ALGER, Wash. – Sunshine, sprint cars and fireworks were the perfect combination for an amazing night of entertainment on Saturday at Skagit Speedway, as IRI and the Follman Agency presented the John Carroll Classic.
Cam Smith thrilled the crowd with a late race slide job to win the 360 sprint car main and was joined as a winner on the night by Evan Margeson (Sportsman Sprints), Tyson Blood (Modifieds) and Mike Macpherson (Outlaw Tuner).
Trey Starks set a torrid pace in the 25-lap Budweiser 360 sprint car main event, quickly making his way into lapped traffic from his pole starting spot. Smith would keep pace, despite Starks routinely passing multiple slower cars per corner.
A lap-15 caution for third place running Brock Lemley tightened the field up, and on the restart Starks didn’t quite gap Smith like he had previously. The pair had started working through slower cars when a red for Eric Fisher and Jeremy McCune bunched the field up a final time with a green-white-checkered restart approaching.
As Starks brought them back to green, he left the low groove open heading into turn one and Smith executed a picture perfect slide job to take the top spot on the exit of turn two.
Starks returned fire on Smith after the white flag, using a monster run off the turn two cushion to try and roll underneath Smith heading into the final corners. Smith managed to keep his car rolling hard through the turn, while Starks couldn’t hold all the speed he had at the extreme bottom of the track, spinning out as Smith took his second win of the year.
With the Starks spin, Colton Heath advanced to second with Garen Linder third. Starks was fast time.
Linder, Lemley and Jason Solwold topped the heats for the 21-car field.
Margeson made a hard race look easy in leading every lap of the Cook Road Shell Sportsman Sprint main event. While Margeson led all 25 laps, he had to decisively deal with lapped traffic, as Jared Peterson closed on him time and time again while weaving through the slower cars.
Margeson was up to the task each time, taking the win ahead of Peterson and third-place finisher Greg Hamilton. Margeson was also the fast qualifier.
Heat winners were Steve Parker, Cory Swatzina and Allison Johnson.
Blood picked up his first win of the year in the Skagit Aggregates Modifieds. Blood drove past Ben Gunderson on lap nine to secure the lead and eventual win.
The battle behind him for second was intense and entertaining, with Rick Smith coming from eighth to end up second and Adam Holtrop driving from deep in the field to take third. Smith and Blood won the heats.
Mike Macpherson made it two-for-two in the Outlaw Tuner money events on the year, grabbing the lead on lap nine of the main event and driving away for the money, thanks to additional purse being put up in memory of Mike Thomas.
Howard Vos and Brian Michelson were second and third. Making the Macpherson win more impressive was his dead last starting spot. He was also a heat race winner alongside Jon Gunderson.
360 sprints (25 laps): Cam Smith, Colton Heath, Garen Linder, Jason Solwold, Greg Hamilton, Chase Goetz, Jesse Schlotfeldt, Lane Taylor, Bailey Sucich, Trey Starks, Ashleigh Johnson, Tyler Driever, Matt Jensen, Mindy McCune, Eric Fisher, Chris Bullock, Steve James, Eric Rockl, Jeremy McCune, Brock Lemley.