Sunday 17 June 2012

Olson Wins ARCA OK Tire Sportsman Race 3 - PG

ARCA OK Tire Sportsman Series Mr. Quick Lube – White Spruce Race 3 – Prince George

ARCA Sportsman racers made their way to Prince George for race three of the series.  The Prince George Auto Racing Association is celebrating sixty years of racing in PG. The oldest non-profit association in PG took 2 minutes of silence to remember Dallas Mayert and Rodger Turgeon, two racers who left us this year. They both loved racing and supported the club for many years.
Fourteen sportsman racers practiced and tuned all day through three practice sessions, but unfortunately mother-nature rained down before qualifying and left the ARCA drivers lined up by points hoping for a break in the weather. The local racers raced through the rain in hopes the track would dry up and a weather window would let the 100 lapper begin. Track drying was a relentless effort by the PGARA team as the never say quit attitude left the track very close to race condition. The OK Tire Sportsman cars pulled onto the track and began as series of hot yellow laps to ready the track. 20 laps in the engine in the 67 car of Jeff Cameron, Red Bluff Pub rookie points leader, had had enough and expired in a cloud of smoke down the backstretch. Another cleanup ensued, and with the help of teams, officials and volunteers the track was ready to start the feature. The 99 Ford of Sarah Cornett-Ching took the field to green and Chris Babcock slipped inside and took the lead. With the high groove still green, the 99 was quickly shuffled to the eleventh place. The laps begin to click off as the drivers tested each other and the track. The 47 of Trevor Adelman runs second. The 71 of Olson races into the top five as does the 92 of Logan Jewel. Laps continue as Olson tests the high side. On lap 12 the 47 of Trevor Adelman gets into the green high groove and spins. Yellow slows the field as the storm clouds build. Back to green for two laps and the number 1 car of Matt Stephenson experiences a technical malfunction and spins in turn three. The yellow is back out. Rookie Barry Clayton claims the lucky dog and is back on the lead lap. 22 leads 71, 92 are your top three. Back to green and in a totally unexpected and masterful move, Dave Olson pulls high on the 22 and the two race side by side for 4 laps as Olson takes the lead on lap 36. The 92 begins to pressure the 22 for second. Storm clouds are looming to the North. The 92 makes the pass for second. The 5 car of Bob Williams is now in the mix, as is the 09 of Ryley Seibert, and the 27 of Mark Berriau. You can sense the urgency on the track as the yellow flies for a spinning 21 car of Cass Walker. Cars dive and spin to miss the stalled car. The 18 of Ian Graham, top three points contender, has to stop as the high side is blocked. The 92 and the 09 are tangled in the wreckage. It’s dejavu all over again from race 2 for Seibert as he makes his way to the pits for service and a tire. Jewel carries on but restarts at the back. The restart has the 5 car into second and the 27 in third. Coming back through the field is Cornett-Ching in the fourth spot and a very fast Bobby Mear rounding out the top five. The green flag flies on lap 50 as the field races like it’s the last lap. The race is now official and the rain is starting to sprinkle. Olson puts a car length on Williams and Berriau pressures. Mother-nature decides it’s over and the race is under caution for rain. With no chance of drying the track, the race ends at lap 54. Olson claims victory, Bob Williams takes second, Berriau third maintaining the points lead. Cornet-Ching with a solid fourth. Bobby Mear claims his first top five of the season. Ian Graham settles for sixth place, Stephenson races back to seventh. Williams Lake race winner Logan Jewel in the eighth spot. Babcock in ninth, Adelman in tenth. Clayton in eleventh, Seibert twelfth and Cass walker rounds out the thirteenth spot. A big thank you to the fans, sponsors, officials, PGARA, crews and drivers for their patience and flexibility as we worked around the weather.