By Mike Weber
The Columbia County Racing Association concluded its 33rd year of motorsports Sept. 16 with local St. Helens area drivers Greg Brumbaugh (Street Stock), Stephen Kaptur (Modified Division) and Teagan Fischer (Dwarf Car) each winning a division title. Longview’s Clyde White (Sportsman), Kelso’s Joel Davis (Four Cylinder) and Sandy’s Cailyn Farness (Tracer) also won CCRA titles as well.
Saturday’s 11th CCRA race represented the final points event of the season at the Columbia County Fairgrounds motorsports facility. The St. Helens PAC 106 Cub Scouts recited the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the races.
In Saturday’s main events, Fischer, Eddie Farness, Ryan Potter, Dustin Asher, Ryan White and Randy Nutting each won to cap their season with impressive victories. Fischer, of Warren, swept her division events by winning the Dwarf Car trophy dash, heat race and main with her TFT Construction/Finish Line Graphics 1934 Ford Sedan two-third scale replica car. For Fischer, a St. Helens High junior, it marked her fifth win and 10th top-five main event finish. Excluding the Tracer Division (youth’s age 13-16), the 16-year-old Fischer is the youngest driver ever in the speedway history to win a CCRA division title.
“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t really expect to win the title, but I’m glad that I won it,” said Fischer who is a member of the St. Helens Lions volleyball team. “My goal this year was to travel to some other tracks (Elma, Wash., Medford) and finish higher than I did last year and just figure out how to drive the car better. I’ve had a lot more fun than I did last year and I feel like I’ve been more competitive. I’ve had lots of help from my dad (Tom Fischer) and Scott Tupper and my grandpa (Jack Foley) too.”
Vernonia’s Ryan Potter, 14, the defending Tracer Division champion, won the 15-lap main event in his NWIS Zingshot/Cunningham Collision 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Farness, 15, was runnerup in her Mazda, which marked her ninth top-three main event finish. Kelso’s Wendy Vough was third and she finished second to Farness in the point standings.
“I’m very happy to win the championship, I fulfilled my goal this year and I feel very satisfied with the results we had,” said Farness, who notched two main event wins this year. “Wendy and I definitely had a good battle all year in the standings, but I was glad to hold onto the lead at the end of the season. I definitely have to give lots of credit to my dad (Eddie Sr.) and Harlen Mitchell for always working on the car whenever it needed some repairs.”
Corey West of St. Helens, started on the front row of 10-car Street Stock main and led for 36 laps while seemingly on his way to victory lane in his 1979 Martin Racing/Eaton’s Tire & Auto Repair sponsored Camaro. Portland’s Randy Nutting passed West on lap 37 and led the final four laps to get the win in his Portland Rescue Mission/Hercules Towing 1985 Monte Carlo.
Two-time defending Street Stock champion Justin McMullen of St. Helens was third in his McMullen Water Systems Chevy Malibu, followed by Gary Kordosky Sr. of St. Helens. Brumbaugh took fifth in his CLT Trucking/Hoyt Construction 1980 Chevy Malibu. It was Brumbaugh’s seventh top-five finish and surprisingly, he captured the Street Stock title without the benefit of winning one main event.
“It was a good race and I had enough lead in the points to make it happen and win the championship,” said Brumbaugh, who had a close race in the standings with McMullen, who finished second. “I was really worried at the beginning of the race when I was in the back. I might not have won the title if I finished too far back and I had a little work to do. I heard that I didn’t win by much, but I got it by a few points. It was my goal at the beginning of the season and I’m absolutely thrilled to win the championship. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, so I’m extremely happy. I was second in the standings for most of the season and I’m really surprised to win it without winning one main event too.”
Nutting was a two-time winner as he also won the trophy dash. Kordosky and Terry King of Warren, won the heat races.
Kaptur of St. Helens, won the Modified Division heat race and he took third in the main with the Discount Race Car Parts/Somers Racing open wheel race car owned by Don West of St. Helens. Kaptur recorded nine top-five finishes, he had a season best second place finish June 17 and won the title without winning one main event.
“Don West, Tony Malar, Al Artero, my son Wyatt and my girlfriend Michelle were all part of our race team,” said Kaptur, 42. “We had a good year and we just kind of took it week by week. We were hoping for the best and we didn’t have too much bad luck, like some other people did. I started racing when I was age 16, I’ve always enjoyed it and it’s nice to win my first ever championship after over 20 years of competing in the sport.”
Asher of Molalla, won the Modified main with his Jenner Racing sponsored car. Asher, 16, was a two-time winner as he also won the trophy dash. West was runnerup, followed by Kaptur, Scott Wells, Terrance Chappelle and Celeste Hardesty.
Sandy’s Eddie Farness started on the pole position and led the 40-lap race from start-to-finish to capture his first ever Four Cylinder Division main event in his Mountain View Plumbing 1997 Dodge Neon. Defending series champion Bob Berg of St. Helens was runnerup in his Cozy Lawn Maintenance Neon and Portland’s Dale Holland was third.
“I actually felt surprised to get the win,” said Farness, 17, who is Cailyn’s brother. “I could here those guys behind me, but I just tried to hold my line and make them work for it, so that they would have to get by me on the outside. They never made a move to get around me though. When there was less than 10 laps, I just tried to stay calm and do my thing. It’s great and it’s definitely the highlight of the season.”
Davis took fourth in his Economy Auto Parts/Pac West Property Group 1996 Nissan Altima and Anthony Brinster was fifth. Davis won the title while recording a total of eight top-five’s, including a main event win on Aug. 19.
“I had a great year, while coming out here having fun and being consistent, which was my goal,” said Davis, 56. “Unfortunately, other drivers had some bad luck with motors blowing up and that’s part of racing and it could’ve happened to me but it didn’t. I’m a little surprised to win the championship and it seems like I was chasing Berg all year in the point standings. This was also my first full season, so I feel like I did a pretty good job. Even if I didn’t win the title, I would’ve still felt like I had a successful year.”
Berg and Sam Simmet won heat races and Bill Sanford won the trophy dash.
Hunter Gollyhorn, 17, led the early portion of the Sportsman main until Sandy’s Ryan White passed him midway through the 35-lap race. White, 33, led from that point on and took the checkered flag with his Cedarscapes/Ryan White Trucking Chevy to get his first ever Sportsman Division main event win.
“I had lots of help this year from Randy Wooley, Stephen Kaptur and Devon Reed, so I need to say thanks to them,” said Ryan White. “I’ve been knocking on the door while competing for just the second half of the season, but it sure feels good to get a win and everything just came together for me very well.”
Woodland’s Devon Reed took second, followed by Wyatt Kaptur of St. Helens and Gollyhorn. Sportsman Division champion Clyde White took fifth, which marked his eighth top-five finish. White won a total of five main events with his D & S Light Truck/Eric’s Frame Repair 2016 Chevy Impala. Clyde White won the trophy dash and heat race.
“I started racing here in 2000 and this is my best season ever, so I feel pretty happy to win the championship,” said White. “I think I’ve only had an opportunity to compete for a full season just three times though and I finished in the top-three of the point standings those three years. We struggled with cars in this class and sometimes there were only three or four drivers competing in the races. It was nice to come out on top of the division which was cool and I’m pretty happy about that. I had lots of help from Craig Olson who helped me all year with my engine. Doug Davenport helped me a lot too along with Kevin Walker. P & E Corp was a good sponsor as well all year and that was very helpful.”
May 20th by Mike Weber
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