horns blowing and puffs of smoke as they circled the dirt track trading positions through the race.
Hobby Stock winner Cory Sweatman starts the wedge between the top racing winners of the 2012 Grays Harbor racing season , Brian Harding and Jason Tole, with his win on Spet. 1. The evening featured Big Rig racing as well as a Hornet class.
ELMA — With heavy coughs of smoke spouting from their stacks, the Rolling Thunder Big Rigs waddled around the dirt oval at Grays Harbor Raceway bringing cheers and applause from the crowd.
Complete with a pair of trophy dashes, the Big Rigs traveled around the track as if in heavy freeway traffic. Taking the A-Main feature was truck driver Scott Zahn of Rochester. Coupled in the night of racing, the Hornets saw Brian Norton take the win and a last minute scheduling of the Hobby Stock class added to the bill, saw a first season win by Cory Sweatman.
Ten drivers of the Rolling Thunder Big Rig class brought out their modified semi-truck cabs to make a show during the Sept. 1 running at Grays Harbor Raceway. Three rigs tried to run away with the race until the fourth, Zahn, made his move into the front in the final two laps after catching Dustin Smith of Tacoma.
The racing was reminiscent of a leapfrog contest with the Big Rigs swapping positions on almost every pass of the grandstand. Zahn kept to the back of the pack until mid-way through the race and snuck in behind Smith. With racing going three wide at points, making it impossible for anyone behind to consider passing, the race was limited in cautions. On one restart after a little spin out of turn four, the rigs lined up behind the pace car which started a bumper-into-bumper chain reaction popping the cover of Tammi Rodstrom of Edgewood, right in front of the home crowd. Rodstrom had to be pushed out, after her hood was replaced.
Narrowing the field left just a bit of room for Zahn to start edging up into the pack. Smith followed Zahn across the line at the checkered flag with Dave Barr of Centralia finishing third.
A quick call went out to all the Hobby Stock drivers and they responded to add an additional race for the Saturday night affair.
With the season mostly won by Jason Tole and Brian Harding, splitting their share of winnings, and running one, two respectively in season points, current 12th points place driver Cory Sweatman, from his fourth position start out drove the pair during this run of the dirt oval.
Mike Knox of Tacoma, granted the pole position, soon found Sweatman right on his bumper as it turned into a two-car race very quickly. Harding, having to work around Ryan Haney, tried to catch them, but would have to wait to close the gaps hoping caution resets would allow him an opportunity.
Tole had to borrow the Jack Parshall car after he had problems earlier in the night and could not make corrective action quick enough to continue in his no. 34. Tole kept the points lead by running in the race, but was unable to catch the leaders.
By lap 14, Sweatman had taken over the lead and ran away with the rest of the race. Knox started slipping back and fell behind Harding who was trying everything he could to get around Sweatman, but seemed to be unable to get a solid grip on the track. Knox held in for a third place finish with Brian Izzi taking fourth and Shane Kerrigan completing the top five.
In the Hornet class Brian Norton beat Chad Norton and Shane Norton kicked dirt around the infield for the majority of the night. Norton and Brian kept the race mostly to themselves during the 20-lap run, but once were interrupted by driver Jeff Daniel, new to the Hornet class this year. Daniel making progress on the track in his Green Mountain Dew No. 14, got hit in the drivers door coming out of turn two on lap 13, bringing the race to a halt. Daniel walked away from the wreck but his car had to be towed, which left the rest of the race to the Nortons.
Brian took charge and the checkered leaving second to Chad. Weston Smith brought in the third place finish with Jesarae Norton and Rob Johnson closing out the top five positions.