Even without sponsors, Kerrigan holding his own in the modifieds


ELMA — Austin Kerrigan picked a great time to gain some experience on track this past weekend.

The 18-year-old Aberdeen driver, already a three-year veteran at Grays Harbor Raceway, showcased his skills against the Northwest’s best modified drivers at the 15th annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals.

On Friday, Kerrigan worked his way through the C- and B-main events to qualify for the A-main event. There, Kerrigan patiently went through the field and finished 13th. On Saturday, his luck went against him as a caution-filled B-main saw him shuffled to the back for an eighth-place finish.

For the driver, who is bankrolling his modified car with his father, Shane, and without a sponsor on the car, it was a very successful weekend — the car didn’t get banged up too much and he finished with experience behind the wheel.

His modified racing resume before this past weekend is short — two races at Sunset Speedway in Banks, Ore. and one race at Elma. Friday’s run through the C-main and B-main into the championship A-main was the first time he finished the night on the track in a modified car.

“Finished third in the C-main, spun out in the B-main after the first lap, then navigated through to beat (Curt Coggins) door-to-door at the line,” Kerrigan said. “To get experience like this against these really good modified drivers is great. It’ll only help me in the future.

“It is kind of hard to get bumped and banged; it tries your patience,” he said. “It is a whole different driving style. The rear end moves around more (in the modifieds), but you can catch it better. You can go into the corners harder and you know it’ll turn. I like driving it more (than the street stocks).”

Kerrigan didn’t need to go far to get his modified car ready to go this season. Salvaging parts from some of his street stock and late model cars, he bought Shelton’s Kris Asche’s modified car and he was up and running. Kerrigan noted that he has already sunk $5,000 into the modified car.

Shane Kerrigan added that Austin’s run in the modifieds will go as far as the money will, but Austin will stay in the street stock division and run double duty at times.

Austin, who graduated from Aberdeen High School in June, ran with Shane in the street stock division for the past three years. Both of them started in 2011 in the hornet division, with Austin sneaking in as a 15-year-old driver to get some experience before he turned 16.

“My dad raced 18 years ago and I finally got him to come out here and watch the races,” Austin said. “I talked him into building a street stock. He built two hornet cars and we ran a half-season in the hornets before moving up to street stocks in 2012.”

“We have these Honda pilots and he was six when he first got onto them; he’s been driving those since he was six, tearing up the world,” Shane Kerrigan added. “Car racing has and will come quickly to him.”

Notes

• Due to the quick nature of the A-main championship race on Saturday, there wasn’t much of a chance to advance — unless you were in the top-three spots. However, several Grays Harbor Raceway-based drivers performed well. Seabeck’s Craig Moore, the current GHR modifieds division leader, finished sixth overall. Montesano’s Josh Muller, who is fifth in the points race, was 12th overall and was the final car on the lead lap. Two other local drivers in the A-main were: Rochester’s Leroy Lawhead (15th) and Shelton’s Scott Miller (18th). Miller finished second overall in the B-main to advance.

• Three former NW Modified National champions returned to Elma to race this weekend — 2011 winner Kyle Casson (Yreka, Calif.), 2010 winner Jason Beaulieu (Campbell River, B.C.) and 2000 winner Gus Cooper (Creswell, Ore.). Casson dominated the A-main on Friday, while Beaulieu showed his experience in the two special races and in Saturday’s championship A-main. Two former champions were running this weekend, but were down at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore., for the finish to the Oregon-based Modified Speedweek — 2012 winner Mark Wauge (Medford, Ore.) and 2009 champion Jesse Williamson (Coburg, Ore.). Williamson was third in both A-main features on Friday and Saturday. Alex Stanford, of Chowchilla, Calif., swept the A-main races to win the Speedweek title.

• Pre-event jitters around Elma focused on the car count for the NW Modified Nationals with the five-event, six-day speedweek in Oregon scheduled at the same time. Those fears were unjustified — 43 cars ran on Friday night and 40 cars ran on Saturday, with 46 drivers competing overall.

• • •

Saturday Results

15th annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals

at Grays Harbor Raceway, Elma

Modifieds

15th Annual Northwest Modified Nationals

Fast Time: 6X Don Jenner

Heat 1: 1. 21A Matthew Drager, 2. 90 Jason Beaulieu, 3. 6X Don Jenner, 4. D4 Shawn Dorie, 5.26 Scott Miller, 6. 5R Robert Jenner, 7. 47B Steve Signal, 8. 44 Del Schnitzer, 9. 91 Chris Beaulieu, 10. 14K Kyler Moore

Heat 2: 1. 3M Josh Muller, 2. 27 Lawrence O’Connor, 3. 27C Mark Carrell, 4. 6MJ Matt Jenner, 5. 9K Morgan Criswell, 6. 55 Carl Larson, 7. 58 James Wolfard, 8. 13M Matt Arnold, 9. 10 Gus Cooper, 10. 11K Kyle Casson

Heat 3: 1. 15J Jeremy Richey, 2. 33C Craig Hanson, 3. 52 Leroy Lawhead, 4. 21C Curt Coggins, 5. AK47 Austin Kerrigan, 6. 22M Mel Decker, 7. 47 Larry Buchanan, 8. 45 Jason Kocks, 9. 46 David Bottoms

Heat 4: 1. M14 Craig Moore, 2. 54N Nick Trenchard, 3. 68 Bubba Foster, 4. X3 Chris Quinn, 5. 53V Jake VanOrtwick, 6. 45S Aaron Sheelar, 7. 73 Brian Gray, 8. 90C Graham Cook, 9. 26T Todd Hardesty

Scramble: 1. Trenchard, 2. Hanson, 3. Foster, 4. Jason Beaulieu, 5. Matt Jenner, 6. Don Jenner

C-Main: 1. Hardesty, 2. Chris Beaulieu, 3. Cook, 4. Kyler Moore, 5. Cooper, 6. Arnold, 7. Bottoms

B-Main: 1. Robert Jenner, 2. Scott Miller, 3. VanOrtwick, 4. Wolfard, 5. Larson, 6. Sheelar, 7. Decker, 8. Kerrigan, 9. Kyler Moore, 10. Schnitzer, 11. Criswell, 12. Buchanan, 13. Gray, 14. Chris Beaulieu, 15. Kocks, 16. Signal, 17. Cook, 18. Hardesty

Race of States: 1. Jason Beaulieu, 2. O’Connor, 3. Foster, 4. Don Jenner, 5. Hanson, 6. Matt Jenner

A-Main: 1. Trenchard, 2. Jason Beaulieu, 3. Foster, 4. Drager, 5. O’Connor, 6. Craig Moore, 7. Carrell, 8. Hanson, 9. Matt Jenner, 10. Don Jenner, 11. Quinn, 12. Muller, 13. Richey, 14. VanOrtwick, 15. Lawhead, 16. Coggins, 17. Dorie, 18. Scott Miller, 19. Robert Jenner, 20. James Wolford.

Pacific Hartop Racing Association Dwarfs

Heat 1: 1. 36 Corey Estaban, 2. 94 Jeremiah Hester, 3. 18C Rick Taylor, 4. 90Z Henry Corbin II, 5. 00 Jim Pavel, 6. 81 Charles Millar, 7. 18W Steve Taylor, 8. 13Z Brett Olney, 9. 48 Brian Lee

Heat 2: 1. 09S Josh King, 2. #88 car , 3. 10S Fred Hay, 4. 88S John Chrisman, 5. 66S Dillon Chrisman, 6. 3 Jim Fischer, 7. 8W Dale Knutson, 8. 2S Cody Peterson, 9. 51 Scott Drake

Heat 3: 1. 0 Kevin Benson, 2. 86K Ryan McVae, 3. 39K Tim Hester, 4. 4W Brian Taylor, 5. 1 Buddy Scheid, 6. 88 Ron Brewer , 7. 11 Rich Holbert, 8. 75 Leo Ward, 9. 77 Reggie Ayres

Heat 4: 1. 9S Mason Luleman, 2. 68 Eric Bergquist, 3. 07S Brock Peters, 4. 89Z Henry Corbin III, 5. 2 James Brinster, 6. 95S Kaycee Sheeler, 7. 76X Scott Dorie, 8. 69 Ronnie Gilmore Jr. 9. 22K Jess Turner Jr, 10. 2C Danny Karslake

C-Main: 1. Fischer, 2. Drake, 3. Knutson, 4. John Chrisman, 5. Peterson, 6. Millar, 7. Lee, 8. Taylor, 9. Olney

B-Main: 1. Estaban, 2. King, 3. Jeremiah Hester, 4. John Chrisman, 5. Turner Sr, 6. Hay, 7. Benson, 8. Pavel, 9. Fischer, 10. Corbin II, 11. Tim Hester, 12. Brian Taylor, 13. Scheid, 14. Rick Taylor, 15. Knutson, 16. Peterson, 17. Dillon Chrisman

A-Main: 1. King, 2. Peters, 3. Corbin III, 4. Bergquist, 5. Estaban, 6. Hay, 7. Luleman, 8. John Chrisman, 9. Gilmore Jr, 10. Turner Jr, 11. Jeremiah Hester, 12. Dorie, 13. Karslake, 14. Sheeler, 15. Turner Sr, 16. Brinster, 17. Benson, 18. Tim Hester, 19. Pavel, 20. Brian Taylor, 21. Fischer, 22. Peterson, 23. Scheid, 24. Corbin II.

Friday’s Results

Modifieds

Fast Time: 11K Kyle Casson

Heat 1: 1. 27C Mark Carrell, 2. 11K Kyle Casson, 3. 6X Don Jenner, 4. 68 Bubba Foster, 5. 6MJ Matt Jenner, 6. 52 Leroy Lawhead, 7. 75CDN Graham Cook, 8. 6M Alan Muenchow, 9. 55 Carl Larson, 10. 50K Kris Asche, 11. 46 David Bottoms

Heat 2: 1. 27 Lawrence O’Connor, 2. 90 Jason Beaulieu, 3. 91 Chris Beaulieu, 4. 54N Nick Trenchard, 5. 10C Gus Cooper, 6. 45 Jason Kocks, 7. 21A Matthew Drager, 8. 13M Matt Arnold, 9. 5R Robert Jenner, 10. 47 Steve Signal, 11. 11 Jeremy Brookshire

Heat 3: 1. 3M Josh Muller, 2. 33C Craig Hanson, 3. X3 Chris Quinn, 4. 14K Kyler Moore, 5. 21C Curt Coggins, 6. 83 Dane Smith, 7. 73 Brian Gray, 8. 11X Tom Berry Jr., 9. 44 Del Schnitzer, 10. 88 Zack Fettinger, 11. D4 Shawn Dorie

Heat 4: 1. 15J Jeremy Richey, 2. 53V Jake VanOrtwick, 3. 26 Scott Miller, 4. M14 Craig Moore, 5. 26T Todd Hardesty, 6. 47 Larry Buchanan, 7. 58 James Wolfard, 8. 34 Gene Miller, 9. AK47 Austin Kerrigan, 10. 45S Aaron Sheelar

Scramble: 1. Casson, 2. Craig Moore, 3. Jason Beaulieu, 4. Hanson, 5. Don Jenner, 6. Chris Beaulieu

C-Main: 1. Brookshire, 2. Fettinger, 3. Kerrigan, 4. Asche, 5. Sheelar, 6. Schnitzer, 7. Arnold, 8. Bottoms, 9. Signal, 10. Robert Jenner, 11. Larson

B-Main: 1. Kerrigan, 2. Coggins, 3. Cooper, 4. Drager, 5. Fettinger, 6. Asche, 7. Matt Jenner, 8. Smith, 9. Muenchow, 10. Gray, 11. Wolford, 12. Hardesty, 13. Lawhead, 14. Buchanan, 15. Cook, 16. Kocks, 17. Brookshire

Champions Challenge: 1. Jason Beaulieu, 2. Casson, 3. Chris Beaulieu, 4. O’Connor, 5. Craig Moore, 6. Hanson, 7. Carrell, 8. Scott Miller, 9. Richey, 10. Miller

A-Main: 1. Casson, 2. Carrell, 3. Hanson, 4. Chris Beaulieu, 5. Craig Moore, 6. O’Connor, 7. Quinn, 8. Richey, 9. Foster, 10. Drager, 11. Don Jenner, 12. Kyler Moore, 13. Kerrigan, 14. VanOrtwick, 15. Muller, 16. Scott Miller, 17. Trenchard, 18. Cooper, 19. Jason Beaulieu, 20. Coggins.

Dwarfs

Heat 1: 1. 36 Corey Estaban, 2. 68 Eric Bergquist, 3. 51 Scott Drake, 4. 76X Scott Dorie, 5. 23K Jess Turner Jr, 6. 75 Leo Ward, 7. 81 Charles Miller, 8. 4W Brian Taylor, 9. 49 Brian Lee

Heat 2: 1. 69 Ronnie Gilmore Jr, 2. 18C Rick Taylor, 3. 88S Jess Turner, 4. 0 Kevin Benson, 5. 11 Rich Holbert, 6. 88 John Chrisman, 7. 8W Dale Knutson, 8. 77 Reggie Ayres, 9. 2 James Brinster

Heat 3: 1. 89Z Henry Corbin III, 2. 9S Mason Luleman, 3. 07S Brock Peters, 4. 94 Jeremiah Hester, 5. 00 Jim Pavel, 6. 90Z Henry Corbin II, 7. 39K Tim Hester, 8. 2 Cody Peterson, 9. #1 car

Heat 4: 1. 09S Josh King, 2. 10S Fred Hay, 3. 86K Ryan McVae, 4. 88 Ron Brewer, 5. 13Z Brett Olney, 6. 3 Jim Fischer, 7. 18W Steve Taylor

C-Main: 1. Brinster, 2. Peterson, 3. #1 car, 4. Sheeler, 5. Brian Taylor, 6. Lee, 7. Knutson

B-Main (incomplete): 1. Brinster, 2. Turner Jr, 3. Sheeler, 4. Ward, 5. Tim Hester, 6. Ayres, 7. Pavel, 8. Fischer, 9. Peterson.

A-Main: 1. Corbin III, 2. Luleman, 3. Gilmore Jr, 4. Peters, 5. Brinster, 6. Jeremiah Hester, 7. Bergquist, 8. Sheeler, 9. Turner Jr, 10. Brewer, 11. Tim Hester, 12. McVae, 13. Dorie, 14. Peterson, 15. Ayres, 16. Holbert, 17. Fischer, 18. Chrisman, 19. Estaban, 20. Benson, 21. Pavel, 22. King, 23. Ward, 24. Hay

 

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