Having a father, son and grandson compete in a single race is a special family experience.
Having them sweep the top three places is off-the-charts great.
It’s what happened to the Hubbard family at the Oct. 26 Pumpkin Smash Enduro at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe. Rick Hubbard won the race, which lasted a little over three hours, with son Mark Hubbard finishing second and grandson Cullen Hubbard placing third. They were the only three drivers on the lead lap at the end.
“It was really amazing,” said 68-year-old Rick Hubbard of Kenmore.
Amazing, yes. And rare, if not unprecedented. As best anyone can tell, no family has ever accomplished such a feat before. Suzanne Wise, curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection at Appalachian State University, said it’s likely the Hubbards are the first.
“All of our resources dealing with family racing are the obvious (Petty, Allison, etc.), and nobody has done what your family did,” she wrote in an e-mail Rick Hubbard shared with The Herald.
The Oct. 26 race involved 45 foreign stock cars on a speedway road course that included sections of the 5/8-mile, 3/8-mile and figure-eight tracks. The total distance was about 180 miles.
Drivers drew for starting positions, with 21-year-old Cullen Hubbard, a student at Central Washington University, starting third. His dad, 44-year-old Mark Hubbard of Bothell, started 22nd, and Rick Hubbard started 33rd.
They all kept working their way up through the field, and by the end it seemed certain of being a Hubbard family sweep. The only question was the order of finish.
Mark Hubbard looked like he had the best chance to win, but a blown tire with 15 laps to go set him back. Still, he was closing fast at the end, “and if it would’ve gone one more lap, Mark would’ve got me,” Rick Hubbard said. “And I think Cullen would’ve got me too, we were that close.”
At dinner that night, Mark Hubbard told his dad with a smile, “You know, I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I’d got to your rear bumper.”
The Hubbards are a longtime racing family — Rick Hubbard, in fact, started racing in 1962 at the now-defunct Sea-Tac Speedway south of Seattle — and collectively they have numerous wins.
“But this was beyond anything,” Rick Hubbard said. “I’ve been racing 51 years, and it’s beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.”