ELMA — Cory Sweatman broke the complete domination of the Hobby Stocks by point’s leader Jason Tole of Hoquiam and runner up Brian Harding of Oakville Saturday night at Grays Harbor Raceway.
The Cosmopolis driver took over the lead just past the mid-way point of the 25-lap Hobby Stock feature race and then held off Harding at the end for the win.
Tole ran into some problems during qualifications when he developed engine problems and his car was done for the night. Fellow Hoquiam driver Jack Parshall Jr. loaned Tole his car for the night so he could race and not completely lose out on any points for the night.
With the roar of high- powered diesel engines and black smoke belching out of twin exhaust stacks, the Rolling Thunder Big Rigs made their return to the Harbor after a two-year absence. Scott Zahn of Rochester came from the back of the field at the start of the 20-lap feature race and finally took over the lead for good with just two laps left in the race for the win.
The Norton family of racing was out in force Saturday night, with no less than five of them in the line up for the 20-lap Hornets Main event. Brian Norton, of Tacoma, took over the lead early in the race when he got by Chad Norton, of Tenino, and was never seriously challenged from there to the end.
The Hobby Stock Main event got off to somewhat of a shaky start as the caution flag dropped before the first lap was even in the books and required a complete restart of the race.
Mike Knox Jr. of Tacoma jumped into the lead after the restart with Sweatman quickly moving into the second spot past pole sitter Ryen Haney of Elma, Harding was in the fourth spot and Eddie Blood of Olympia was in fifth.
Harding moved into the third spot by lap three behind the top two of Knox and Sweatman while Blood was still holding onto the fifth spot. Sweatman made his move coming out of turn 4 on lap-13 and got by Knox for the lead while Harding, Haney and Blood rounded out the top five.
Haney was involved in a collision on lap-16 which dropped him out of the top five. Harding moved into the second spot after the second try to get the race restarted on lap-16 and set out after the leader.
Sweatman survived a caution flag restart on lap-21 when Tim Phillips of Spanaway spun out in turn 2. Harding was able to gain on the Cosmopolis driver in the corners but would lose ground on the straightaways. Knox crossed the finish line third, Brian Izzi of Olympia and Shane Kerrigan of Aberdeen made late race charges for fourth and fifth places.
Knox and Harding picked up wins in Heats 1 and 2, and Haney won Heat 3.
Rolling Thunder Big Rigs
Tammi Rodstrom of Edgewood and Brian Wilson of Rochester were on the front row at the start of the race with Tom Rayton of Chehalis and John Nelson also of Rochester in the next row.
Wilson grabbed the lead on the first lap with Rodstrom second, Nelson third, Steve Smith of Rochester and Rick Casebolt of Yelm moving into the top five. Wilson was able to hold onto the lead until a caution flag restart on lap-8 when Nelson’s rig came to a stop in front of the flag stand.
Casebolt had moved into the second spot before the caution flag came out and took advantage of the restart to take over the lead, followed by Wilson, Dustin Smith of Tacoma, Zahn and Steve Smith.
Casebolt spun out in turn 2 on lap-16, which is hard to do with the big rigs, but it can be done. Zahn took advantage of the restart, as he got by Dustin Smith for the lead. Smith took the lead back, but couldn’t keep it as Zahn took over good with three laps left.
Dustin Smith finished second, Dave Barr of Centralia third, Steve Smith and Wilson finished fourth and fifth.
Casebolt picked up more hardware when won the A Dash and Nelson took the B Dash. Wilson won Heat 1 and Zahn took Heat 2.
Chad Norton was on the outside of the front row, next to sprint car driver Rob Johnson of Raymond, with Cory Sweatman and Brian Norton in the next row.
Johnson spun all the away around in turn 2 on the first lap, but was able to keep in car going and remain on the lead lap.
At the end of the first lap it was Chad in front, Brian second, Jeff Daniels of Ocean Shores, Sweatman fourth and Jesarae Norton of Tenino in fifth.
Brian made his move in front of the grandstand when both cars came up on slower traffic, which allowed Brian to take the inside and the lead. Daniels took over the second spot for two laps until he rolled his car in turn 2 on lap 13, bringing out the red flag. Daniels was checked out by the track safety crew and was all right.
On the restart it was Brian, Chad back in second, Sweatman third, Westin Smith of South Bend had moved into the fourth spot and J. Norton was holding onto fifth.
Brian Norton took the checkered flag over two seconds in front of Chad Norton. Smith finished third, J. Norton moved up to fourth at the end and Rob Johnson rallied to take fifth.
Sweatman won Heat 1, and Brian Norton won Heat 2.
The 360 Sprints, USRA Modifieds and USAC Midgets return to the track next Saturday night.
Cut Rate Auto Parts Hobby Stocks A Main. 1. Cory Sweatman, Cosmopolis. 2. Brian Harding, Oakville. 3. Mike Knox Jr. Tacoma. 4. Brian Izzi, Olympia. 5. Shane Kerrigan, Aberdeen. 6. Tim Phillips, Spanaway. 7. Austin Kerrigan, Aberdeen. 8. Will Madison, Port Angeles. 9. Eddie Blood, Olympia. 10. Greg Watkins, Enumclaw. Heat 1. 1. Knox. 2. Jason Tole, Hoquiam. 3. Sweatman. 4. S. Kerrigan. 5. G. Watkins. Heat 2. 1. Harding. 2. Phillips. 3. Tom Hecker, Spanaway. 4. A. Kerrigan. 5. Madison. Heat 3. 1. Ryen Haney, Elma. 2. Chip Haney, Elma. 3. Blood. 4. Izzi. 5. Nick Brammer, Spanaway. To[p Qualifier. Jack Parshall Jr. 18.713 72.142 MPH
Hornets A Main. 1. Brian Norton, Tacoma. 2. Chad Norton, Tenino. 3. Weston smith, south Bend. 4. Jesarae Norton, Tenino. 5. Rob Johnson, Raymond. 6. Hedi Waugh, Olympia. 7. Kanae Norton, Tenino. 8. Cory Sweatman, Cosmopolis. 9. Jeff Daniels, Ocean Shores. 10. Chris Pugsley, Aberdeen. Heat 1. 1. Sweatman. 2. C. Norton. 3. Daniels. 4. Pugsley. 5. Smith. Heat 2. 1. 1. B. Norton. 2. Johnson. 3. J. Norton. 4. Waugh. 5. K. Notion.
Rolling Thunder Big Rigs. A Main. 1. Scott Zahn, Rochester. 2. Dustin Smith, Tacoma. 3. Dave Barr, Centralia. 4. Steve Smith, Rochester. 5. Dave Barr, Centralia. 6. Micky Iverson, Rochester. 7. Tammi Rodstrom, Edgewood. 8. Rick Casebolt, Yelm. 9. John Nelson, Rochester. 10. Tom Rayton, Chehalis. A Dash. Casebolt. B Dash. Nelson. Heat 1. 1. Wilson. 2. Barr. 3. Nelson. 4. Rodstrom 5. Rayton. Heat 2. 1. Zahn. 2. D. Smith. 3. Casebolt. 4. S. Smith. 5. Iverson.