By Ben Deatherage, Lebanon, Oregon- In the finale for the Clair Cup in the Late Models on Sunday May 27th Russ Sell led every single lap to earn his second career victory in a event dedicated to longtime owner and promoter the late Clair Arnold at the Willamette Speedway. For the second consecutive night of racing for the weekend and the fourth race of the year the historic Lebanon 1/3 dirt oval also hosted the USRA Modifieds, Sportsman, and Classic Sportsman on the card.
Russ Sell put on a terrific performance in the feature for the Clair Cup and the cautions fell right in his favor. A brief moment in lapped traffic around the halfway mark appeared to hold up the Brownsville driver for the moment but four cautions occurred within the last twenty laps. Sell would win his first feature of the victory of 2012 and became the third different Late Model winner in three starts.
Jeremy Shank of Salem was in the runner up position and Greg Walters of Banks was third. Trevor Glaser of Tangent and John Duty from Happy Valley completed the top five finishers. Fast time of the night was Glaser at 15.156 seconds, Aumsville driver Rick Wyatt won the trophy dash, and the heat race winners were Britton Donahoo of Salem, Scio’s Steve Moore, Tory Swayngim from Sodaville, Shank, and Lebanon chauffer Jason Wines.
Two consolation features were run for twenty laps with the top three in each transferring to the feature. In first race Mike Miller of Springfield earned the win while Billy Workman Jr. currently living in Mooresville, North Carolina finished in second and Brian Cronk now, living in Corvallis, made a last lap pass to grab the final transfer position. In the second event Greg Walters and La Pine driver Trent Elliott finished first and second and John Campos of Keizer managed to finish in third.
In the USRA Modified feature Craig Cassell of Albany led the entire distance in only a handful of starts. It would the longtime crew chief’s first win at the Willamette Speedway and became the third different winner in three features.
Kyle Yeack of Crawfordsville ran a strong second place while Albany’s Dustin Dittman was on the move and finished in third place. Justin Evans of Lebanon finished in fourth and Mark Wauge of Jacksonville completed the top five. Fast time for the evening was Matt Duste of Central Point at a time of 16.646 seconds; Wauge won the trophy dash, with Craig Cassell and Justin Evans winning the heat races.
A terrific Sportsman feature was on display Sunday as Lebanon drivers Glen Hackney and Danny Altom battled back and forth for the lead. Altom secured the lead but got into the front stretch wall lost the lead to Hackney but would get it back with only a few laps to go. The two cars would make it a drag race out of turn four with Altom edging out Hackney for the win and to become the first repeat winner at the Willamette Speedway in any class so far in 2012.
Hackney would finish a strong second place and despite getting a flat tire on the last lap Brian Smith of Albany would finish in third. Veteran driver Tom Conway of Albany was fast time at 16.984 seconds, Smith would go on to win the trophy dash and the heat races were won by Sonny Wallace of Corvallis and Brian Smith.
Kyle Yeack of Crawfordsville had the field covered in the Classic Sportsman feature. The former champion drove off from the rest of the field and won the main event despite having a rough start to the season.
Justin Evans of Lebanon would finish in the runner-up position and J.J. Irvine of Lebanon finished third. The top five was completed with Larry Ramedes of Dayton and Doug Scott of Sandy finishing in fourth and fifth. Steve Jorgenson of Albany was the quick clocker at 18.519 seconds, thirteen-year-old Bricen James of Albany won the Crocker Cars Classic Sportsman Trophy Dash, and Erik Jarnport of Monmouth and Evans were heat race winners.
The Willamette Speedway returns to action this weekend starting off with the first Kart race of the season on Friday June 1st. Next Saturday night will be the annual Strawberry Cup presented by Napa Auto Parts with the DirtCar Super Late Models, USRA Modifieds, Sportsman, Classic Sportsman, and Mini Trucks scheduled to participate. For more information log on to the track website at www.trophymotorsports.com or stay up to day on your mobile device by “liking” us at the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/trophymotorsports