ELMA — Joe German of Aberdeen fought off the challenge of former track champions Craig Moore and Scott Miller to take the modified main event during the Open Wheel Showdown on Saturday night at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.
Mitch Olson of Tacoma grabbed the lead from Shelton’s Randy VanAagten on lap 18 and then ran away from the field in the 360 sprints feature. Jared Peterson of Stanwood won the midgets main.
The World of Outlaws national sprint car tour is scheduled to return to Elma on Wednesday night.
The main event had a rocky start, as there was a five-car pile-up in turn 4 before the first lap was done. Kyler Moore of Seabeck had the lead on the restart when the caution came out on the next lap.
German took over the top spot from Moore after the restart, with Zack Simpson of Hoquiam third, Scott Westley of Centralia fourth and Steve Signal of Olympia fifth.
The Aberdeen driver had clear sailing for a time, as he put quite a bit of distance between his car and the pack. The field, however, was bunched up on lap 17 after a yellow came out, causing a restart.
When the green flag dropped, German had his hands full as Craig Moore and Miller were right on his bumper.
German was able to hold off both of them when Moore spun out in turn two on the next-to-last lap, bringing out the third caution flag of the race.
Miller finished second, Kyler Moore third, Simpson made a late pass for fourth and Craig Moore recovered for fifth.
VanAagten had the pole at the start of the race, with Rob Johnson of Raymond on the outside, Evan Margeson of Tacoma and Reece Goetz of Snohomish in the next row and Olson and Henry VanDam of Enumclaw in the third row.
Olson moved into the second spot by lap 4 and proceeded to reel VanAagten in. VanAagten was able to keep Olson behind him through a caution flag on lap 9 and a red flag on lap 13.
The race went green all the way to the finish after the restart on lap 13. Olson got by the leader with 12 laps remaining and it was all over but the shouting.
VanAagten held onto the second spot. VanDam made a late charge for third, followed by Cam Smith of Seattle and Goetz.
It took Peterson just a single lap to come from fourth to second after the green flag dropped, but it required another 13 laps for him to overtake polesitter Ariel Biggs of Hoquiam.
Biggs had the pole position at the start, with Todd Hartman of Bothell on the outside and Peterson and Garrett Johnson of Poulsbo in the next row.
Peterson got below Biggs on turn two of lap 15 and took over the lead for good.
Chase Goetz of Snohomish was able to get past Biggs on lap 17, after the only caution flag of the race. Johnson was able to hold onto fourth place, while Michael Millard of Brinnon rallied late to get Hartman for fifth.
Heat Race Results
Heat One — Chase Goetz, Ariel Biggs, John Wincewicz. Heat Two — Michael Millard, Jared Peterson, Garrett Johnson.
Heat One — Craig Moore, Scott Miller, Zack Simpson. Heat Two — Joe German, Del Schnitzer, Tom Sweatman.
Heat One — Henry VanDam, Evan Margeson, Mitch Olson. Heat Two — J.J. Hickle, Cam Smith, Reece Goetz.