July 17th, 18th, 19th support race for CAMPING WORLD WEST RACE

The Bi Mart Camping World West Support Race on July 17th - 19th was one of the premier events SCRS has attended since it inception last year.  The weather was beautiful and the racing was superb.  Everyone from Portland Raceway and all the support personnel we worked with over the weekend could not have made us feel any more welcome than they did.  We were pitted next to the Camping World West Series cars and were as big a hit with the spectators as the West cars were.  The fans were more than supportive and thanked us over and over again for bringing our cars to Portland and hope to see more of us in the future.  Hero cards were a big attraction of the weekend with probably close to four or five hundred per car handed out over the two days. Wouldn't even guess how many pictures of our cars were taken by the fans.  Lots and lots of autographs given by all our drivers.

Friday was an open practice day with three sessions.  Lots of time to relearn the track and get back in the groove.

Saturday brought lots of hot sunshine and two great sessions.  The qualifying session determined the starting positions for the afternoon race. There was some very close racing with lots of passes made by Steve Schoellhorn, Garland Self and Ardie Oji.  Garland and Beth both lost transmissions during the qualifying session. 

The starting line up for the afternoon race included Steve Schoellhorn on the pole followed by Garland Self, Ardie Oji, Tom Klauer, Russ Petersen, Dan Verstuyft, Wes McNay, Jim Philion, Steve Beck, George Fraser, Tim Smith, Beth Philion, Dick Young and Linda Paddock. 

Saturday afternoon's race put the fans in the mood for more NASCAR racing to come.  It was a closely contended race with Ardie Oji finishing first followed closely by Garland Self,  Steve Schoellhorn, West McNay, Tom Klauer and Dan Verstuyft for the first five positions.  Unfortunately Jim Philion lost his motor and Russ Petersen lost a transmission and they did not finish the race. 

Saturday evening a dinner hosted by Steve Schoellhorn and SCRS was attended by all.  The festivities started with beer, wine, margaritas and appetizers including Italian sausages, cheese and crackers along with chips and dips.  Dinner included steaks supplied by Steve Schoellhorn and cooked to absolute perfection by Jon Thompson along with potato and macaroni salads, baked beans, watermelon and rolls and topped off with fresh strawberry shortcake.  Everyone enjoyed an evening of  food, drink and friendship. Trophies from California Speedway and Laguna were presented to the winners that were present by Bill Rhine of Rhine Enterprises.  Bill generously donates 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies for both the historic and contemporary class winners from each of our races. 

Sunday brought some slightly cooler weather and tons of spectators.  This session also brought more woes to Garland .  He blew up his motor that was the back up motor for the Camping World West race.and was unable to compete in the afternoon SCRS race.  Dick Young suffered a strained Achilles heel Sunday morning pushing his car in the paddock and had to withdraw from the race. 

Sunday afternoon's race was a crowd pleaser. The starting order included Ardie Oji,  Steve Schoellhorn, Wes McNay, Tom Klauer, Dan Verstuyft, Steve Beck, Beth Philion, George Fraser, Tim Smith, and Linda Paddock with Garland Self, Dick Young, Russ Petersen and Jim Philion as spectators.   The top four cars consisting of Steve Schoellhorn, Tom Klauer, Wes McNay and Ardie Oji put on some nose to tail racing that brought the fans to their feet several times with close passing on both the front and back straights.  The photo finish was too close to call with the win going to Tom Klauer with a .051 second advantage over Steve Schoellhorn followed closely by Wes McNay.  Steve Beck spun on the back straight and still finished seventh.  Dan Verstuyft finished last after losing a gear box midway thru the race.  All race participants were presented with a checkered flag as a souvenir of the weekend.   The Sunday afternoon race was broadcast live on the Portland International Raceway web site and we were told by an ex-NASCAR official it was one of the best nose to tail races he has seen in a long time.  The announcers were loaded with information about all the cars and were standing in the booth yelling with excitement in their voices as we ground pounded our way around the track.

After the final race on Sunday all the leftovers from Saturday night were put out for lunch.  The leftover steak was cutup and made delicious sandwiches along with the salads, beans and strawberries (no shortcake this time just lots of whipped cream).  Tom Klauer was presented with two hand painted beer mugs for his first place finish and Steve Schoellhorn and West McNay each received one hand painted beer mug for their second and third place finishes.  The mugs were hand painted by Carol the wife of Dick Young's crew chief Darrell.

After lunch everyone gathered in different places around the track to cheer Garland on in his Camping World West race.  After many trials and tribulations and a few fender to fender rubbing episodes Garland managed a very respectable 18th place finish.  Way to go Garland .  We are all proud of you living our dreams of professional racing.  Keep up the good work.