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By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
2012 Super Figure-8 Championship Recap

It was just a month ago I pointed out that the fastest car in each division had finally taken over the point lead in their respective battles for the 2012 Championship. Last week Josh Young won that battle for his first Stinger-8 Championship rather easily, winning by 66 points over early point leader, Jessica Gray. The final Super-8 race between former Champ Jake Repin and 7-time Champ Steve Peters was, however, just a bit more intense, to say the least! With less than a 20 point difference going in, Peters hoped to not only win, but needed to see many cars starting, and to start far enough back to get some valuable pass points – or pretty much needed the #45 car to get a flat or break down during the Main event. I arrived in the pits, just before 6pm, to hear from several racers and figure-8 fans that Repin’s #45 had indeed broken, but that Jake was going to drive David Brandenburg’s #17 instead! With only nine cars still running for the big final night, the drivers voted to cut the Main event from 100 to 50 laps. Peters won the 9-car heat race, cutting the point lead down to 14 or so, but we lost Doug Delfel’s #01 car to a blown head gasket. His hand hurt during the heat race, Quinton Borreson also had to back out of the Main, but volunteered his #21 hot rod to Jake to race, which put Tom Gapp back in the #17 seat. After hours of “other stuff”, just eight Super-8 cars took the green flag for their final Main event of the season, with Repin’s (now numbered) #45 towards the back. Not all the way back, as a couple guys did not time in. Chuck Widdis kept his #58 in the lead for the first 9 laps with Pat Clark and Greg Scott in hot pursuit. Just before lap 10, Peters was turned by Gapp and Repin got tangled up with a rookie in the #53…and Greg slipped into the lead. From this point on it was like two separate mini races were taking place! In front was “the Great” Greg Scott in his #08, holding off the slightly faster #74 of Pat Clark. Lots of bumpin’ and rubbin’ was taking place as the two figure-8 veterans battled hard for the race lead. Then they ran up on the “other” race, between the two Championship contenders! It appeared that Repin planned on simply following Peters all night, no matter how fast OR slowly he went, forsaking the battle, to “win the war” – which is certainly what I would do for another Championship! It wasn’t until lap 38 that Pat was finally able to move Greg far enough out of the way to take the lead for good. Pat went on to easily take the final A Main of the Season! In 3rd place, and staying out of trouble, was Tommy Gapp in the #17, followed by the #45 of Repin – after slipping by Peters, who ended up 5th, in the final corner. Some questionable sportsmanship then took place, which I won’t comment on, as I don’t know both sides, but it amazingly wasn’t between the race winner Pat Clark and Greg Scott, who have been at odds for DECADES! Nice to see they actually shook hands after the big event! Congrats to Pat, and the Boney Brothers, for their victory – and to Jake Repin for his second Super-8 Championship! 


Speaking of “decades”… as most of you know, this year marks my 40th season as a member of FEAR, and as the proud owner of the #99. It also marks the 35th anniversary of my only Figure-8 Championship! It was important to me to race this season with the Stinger-8 division, exactly 10 years after I proposed it to (then) track promoter Micky Beadle. Ironically, when I shared my idea of racing “Hornet” type cars on the 8 track with the FEAR membership that year, it was Pat Clark whom I recall said a “Toyota MR-2 would be the ultimate choice” of car to race in this new division – and indeed it was the car driven by this year’s Champ, Josh Young! Anyway, 10 years later FEAR lives on here on the “Interweb”, Stingers race under the NASCAR banner, and I again plan on “retiring”, sort of. Joining good pal Cary Falk, we are racing in the off-season “Enduros” with my new #99, and his cool #95. As for next year, we shall see. Thanks for reading, and a special thanks to Highroad Promotions for their support! Have a great “off-season” and I will see you at the Pumpkin Smash 500 October 20th, and at the Banquet in January!  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
Final wrap-up of the Stinger season

Josh Young started out the season with a beard, plus a new, beautifully built and painted #22 Toyota MR-2. Then he WRECKED it in opening day practice! After rebuilding the wrecked front end, the new car had overheating problems for several weeks, which forced Josh to bring out, and run, his dependable former car, also a mid-engined MR-2. He finally got the bugs out of the new one, and late in May, smashed Mike Middleton’s two-year-old track record, with an 18.581! All summer long Josh battled with Jessica Gray and her #06 Acura for the points lead. Gray was fast and consistent, holding on to a slight point lead for nearly 5 months! It wasn’t until mid-August, with just four races left on the schedule, that all of the hard work paid off. Josh flexed his muscles with another big win on the 18th, to finally take the Championship point lead for good. Then later, as promised, he shaved off the beard!

Saturday night was dedicated as a 9/11 Tribute - “first-responders” night. It was very warm for a season finale, and 13 Stingers took the green for the 30-lap Main event. Last year’s Champ, Lance Ograin, finally took the lead from last week’s big winner, rookie super-star Nicole Pollard, around lap 13, and held it to the end. Josh was careful as he picked his way through the crazy traffic, taking over the 2nd spot from Joselyn “Jaws” LaFleur at lap 17. “Jaws” held off Josh’s Dad, John Lewis, driving his son’s “back-up” car to a 4th place finish, ahead of Jessica Gray in 5th, and a fading “yours truly” in 6th, and that is how it ended!


Last weekend, 10 Super-8 cars helped close out the State Fair with a 30-lap Main event, along with a twin-50 lap double-header for the Super-Late Models, and some other divisions, too. The first few laps were lead by heat race winner Mike Steltz in the #67. Tom Gapp, driving David Brandenburg’s #17, took over the lead from Steltz around lap 6, drove his heart out while holding off the Championship point-chasing #30 “Battlewagon” until lap 20, when the #17 popped out of gear! Steve Peters flew the #30 right by Gapp in the north corner, with the point leading #45 of Jake Repin and #21 of “the one-armed bandit” Quinton Borreson in hot pursuit! Peters held Repin off for the win, closing the point gap to just under 20, as we go to our final 100-lap race of the season, on Saturday for NASCAR Championship night.

Most of you who read my stuff here all season know that it was 40 years ago (last month) that I joined FEAR, as a 19-year-old, and selected my cool #99. Doing demo-derbies for the next three years, with that same number, slaked my thirst to “race”, until I got my first figure-8 car finished, thanks to “Hall of Famer” Lee Daily. But even more memorable to me, was the fact that 35 years ago this week, I won my (only) FEAR Championship! It was a huge honor that day back in 1977, to beat out (the late) “Wild” Bill Dennis and rookie super-star Rob Holden, and that big trophy is still sitting in my living room! Ironically, Rob married his lovely wife Tina, just a few years later… and “Wild” Bill was Tina’s brother-in-law back then! May the 2012 figure-8 Champions have similar great memories of their own Championship seasons, whether it’s their first and only, second, or even eighth - good luck guys! 

See you on Saturday for Super-8 Championship night 2012!  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
The “NATIONALS” - August 25, 2012

The weather was perfect, the Fair was in full bloom, but just 19 cars started the 150-lap Figure-8 Nationals Saturday night, a long and special race with a huge payoff of $3,000 for the winner! The 2012 60 Minutes of FEAR winner, “Slick” Don Eslick, drew a front row spot, a position that he nearly shared with Ricky “the Kid” Dietz. Ricky’s car was there, and he would have had P1, but Ricky was upstairs in the booth helping new race director, Chris Cunningham call the event, before heading off to Indy! Perhaps as lucky as Eslick’s draw, and his lack of front row competition, was the draw of former champ Jake Repin and his super-quick #45 car. Repin started the race next to last, cautiously worked his way through the field, breaking into the top four around lap 50, then past Quinton “the one-armed bandit” Borreson, for 3rd around lap 70. Due to intersection traffic, Borreson was the ONLY other leader of the race, between laps 30 and 40, before Eslick flew back by him, assuming the lead for the rest of the event. Several cautions reset the field throughout the hour-long race. The first involved the #53 of Doug Wilkinson nailing Tom Gapp, driving David Brandenburg’s #17 at the 10-lap mark. Greg Scott, in his #08, clipped the #31 in the intersection around lap 26, setting the stage for a somewhat brutal halftime show! New FEAR Hall of Fame inductee, John “the Cowboy” Carlson kept his #50 in the top three or four for the first 40 laps or so, before heading into the pits for a 30-lap respite. Nick Dunham spun out in the #18 car, creating a restart at lap 33, where my notes show the car-count was down to 14 already! By lap 75 it was under 10, then up, then just seven at lap 120. Meanwhile, at lap 100 Jake Repin finally got by the stubborn #74 of Pat Clark, who had held P2 with “Liberty” for some 50 laps! Once clear of the 74, Repin set sail for the leader, who was easily 10 seconds ahead of him. Finally, some competition for Eslick, who responded with a masterful run through the intersection! “Slick” raced past the entire field again, and went on to take the big win - after some 22 annual attempts! Current point leader Jake Repin was runner up, followed by Clark, Steve Peters, Borreson, Cory Turner, Seth Funden and, after a nearly two decade retirement, Mike Steltz! As for the “half-time show” between Greg Scott and the entire Gunderson family/crew, I will gladly leave settling it to the track, and County authorities. We all have so much passion for this sport. Racing on the 8-track creates such a neat rush of adrenalin, which is handled differently by everyone. A witness to this rush for 40 years now, I’m glad I don’t oversee trying to settle these conflicts anymore!

Before the main events, I was honored to induct John “the Cowboy” Carlson into the FEAR Hall of Fame. Thanks to Scott, Doug and everybody at Highroad Promotions for giving me the time to honor the four-time Champ, and thank you drivers for your patience, as well!

15 Stinger-8 cars took the green flag for a crazy 30-lap Main Event earlier in the evening. “Slow” heat race winner Nicole Pollard jumped into the lead with her #89 Prelude, with “yours truly” in the ol’ #99 Honda in hot pursuit! It took 20 laps to finally slip by Nicole in this A main, after eight laps of trying unsuccessfully in the heat race! Nicole gets my vote for “most improved” driver of the year! At the halfway point the Stingers ALSO had a kerfuffle, when the #39 of Tyler Tiedeman T-boned the defending Champ, Lance Ograin for some reason. The restart had me in 2nd with John Lewis in his kid’s #24, Nicole’s #89 and the #04 of Jessica Gray behind me. After letting me lead a handful of laps, the #22 of Josh Young took over the top spot, again winning from the “fast-time” slot for max points towards the 2012 championship! Next up, we split up for the final Fair nights, with the Super-8’s on Saturday, and the Stingers on Sunday with the big demo derby!

See you at the FAIR!  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
Recap of August 18, 2012 Figure 8 races

After nearly five months of figure-8 racing this season, the fastest car in each division has finally asserted itself at the top of the 2012 Championship point battles! Former Super-8 Champ, Jake Repin, has leapt his #45 rocket past the early point leading #30 of Steve “Battlewagon” Peters, and “Mighty” Josh Young finally shook Jessica Gray’s earlier point lead by dominating the Stinger Main in his #22 Toyota Saturday night. Both, ironically, are the only drivers (to date) who have cracked the 500-point barrier – and it happened on Foster Press Mayor’s cup night! Vern Foster, by the way, is NOW in the custom T-shirt business in Lake Stevens. Give him a call for great FEAR pricing!

The 50-lap Stinger-8 Main event started 14 cars, including a few Hornets, a couple of “rookies”, and one idiot. Ryan Barber took the early lead in “Jaws” LaFleur’s #406 Hornet car, and held it until defending Stinger Champ Lance “Hammerhead” Ograin took it away around lap 8… in “Jaws” LaFleur’s OLD Stinger CRX! By lap 14 Josh Young also passed Barber to take the runner-up spot. Ograin left the track around lap 20, giving the lead to Young. The track was slippery, and several restarts marred a pretty good race, but Josh was in a class all by himself this night! In 2nd was Joselyn LaFleur in her new car, followed by Barber in her OTHER car, and in 4th place was John Lewis, Josh’s Dad, in the kid’s “old” car. Jessica Gray was 5th and I ended up (last car on the lead lap) getting the 6th spot in the ol’ #99 – which is for sale! 

Just ten Super-8 cars started the 50-lap Main event. For many, it was a tune-up race for the biggest figure-8 event of the year, the 28th anniversary “Figure-8 Nationals” coming up, along with the Fair, THIS Saturday night! Quinton “the one-armed bandit” Borreson started his #21 on the front row, took off… and lead every lap to take the easy win. The “show” was watching Repin, who started in back, of course, patiently working his way over the first 45 laps, to finally take 2nd place from the #33 of Nick Gunderson! “The Great” Greg Scott nearly made it to 3rd, around the halfway point, before a tangle with Steve Peters and Brian Gunderson in the north corner took out a tire on his black #08, pretty much ending both his, and Gunderson’s nights. Peters held onto 3rd for nearly 40 laps before Repin flew by, followed by the #74 of Pat Clark, who ended up in 4th. David Brandenburg struggled with his #17 car all night, and ended up in the pits, as did “the Cowboy” John Carlson. Speaking of “the Cowboy”, the 4-time Super-8 Champ, a former club VP, board member, and one-time “temp” President, I am proud to announce, is the latest, perhaps final, inductee into the FEAR Hall of Fame! The “retirement” of his #50, and induction ceremony SHOULD take place before the Nationals start on Saturday night, if he calls me in time this week! Otherwise we shall do it on Championship night. It was 20 years ago that I first met the young man with the big …buckle! Congrats to “the Cowboy” who joins a select few Figure-8 stars from the past 46 years in our own Hall of Fame! Speaking of FEAR stars, I was glad to see Super-8 star and 2-time Stinger Champ Mike Middleton back in the pits last week, after missing most of the summer at Evergreen. His legs appear to be healing, his hand too!

My old sponsor, KISW, is the title sponsor for the “Nationals” on Saturday night. The winner will truly earn the incredible $3000 first prize over the crazy-long 150 laps. It should be an EPIC 28th Anniversary Event! 

See you at the Nationals and remember to “get your squeal on” whatever that means… at the Fair!  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
Recap of July 28th & August 4th, 2012

Summertime is finally here and, after exactly a month, the Stingers finally returned to the 8-track for a HOT “Faith and Family” night. Christian music and sponsors, “faster-Pastors,” and lots of “family values” talk and signage in the stands. Ironically, the very next day I was cruising around the south end of the “log-boom” on Lake Washington in my old Chris-Craft, drinkin’ beer, smoking seegars, dealing with the cops and checking out the often drunk young chicks that also enjoy Hydroplane racing and the Blue Angels each summer. What… a contrasting weekend!

12 cars showed up for the Stinger A main event, several of the drivers for the first time this season. Most eyes were on Jessica Gray and Josh Young, however. Down to our last 5 scheduled nights of racing this season, Gray and Young went into the night just 1 point apart in the Stinger Championship point battle! Fast time went again to Young, who has finally sorted out his record setting new #22 Toyota, winning seemingly every week now. In the fast heat race, Gray slipped her #04 Acura by Bill Wade and “yours truly” to take the heat win points, Young finished 4th - which increased her point lead by a few. In the 30 lap Main event, I was an early leader in the old #99, after slipping by Nicole Pollard’s Prelude. Jessica took the lead from me at the halfway point with Young flying by me 5 laps later. Lots of weird traffic patterns kept the show interesting from the fans point of view, but caused havoc on the track, as Young took over the lead around lap 23, ahead of Gray and me…just to lose it back to Jessica on the last lap. Meanwhile last year’s Champ, Lance Ograin took 3rd from me – also in traffic, and also on the last corner! The point difference is now at 4 as we get another week off, before the Foster Press sponsored “Mayors night” of racing. The Super-8’s will return that night, August 18th, to join the Stingers, a week before the BIG Figure-8 Nationals and the Evergreen State Fair, August 25th!  

Last Saturday (July 28th) the Super-8 guys put on one of the most exciting 50 lap races of the year on “Open-wheel Extravaganza “night at Evergreen Speedway! Indy star Cory Turner returned to the N.W. to win a couple of races in the Gunderson Motorsports #00, including this one. Turner had come in an impressive 2nd to “Slick” Don Eslick in the 60-minutes of FEAR race June 16th, then won at Columbia Motor Speedway July 21st. A week later Cory started on the front row of the 14 car A main – and no one could catch him for the entire 50 laps! #21 Quenton Borreson and #08 Greg Scott both tried, but caught black flags instead. Steve Peters in his #30 hung with Cory and Dale Larson, now driving the #5 car, until falling back a third of the way through the 50 lapper. The fastest car all night was Jake Repin’s #45 rocket. Jake went from the back row to end up in 2nd place, garnering enough points to take over the points lead from Peters, who ended up in 5th. There was some confusion over 3rd place, with Borreson getting the trophy, then Brian Gunderson given the spot. Lots of confusion with the new-style black flag, and flagging in general, might bring everyone together for a meeting very soon, I predict. 

See you on the 18th - and later at THE Figure-8 NATIONALS and Fair.  BC


Mid-Season” Memories – Quenton & Josh on the 4th

By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
June 23rd and 4th of July Figure-8 recap

Back in “the day” the Figure-8 and Mini-stock clubs, FEAR and FSCRA, would put on mid-season award picnics the Sunday following “mid-season Championship” night. Always a big deal, with double points, extra laps, trophies and a “first-half Champion,” mid-season was usually the last Saturday in June. I remember a few Sunday “mid-season” picnics that included the foreign-stock folks, but not many. The early FEAR picnics were often “keggers” that for some, started right after the races the night before! I put on several picnics at Sammamish State park back in the 80’s which was neat for the club, as it was free, next to a bathroom and volleyball court – and allowed us to BYOB. Former FEAR President Mick Tomlin hosted a couple of cool picnics at his place way north of Everett. Silver Lake hosted us several times, until we got kicked out. My first FEAR mid-season picnic was 40 years ago this summer. Held at Norm’s resort on Cottage Lake, I think we were kicked out of there a year or two later, as well! The final FEAR President, Johnny Z. put on the last, and one of the best FEAR picnics a few years back – by the river, and just east of the red barn in Monroe. “Mid-season Championships” and extra trophies had faded away by then, and we no longer had to race EVERY SINGLE  Saturday night, like back “in the day”…but now extra laps and extra trophies are back, nearly every week that we race!


So, the 4th of July kinda marks our “midseason” this year. Both Figure-8 divisions are at, or close to, the mid-point in their respective 2012 schedules and we got to help put on a show for a HUGE crowd on a beautiful clear evening! Fireworks and Demo derbies have been a staple on the 4th at Evergreen Speedway for over 50 years. I recall fondly the ’62 Sedan DeVille I destroyed exactly 40 years ago. I probably drove it to the picnic the weekend before! Mike Buse, jumping busses as “Mr.Dizzy,” is a more recent and exciting addition to the holiday show, and this latest barrel-rolling jump was spectacular, if not messy! We finally got to race our Main events after Mike’s big stunt. No time-ins, no heats or practice and a flat 25 points…not sure why I was the only guy to show up around 5!  Several hours later a dozen Stingers finally took the green flag for the 30-lapper, yet only 7 finished. The moon was kinda full, but only seven survivors, and both Repin cars crashing in the intersection, was weird. Starting head-up (based on points) put the two fastest cars on the front row. Josh Young jumped ahead of Jessica Gray and ran away from her for the easy win. 3rd was the #98 of rookie James Whisman, followed by “yours truly” in the ol’ #99. The Super-8 race was a bit more exciting with 17 hot-rods taking the green flag for the 50-lapper. The Supers drew numbers for their starting spots, which made for an interesting race. 4-time Champ John “Cowboy” Carlson started up front and led the first half of the race, with 7-time Champ, Steve “Battlewagon” Peters in hot pursuit. Tom Gapp hung in 3rd for the first dozen laps in David Brandenburg’s #17, until the very fast #21 car driven by Quenton Borreson flew by. Borreson then battled with Peters’ #30 after Carlson got clipped in the intersection. Peters held off Borreson until lap 41, when “the one-armed Bandit” muscled his way by for the lead, and eventual win. Greg “the Great” Scott slipped by for 2nd place, leaving the point-leader Peters solidly in 3rd, ahead of 60-minute winner, “Slick” Don Eslick. This event brought back some fond memories of racing on a Wednesday night, here in the Great Northwest. Used to happen at Spanaway Speedway – where I was the announcer for 12 years… and they called it “Wednesday Night Fever”!


The Super-8 guys also raced June 23rd, just a week after the “60 Minutes of FEAR”. With only eight cars making the show, it reminds us why getting a week or two off after one of the “big races” just makes sense. The weather was cruddy as “slow” heat winner, Mike Middleton jumped into the early lead of the 50-lapper – until lap 8 when he clipped a “uke” tire, badly hurting his thumb in the steering wheel. Still hurting from week-old upper leg burns, Mike took the rest of that race, and July 4th off, but will be back later in the summer. Nick Gunderson took over the lead in his #33 at about the time “fast” heat winner, Greg Scott tangled with his dad, defending Champ Brian Gunderson. Greg garnered a black flag, was “put down” a lap – and actually raced his way back to the final podium spot! New point leader, and “fast-timer” of the night, Steve Peters, battled for a top spot on the slimy track and ended up 4th, after the #45 of Jake Repin spun out of that position at lap 42. From the second-fast back row starting spot, Quenton Borreson worked his #21 rocket ship into the runner up spot by the half-way point and followed Nick Gunderson across the line, and onto the podium again! So that’s it for most of the next month. Seafair weekend, August 4th, is the next Stinger race date. The Super-8 guys get to try the oval (?) July 28th. The event is listed as an “Open-Wheel Extravaganza,” it should make for a fun night. And next time you are at the track, check out the NEW program! Lots of FEAR info is included. Our last four Champs are profiled. Sadly the correct pictures weren’t posted with them, but lots of other great stuff is!  Have a fun July.  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
“60 Minutes” and Stinger recap June 16, 2012

It took exactly two hours to get the first “big” figure-8 race of the year into the books. It started out as a rainy, warmish afternoon, but big prize money helped bring top drivers, and fast cars, from both Indy and California, to battle our local Super-8 stars and their Super-fast cars – plus a handful of heavy “older-style” rig’s. The “60 Minutes of FEAR” was first created in 1994, and a young Ricky “the Kid” Deitz took that event as his first big win of his racing career. It looked like Ricky was going to run away with this one as well, as he nearly lapped the entire field in the first hour! The drivers for some reason, voted to start all 26 cars together, instead of the usual “fastest” 20, with the rest (6) in line as “replacement” cars, filling in when cars leave the track for the pits. It took 20+ minutes, and several restarts, crashes and flat tires, just to cut the field down to a manageable 19 or 20 cars, after the 8:15 start. First out of the race was Ricky’s famous dad, Vern “the Crazy Cajun” Deitz, back in a figure-8 car for the first time in over a decade! A many-time FEAR Champion, FEAR Hall of Fame member, and also the first-time (and 3-time) winner of the first “Nationals” in 1984…Vern made just one lap before tangling with “the Cowboy” John Carlson. Other “old timers” (guys I raced with back in the 70’s & 80’s) in the field included “the Great” Greg Scott in his #08, “Slick” Don Eslick, manager of the “outlaw” Figure-8 group, Quinton “one-armed bandit” Borreson, and Doug “the Grizz” Delfel, who actually  knocked Ricky off the fast-time bonus with his old #01 Buick! All the guys with nicknames were there, at least at the start. Just 24 laps were completed at the 30-minute mark. All lead by the younger Deitz, with #30 Steve “Battlewagon” Peters in hot pursuit. Delfel held onto 3rd until Tommy “titmouse” Gapp slid by in David Brandenburg’s #17, followed by last year’s “60 Minute” winner, Mike Middleton. Mike’s spinout in the North corner brought out the fourth caution flag at lap 21, sending Greg Scott into the pits for service. The next 50 laps saw Eslick’s yellow #49 car moving through the field from his 20th starting spot, taking over 4th place from Gapp at lap 45, then 3rd place from Borreson at lap 58. Another red flag came out at lap 73 for Greg Scott, who was clipped and sent hard into a “Uke” tire, which left just 14 cars still racing at the 55-minute mark. 20 laps later a tangle near the south wall, put Gapp on top of Middleton’s driver’s compartment, with HOT radiator steam blasting down on the Champ’s legs. Mike is going to be fine, he said, and plans on returning to his racecar this coming Saturday night. Ricky pulled into the pits at lap 99, leaving Eslick, Peters and defending Super-8 Champ, Brian Gunderson to battle for the win. 15 laps later the #02 of Dale Larson spins out, ending up facing the south pole, just past the old start/finish line,  partially in the right lane, when Steve Schoenfeldt’s #six car comes along and T-bones him…at full speed! This brought out the Fire Dept. aid cars to fill in for the missing ambulance (busy with Middleton), and again stopping “the clock”. Happy to report that Larson is okay too, but both cars appear totaled. 12 cars finally restart the race at 10 pm, with Eslick, Peters and Gunderson trying to hold off Borreson in his #21, and the #00 Gunderson-built rocket, driven by Indy star Corey Turner. By lap 135 Turner has taken over the 3rd spot behind Eslick and Peters, with Gunderson and Borreson rounding out the top five. And that is how they finished at the record-setting lap 172 mark, some 15 minutes later. Congrats to “Slick” Don Eslick for this, his second (first in 2004) 60 Minutes of FEAR victory, and to all of the drivers who supported this big event at Evergreen Speedway.B


The Stinger-8 cars were the warm-up act for the big 60-minute event, and 11 cars lined up for the rainy 35-lapper. A first corner pileup was exciting, and cause for a restart. The #44 Integra, driven by Melissa Repin, led the first 8 or 9 laps before the #22 Toyota of Champ-to-be Josh Young flew by, with “Little” Sean Peters in his #8 Civic in hot pursuit. Taking 2nd place away from Sean at the last second was current point leader Jessica Gray in her #04 Integra. Heat race winners were both um, gals, with Repin winning the slow one, and “Jaws” LaFleur in her new Integra beating me like a drum, to take the “fast” one!


So the Stingers have a couple of weeks off, returning on Wednesday the 4th of July, and a month later, for Seafair weekend. The surviving Super-8 cars are scheduled to star this coming Saturday night, the 23rd, along with the Street-stocks, Mini-stocks and WMRA. See you at the races!  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
Recap of June 2, 2012

Both Figure-8 divisions were present for week #5, sort of, on the first cloudy, wettish day of the season. A monsoon hit the track around 3 in the afternoon, and then quickly dissipated. But it killed the Legends group from the show, probably affected the overall car count, and certainly hurt the grandstand. The track was still damp for time-ins, but HOURS later when we finally raced our heats (at 6) it was pretty dry. And for the first time EVER, we started the Stinger-8 Main event – BEFORE 7pm! The rain stayed away, and the whole show, capped off by the Super-8’s, was done by 9 pm - which was fine, because the lights on the North pole would not go on! But the Figure-8 racing was still exciting to watch, as the two fastest cars and two smoothest drivers each prevailed. Josh Young had fast time again in his new record-setting #22 Toyota MR2. Starting in the back was no problem for Josh, as there were only 9 Stingers taking the green flag for the 30-lap Main. The first few laps had the young rookies Tyler Draper in the #13 and Melissa Repin in the #44 battling for the lead before current point leader, Jessica Gray worked her way past them at lap 7. A red flag at lap 8 for Joselyn LaFleur’s #06 Civic self-destruction, bunched up the group for the restart, and for the next nearly 20 laps, Gray and Young, who is (for now) 2nd in the points battle, fought back and forth for the eventual win. In 3rd place was “yours truly” in the old #99, followed by rookie sensation James Whisman in the #98, with Tyler Tiedeman rounding out the top 5. I did win the 9-car heat race over Josh, so that was lucky!

Speaking of points, the Stingers point system has been tweaked so that we now get “pass points” in both the heats and the Main events. They also fixed the heat race points problem, so that the fast heat winner (and rest of the field) get more than the slow heat winner. It’s all sort of complicated, but the adjustments are correct – and the fastest car, passing the most competitors each night, will be suitably and fairly rewarded. Finally.

Speaking of fast cars, Seth Funden’s new #40 Super-8 was showing some speed finally Saturday night! 10 cars took the green flag for the 50-lap final event of the evening and the former Stinger Champ actually led the first 30 of them. The first caution flag came out around lap 10 when 2-time Stinger Champ, Mike Middleton, running 2nd, backed out of a potential tangle with the leader, and surprised the defending Champ, Brian Gunderson, in 3rd. Gunderson cut a tire down and headed into the pits, while 4th place Greg Scott, with fast time for the night, got caught up in the melee as well. The restart had Steve Peters and Pat Clark behind Seth, with Peters prevailing for 2nd, for the next 10 laps. From near the middle of the pack came the #45 point leader, Jake Repin. In 4th place by lap 14, past Quinton Borreson’s fast #21 at lap 16 for 3rd, Repin then battled for 10 laps with the #30 “Battlewagon” of 7-time figure-8 champ Steve Peters for the runner-up spot. It was around lap 32 that Repin flew into the lead for good, followed at the finish by Peters, Borreson, Scott and Funden. It was still kinda daylight out, but the show was over! I would like to add that I noticed a lot more patience, perhaps respect, was shown on the 8-track this evening, in BOTH divisions. We need to take care of ALL of the cars, and ALL of the drivers we can, so that we can help our promoters put on the BEST figure-8 show on the West coast, so thanks! By the way, it was news to me Saturday night that if you are “out of the money” one week, our track promoters, Doug and Traci Hobbs, give you a free pit-pass the following week. How cool is THAT… and THANKS, Highroad!

Coming up is a weekend OFF for us, with the Super Late Models, NW Street Stocks and the Hornet “Nationals” running on the 9th of June. Our first BIG race of the year, the “60 Minutes of FEAR” – along with a 50-lap Stinger-8 race, are the next scheduled events for us, on the following Saturday night, June 16th! Guys from “out of town” are looking to take the huge and prestigious trophy from defending race Champ, Mike Middleton! See if THAT could ever happen at… the “60 MINUTES OF FEAR!” See you there!  -BC



By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
Stingers May 19th &
 27th Super-8's and May 26, 2012 Race Recap

Josh Young finally got his new Toyota MR2 to run on week 3, and he smashed Mike Middleton’s Stinger-8 track record with an 18.581! May 19th was another great day, weather-wise, as 12 cars started the 30-lap Main event. Josh easily took the lead at the halfway point from “slow” heat winner Jessica Gray, to take his first win of the season, AND the points lead. Joining Josh and Jessica on the award platform for the first time was rookie sensation Nicole Pollard, after a spirited battle with “Jaws” LaFleur.  After winning the “fast” 6-car heat race, #99 actually (and proudly) assumed the point lead for the first time in, like, 35 years! And…held it for nearly an hour!

Memorial Day weekend was a double header deal, with the Super-8’s running on another beautiful Saturday night with the Super Late Models, who were again doing “twin 50’s.” The Stingers raced Sunday in front of a HUGE demo-derby crowd on a cooler and cloudier day. 15 Super-8 cars took the green flag for their 50-lap Main event. Dale Larson kept his “OZ” car ahead of the hard-charging pack for the first 8 or 9 laps, until getting bumped aside by the #30 “Battlewagon” of Steve Peters, with the #75 of Mike Middleton, and the #45 of point leader Jake Repin in hot pursuit. Jake assumed the 2nd spot around lap 15 after a great back and forth battle with Middleton, who eventually slid into the right side of Doug Wilkinson’s immobile #53, just to the south of the intersection at lap 37. That doesn’t happen often! A red flag and restart reset the field with Peters, Repin and Quinton “the one-armed bandit” Borreson, in his fast #21 “Silver bullet,” battling the last dozen laps for the win. And that is how it ended, with the defending Champ, Brian Gunderson hanging in there (with a disintegrating rear wing/fender) taking 4th, son Ryan in the #13 in 5th…and Middleton coming back for 6th place!

Sunday’s 11-car 30-lap Stinger-8 race (#4) was weird. It started with a big tangle of cars going into the first turn. It looked like a lack of patience and skill among a couple of rookies in the front, and…as I slowed down to go around, more of the same from behind, as several more cars piled in! The restart had Joselyn LaFleur in the lead for the first 20 laps of the race, until Kevin Hornbeck in his 76x Toyota came flying out of the pits, and T-boned the #89 Prelude of young Nicole Pollard. One of the hardest hits seen by Figure-8 fans and drivers alike, it was a scary sight. Two cars wrecked, but…fortunately, Nicole is OK! Only six healthy cars took the restart, point leader Josh Young, and “yours truly” were both hobbled but running laps, as Jessica Gray in her #06 Integra got by “Jaws” and sailed to her first A-Main event win, ever! 2nd place went to former Stinger Champ Steve Peters, who was trying for a “sweep” of the weekend! LaFleur took 3rd followed by fast rookie, James Whisman in his #98 Toyota, and in 5th was Tyler Tiedeman. Lots of controversy in the “social media” world regarding the hit – AND what went on during the Super-8 race Saturday night. I opine on about the lack of patience and respect among our figure-8 drivers. We need to take better care of our cars - and our car count! That said, see you all on Saturday, when we finally run both divisions together again! BC

By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
April 28 and May 5, 2012 Race Recap

The weather was again perfect as the Super-8 division had their 2nd race of the year last week. Part of a monster 22-car double-header Super Late Model night, with NASCAR Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and a handful of Legends filling out the card, 12 Super-8 cars took the green flag for another 50-lapper. The front row was stocked with former Stinger Champs, Mike Middleton and Seth Funden, who was debuting his brand new #40 car. Middleton jumped to the lead at the green in his #75, and (this time) stayed there for the ENTIRE race! Funden’s night went the other direction, with his car finally stalling out in the North corner, around lap 14. Opening night race winner Steve Peters battled the #49 of “Slick” Don Eslick for 2nd the entire first half of the race, but fell back to the very fast heat race winner, #76 Ricky Dietz, quickly followed by former Super-8 champ Jake Repin in his #45, and with fast time, the new #21 driven by Quinton “the one-armed bandit” Boreson. A big tangle at lap 42, going into the North corner, involving Repin, Eslick and Boreson brought out the 3rd of four caution flags. Quinton and “Slick” were both knocked out, and Middleton had Repin and Dietz duking it out for 2nd place until the final caution, this time to get Nick Dunham’s #18 off the back wall. With time ticking by and another SLM 50-lapper to go, the guys faced a rare green, white & checkered flag end, cutting the race by three laps. Congrats to Mike Middleton for his Bob Uecker-style win, and to Ricky “the Kid” Dietz, current point leader Jake Repin, “the Great” Greg Scott, and Steve “Battlewagon” Peters, for their respective top 5 finishes in week two. B

The Cinco de Mayo weather wasn’t quite as warm as some of the past four weekends had been, but it was a record setting fifth dry weekend to start the season for the track…and a “super-moon night too!” The Stingers finally got back to the track for just the second time in 2012, and the Super-8 cars returned for their third round - this time as the “featured” event! Well advertised as an “Extreme Night of Racing”, the crowd count was strangely, um, average. The Stinger bumper/brake-lite rule confusion seems settled. Since my last story, Conley and I have written E-mails back and forth, and finally chatted at the track. Not sure how a couple of Hornet rules slipped into the Stinger deal, but was pleased to see no one went to any big expense with changes, or worse, chopped up their cars!

15 Stingers took the green flag for their 30-lap Main event, and then all hell broke loose! Not sure if it were the big moon coming or what, but there seemed to be a crash, stalled car or flag thrown nearly every lap! Last week’s winner Sean Peters somehow avoided the carnage and wrestled the lead from early leader Melissa Repin in her #44 Integra, around lap 6, after starting near the middle of the pack. “Little Peters” #8 Civic again was fast, and “fast-timer“ Josh Young, driving his “old” #22 Toyota was in hot pursuit for the next 24 laps, but couldn’t quite take it away from Sean. Jessica Gray avoided most of the crash fest and came in 3rd, while I hung in there, taking several hits to get 4th place again. I did hold off Mike Middleton for the fast heat win, while rookie James Whisman took the slow one, and that was it for two more weeks!

The Super-8 Main Event went 50 laps again, and 13 very fast racecars took the green flag. Last year’s Champ, Brian Gunderson started on the front row and, like Middleton the week before, lead every single lap to take the win! Lots of action during the race created a couple of restarts. Ricky “the kid” Dietz hooked fast-timer Quinton Boreson’s #21 for the first one. Then Ricky tangled with Pat Clark in his rather fast #74, around the halfway point for another. Meanwhile, the “cream was rising” as former champ Greg Scott was working his way forward in his black #08, followed by former champ, and current point leader Jake Repin in his #45. These three battled from lap 17 all the way to the podium, and put on an exciting “premier” show for the fans!  My schedule shows three weeks off for the Super-8 division, who are scheduled to join the Super Late Models’ big double-header on May 26th.

I want to thank all the guys who have chipped in so far, helping to keep this club alive for another season. Cool new FEAR stickers for your $10 donation, or only $25 to create your driver’s profile page here on are the options. This profile page is ideal for sharing pictures and info with friends and potential sponsors. I’m off to Maui for the week, renting a Harley and smoking the wowie! See you at the track for Armed Forces Night on May 19th.  -BC

By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
April 7 & 14, 2012 Recap

Beautiful weather, a good car count and good-sized crowds made for two fine season opening nights for the Stinger and Super-8 divisions. “Mr. Dizzy” Mike Buse and “the Crusher” Josh Beckel got the season and first night underway with a surprise double-crossing jump into some hapless old SUV’s and sedans, creating quite a stir as the explosive sound effects surprised everyone, including I’m sure, the always-unsuspecting neighbors to the North! Sean Peters brought back his little black #8 Honda Civic, and was fast, “right off the truck”! Sean was the last Stinger to show up and time in, with no practice, grabbing “fast time” – thus starting near the back of the big 16-car, 30 lap A main, with just a couple of rookies behind him. Fast heat race winner and former (2-time) Stinger Champ Mike Middleton, with second-fast time and racing his former #75 Ford Focus, was in hot pursuit of “little” Peters, who was flying through the field! Slow heat race winner Kevin Hornbeck took the early lead from the second row driving last year’s Championship winning #76 Celica, but Peters made it to 2nd by lap 3. Sean then took the lead from Hornbeck around lap 5, lost it back to him about lap 12, then took it again for good at the 25-lap mark. Former Stinger Champ Cody Koroshes was back in fine form and holding his #5 Civic in 3rd for the first half of the 30-lapper, until fuel problems (I think he said) slowed him up. Middleton made it to 2nd place, also around the 25-lap mark, getting by Hornbeck who finished 3rd, followed by “yours truly” in the ol’ #99, and Josh Young in his new (and already banged up) #22 Toyota MR-2.

A week later, the Super-8 division started their season, along with most of the other NASCAR divisions that race here each weekend. New cars and some new drivers joined the older cars and several familiar older faces in the pits. 13 cars took the green flag of the 50-lap Main Event, but a couple dropped out with mechanical problems almost immediately. Mike Middleton started up front in his #75 Supercar and led the first 35 laps, missing everyone who spun out on the slippery track, until it got him, too, at the start/finish line. Seven-time figure-8 Champ Steve Peters then inherited the lead in his new car, after starting in the middle of the pack, and held off Seth Funden and defending Champ Brian Gunderson to take the win! 4th went to former Champ Jake Repin, with Middleton recovering to take 5th. The heat races were won by the two former Stinger Champs, Seth Funden and Mike Middleton. Earlier in the evening, FEAR member Josh Young did a great job racing his old #22 Toyota MR-2 with the Hornets for 30 laps, and took that win!

Speaking of Josh, the front bumper construction controversy which surrounded the Stinger and – to a lesser extent – the Hornet pit areas, was brought to light last week by Mr. Young. Josh asked new Evergreen Chief Steward, Conley Graber for a rule clarification regarding the spec bumper “kickers” and down-bars which we need – and voted in over four years ago. Conley’s reply to Josh made mention of how “we have always had a rule” against extra bumper support which “they chose not to tech,” which unfortunately was simply not true. He also wrote that he was going to ask all the Stingers to “cut them out” before the next event. After consulting our FEAR rule books for the past five years, I responded to Josh and cc’ed both Doug and Conley, explaining the fact that, according to our rule books, our bumpers were, in fact, always “legal.” Anyone racing Stingers when Johnny Z first introduced what he called a “spec bumper,” is painfully aware of the problems we initially had with them – and I had the very first one! The ends stuck out and cut tires or valve stems, tore into and “hooked” fenders and quarter panels, or just bent back, cutting into your own front tires. Adding the end support and back straps helped stop most of that. Many of the guys also attached “down” bars to the top of the “hoop” thing, because every time you touched someone from behind, the top would bend back, tearing at the already flimsy tin frame horn and smacking into your radiator. We DID have a “no frame reinforcement” rule every year that seemed never to be scrutinized; I figured that is what Conley was referring to in mentioning stuff “not getting teched.” We as a group have, since 1965, always had input regarding our construction rules. In fact, I wrote the Stinger rules some 10 years ago, based on Mickey Beadle’s popular new Hornet class, adapting and adding as needed to accommodate the figure-8 racing. And yes, we were all painted yellow in the beginning! After FEAR took over the Stinger class, replacing the Xtreme Contact-8 class, we dropped the silly brake lights, horns and “working” radio requirements. We all beefed up our bumpers, so that the little cars would last more just a few weeks, and we started painting them like real racecars too!

I’m not sure why this bumper proposal didn’t come up earlier in the year, before some of our guys actually built new cars. It wasn’t discussed or voted on at our “rules meeting,” and no one asked me about it until Josh did just last week. I didn’t really notice the change when the updated rules came out this year; I was mainly concerned with the silly “full-face” helmet rule, which I took personally (and whined to Doug about!) The fact is, when I finally read the bumper change rule, I assumed like most of you that it, AND the silly brake light rule next to it, were intended for “Stingers that also wanted to race with Hornets.” That last line was obviously missing, but makes sense, because the Hornet rule about the new (for them) spec bumpers and brake lights reads exactly the same. What strangely was left out was the reference to NOT reinforcing the frame, and anything to do with the rear bumper! So eight of the top ten finishers in our opener had bumpers that were legal last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that! You know – the bumpers that we, the drivers, had voted for. Fortunately, after I explained to him the problems with the spec bumper design in a “contact division” like ours, Conley promised to look into this confusing situation, discuss it with Doug, and get back to me. We will see, and stay tuned here for any additional “bumpergate” news!

That said, all the Stingers are invited to race at the Puyallup Spring Fair SLAMFEST next weekend. Hopefully it won’t turn into the Stinger smashfest we had last year! Get your entry info on the Evergreen website. Also on, you should check out the new “info” section. All of the Season Champs, “big race” winners and Hall of Fame members are now online, under “INFO” – thanks Alan!

On a more serious note, it was sad to hear about the passing of the first Evergreen Speedway announcer I ever got to know, Mr. Tom Cook. Tom was a great guy and “the voice” of the track back in the 70’s when I was a young rookie dude. He ran a cool race gear embroidery shop in Woodinville later in the 80’s and 90’s before finally retiring. And we also lost Evergreen’s first female figure-8 racer this past winter, Cheryl Scott (no relation to Greg). Cheryl and hubby Steve were FEAR members and racers for many years. Stay tuned for a memorial lap to be scheduled soon in her honor.

And finally, 2012 FEAR memberships are available in the pits or by mail. Jut $10 to support the club, or $25 if you desire a webpage of your own on our site. We have cool new FEAR stickers for 2012, thanks to Tracy DeYoung. For info, you can email me at See you at SLAMFEST!  -BC

By Ben Chandler and Louise Coleman
February 2012


Monday evening Feb. 13th, at the Jim Green Performance Center in Monroe, all Figure-8 drivers, Super AND Stingers, plus Hornets and V-8’s are invited for the 2012 NASCAR/ Evergreen Speedway Membership meeting that should start at 6:30. Lots of great freebies come with getting your 2012 NASCAR membership early… then stick around for the informative marketing meeting at 8pm that might help get you more sponsors too! Check the ES website for the Jim Green address and phone number. 

Speaking of membership info, the FEAR membership cost will be reduced to just $10 for 2012 – for fans, pit crew and family members who choose to help us keep the Club alive! Current members with existing profile pages will ALSO pay just $10! New drivers who want to create a page on this website, which can help with sponsor-getting or to share with friends around the world, will still pay a first year (only) $25, to cover the page set-up costs. As in the past, ALL monies collected will help cover the cost of this website plus the printing of your official updated 2012 FEAR rule & history book, FEAR stickers and membership cards. Sign up or renew your FEAR memberships with me in the pits, at the track in April, or by E-mail - - and Thank You for your support! 

It was just announced that “SLAMFEST” will again be produced by Highroad Promotions! Not sure if and when the Stingers are scheduled to race over the two days, April 21st and 22nd, of the Puyallup Spring Fair, but it is a fun event to be a part of, was the last thing I got to win, and there is a cool car show too! More info to come, check the Spring Fair or Evergreen websites… pray for sun and circle the dates! 

March 3rd is the date for the next “small-car” Enduro at Evergreen. Some 40 cars showed up for the 300 lap “Snowball” race last month, and most everyone had a blast! Great turnout, the weather wasn’t too bad, saw lots of old friends and new. This next one, called “March Madness”, should be even bigger and more fun! Remember to sign up early to save $50! On the bottom of the LATEST Evergreen schedule you might see a reference to a possible “Winter Enduro series” – with details to be announced later. If you have never tried this kind of racing, you are missing out on big-time, economical fun! So put a little car together and perhaps we can all race together…ALL YEAR LONG! 

And finally, I want to say thanks to Highroad Promotions for putting on a fine Awards Banquet last month, as we honored Brian Gunderson, Lance Ograin…and all the other 2011 Champions! Also congrats to former FEAR member and longtime push-trucker Doug Fisher, newly inducted into the Evergreen Hall of Fame! I have been to, helped create, and/or M.C.’d over 50 of these things, between FEAR and NASCAR over the years, and know how much time, expense and effort it takes to put a good one on. I have to admit it was a lot fun to just relax this time and enjoy the festivities! 

And speaking of big numbers, 2012 marks my 40th season of racing at Evergreen Speedway, AND membership in this Club! I joined FEAR and picked my #99 in 1972, but could only afford to race Demo-derbies (with that same number) for a couple of years, until Lee Daily helped me get my first Figure-8 car together. This year also marks the 35th anniversary of the highlight of my racing life, my only figure-8 Championship, which I did in ’77 - with that same old 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury! That said, I am looking forward to a great (perhaps final) 40th season at Evergreen Speedway, hope you are too…and I will see you at the track when Stingers start the season out on April 7th, and the Super-8’s a week later!  -BC


January 7th 14th  and 21st
By Ben Chandler

The annual “Snowball 300” is back, after a year off. Originally created for the new Hornet, and later the Stinger divisions, back when they were closer to identical, it also brought many others who only enjoyed the longer Enduro - type format. The earlier events had car counts often nearing 100, half of which seemed gone by the end of the first hour! The course, and lap count has changed several times over the years. The track stuck “uke” tires all over the backstretch one time, and a couple of years ago we had different divisions race 500 laps on 3 totally different tracks! The neat thing about THAT Enduro race was the Stingers were allowed to race with the Hornets - without cutting up their bumpers, thanks to Falk Development “sponsorship”!

 Bumpers still seem to be the main thing keeping the two groups from cross-racing these days. It certainly was discussed by many at the Stinger/Hornet rules meeting that Doug held earlier in December. Our rule (ideas) meeting with the Hornets was very cordial, the Super-8’s meeting the night before, I understand, was not so much! 

The $100 Enduro entry fee has been cut in half, if you sign up BEFORE the end of the year. 3 big hours of fun for just $50 bucks, I will definitely see you there! And speaking of the Super-8 division, it was announced earlier in December that THEY would be the “feature division” in 2012, as we celebrate 47 years of F-8 racing at Evergreen. That is a HUGE honor for our big-car drivers, and all fans of the 8 track should rejoice!

 Coming up the following Saturday, the 14th, from 9 to 3 pm, is a giant racers SWAP MEET, to be held UNDER the grandstands! Check the ES website for booth reservation info.

And a week later, Jan.21st, we celebrate our latest Figure-8 and NASCAR Champions at the 2011 Awards banquet. The brand new fairgrounds Exhibition Hall will be the site, partially built by Stinger Champ Lance Ograin last year, the big new building should provide PLENTY of room for him, and all of the other drivers, fans, friends and family to celebrate! 

Tickets are just $40 each; you can also reserve a table of 10 for $400, or a table of 12 for $480.  RSVP to  You can purchase your tickets on  Just click on the tickets tab!

Cocktail hour starts around 6, with Dinner and Awards from 7 to 10:30. 

The Menu is:  

Herb Roast Pork Tenderloin with Marsala Sauce, Hunter's Chicken (Chicken in a white wine cream sauce with fresh mushrooms)

Potatoes Au Gratin, Warm Dinner Rolls, Tossed Green Salad

Fresh Vegetable Medley, and for desert, Cheesecake with Berry Sauce!

DJ Gary Mason will provide entertainment, so make your reservations TODAY!

Have a great Holiday, and a safe New Years everybody, and I will see you in January!  BC