The Hermiston Raceway lit up the track for its “Fall Brawl” race to close the 2018 season on Saturday night.
The event served as the finale for 14 races held since April, and was the track’s biggest turnout yet. More than 70 cars competed across six divisions — Hornets, Bombers, Mini Stocks, Super Mini Stocks, Street Stocks and Late Models, based on car specifications and driver age and experience.
Motorists from across the region filled Saturday’s lineup, representing cities such as Yakima, Monroe, Wash., Portland, Bend, and Moses Lake. The Northwest Pro Four Alliance, a division that travels throughout the Northwest and races “exotic” cars with four-cylinder 320 horsepower engines, also took to the race tracks to celebrate the raceway’s season.
The drivers competed for a trophy and prize money collected from ticket sales and pit passes. On Saturday night, more than $10,000 was awarded to drivers throughout the six divisions — more than twice the usual pool.
“This year met our expectations in terms of the number of cars and people in the crowd, and the shows we’ve provided to the public,” said promoter Greg Walden. “Next year, we’d like to see the facility improve. We’d like to add a scoreboard. I’m here to make it exciting for the fans and competitors.”
This year was Walden’s first as promoter for the Hermiston Raceway. Walden began driving at the Tri-City course when he was 16. His father Wayne and mother Karolyn ran the business from 1982-1998. After the tracks in the Tri-Cities and Yakima closed down, he came to Hermiston to give the sport more attention in the area.
“For Hermiston, this year was phenomenal,” he said.
Neena Kik, a driver in the Legends category, was this season’s champion, closing out the year with a total of 1,016 points accumulated over the 14 races. The second-place winner, Jose Zamudio, racked up 944 points.
For Kik, racing runs in the family — she was introduced to the sport through her father Bill, and has been driving competitively for seven years. Bill won the night’s Legends heat race.
“I pushed my car as hard as I could,” she said as she lined her car up to hit the course. “The adrenaline is very therapeutic. I love racing. I have every intention to come back next year.”
Hermiston Raceway’s Fall Brawl 2018
Bandolero Heat: 1, Ryker Ohler; 2, Meredith Thompson.
Bandolero Main: 1, Meredith Thompson; 2, Ryker Ohler.
Hornet Fast Time: David Knowles 18.92.
Hornet B Heat: 1, Ryan Rodabaugh; 2, Rob “Ricky Bobby” Cassano; 3, Ron Wilbur.
Hornet Heat A: 1, Kris Marlow; 2, Craig Jensen; 3, David Bauer.
Hornet Main: 1, Kris Marlow; 2, David Bauer; 3, David Knowles
Bomber Fast Time: Kellie Zacharias, 19.045
Bomber Heat B: 1, Craig Jensen; 2, Kedric Preston; 3, Carl Leggett
Bomber Heat A: 1, Shade Coe; 2, Jeff Baker Jr; 3, Arlen Calley
Bomber Main: 1, Kedric Preston; 2, Shade Coe; 3, Jeff Baker Jr.
Street Stock Fast Time: Richard Kerr 16.310
Street Stock Heat B: 1,Jeff Stremcha; 2, Randy Pugh, 3, Seth Frazier
Street Stock Heat A: 1, Bart Hector Sr.; 2, Ted Lingren; 3, Ron Stewart
Street Stock Main: 1, Mark Marthaller Jr.; 2, Ron Stewart; 3, Richard Kerr
Legend Fast Time: Brock McDonough 16.906
Legend Heat B: 1, Austin Snodgrass; 2, Broc Nelson; 3, Shane Page
Legend Heat A: 1, Bill Kik; 2, Trace Thompson; 3, Donovan Barr
Legend Main: 1, Broc Nelson; 2, Donovan Barr; 3, Jerod Marin
NW Pro 4 Alliance Fast Time: Steve Thompson, 15.397
NW Pro 4 Alliance Heat B: 1, Rick Thompson; 2, Chance Overholt; 3, Brian Tichler
NW Pro 4 Alliance Heat A: 1, Brad Morrison; 2, Eddie Secord; 3, Steve Thompson
NW Pro 4 Alliance Main Event: 1, Brad Morrison; 2, Steve Thompson; 3, Rick Thompson