Lujan and McVae's main event wins highlight CCRA event
Local drivers Bernie Lujan and Doug McVae recorded their first main event wins this season in the third consecutive week of Columbia County Racing Association motorsports action May 19 at River City Speedway in St. Helens.
Lujan, of St. Helens, won the combined Sportsman/Super Stock Division 40-lap main event while driving a 1976 Buick Regal owned by Dennis Daniels of Rainier. McVae of Scappoose, was a three-time winner as he won the Dwarf Car Division main and trophy dash. McVae also won the Pacific Micro Sprint Association trophy dash.
Cody Scouller won the Four-Cylinder Division main, Trenton Brogan captured the Tracer Divison main and Troutdale's Crystal Flath won the Pacific Micro Sprint main event.
McVae was a frontrunner throughout the 30-lap Dwarf Car main and he overcame a strong challenge from defending division champion Teagan Fischer of Warren to hold on for the victory. The race was delayed by numerous yellow flag caution periods. On nearly every restart of the race, Fischer was right behind McVae, while hoping for an opportunity to pass and take the lead. Fischer maneuvered up from a fourth place starting spot to get a season-best second.
"We were pretty happy to get second because it was hard to find a good position on the track," said Fischer, 17, a St. Helens High junior, whose race team includes her parents Kristin and Tom, and her grandfather Jack Foley. "It's pretty tough to pass McVae, especially on the restarts. He's been driving a lot longer than me, so he seemed to have a litte bit of an advantage and he has a really fast car too. It was pretty exciting to beat him in the heat race, though. We're hoping to win the division championship again this year and everything has been going pretty good so far. We've had a good finishing positions (two top-five's, a seventh) in every race."
Fischer drove her TFT Constuction/Finish Line Graphics sponsored 1934 Ford Sedan two-third scale replica Dwarf Car to victory in heat race 2 after passing McVae on the front straightaway of the quarter-mile clay oval track. Fischer just wasn't able to repeat the move in the main as McVae's car was just a little faster. Longview's Steven Schreiner took third, followed by Dave Brune of Boring and Brandon Braaksma was fifth to round out the top-five.
McVae and Fischer were both double duty drivers who were competing in two motorsport classifications at the speedway. Both drivers notched wins in the Pacific Micro Sprint, including Fischer, who won heat race 2. Unfortunately, Fischer didn't compete in the Micro Sprint main event.
Fischer was involved in a collision in the trophy dash with her car crashing into the concrete wall and damaging it so extensively that she was unable to repair it and enter the main. Flath, 29, won the main, followed by Paul Cengic, Cody Jones, Scott Beaudoin, Doug Pirtle, Anthony Brinster, McVae and Brad Martin.
"It can be very exhausting driving in two classes and sometimes it's kind of difficult to make adjustments because they're two completely different types of race cars," said Fischer, who is the youngest division champion ever in the speedway's 33-year history. "My dad (Tom) is always telling me, don't drive the Dwarf Car the same way as I drive the Micro Sprint."
Lujan was a two-time winner as he also drove the Buick to victory in heat 2 of the Super Stock Division. Scott McMullen, of St. Helens, drove his McMullen Water Systems 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to victory in heat 1. Defending Sportsman Division champion Clyde White of Longview, drove his PNE Construction 2016 Chevy Impala to victory in the heat race. Brad Beehler of St. Helens, won the Sportsman trophy dash in his 1999 Monte Carlo. Beehler took second in the main event, followed by Don Briggs Jr. of Elma, WA, Gannon Thomas of St. Helens and Woodland's Devon Reed.
Brogan, 14, led all the way to capture his second Tracer Division 15-lap main event this year with his Economy Auto Wrecking 1996 Nissan Altima. Vernonia's Ryan Potter, 14, the 2016 series champ was second, followed by Kelso's Wendy Vough and Austin Beaudoin. Brogan was a two-time winner as well since he also won the heat race. Brogan is considered as the top contender in this division for kids age 13-16, whle recording total of five wins so far this year in Tracer Division events.
"I enjoyed racing with Ryan and I felt really good to get a win," said Brogan, who has been racing since age seven, when he began competing in cage go-karts at the Oregon State Fairgrounds indoor dirt track facility in Salem. "If I can just continue to keep driving smooth and avoid doing any damage to the car, then I think I'll have a good chance to win the division championship. I'm also hoping to win the Rookie-of-the-Year Award."
Scouller was a two-time winner as he notched wins in the Four-Cylinder Division trophy dash and main. Dan McDonald (heat 2) and Sande Simmet (heat 1) won the Four-Cylinder heat races.
The next event at the speedway is June 2 with the fourth round of CCRA action beginning at 5 p.m. at the Columbia County Fairgrounds motorsports facility.