EAST WENATCHEE — Ryker Agnew, 19, of Rock Island has a lock on second place overall in the Thunder Cars class at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval despite his third-place finish Saturday behind Kevin Bull in first and Glenn Knutson.
“That is unless we don’t finish for some reason,” Agnew said.
In the points race, Agnew has distanced himself enough from third (179 points back) to keep a comfortable lead, but first place Bull still leads by 50 with only the championship race left.
Agnew spent the season’s entirety adjusting his No. 3 yellow 1977 Camero — 350 engine and all — to run as efficiently as possible around the oval.
“Pretty much everything has been worked on,” he said. “Every detail definitely makes a difference.”
On race day drivers get three practice runs with other drivers in their class to pinpoint and fine tune for the race.
“We get here at one o’clock and get a feel for the grip of the track and can have everything perfect, but by evening when it’s cooled off it’s changed,” he said.
With short practice sessions once a month and changing conditions, drivers have little time to identify and adjust points on their cars. In the pits drivers help each other where they can. They trade the back-and-forth assistance for experience and furthering their own racing knowledge.
Agnew attributes a lot of help from Justin Childress, who finished fourth; and Josh Ingram, who is not in the class this year.
After winning the heat race, Agnew started the 35-lap main in first and held it with Childress and Bull nipping at the rear bumper until the lethal 27th lap when Bull passed on the outside which also put Knutson in a position to pass shortly after.
In the same class as some of the WVSO’s more successful names like Bull, Knutson and Childress, the consistency of rehearsal and improvement earned Agnew a spot among them.
“It’s hard,” he said. “It’s a challenge working on the car, getting it better and better, but it pays off.”
Agnew, as others do, praises the tire rule change allowing used Late Model tires on the Thunder Cars.
“The wider tiers grip the track better,” he said. “It has shaved seconds off lap time.”
Bull beat his track record set earlier this season with his lap of 14.322 seconds. Agnew and the rest of the class got to work tuning for a strong finish to a season chasing Bull.
Sean Syth, 12, took first on the seventh lap and held on for the win. He leads the class by 108 points with the championship race left September 21st.
Corey Fechner won the main after taking the lead on lap 14 and breaking up the top three paces he shared with Cameron Bruggman and Derrick Kapalo. Bruggman still leads by 47 points after finishing third and Fechner is in second going into the championship race.
Mini Super Stocks
Childress took the lead on lap six passing Alex Ludeman on the outside and ran away with the lead shortly after. Josh Ingram took second after knocking Tom Ripley and Ludeman out of the race.
“Ingram went under him around turn four where they connected and kept driving,” Ripley said demonstrating their collision.
Billy Snider finished first in the WVSO invitational race. The WVSO held the popular Bump-2-Pass race for the first time this season.
NW Pro4 Trucks
JR Kelly, of Yelm, Wash. won the main after claiming the top qualifying time, the trophy dash and the heat race. Aaron Green and Roger Maynard finished second and third.