Who will prove fastest at Evergreen Speedway?
The Monroe racetrack holds its premier event, the eighth annual Summer Showdown, this weekend as the Super Late Models hit the 5/8-mile track for the 200-lap main event Sunday afternoon, with the winner taking home $25,000.
So which driver will see the checkered flag?
The official start list hasn’t been determined yet, but the list of those who have committed to race this year is illustrious, including three former winners and nine drivers who have been on the podium — with the possibility of more to come.
If the race has a favorite it has to be Preston Peltier. The resident of Brighton, Colorado, has clearly been Summer Showdown’s best driver over the course of the past three years. In 2016 he was leading late in the race when his battery died with six laps to go. However, he responded to that disappointment by winning in both 2017 and 2018 to become the first two-time winner of the race.
But Peltier should have plenty of competition. At the top of that list may be Derek Thorn. The driver from Lakeport, California, has never won Summer Showdown, but he came close in both 2015, which he finished third, and 2016, when he placed second. Thorn, who didn’t race Summer Showdown last year, is leading the SLR Southwest Tour points standings, so he comes into the race in good form.
What about the locals? No Evergreen Speedway regular has ever won Summer Showdown, but Tyler Tanner may be the one to end that drought. Tanner, who resides in Auburn and is the reigning Evergreen Super Late Models points champion, is on perhaps the best run ever seen at the track. At four of the five Super Late Models races at Evergreen this season Tanner had the fastest qualifying time and went on to win the race. The one time he didn’t win he finished second, despite the fact he was racing someone else’s car. Tanner has twice finished just off the podium at Summer Showdown, placing fourth in both 2016 and 2017, and last year he was leading early in the race when his engine failed. If ever there was a local driver primed to claim Summer Showdown, it’s Tanner.
And there are plenty of others who merit consideration. Chris Davidson from Pearland, Texas, was last year’s runner up and was third in 2017. Tayler Riddle of Naches won in 2016 and always seems to be among the contenders. Gracin Raz of Lake Oswego, Oregon, is a young driver who’s coming off winning the Galloway 150 on the 5/8-mile track at Evergreen last month. And several other Evergreen regulars such as Jeff Knight, Naima Lang and Doni Wanat will have home-field advantage.
So who’s your pick to win this year’s Summer Showdown? Make your prediction here, and if you have someone else in mind let us know who in the comments section: