... kind of came about over the last year and a half with the help of a customer I got to know from
that area. Little did I know ,that customer would become a great friend and provided me with one of the
greatest racing trips I've ever taken. When this guy from Washington state got to calling out to Dirt Works
ordering parts, he got to telling me I ought to come out there for this big race they had each year. The
customer was Randy Ward and he had one of the very few DW cars in that area so we kept talking until I
finally said I'd do it. To say I had fun would be an under statement, so would saying I met some of the
nicest people, and I got to race at one of the most beautiful tracks in the country. The best way to sum up
the trip is by saying I'm going back in 2005, and I can hardley wait!
When I arrived in Seattle, I was greeted by Randy and some
of his friends. One of the guys with him turned out to be Bob
Valencia who is the race-director at Grays Harbor. He was
there picking up a friend of his, named Daniel, who was flying
in from El Cajon,Ca. to see the races.After having a beer with
these guys I knew we were gonna have fun. We drove back to
Randy's place on Summit Lake and I got to meet his wife
Sundy (who I found out is a very tolerant woman) and Chris
DuBois, his crew chief. The view from his place is awesome
and I was hooked for life.
On Wednesday we went to the track and boy was I
impressed.It was immaculate to say the least. The promotor is
Fred Brownfield and it's easy to tell he takes great pride in his
facility. Later that day we fitted me to Randy's car and tinkered
with the suspension. Later that night we went out to dinner with
Bob & his family, and Daniel. Great seafood,Great company!
Thursday I got an awesome surprise, we were going to test the
car, but the great part was we were testing on asphalt !!!! I
have never run a modified on pavement so it was a real treat
when South Sound Speedway promotor Butch Behn allowed
us to run some laps so I could get used to Randy's car. I had a
ball on the hard surface. Later that day I got to meet some of
Randy's sponsors like when we stopped for something cold at
a bowling alley, I was introduced to the owner, Henry
Dawson. He definitely had the hot spot after the races as
people were elbow to elbow til the wee hours.While we were
there on Friday I met Larry DeMoss who's auto parts store
helps with the "Big Wally Racing Team". Randy said it was
guys like them who keep him going all year.
The racing was great on Friday & Saturday, but we were
behind the 8-ball all weekend after a time-trial flat tire sunk us
in points.We did win our heat race right out of the box. I got a
nice congrats from big Chris and our youngest crew member
Kevin Koski.Alot of the local racers stopped by and chatted
with me, which was nice because sometimes outsiders aren't
welcome at some tracks I've been to. After the racing on
Saturday I got to meet and chat with Glen Vincent who's
Shipwreck Beads Company is the sponsor of this great race
each year. The one thing I noticed was that Glen is very
passionate about modified racing and also races himself in the
class. He has big plans, which include making this race bigger
and better each year.The racing world needs more people like
him and Fred Brownfield to keep the interest in racing fans and
drivers. I've been told the 2005 race will pay $10,000 to
win.That is awesome.
When Sunday rolled around it was sad because Randy &
Sundy had treated me like family and they wanted to do more
things before I left, but time ran out on us. All I know is this trip
will leave me with fond memories forever. The people, the
land, the race track, everything was so enjoyable.I know why
the Ward's live out there.....it's perfect.There's a few special
memories that I want to mention that stand out in my mind.....
* Seeing that beautiful clear sky....awesome!
* Walking up to the track for the first time...wow!
* Running on asphalt for the first time...double awesome!
* Seeing the look on Randy's face after hotlaps the first night..
* Watching Bob pat his ass and point me to the rear
* That one gal that tended bar at the bowling alley....OMG!!!!
* Sundy cooking us breakfast at 4:00am in the
morning...Thank You !!!
* Randy & Chris working their asses off to make sure the car
was right all weekend....Thank You !!!
* Oh, and did I mention that one gal that tended
If you love car racing and want to go to one of the nicest
facilities in the country, take a week off and go to
Elma,Washington and watch the Shipwreck Beads Northwest
Modified Nationals the middle of June. You will love it, I
There's also 10,000 reasons for any modified racers to go. I'll
see you there in 2005 !!!!
Visit these websites if you get time:
Grays Harbor Raceway
South Sound Speedway
|Grays Harbor Beautiful Track