Alger, WA – Barry Martinez returned to victory lane at Skagit Speedway on Saturday night in the 410 sprint division. Joining Martinez in victory lane were Eddie Blood in the street stock division and Brandon Berg in the Outlaw Tuners.
Martinez, now making his home in Mt Vernon, has been racing sporadically over the past two seasons while focusing on his sprint car parts business, Speedmart. Driving a car supported by Darcy Valliant and Speedmart, Martinez made the most of his pole position starting spot by leading every lap of the A Main and enjoying the fruits of victory for the first time since 2012. The win took a while to come to fruition and was almost not to be – it took five tries before the race officially got going, with nearly every driver in the field involved on an opening lap dust up in some form or fashion. On the fifth try, Martinez found clean air to his liking, streaking away from Jesse Whitney as the laps ticked by. Whitney made up huge ground on Martinez as he entered traffic, but a lap 19 red for Kevin Smith and Trey Starks would give Barry clean air once again after a restart. He nearly didn’t make it to the restart however, as a radiator hose had come loose and emptied the radiator of all its water. The Martinez crew scrambled during the open red and refilled the radiator, allowing Martinez to have a fully functional cooling system and plenty of power as he drove away for the win over the last six laps. Austen Wheatley completed a charge back up the field from 11th to take second from Whitney on the lap 19 restart but advanced no further from there. Whitney settled for third. Wheatley was the quick qualifier on the night. Whitney and Martinez were the heat winners.
A crazy finish in the Street Stock division saw Eddie Blood take top honors in the division on the night. Blood and Tom Hecker spent the bulk of the race dueling for second while also challenging race leader Tim Phillips over the bulk of the contest. On lap 18, things got crazy – Hecker over shot the entrance to turn three, t-boning Blood and causing caution on the track. On the restart, Phillips appeared to over shoot the entrance to turn three and despite having some track space between him and the field, began losing serious ground as he had flattened his right front tire on the tall cushion. Blood worked his way back to second and passed the rapidly slowing Phillips on lap 24 to grab the victory, followed by Hecker and Doug Brewster who scored a career best third. Blood and Hecker were the heat race winners.
Brandon Berg harnessed a rocket ship on Saturday night to score the win in the Outlaw Tuners. Berg raced up the field from sixth on the high groove, then adjusted his line to the bottom to get around Tyler Ketchum on lap nine to take the lead and eventual win by a comfortable amount. Matt Powers, the winner from two weeks ago, started at the back of the field and ran up to second. Ketchum was third. Becky Boudreau and Freddie Vela won the heats.
Post race, Skagit Speedway officials, fire and safety crew and track announcer Kaleb Hart took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Video of the challenge can be viewed at www.facebook.com/skagitspeedway.
Fast Time – Austen Wheatley 11.278
Heat 1 – Jesse Whitney, Matt Jensen, Austen Wheatley, Jason Solwold, Kevin Smith, Brock Lemley
Heat 2 – Barry Martinez, Trey Starks, Tayler Malsam, Steve Vague, Mike Bollinger, Jayme Barnes
Main – Barry Martinez, Austen Wheatley, Jesse Whitney, Jason Solwold, Michael Bollinger, Trey Starks, Kevin Smith, Jayme Barnes, Matt Jensen, Tayler Malsam, Steve Vague, Brock Lemley
Lap Leaders – Martinez 1-25
Heat 1 – Eddie Blood, Brian Cottrell, Kelly Fugate, Nick Brammer, Mike Knox Jr
Heat 2 – Tom Hecker, Tim Phillips, Mike Clingen, Doug Brewster
Main – Eddie Blood, Tom Hecker, Doug Brewster, Tim Phillips, Nick Brammer, Brian Cottrell, Mike Clinger, Kelly Fugate
Lap Leaders – Phillips 1-23 Blood 24-25
Heat 1 – Becky Boudreau, Tom Warner, Clint Meins, Jon Gunderson, Jon Edwards, Jason Newman, Dalton Taylor
Heat 2 – Freddie Vela, Brandon Berg, Brian Michelson, Tyler Ketchum, Howard Vos, Adam Nelson, Jason Butenschoen, Michael Verner, Dave Boudreau
Main – Brandon Berg, Matt Powers, Tyler Ketchum, Freddie Vela, Clint Meins, Brian Michelson, Dave Boudreau, Jason Butenschoen, Tom Warner, Becky Boudreau, Jon Edwards, Jason Newman, Michael Verner, Adam Nelson
Lap Leaders – Ketchum 1-8 Berg 9-17