Six new division champs at River City
River City Speedway's 2019 stock-car racing season concluded on Saturday, and six of the seven motor sport classifications had new Columbia County Racing Association division champions.
It turned out to be a memorable event at the county fairgrounds track in St. Helens — especially for the championship drivers, who included Terry King, Broc Ross, Devon Reed, TJ Landis, Dustin Wilkinson, Clyde White, Phillip Rowland, Myke Landis, Lance Landis, Jerry Rouleau and Zander Koch.
Reed, of Woodland, Washington, was the only driver to repeat as division champion as he captured a second straight Sportsman Division title.
Landis and Wilkinson are co-drivers of the Tri-Pod Development-sponsored 2003 Ford Focus, and they won the Tuner Division title.
King, of Warren, capped the 12-race CCRA schedule with a second-place Street Stock Division main-event finish in his Ross Diesel & Auto-sponsored 1987 Buick Regal.
King and co-driver Ross, of St. Helens, combined for 12 top-two main event finishes, including five victories.
Reed took third place in his Chevy in the Sportsman Division main behind runner-up Frank Elwess and winner Bernie Lujan of St. Helens. Reed won the heat race, and Lujan won the trophy dash.
"It felt pretty good to win another championship, even though it wasn't really my goal at the beginning of the season," Reed said. "I had a good year, though, so I really can't complain. It seemed like there were times when we didn't have many cars, but there were some good weeks when we had quite a few more, so the car count was kind of up and down most of the year."
White, of Longview, Wash., captured the Modified Division championship.
Rowland of Vancouver, Wash., won the Dwarf Car Division main event and captured the championship as well.
Koch, of Vancouver, won the Tracer Division (ages 10-17) main event and division title.
The trio of Myke Landis, Lance Landis and Jerry Rouleau combined as co-drivers of their Canby Graphics-sponsored Focus to win the Four Cylinder Division championship.
"I feel pretty happy to win the championship, and it was a team effort with my brother Lance and Jerry helping out as well," said Myke Landis of Milwaukie. "We only had one bad race out of 12 events, and we had top-five finishes in all the other races. We all worked hard, and my brother TJ put us on the path to make this a fun experience, and we just finished the deal.
"I have two great brothers and mom and dad come out here to watch us along with all our other family members, too. I couldn't tell you how many people are here tonight, but we always have a large group of family members and friends that attend the races here every week."
Corey West of St. Helens started on the pole position of the 10-car Street Stock Division main and led the first nine laps in his Chevrolet Camaro. Vancouver's Austin Henderson passed West on the inside of the back straightaway to grab the lead on lap 10. Henderson led the remainder of the 30-lap race to get the victory.
King took second place, a half-lap behind Henderson. West was third, followed by Tom Zywicki, Brumbaugh, Loren Graham, Corey LoCicero, Matt Taylor and Chelsea McKinney.
"That was always our goal to win the championship, but unfortunately there weren't too many cars here for most of the season," said King, who won the trophy dash. "It sure was a close race in the point standings between us and the second-place drivers, Greg Brumbaugh and Joel Beehler. We had a lot of good battles all season, and I just happened to edge them out for the championship, which made it pretty exciting.
"I was able to compete in every race without having any major problems with my car. Broc drove the car a few times this year, and between the two of us we just continued to get first or second place every week, so we had lots of fun."
Zywicki (heat one) of Portland and Henderson (heat two) each won in the heat races.
Corbett's Doug Pirtle led the first 14 laps of the Dwarf Car Division main. Rowland passed him on lap 15. Rowland, 40, led the last five circuits of the 20-lap race to get the victory while driving the Dwarf Car owned by Dustin Reynolds of Scappoose.
Shane Jordan was second, followed by Pirtle and William Wolfe. Rowland won the heat race, and Anthony Brinster of St. Helens won the trophy dash.
"This is my first year of racing, and it's the first time I've ever won a championship, so that makes it really exciting," Rowland said. "I followed Doug a lot throughout the race,, and then I was able to get by him and lead the last five laps for the win and it was lots of fun.
"I was so happy to win, but if I didn't have all the help from Dustin, I wouldn't even be here tonight. He helped me to win the championship, for sure. I had a great season, and it was just an unbelievable experience and something really special for me."
Kelso's Joel Davis led the first 19 laps of the Tuner Division main, but exited to the pit area after he had a mechanical problem on his Economy Auto Wrecking 1996 Nissan Altima.
Portland's Jeremy Hughes then moved up front and led the next two circuits around the quarter-mile clay oval track.
Scott Beaudoin of Portland passed Hughes on lap 22 for the lead. Beaudoin, driving the Makana Trucking & Excavating-sponsored 1996 Honda Prelude for car owner Matt Brown of Warren, led the remainder of the 30-lap race to get the victory. It marked the first win of the season at St. Helens for Beaudoin's RRC Racing team.
TJ Landis of West Linn was second in the Landis & Landis Construction-sponsored Focus, followed by Cody Jones, Jeremy Hughes, Captain Turnabout, Berg and CCRA President Darrin Rye of Warren.
Beaudoin, TJ Landis and Dan McDonald won heat races, and Joel Davis won the trophy dash.
"It's kind of a surreal feeling for our race team to win two championships," said TJ Landis, a co-driver of the Focus along with Redmond's Dustin Wilkinson. "I had no idea how well we were going to do in the Four Cylinder class, because our three drivers had absolutely no stock-car racing experience and they had never even been in a race car prior to the season.
"Jerry had three races, Lance had three and Myke drove in six races, and they all just did an awesome job. We had a great time here every week.
"The reason we're here is for the experience of coming out to the race track on Saturday and having such a great time with our families. We've had a total of over 75 people that have come out here to support us throughout the season. "
White recorded an eighth-place Modified Division finish in his D & S Light Truck/Eric's Frame Repair-sponsored open-wheel modified race car. White, 51, captured the Modified Division title, which marked the second CCRA title of his 20-year motor sports career.
Beaverton's Doug Davenport won the Modified main, followed by Vancouver drivers Don Jenner, his son Matt, Sean Fox of Rainier and Kristi Somers of Woodland, Wash., to round out the top-five drivers.
Fox and Matt Jenner won heat races, and Lockwood won the trophy dash.
"It was a fun year, and I'm glad to get first place in the point standings, but I'm still trying to improve and I'm always hoping to get some better finishing positions," White said. "We had lots of cars in the class the last couple of weeks, so that was nice. I always try to have more success, and I just try to get the car to run faster, so that's what really motivates me each week. I had lots of fun. I'm thankful for all the help I had from my engine builder, Craig Olson, and had a great year, so I couldn't be happier."
Shawn Vielmetti of St. Helens started on the pole of the 12-car Four Cylinder Division main and led from from start to finish to win the 30-lap main event while driving the Cozy Lawn Maintenance Dodge Neon owned by Bob Berg of St. Helens.
Myke Landis took second, followed by Vancouver's Sande Simmet, Kelso's Trenton Brogan and Christopher Lee of St. Helens.
Brogan won the B main, and Max Sanford recorded wins in the trophy dash and heat race 4. Myke Landis and Simmet also notched heat wins.
"I didn't expect to finish in first place, because this is just the third time I've driven this car and it's just my third race ever," said Vielmetti, 22. "When I looked at the scoreboard and saw that I was in first on lap 27, I thought it was unbelievable and then I felt like maybe I had a chance to win.
"It's a good car, and I'm just very thankful that Bob Berg gave me the opportunity to drive it tonight, and I had a blast."
Warren's John Brown, 74, who is competing in his first year of stock-car racing, recorded his first win as he took the checkered flag to capture heat one in his 1996 Honda Accord. Brown was a member of a trio that included three generations of his family that were competing at the speedway.
Brown's son, Matt, drives a Honda in the Tuner Division, and he took fifth place in the series standings. Matt Brown's daughter, Rhianna, drove a Honda in Tracer Division events. Rhianna took third in the main, third in the trophy dash and third in the heat. Rhianna, a sophomore home schooler, plays on defense for the Scappoose Indians girls soccer junior varsity team.
Koch, 10, of Vancouver, had an outstanding season and had a dominating performance while driving the TK's Auto Repair/Dusty's Machine Shop-sponsored Dodge Neon on his way to winning the Tracer Division title. Koch recorded another sweep in the series as he won the trophy dash, heat race and main event.
"I was pretty impressed with Zander's performance at the beginning of the year, and he just kept getting better and better throughout the season, and he did really well" said Zander's dad, Travis Koch. "He really enjoyed racing all year, and that's what this is all about."
River City Speedway will cap the season with the CCRA awards banquet at noon Oct. 26 at the Columbia City Community Hall. Admission is $5.
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