EAST WENATCHEE — On the road to this season’s championship, Todd Walters of the Late Models class scored big again by taking first place Saturday at the Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval.
Though Walters’ win was more hard fought than the last at the WVSO, the race exposed some areas for drivers to work on.
“These cars are so temperamental and tunable; it’s really a race within a race to see who can make the right adjustments,” Walters said. “You’re always trying to tune to the track.”
With 429 points, Mitch Kleyn remains the nearest driver overall to class leader Walters, who has 530 points after Saturday’s race.
The lead that was easily taken by Kleyn at the start was fought for hard during the middle of the race. Behind him drivers made moves that paid off for some, but not for others.
On lap 23 Walters attempted a pass as Ricky Allen was spun out by Michael Knutson, who was sent to the back of the pack for causing a caution flag.
“I might have been a little too aggressive,” Knutson said. “I knew if Todd got way out front he’d leave us behind, like he did last time.”
According to Knutson, Allen let up on the throttle around the corner because his car was running “too tight,” which makes the car want to go up into the second groove.
Eleven laps later with slightly more room, Walters passed Kleyn on the outside to move into first place.
In a continuing battle for second and a chance to hunt for first place, Gary Shales and Kleyn spun out together on the 62nd lap. Knutson took advantage and returned near the front.
By lap 92 Walters had a little room in first and Knutson in second. Shales and Allen traded places some more and Shales ended up taking third.
After a race like this, drivers start working to fine-tune their cars for the next race. Knutson, who is new this year to his particular setup and still learning what is going to work best for his car, said drivers put their heart and soul into their cars.
“Everybody wants to win so bad,” he said. “We should just go out and have fun and enjoy it, enjoy what we have here.”
In the Thunder Cars class, Bob Greiner placed first after beginning the race close to the back of the pack.
Ryker Agnew took advantage of an early lead and held it for the first 10 laps. Josh Ingram came in behind Agnew and moved his car aside in a move that ended up with Greiner out front, followed by Ingram and Agnew, who all finished the 25-lap race in that order.
Jordon Hendrickson took first in the Pure Stocks class after working his way from closer to the back.
Michelle Kennedy and Alex Ludeman followed in second and third for the second half of the race, both with comfortable leads in their places. Ludeman still leads the class in points and Kennedy is second.
Corey Fechner won the Youth Hornets race for the fourth time in a row at the WVSO and leads the class overall with 789 points. Jan Evans placed second and remains second overall with 698 points. Lucas Bird finished third and remains third overall with 620 points out of the nine drivers.
The travelling Sprint Cars class made its second appearance at the WVSO, which was also its second race of the season, having been rained out June 30th in Post Falls, Idaho.
Mike Fought won the race after coming off a fourth place finish last time the Sprint Cars were in East Wenatchee.