Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Longton Aims for Apple Cup at Home Track

Via NSLMS Media

Wenatchee, Wash. (April 2, 2019) – For Mike Longton the chance to race played a major factor as to why he entered the 52nd Annual Yakima Speedway Apple Cup. For the last few years the Moxee Missile’s foray into Northwest Super Late Model Series racing has been few and far between.

“If I could I’d race every weekend but it’s getting tougher and tougher these days. Work has kept me so busy the last three or four years that we’ve only been able to get out to a few races a year,” he said. “Last year we got wadded up in the first race of the year we ran, and we didn’t have the time to fix the car, so we were done for the season."

Longton is excited to aim for a win, put on a show for the fans and support a longtime sponsor.

“It’s always cool to win at your home track in front of the home crowd. I haven’t run Yakima since Doug (Bettarel, Yakima’s new promoter) took over but I’ve heard nothing but good things. It will be nice to have (Bettarel) running the track because he’s someone that cares about racing and the racers. Doug has helped and supported so many racers, including myself back to my go-kart days when I was just 15-years old and then onto my very first late model. He will do great things there.”

With a schedule of limited racing the last few years, Longton explained that tire management is key to getting his No. 37 Ford to Victory Circle and the Apple Cup 125 trophy.

“The tires we run now aren’t the same as when I got started 20 years ago; that’s just what super late model racing has come to. We run single file for 180 laps at times (in the big 200-lap shootouts) with a lot of riding waiting to get to the end of the race then make our moves.

“You can’t really practice on old tires and learn anything like we used to be able to do. Some guys (still try) and sticker up for every practice and some use old tires. We’re kind of in the middle of the road with that (strategy). Yakima still has enough grip left in it that you’ll have to have a well-balanced car (to win the race). If you’re on the flip side (of not having a balanced race car) you’ll burn up the tires with too much power being put to the track.

Focused on the set-up of his own Ford, Longton still takes time to watch how his competitors approach the weekend, he added.

“Oh yeah you have to watch at the track and maybe learn something or see if they are doing something different than you are for set-ups.”

Apple Cup is the first of several big races offered in the Northwest that Longton has circled on his 2019 schedule. Earning a weekend victory adds to a few more races Longton would like to win in 2019.

“I’ve been going to the Montana 200 for so long in my career that it’s one that’s at the top of my list. The Evergreen (Speedway) Summer Showdown is also right up there with them.”

Apple Cup weekend events include Saturday’s Qualifying, Trophy Dashes and Heat Races. Sunday features main event in all classes concluding with the 52nd Annual Apple Cup 125. Ticket and other information can be found at www.yakimaspeedway.us

Expected Driver’s List
2019 Apple Cup, Yakima Speedway

Car# First Last City State
1K Mitch Kleyn Quincy, WA
02 Todd Connell Yakima, WA
10 Wes Madder BC, Canada
11 Hand Car Yakima, WA
11 Ed Thomsen Kennewick, WA
12 Trenton Moriarity Monroe, WA
12 Chad Fitzpatrick Lake Stevens, WA
15 Jim Franklin Kennewick, WA
15 Tayler Riddle Naches, WA
18 Ian Graham Agassiz, BC, Canada
24 Tristan Haider Olympia, WA
24 Tim Babcock Kennewick, WA
33 Christopher Kalsch Hillsboro, OR
37 Mike Longton Moxee, WA
38 Chad Hinkle Yakima, WA
39 Pete Harding Langley, BC, Canada
40 Dylan Caldwell Boise, ID
64 Garrett Evans E Wenatchee, WA
65 Tyler Tanner Auburn, WA
89 Doni Wanat Woodinville, WA
90 Trevor Cristiani Boise, ID
91 Alan Cress Stayton, OR

The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Pitts Racing, Leonard Evans Used Car Super Store, The Ti Company, Pacific Steel Structures LLC and Racing Dynamics. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email northwestsuperlatemodels@gmail.com.