Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Jefferson Wins Fall Classic

Yakima, WA (October 4, 2016)–When fans arrived Sunday for the 29th Annual Fall Classic at Yakima Speedway they knew the race would be exciting based on past history. Jason Jefferson provided a thrilling performance to give the fans plenty to talk about with the off-season approaching.

The veteran driver from Naches, WA came from the back of the pack with less than 40 laps remaining, having to pit for a flat tire while leading, to win.

Jefferson was able to hold off his friend and mentor, Garrett Evans, during a rash of late race cautions. Zack Beaman who battled back from two flat tires, finished second with Andy Sole and Braeden Havens rounding out the top-5 finishers.

The weekend started out with 32 drivers making the trip to the historic race. Only 30 would make it to qualifying after incidents in practice. The 2015 Fall Classic winner, Tayler Riddle, captured the fast time award with a blistering 18.514-sec. lap. Beaman qualified second to set the front row of Sunday’s 200-lap main event. The top-15 cars would be locked in on time with a 30-lap qualifying heat run to set positions 16th through 30th.

Riddle and Beaman brought the 30-car field to the green flag with Riddle grabbing the lead off of turn 2. Several cautions through the race’s first 50 laps kept the field bunched together.

The young guns of Riddle and Beaman raced side by side as Lap 50 restarted from a caution. Beaman jumped the start but per series rules fell back and returned the lead to Riddle. The hard racing between Riddle and Beaman gave Jefferson a chance to close in on the pair by lap 60. Jefferson was able to get by Beaman as the Yakima native was forced to pit with a flat tire

Caution on lap 74 set-up a restart with Jefferson on the outside of Riddle. The defending race champion beat Jefferson into the corner for the lead. Jefferson caught Riddle on lap 78 to take the lead for the first time. Jefferson and Riddle who also happen to be neighbors in Naches, battled for the lead until the mid-way break came out at lap 93.

The race resumed after all drivers were able to make adjustments, add fuel and change tires. Riddle’s lead didn’t last long as Jefferson powered back to take the lead away on Lap 109. Jefferson would lead the filed through two of the longest green flag runs of the day as the past Apple Cup winner showcased the strength of his Ford Fusion.

It seemed that Jefferson was going to be the car to beat until Lap 160.

While the field was under caution Jefferson brought his car to pit road to change a right front flat tire and fell back to the 15th position on the restart. This would move Garrett Evans to lead with 40 laps to go. Evans had a strong car while running up front but the show that everybody at the track was watching was Jefferson as he weaved his way through traffic to advance back towards the front of the field.

By lap 165 Jefferson had cracked the Top-10 while he was making his “KRC Power Steering” Power Move of the Race to the front. Jefferson only needed eight more laps until he was sitting in second place and working to pass Evans for the lead. It took just four laps for Jefferson to overtake the NWSLMS points leader Evans and regain his lead of the race.

With just 21 laps left in the race Jefferson continued to hold control of the event but three late cautions gave Evans a chance on restarts. Knowing each other’s restart tricks after many late race duels, Evans and Jefferson played cat and mouse with each other for the lead when the green flag was thrown.

The late cautions wouldn’t faze Jefferson, as he cruised to his first career NWSLMS win and first career Fall Classic victory. Jefferson is also the first in his famous racing family to win a Yakima Speedway Fall Classic in its 29-year history.

The Northwest Super Late Model Series Inc. is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Pacific Northwest. The series has many valued sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Racers Against Child Abuse, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Pitts Racing and Racing Dynamics. For more information on the series visit www.nwslmseries.com or on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email northwestsuperlatemodels@gmail.com

20th Annual Fall Classic 200
Yakima Speedway Yakima, WA
200 Laps 100 Miles

Unofficial Finishing position/Car No./Name/Hometown/Laps completed
1. 97 Jason Jefferson Naches, WA 200
2. 64 Garrett Evans East Wenatchee, WA 200
3. 25 Zach Beaman Yakima, WA 200
4. 20s Andy Sole Marysville, WA 200
5. 83 Braeden Havens Airway Heights, WA 200
6. 37 Mike Longton Moxee, WA 200
7. 22 Lex Johnson Monroe, WA 200
8. 89 Doni Wanat Woodinville, WA 200
9. 12 Dan Obrist Portland, OR 200
10. 77 CJ Hawley Prosser, WA 200
11. 16 Chad Hinkle Yakima, WA 200
12. 52 Brittney Zamora Kennewick, WA 200
13. 29 Shane Harding Surrey, BC 200
14. 22w JC Wofford Yakima, WA 197
15. 51 Glenn Knutson Quincy, WA 173
16. 15 Taylor Riddle Naches, WA 172
17. 70 Jeff Knight Monroe, WA 166
18. 93 Dave Garber Spokane, WA 158
19. 90 Molly Helmuth Seattle, WA 155
20. 33s Brooke Schimmel Woodland, WA 129
21. 11 Ed Thomsen Pasco, WA 122
22. 24x Tim Babcock Kennewick, WA 87
23. 40 Jason Ogle Bothell, WA 86
24. 09 Clint Habart Cranbrook, BC 86
25. 88 Dirk Bennett Spokane, WA 83
26. 1 Mitch Kleyn Quincy, WA 72
27. 99 Shane Mitchell East Wenatchee, WA
28. 33K Christopher Kalsch Hillsboro, OR 28
29. 39 Pete Harding Langley, BC 19
20. 10 Owen Riddle Naches, WA 0

Race Contingency Awards-
Wheel Chill Fast Time- No. 15 Taylor Riddle 18.514 secs ($200 award)
Wheel Chill Lucky “7” Award- No. 22 Lex Johnson (7th place finisher $25 award)
Wheel Chill 11- No. 16 Chad Hinkle (11th place finisher $25 award)
Wheel Chill Early Exit- No. 10 Owen Riddle (First car out of the race)
JOES Racing Products Hard Charger- Dan Obrist, who advanced 21 positions from 30th to 9th place at the checkers
JOES Racing Products Hard Charger- No. 12 Dan Obrist (advanced from 24th to 11th)
JOES 12th Man Award- No. 52 Brittney Zamora (finished in 12th place)
KRC Power Steering “Power Move Of the Race”-No. 97 Jason Jefferson
Racers Against Child Abuse Hard Luck Award- No. 39 Pete Harding ($50 award)

2016 Top-10 NWSLMS Unofficial Points
Driver Total
1 Garrett Evans 383
2 Braeden Havens 328
3 Mitch Kleyn 295
4 Brittney Zamora 293
5 Ryan Wells 278
6 Ed Thomsen 266
7 Glenn Knutson 249
8 Clint Habart 240
9 Dirk Bennett 211
10 Shane Mitchell 202