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Crash on second lap of Tuner Division main knocks out two top contenders at River City Speedway

COURTESY PHOTO: MIKE WEBER - Greshams Lynn Yeaman (81) leads Darrin Rye (18), of Warren, in the Tuner Division main event on Aug. 3 at River City Speedway in St. Helens.A quartet of division leaders — Devon Reed, Zander Koch, Myke Landis and Clyde White — each captured main-event victories in the Hudson's Garbage-sponsored stock-car races Aug. 3 at River City Speedway in St. Helens.

Reed, of Woodland, Washington, won the Sportsman Division main event.

Koch, of Vancouver, Wash., won in the Tracer Division (ages 11-17).

Landis, of West Linn, won the Four Cylinder Division main.

White from Longview, Wash., won the Modified Division main.

The four drivers each lead their division point standings with five events remaining on the 2019 schedule.

TJ Wegner, of St. Helens, won the Sunset Challenge/Tuner Division main.

In the Northwest Focus Midgets' first-ever appearance in St. Helens, Alden Ostrom of Sedro Wooley, Wash., took the checkered flag to capture the main event.

Zach Dalrymple led the initial lap of the Tuner Division main, and then a frightening crash involving Matt Brown, of St. Helens, and Longview's Dan McDonald and defending series champion Bob Berg, of St. Helens, happened on the second circuit around the quarter-mile clay oval track.

The 13 cars in the race were accelerating down the front straightaway and were all close together, with some even three wide on the track in a tightly packed group. Berg, 56, got sideways and crashed into the front straight concrete retaining wall and then somehow managed to get his Cozy Lawn Maintenance-sponsored 1997 Dodge Neon headed down the exit ramp to the pits.

It was chaos on the track behind Berg, though, and McDonald's 2004 Economy Auto Wrecking Nissan Sentra went on top of Brown's car and then got airborne momentarily before landing awkardly on top of Berg's car.

The two cars were off the track on the pit road exit ramp up against another protective concrete barrier located adjacent to the concession stand.

No one was injured as the safety equipment in the race cars and on the track helped prevent both drivers from getting hurt. However, Berg and McDonald were unable to resume racing as their cars sustained extensive damage.

After a red-flag caution period to stop the race, Dalrymple continued leading on the lap two restart, and he led the next seven circuits. Wegner, 33, moved in front on lap 10 after passing Dalrymple on the back straightaway.

Wegner led the next 20 circuits of the 30-lap race to get the win in his 2006 Ram Light Truck Salvage-sponsored Sentra. Wegner won by eight car lengths over Kelso, Wash., driver Joel Davis in his1996 Economy Auto Wrecking-sponsored Nissan Altima.

"It was the kind of a win that I don't really feel too proud of because so many cars got wrecked," Wegner said. "It was still a good win, though, and I had lots of fun. I think I'm leading the Sunset Challenge point standings, which is the only four races that I'll compete in this year. I hope to win the championship in that series, which includes two races here and two at Sunset Speedway in Banks."

Wegner (2015) and the 59-year-old Davis (2017) are both former Four Cylinder Division champions. Dalrymple took third in the Aug. 3 race, followed by Scott Beaudoin, Landis, Lynn Yeaman, Logan Jones and Darrin Rye.

Landis did the impressive double duty driving while competing in two CCRA motor sport classifications with his 2003 Tri Pod Development/Landis & Landis Construction-sponsored 2003 Ford Focus.

Landis, 47 and Cody Jones won heat races, and McDonald won the trophy dash.

Landis took the lead in the eight-car, Four Cylinder Division main after passing Tiffany Berg, of St. Helens, on lap two.

Rainier's Dick Gaboury, another former CCRA champion (2013 Four Cylinder), maneuvered up from an eighth-place starting position and was right behind Landis on the second lap.

The two front-runners then proceeded to compete in an exciting bumber-to-bumper and at times side-by-side battle throughout the 25-lap race.

Gaboury, 70, was alongside Landis' Focus several times with his 1992 Economy Auto Wrecking Sentra and had a chance a couple of times to pass for the lead.

"It was an awesome race with Landis, and him and I were neck and neck the entire race," said Gaboury, who had won the previous Four Cylinder Division main event on July 27. "After I came from the back and got into second, I felt really good, and I was just waiting for Landis to make one little mistake to give me an opportunity to pass, but he never did that.

"He can drive well, there's no doubt about that. It was a great race, I really had a blast, and it was lots of fun. We gained some points in the standings, and we might be in second place in the division now, which would be great. I'm just trying to show all these boys how well that I can drive."  

Landis somehow managed to hold off the hard-charging Gaboury and come out on top for the victory by four car lengths.

Yeaman, another double duty driver, took third, followed by John Brown, Tiffany Berg, Sharmaine Jobanek, Christopher Lee and Sande Simmet. Yeaman, of Gresham, and Simmet, of Vancouver, won heat races. Landis won the trophy dash.  

"I think that I probably competed in a total of nearly 100 laps, with two trophy dashes, two heats, two mains and practice," said Landis, who leads the Four Cylinder point standings and is a top contender for the Rookie-of-the-Year Award. "I feel like I'm in good condition to do that, I work out all the time and I have a healthy lifestyle, so it really pays off out there on the track.

"It was a great race with Dick, and I knew that if he got around me on the outside, then he might be able to pass me and it would be really hard to catch him. We had a good, clean and one heck of an exciting race, and Dick congratulated me after it was over."

Reed, the defending Sportsman champion, continues to enjoy success while seeking a second straight title. Reed, 35, won the trophy dash with his Dancin' Bare Tavern/Reed's Automotive-sponsored Chevrolet.

Reed took the lead in the main event after passing leader David Weaver of Portland on lap four, and he remained up front the remainder of the 20-lap race to notch his fifth main event this season. Terry King, of Warren, won the heat race and took second place. Weaver was third, followed by Red Smith, Dennis Tower, Marty Wallace and Ken Kaiser.

"We had seven cars in the Sportsman class, which is more than we've had recently, so that was pretty good," said Reed, who son, Martin, 14, competes in the Tracer Division in a 1989 Toyota Corolla. "Terry did a really good job in his Street Stock car, and he usually does pretty well whenever he competes in the Sportsman Division. It was more exciting since there were more cars this week, and I enjoyed competing in both divisions, and I had lots of fun.

"Martin is improving and he's getting better every week. This is his first year of motor sports, so he doesn't really have as much experience as some of the other kids."

Reed, also a double duty driver, competed in the Modified Division and led the first seven laps of the three-car main event. White passed Reed on lap eight and led the next 12 circuits of the 20-lap race.

White won by eight car lengths over Reed and recorded his fifth main event win this year in his PNE Construction/Eric's Frame Repair-sponsored open-wheel modified race car.

Reed was runner-up, and defending Modified Division champion Stephen Kaptur, of St. Helens, was third.

"We were hoping to have more than three cars, but we'll have a lot more in the Labor Day weekend race (Aug. 31-Sept. 1)," said White, 51. "I've checked our lap times, and I know that we're just as fast as most of the other cars that have been here at some previous events. I'm ready to see more cars come out here. It looks like I'll have a good chance to win the championship. I think there's going to be some guys coming out here to compete with me soon, like Brad and Jeremy Martin of St. Helens, and those guys are really good drivers who are always fast and tough to beat."

Koch led from start to finish to  capture the 15-lap Tracer Division main event in his Dodge Neon.

Koch, 10, was a two-time winner as he also won the trophy dash. Paige Gump, of St. Helens, won the heat race.

Ostrom started on the pole of the 15-car Northwest Focus Midgets main and led the caution-free, 30-lap race all the way.

Hannah Lindquist, of Shoreline, Wash. was second, followed by Seth Hespe of Alger, Wash., series points leader Nick Evans of Granite Falls, Wash., and Elijah Gibbs of Wilsonville.

Longview's Guy Tow won the trophy dash and took was eighth in the main.

His father, Guy Tow Sr., of Rainer, finished 11th.

Shane Smith, Evans and Ashley Thompson won heat races.  

The 10th event of the 14-race CCRA schedule is Aug. 17, to be followed by four more races, including the Sept. 14 season finale.

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