MONROE – Although Kelly Mann was prepared to try, the only thing that could stop Kevin Hamlin in the NASCAR All American Series super stock season opener at Evergreen Speedway was the rain.
Hamlin passed Roger Habich for the lead on the 34th lap and then held on to win the Speedway Chevrolet 125 last Saturday, taking the checkered flag in the rain-shortened race on lap 93.
A Snohomish native who began racing at Evergreen at the age of 15, Hamlin is a Busch Series driver for the Chip Ganassi Racing Team. Hamlin is sharing the No. 42 Texaco Havoline Dodge this season with former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya. Hamlin is scheduled to make his first Busch start in the Pepsi 300 today at Nashville Superspeedway.
“I had a great time coming home to Evergreen Speedway to race,” Hamlin said in a press release on his Web site, www.kevinhamlin.com. “Ron Fritzley, Naima Lang and crew gave us a great car all weekend. … Coming home and having such a great car and winning the race capped the weekend.”
Mann, who finished second, ran behind Hamlin most of the race and looked to be biding his time, probing for a weakness he could exploit in the closing laps. He was a car length behind Hamlin when a steady rain led track officials to halt the race for safety reasons.
Habich started strong and built a large lead in the early going. A caution gave Hamlin, who was running second at the time, a chance to cut the gap as the field bunched up for the restart – an opportunity the Busch driver didn’t waste. Habich finished third.
Two-time super stock champion Shane Harding finished fourth and former champion John Zaretske was fifth. Chris Preston, Lex Johnson, Tom Matthews, Naima Lang and Travis Powell rounded out the top 10.
Hamlin started the night by setting the fastest qualifying time, 23.190 seconds, on the five-eighths mile track. He also won the four-lap trophy dash.
Aumen wins Doug James: Scott Aumen of Duncan, B.C., took advantage of a long run under green to win the 35-lap ASA Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Doug James Memorial last Saturday at Evergreen.
Craig Deaver was second, Jake Mann finished third, Matt Hein was fourth and former NSRA champion Allen Goetz was fifth.
After cautions on laps seven and 12, Aumen ran the final 23 laps under green en route to his first ASA/NSRA victory.
Aumen also won the four-lap trophy dash before the Doug James Memorial.
Greg Middendorf finished sixth and Matt Mansell, Robert Beck, Pat Bliss and Monte Zema Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Demo derby and fireworks on the schedule: Evergreen Speedway will have a rain-or-shine demolition derby and fireworks show at 7 p.m. tonight.
Also on the schedule are hornet and boat racing, school bus figure-8s, “The Beast” jet car and much more.
For more information, call 360-805-6100 or visit www.evergreenspeedway.com.