Local racing notebook: Familiar names highlight Tour opener

  • By Scott Whitmore Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2008 2:17pm
  • SportsSports

There will be a strong contingent of local racers at Evergreen Speedway this Saturday for the American Speed Association Northwest Tour’s season-opening 125-lap race.

In addition to touring racers including Gary Lewis and Jason Fraser of Snohomish, many drivers familiar to fans of Evergreen’s weekly racing series are slated to compete.

Darin Stordahl will open his rookie campaign on the Northwest Tour this weekend. Stordahl, of Marysville, raced in Evergreen’s super stock division last season, finishing sixth overall.

Another super stock driver, Jill Lang, will become just the second woman to start a race in the 22-year history of Northwest Tour. Lang, who will race in both the super stock and bomber divisions at Evergreen this season, will join LeAnn Tanner in the series’ history book.

Other well known drivers at the Monroe track who are expected to race Saturday include James Mugge, a super-stock rookie this year who raced bombers last season; longtime racer Kelly Mann of Monroe; and Shane Harding, a two-time super stock champion who plans on racing at a variety of tracks this season.

Also on tap for this Saturday will be Doug James Memorial featuring the winged sprint cars of the ASA Northwest Sprint Car Racing Association.

Gates open at 3 p.m. and — weather permitting — qualifying and heat races begin an hour later. There will be an autograph session at 6:15 p.m. with the first race slated for 7 p.m.

Same name, different voice: Skagit Speedway owner Steve Beitler announced last week that longtime announced Kelly Hart had relocated to Wenatchee to start his own media company and would not be back for the 2008 season.

The position didn’t stay vacant very long, however, as Beitler named assistant announcer and pit reporter Kaleb Hart — Kelly Hart’s son — as the new announcer for the clay oval.

“I am very excited for the opportunity I’ve been presented at Skagit Speedway,” Kaleb Hart said in a press release. “This is the fulfillment of a childhood dream, and I’m proud to be part of Skagit Speedway as we step to the next level.”

Skagit’s annual playday is scheduled for April 12 and the Haggen Food &Pharmacy season opener will be April 19.

Evergreen adds a sponsor: Evergreen Speedway announced earlier this week that Pawn X-Change will be the title sponsor for the premier Super Figure Eight division for 2008.

The Super Figure Eight division, which is the second highest paying class at the Monroe track, competes as part of the speedway’s weekly racing series as well as in two premier events, the 60 Minutes of FEAR race on May 17 and the Figure Eight Nationals on Aug. 23rd.

Additionally, Pawn X-Change will sponsor the division’s mid-season championship race on June 28.

Other class sponsors at Evergreen Speedway are Speedway Chevrolet for the super stock division and Les Schwab Tires for the bomber division.

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