Alger, WA – Jason Solwold and car owner Mike Anderson have a number of things in common: wins at Skagit Speedway against the World of Outlaws, Summer Nationals championships, season championships. Both driver and car owner have nearly every major trophy offered by the 3/10 mile clay oval save one – the Saturday night winner’s trophy from the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup. After Thursday night, the pairing must feel as if 2014 is their year, as Solwold took home the night one win on the Thursday night edition of the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box.
Amongst the improbable things that happened on night one of the 43rd Dirt Cup was 16 year old Robbie Price’s run at the front of the field. On the initial start, Price, with a 360 engine in his car vs. a full field of 410s, jumped to an early advantage with Solwold quickly working from sixth up into second. Price enjoyed a four car length lead as he paced the field, with Solwold narrowing the advantage as the pair reached traffic around lap nine. Price held serve with as the veteran began pressuring him the low groove, but a lap 12 caution would stack the field up and give Jason his best opportunity to take the lead from the Cobble Hill, BC youngster. As the field powered back to green, Solwold saw his opportunity, taking his car to the low side of turn one and powering into the lead as he exited turn two. Brock Lemley, who started ninth, also made his way around Price and set sail for Solwold as the pair ran down the slower cars. With heavy slower traffic ahead, Lemley came right up to Solwold’s rear nerf, but a lap 24 caution gave Jason a reprieve from the Lemley assault and clean air to work with. After a dynamite restart, it was the Burlington, WA driver Solwold taking the win ahead of Bellingham’s Brock Lemley and Stanwood’ Jared Peterson for an all Washington State top three. Solwold also won his heat race. Other heat race winners were Lemley, Chad Hillier and Jesse Whitney. Rico Abreu set quick time as the only car into the ten second bracket at 10.913. While Washington drivers swept the podium on the night, Californians were the big movers and shakers in the A Main, with Kyle Hirst, Jonathan Allard and Bud Kaeding all tying for hard charger with eight positions gained per driver.
Going into night two of the 43rd annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box, Lemley leads the point standings for the event, 553 to 548 over Solwold. Kyle Hirst, Jonathan Allard, Willie Croft and Jared Peterson make up the remainder of the top six, which is the cut off for Saturday night’s A Scramble. The top sixteen point earners after tomorrow night’s second preliminary event.
The PHRA Dwarf Cars were the support division on the night, and Gaston, OR native Corey Esteban scored his first victory at Skagit Speedway after many years of winning around the Pacific NW. Esteban, the two time PHRA champion, took the lead from Henry Corbin III on lap 17 as Corbin opened the lower groove out of turn two on a restart, allowing Esteban by for the eventual win. Corbin hung on for second and James Brinster ran third in his first Skagit Speedway appearance. Heat winners were Rian McVae, Jess Turner Jr and Corbin III.
Night two of the 43rd annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box begins at roughly 615 with time trials for the 410s, followed by hot laps for the night’s supports divisions, the PHRA Dwarfs and Outlaw Tuners. For full point standings, ticket info and more log on to www.skagitspeedway.com.
Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup Prelim Night 1 Presented by Jack in the Box
Fast Time – Rico Abreu 10.913
Heat 1 – Jason Solwold, Jonathan Jorgenson, Abreu, Jonathan Allard, Bud Kaeding, Kelly Miller, Shane Valliant, Bud Ashe, Clayton Sibley
Heat 2 – Brock Lemley, Jared Peterson, Henry Van Dam, Willie Croft, Skylar Gee, Marc Duperron, Luke Didiuk, Bill Rude
Heat 3 – Chad Hillier, Trey Starks, Kevin Smith, Barry Martinez, Logan Forler, Eric Fisher, Steve Reeves, Geoff Needham
Heat 4 – Jesse Whitney, Kyle Hirst, Robbie Price, Daniel Anderson, Steve Vague, Matt Jensen, Lawrance Kirkham, Ross Mathison
B Main – Matt Jensen, Forler, Kaeding, Vague, Duperron, Miller, Fisher, Reeves, Valliant, Didiuk, Needham, Ashe, Mathison, Kirkham, Sibley, Rude, Gee
A Main – Jason Solwold, Lemley, Peterson, Hirst, Allard, Price, Croft, Van Dam, Hillier, Abreu, Kaeding, Jorgenson, Forler, Starks, Smith, Duperron, Vague, Jensen, Whitney, Martinez, Anderson, Miller
Lap Leaders – Price 1-12 Solwold 13-30
Heat 1 – Rian McVae, James Brinster, Kevin Benson, Dylan Chrisman, Ronnie Gilmore Jr, Eric Bergquist, Jess Turner Sr, Brian Taylor
Heat 2 – Jess Turner Jr, Jim Pavel, John Chrisman, Jim Fischer, Leo Ward, Tim Hester, Steve Taylor
Heat 3 – Henry Corbin III, Corey Esteban, Mike Miller, Henry Corbin II, Brandon Ross, Guy Tow, Dale Knutsen
Main – Corey Esteban, Corbin III, Brinster, J Chrisman, Benson, Corbin II, McVae, Turner Jr, Turner Sr, Gilmore Jr, Tow, D Chrisman, Fischer, Hester, Bergquist, Ross, Ward, B Taylor, S Taylor, Pavel, Miller
Lap Leaders – Corbin III 1-16 Esteban 17-20