In Memoriam: HEATHER DEITZ
Celebrating 50 years of FEAR "Incorporation"
1966 - 2016
Gunderson and Borreson also win
"THE (32nd annual) FIGURE-8 NATIONALS"!
and Matt Somerville wins closest Stinger-8 race...ever!
By Ben Chandler
The second half of the 2016 racing season is upon us, and instead of a “mid-season Championship,” like we had for over 4 decades, it is now quietly marked by the Figure-8 “Nationals.” Since its creation in 1984 by then Promoter Mickey Beadle and former FEAR President Mick Tomlin, this annual event has always been the most important race of the season … our “Super Bowl,” if you will. 10 years later, in 1994, another big figure-8 race was added, called the “60 Minutes of FEAR.” Several years later this second “big race” name was dedicated to the memory of “Big Ed” Ritchie, who died during the event, held (back then) in April of 1999. Both big events have gone through many iterations since the turn of the century. The catchy names have stuck, of course, except for some reason, the “Big Ed” part, which hopefully is fixable. However the number of laps, number of “minutes” or number of divisions and cars that qualify has had to be somewhat fluid, mainly because of car-count. That said, it is still a very cool event to be a part of, to win, and to watch! I like that we have maintained so many of our FEAR traditions, and want to thank Tom Claibourn for bringing his huge collection of photos and hand-painted model cars to the track, for the Nationals. He lives on the other side of the mountains, and can only join us a couple of times each season. And a special thanks to Doug and Traci Hobbs for again supporting FEAR and Tom, by honoring the old-time drivers that showed up, and what’s left of our once great Club!
The Nationals this year was split into two 75 lap events, for each big-car division, with the addition of a 50 lap Stinger-8 race, to start the big night. And what a show those boys and girls put on! The 3 fastest cars, the main 3 contenders for the Championship, all started in the back of the 13 car main event together, as they should. By lap 7 the #89 Integra, driven by Nicole Pollard, broke free of the pack, and a few laps later point leader (going in) Cody Hoopes in his 10x (fearracingdotorg sponsored) Prelude, and the gorgeous new #21 Integra, driven by Matt Somerville, were hot on her tail! That is, until around lap 30, when Hoopes tangled with a rookie at the X. After the restart Pollard held the lead as Somerville stalked her, lap after lap, until just before the checkered flag, when the #21 slipped his nose just inside the #89 - to steal the win! It might just be the cool FEAR stickers that helped with the exciting finish! In 3rd place was #23, Bryce Kolar, also in an Integra. The point lead for now is a TIE between Matt and Nicole, with Cody and Bryce sorta close behind!
The next event was for the Super-Stock figure-8 division, and with series creator Doug Delfel taking the night off, it was looking like a 2 car race between defending Champ, Quenton “the One-armed Bandit” Borreson, in David Brandenburg’s fast blue #17 car, and Tommy Gapp’s #32 car, driven for the first time by “Mr. Excitement” Steve Cox. 14 cars started the 75 lap big event – when the rain started! It didn’t look like anyone had rain tires on, and it was a very slippery track. Quenton carefully worked his way to 3rd by lap 5, but Cox was already in the front. Both cars struggled with the slippery track, each other … and sliding fellow competitors, but Q finally pulled away in the lead. Cox made his runner-up race exciting with a late race spin that put him behind the #36 car of Bill Fleischacker and the eventual 3rd place finisher, #77 Brandon Florer. Congrats to Quenton and David for their first “Nationals” win together, and to Steve Cox and Tommy Gapp for the “first loser” spot!
The final big 75 lap race was for the “Outlaw” cars, along with several of the Super-stocks filling the 16 car field. The track was still pretty slimey, but the Outlaws at least had their best tires on. Nick Gunderson drove around early leader John “the Cowboy” Carlson’s #50 car, somewhere around lap 11, and never looked back - until tangling with Robert “Big Bird” Weldon’s much slower Camaro. Nick went on to pass everyone again as both Seth Funden in his #40 car, and the #83 of Zack Larson took a turn in the front. But from lap 63 on, it was all about the Gunderson Speed Shop’s #33, with 3rd generation driver Nick Gunderson taking the win again, over Funden and Larson. So that’s my “Mid-Season” Nationals report. Been too busy to write more often, but we are swinging a lot of our Club stuff to FaceBook, as Tom finally joined the rest of the modern world! Lots of great racing to come, of course, and the Evergreen State Fair is just a few weeks away… See you there! BC
also... Club historian Tom Claibourn
is finally available on FaceBook....@ fearracingdotorg
2016 FEAR SEASON DRAWS TO A CLOSE!
By Ben Chandler
Three Figure-8 Champions were crowned at Evergreen Speedway, on Championship night, Sept. 24th. Matt Somerville, for his very first time, in the Stinger-8 division, Seth Funden for his second time (in 2 different divisions), and for his third consecutive time, it was Quenton Borreson in the Super-Stocks!
It was a huge night of racing, with 9 divisions crowning champions, including the 17-year-old son of FEAR Hall of Fame member (and 4-time Champ) Steve Cox. Dawson Cox won the 2016 Hornet Championship in just his 2nd season of racing! Ironically, this was the 10th anniversary of Steve being inducted into the FEAR HoF, and subsequent “retirement” of his favorite #7. Might they be the first Father/son champs using the same number? Is Dawson the first 3rd generation driver to win a Championship at ES? And, might Dawson be the youngest Champ in track history? All great questions… that I believe to be true!
It was an exciting season of racing at Evergreen for all of the classes, but the Figure-8 guys still seemed to put on the best show, week after week! In the Stinger-8 division, 2 fellow drivers were ahead of Somerville in the point battle at various times during the summer. Both Nicole Pollard in her #89 Integra, and Cody Hoopes in his (fearracing.org sponsored) #10x Prelude won some races, but Somerville won the most of ‘em in his cool new Jenkins-built #21 Integra! Congrats to newest FEAR member, Matt Somerville, for his 16-point win over Cody Hoopes for the 2016 Season Stinger-8 Championship!
In the “Outlaw” division, car count continued to be an issue earlier in the summer. But boy, did they end it with a great show on Championship night! 14 cars started the 30-lapper, and former Stinger Champ, Seth Funden, in his gorgeous fluorescent #40 car had a 25-point lead over Chris Curtis going into the final night. Curtis won the race, but Funden’s top-5 finish was good enough to win the Championship over Curtis in the “Boney Brothers” #74, and the defending Champ, #50 of “Cowboy” John Carlson! Newest Evergreen Speedway Hall of Fame member Vernon “the Crazy Cajun” Deitz was there, along with son Ricky, (who came in 2nd) to honor Heather Deitz with the biggest Memorial lap in track history! Also honored that night was (former FEAR member, and Mini-stock champ) Mark Weedin’s late wife, Kim. Mark went on to walk 60 miles, raising Cancer awareness and thousands of dollars in her memory.
And for the 3rd consecutive season, it was David Brandenburg’s blue #17 rocket-ship taking the Super-stock Championship, with extraordinary driver Quenton “the one-armed bandit” Borreson behind the wheel, and Tom Gapp under the hood! A 75-point lead over #64 Eric Allison going into the final night assured the team of this season’s Championship, unlike last season when Borreson was injured the last few weeks, and Gapp took over - barely holding off “the Grizz”, Doug Delfel. Coming in 3rd this season was Brandon Florer in his #77 Camaro. Bruce Beeler appears to be “rookie of the year” in this division, even though he has been racing for some 30 years! Congrats to Bruce, Jessica Gray for winning it in the “Outlaw” division, and Stinger-8 rookie of the year, Talon Kolar.
It was an exciting season to witness, and I want to thank all of you who support Evergreen Speedway, both as drivers and as fans of Figure-8 racing! And a special THANK YOU to Doug and Traci Hobbs for continuing to support the memory of FEAR and FSCRA at Evergreen Speedway! Next year will be the 40th anniversary of my own Championship. I still recall when the late, great FEAR President Wayne Crum handed me that gorgeous trophy at the Swedish club in Seattle. It was an honor I shared with another great driver, the late “Stormin” Norman Litts, who won the “Superstock” Championship! My one and only Championship trophy still sits in my living room, ready to be grabbed in case of fire! Congrats again to our 2016 Champions, and hope I see you all at the Banquet in January, when you too will receive your own special Championship awards! BC
GUNDERSON, BORRESON AND OGRAIN EACH
WIN 2016 "30 MINUTES" OF FEAR!
THE 2016 SEASON IS UNDERWAY!
By Ben Chandler
Opening night for this new season was April 2nd, and a HUGE crowd was there celebrating both the best racing, and the best NFL football team in the great Northwest! The weather was perfect, and the “Super-stock” figure-8 cars put on a pretty good show, with a dozen cars taking the green flag for their 30-lap main event. Tommy Gapp quickly worked his way to the front with his still new #32 car, followed by Steve Peters and defending Champ, Quenton Borreson in hot pursuit. Gapp runs that number, by the way, in honor of his grandfather, Gene Lovely, who I raced against some 40 years ago! Peters followed Gapp to the 20 lap mark, before forcefully taking over the lead, leaving Tommy stuck in the south corner with a clutch problem. It was Peters in the “Battlewagon” holding off “the One-armed Bandit” to the checkers! Borreson also set fast-time in David Brandenburg’s #17 for the night, and won his heat race, too… But wait, Peters forgot to “go to tech” after the event, and was actually DQ’d! I understand it was a colorful display of sportsmanship, missed by me, as Peters turned over the winner’s trophy to the #17 team. In pieces?
So, congrats to Quenton Borreson for his first big win (a clean-sweep!) of the new season, followed by Devin Jenkins and James Conley, both in good looking new cars. And congrats to “the Grizz” Doug Delfel for winning his heat race! The former Champ struggled in the main event, but should be ready for the big “90 Minutes tof FEAR” event, scheduled for April 30th. All 3 Figure-8 divisions will take part that night, and 30 minutes per division is currently the plan, the last I heard.
Speaking of the other 2 divisions, both started off their respective new seasons on week #2, which was “Scout Night”. Nice weather again blessed us as the Stinger-8 and “Outlaw” divisions were joined by Drifting, Pro-four trucks and Hornets. Plenty of 2nd and 3rd generation (former FEAR) racers were present for trophy presentations, as usual. Defending champ Doug Wilkinson (son of Mike) ended up running 2nd in the truck race, and last year’s “rookie sensation” Dawson Cox (son of Steve and grandson of Warren) took his very first win in the Hornet division. Cox was chased to the line by (Mark’s baby boy) Toby Jenkins, driving Dawson’s old #7 Prelude, which was, I might add, lettered “for sale”!
11 cars took the green for the 30-lap Stinger-8 Main event. Nicole Pollard quickly took her #89 Integra to the front, and held off (Troy’s boy) Cody Hoopes, in the late arriving 10x Prelude. 3rd went to the gorgeous new #21 Integra, driven by Matt Somerville, who easily had “fast-time” for the night, with 4th place going to Tyler Draper in his #13 car. The race was just 5 laps old when Mikaela Pedersen drilled Ryan Barber in the intersection. I believe they too are both second generation drivers! As is Jerry’s boy, Seth Funden, who chased Chris Curtis to the finish of the 4-car, 25-lap “Outlaw” main event. Yes, 4 cars...
Next up, again...it’s the big “90 Minutes-of-FEAR” for all 3 divisions, on April 30th!
And finally, we recently lost another racing family member. “My Boy” LeRoy Jensen passed away on April 4th. He raced with us 25 plus years ago, but remained a fan forever. He came to a couple of our reunions, and sat in the stands a few times each year. Happy to be recognized, and always with that big smile. You will be missed, LeRoy. So, welcome to 2016 everybody, I hope to see you at the track! -BC
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