Winters, Bender, And Fischer CGS Dwarf National Champions

Eric Ashley shows off his winnings with family. PHOTO C/O Ben Deatherage

The cars and stars of the Dwarf Cars returned to racing at Cottage Grove Speedway on Saturday, August 10th for the finale of the Dwarf Car Nationals.  Also on the card were the Late Models, IMCA Sport Mods, and Hornets.

Like the night before the significant Dwarf event drew over seventy entries, divided into three individual divisions, with teams from Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado represented as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.  The event is held under the sanction of the Western Dwarf Car Association but hosted by the Northwest Dwarf Cars club. Those seventy-plus cars got split into three divisions: Pro, Veteran, and Sportsman.

The Pro Dwarf main event witnessed Camden Robustelli taking charge of the field in the early laps.  The Medford racer obtained the lead on the first start only to lose it shortly after a restart within the first ten laps.  Ryan Winters got around Camden and refused to let go.  The race went non-stop after a few early cautions and Winters dominated the rest of the way.  The Galt, California traveler scored a massive victory in his first Cottage Grove visit.

A massive melee was on hand for the fight for second.  Night one winner Darren Brown, of El Cajon, California, picked up the runner-up position over third finishing Jonathan Henry from Stockton, California.  The rest of the top five was made up of Central Point’s Josh King, in fourth, and Portland gasser Ryan Martinez, in fifth.

Heat races winners were Sean Banks of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Josh King and Jonathan Henry.  Camden Robustelli was victorious in the scramble.  Josh King finished in first place in the consolation feature.

Placerville, California’s Mike Reeder set the pace on the first lap of the Veteran Dwarf main.  An early caution bunched the field up and Mark Biscardi of San Jose, California made the pass on him on lap two after the restart.  The fourth circuit witnessed another lead change at the hands of Tim Fitzpatrick.  The Wheatland, California driver, based initially out of the Las Vegas, Nevada area, fought valiantly to hold off contenders the rest of the race.

Both Fitzpatrick and Kevin Bender duked it out for much of the last half of the main event.  Bender took control on lap fifteen only for Fitzpatrick to reclaim the position on lap seventeen.  The ensuing lap Bender of Rocklin, California secured the top spot and went on to win the feature in his first trip to “The Grove.”

Tim Fitzpatrick placed second with Mark Biscardi in third.  Night one victor Kevin Miraglio of Pleasanton, California, ending his evening in fourth while the fifth position went to Mike Reeder.  Eagle Point veteran Fred Hay scored a heat race win earlier in the night and Reeder was victorious in the scramble.

In the Sportsman Dwarf finale, Teagan Fischer was fast early.  The young lady, hailing from St. Helens, was passed after the halfway mark on lap eleven.  It was Mark Aceves of San Jose, California, who got in front only for Fischer to make her way back around him on the 12th circuit. 

After Fischer reclaimed the lead, a caution grouped the field close to one another.  On the restart, Casey Warren, from Yamhill, rocketed in front of Fischer and was scored the leader on lap 13.  Unfortunately, a couple of moments later Warren got into the front stretch wall after a caution flag was thrown and handing the lead back over to Aceves.  With five laps to go, it appeared as if Aceves was well on his way to the win.

However, a caution on the final circuit brought the field close to one another one last time.  On the final restart, Teagan Fischer rolled the dice one final time.  She would slip past Aceves to grab the lead and the win.  Teagan became the only driver not from the state of California to win in Dwarf Car competition during the weekend.

Mark Aceves was a respectable runner-up followed by third finishing Jimmy Damron, from Gustine, California.  Boring’s Dave Brune collected a fourth-place result over Boise, Idaho driver Roger Haney, in fifth.  Eagle Point teenager Ashleigh Strain won the heat race, and Dave Brune scored the victory in the scramble.

Ed Peters started the party off in the Late Model main event.  Peters, of Eugene, put his mount in front of the rest of the competition on the opening trip and passed the flag stand. Albany’s Craig Hanson made a move around him on the completion of the second circuit.  Hanson remained there until around lap eight when Brian Smith got to the top spot.  Smith, now residing in Sweet Home and racing for car owner Jerry Casey, paced the field the rest of the distance to capture his second win of the year at CGS.

Craig Hanson finished second over Creswell’s Paul Culp, in third.  Lebanon driver Josh Sim crossed the finish line in fourth while Ed Peters rounded out the top five, in fifth.  Paul Culp and Brian Smith were the two heat race winners. Collecting the hardware in the Dot’s Trophy Shop Dash was Bend veteran, Chad Groves, also racing for Jerry Casey. 

Come time for the IMCA Sport Mod feature it was the Aaron Bloom show.  The Cottage Grove youngster was on a mission after taking over the initial lead on lap one.  Bloom got out to some sizable distances from the main body of the field only to have the interval erased due to cautions.  However, on each restart, he retained the top place position despite several challenges from behind. 

Just when it looked like he was en route to the triumph Matt Sanders made a late-race bid on lap nineteen to get to the front.  Sanders, of Brookings, picked up his fourth win of 2019 in the IMCA Sport Mod division at CGS. 

Aaron Bloom was a strong second with Isaac Sanders, also of Brookings, in third. Roseburg’s Doug Coffman rallied to a fourth-place finish over fifth finishing Shawn Hand, from Springfield.  Aaron Bloom and Roseburg native Jordan Henry picked up heat race victories.  Matt Sanders tasted success in the Dot’s Trophy Shop Dash.

Lastly, Eric Ashley conquered the Hornet ranks once more, claiming the lead on the initial drop of the green flag and staying in front over the rest of the competition. Ashley, racing for car owner Randy Kuhl, led every single lap on his way to his third win of the current campaign.

Eugene’s Brad Moffett posted a second-place effort. Thurston veteran Ricky Ashley, older brother of Eric and also running for Randy Kuhl, was third.  Kerry Cooper of Cottage Grove scored fourth with fifth going to Burnie Bryant, from Sutherlin.  Eric Ashley and Brad Moffett won the two heat races with Eric also finding the checkered flag first in the Dot’s Trophy Shop Dash.

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