MONROE, Wash. — Evergreen Speedway’s Summer Showdown is quickly becoming one of the marquee events in the asphalt late model world.
The event, which takes place this Friday and Saturday at the five-eighths-mile asphalt oval, will be headlined by Saturday’s 200-lap main event featuring the super late model division and paying $25,000 to the winner.
The pro late model class will battle for big money on Friday, with $15,000 available to the driver who takes home the checkered flag.
An additional $40,000 bonus is also available to drivers competing in both the super and pro late model races. The driver that wins the pro late model race will be given the chance to start from the tail of the super late model race. Should he or she win the race, that driver will earn the $40,000 bonus.
Among the entries vying for the $40,000 bonus is veteran late model racer Preston Peltier, who has won his last three starts in the Summer Showdown at Evergreen. The 2020 edition of the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peltier has a long résumé, having earned countless marquee victories across the United States in events such as the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the World Crown 300 at Georgia’s Gresham Motorsports Park and the All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.
“The track has a lot of character and that’s what I really like about the place,” said Peltier, who will drive for Ed Vecchiarelli at Evergreen Speedway. “The track is worn out, bumpy and has long flat corners. It just kind of suits me. The cool weather doesn’t hurt either. At these big races, you have to be good in every department, including luck.”
Peltier will be joined by West Coast standout Derek Thorn, who has made a name for himself as the kingpin of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour in recent years. Thorn will also be among the competitors chasing the $40,000 bonus for winning both features. Northwest stock car racing legend Garrett Evans, 65, will also attempt to win both races.
“I just look forward to racing against good guys,” Thorn said. “That’s what we enjoy doing and that’s what makes us better. Preston is one of those guys I enjoy racing against. He has a really good package when they go there. I feel like the last time we had a little bit better car, but not the better luck. He has had good luck at those races. To go up there and run against these guys too, there are a lot of local guys like (Garrett) Evans, the Riddles, Naima Lang. Those guys are going to be good. They have a home field advantage and it’s a big advantage. We will show up with the limited amount of practice we get and try to catch up for lost time and hopefully get in the ballpark.”
Also among those set to compete at Evergreen Speedway is NASCAR regular and 2011 ARCA Menards Series champion Ty Dillon, who will be making a rare super late model start during NASCAR’s two-week break for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m so excited to be running the super late model race here,” Dillon said. “Come out and enjoy. We’re going to do an autograph session and hopefully I can get back in victory lane.”
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Jesse Little will also be on hand to compete. He’ll be joined at Evergreen Speedway by his father, retired NASCAR competitor and current NASCAR Managing Director of Officiating and Events Chad Little, who will serve as the grand marshal for Saturday’s 200-lap finale.
“Evergreen Speedway is a very special track for me,” Chad Little said. “We won three of the 500-lap NASCAR events held at the facility. A 500-lap event at the time was somewhat unheralded.
“The track taught me how to survive a long race, how to save your equipment and most importantly how to be there at the end. So many good memories. So many.”
Other expected entries for Saturday’s Summer Showdown include Naima Lang, Chris Davidson, Dylan Cappello, Brandon Farrington, Kole Raz and Owen Riddle.
Super late model competitors will hit the track for practice, qualifying and heat races on Friday. The pro late model class will headline Friday’s action with a 125-lap main event in addition to features for the mini stock and Legend car classes.
Saturday’s card includes final practice for super late model competitors as well as features for the Northwest Mini Stock Tour, Legend cars and street stocks. The 200-lap Summer Showdown super late model feature concludes the program.