Saturday, July 27 was the big date for the 2019 Loggers Cup at Cottage Grove Speedway. The race is one of the biggest in the Pacific Northwest and boasted a car count of twenty-nine drivers from the states of Oregon and Washington. In addition to Late Models in the house were the cars and stars of the Interstate Sprint Car Series. Other divisions in action included the IMCA Sport Mods, Street Stocks, and Hornets.
However, before the races on Saturday, the karts were back in action on Friday, July 26. Emmett Lowry, of Cottage Grove, won for the first time in the Pee Wee division. In the 5HP Intermediates, it was Springfield’s Mason King back in the winner’s circle scoring his fourth triumph in the class. Ian Whisler, from the coastal city of Otis, bested the 250cc class for the first occasion while his older brother, Eston, won his second Open Kage feature win.
The forty-lap Late Model main event started with Sweet Home chauffeur Brian Smith pacing the field. Racing for car owner Jerry Casey, Smith held on to the top spot until lap five. Making a move to first place on the fifth circuit was Joey Tanner of Portland. Tanner, the 2017 winner of the Loggers Cup event, set a rapid pace and was successfully able to keep several challengers behind him.
Lapped traffic did prove a little bit a factor, but Tanner was able to navigate through it successfully. With the longer than usual distance, there were a few more cautions than what usually would occur. With six total stoppages it put a lot of pressure on Tanner on the restarts, but each time he would master the field when racing resumed.
Joey Tanner was the first to the checkered flag to become the first driver to win the Loggers Cup twice since the race was reestablished in 2015. It is also Tanner’s second win of the season at CGS. Justin Duty, from Mulino, was a close second followed by Brian Smith, in third. The rest of the top five consisted of Creswell’s Paul Culp, ending his evening in fourth, while credited with first was Darren Coffell of Bend.
The Interstate Sprint Car Series returned to the historic quarter-mile clay oval for the first time since June 14. Steven Snawder, of Roseburg, showed the way early and looked to win his second straight feature at CGS this season. Snawder would get passed on lap ten by Harrisburg’s Tyler Thompson. But Thompson lost the lead on the next lap to Jacksonville teenager Tanner Holmes. Holmes went back to second on lap 12 as Thompson made it back to the coveted point.
Three cautions slowed the field down once Thompson had settled back in first place. Tyler stayed out in front on every restart and went on to win his first ISCS victory of 2019. It is the second time he has won with the series at Cottage Grove and is his fourth Limited Sprint win at “The Grove” this year. Tanner Holmes placed second while finishing in third was Kinzer Cox of Cottage Grove. Jake Wheeler from Central Point and racing for car owner Ron Osborne, ended his evening in fourth with Steven Snawder in fifth.
In IMCA Sport Mod action Steve Hopkins of Roseburg had a great early start. Hopkins was the wagon master of the caravan for the first four trips past the flag stand until losing the lead on lap five to Matt Sanders. Sanders, from the southwest coastal city of Brookings, was in the middle of a tough fight with two other cars in the last few laps. Sanders managed to best the rest of the field to collect his third win at the quarter-mile this season.
Matt Sanders’ brother, Isaac, was a very close runner up while Jorddon Braaten, of Central Point, was third. Crossing the stripe in fourth would be Springfield’s Shawn Hand with Jordan Henry, from Roseburg, completing the top five, in fifth.
David Schmidt took care of business in the Street Stock ranks. The Roseburg driver led every single lap and visited victory lane for the third time in the class in the current campaign. Daniel Ray made a rare appearance and the Springfield driver finished second for car owner Michael Hollingsworth. Third place went to Adam Applebee of Eugene, with rookie Darron Clark from Macleay, rounding up the finishing order in fourth.
Lastly, in the Hornets, Eric Ashley was quite the dominant force. Mike Wheeler of Florence, led early but lost the position to Ashley on lap three. The Jasper driver, racing for car owner Randy Kuhl, performed a clean sweep after setting fast time and finding success in both the trophy dash and the heat race. It is the second feature win of the season for Ashley.
Eugene’s Brad Moffett was second but unfortunately was disqualified during the post-race technical inspection. That gave the runner-up position to Barry Cannon of Dexter, with third being posted by Joel Hazen from Eugene. Mike Wheeler ended his night in fourth followed by Banks teenager Victoria Chandler.
Cottage Grove Speedway returns to racing this Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3 for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series. The Mohawk Metal IMCA Modifieds will be on the card for both nights. Additional classes racing on Saturday will be the Street Stocks and Hornets.
For more information and updates log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com or check out the official Facebook page.