SRL’s Parker Stephens Wins Tri-Track Series Event at Evergreenadmin
The Tri-Track Super Late Model Series made their second appearance at Evergreen Speedway last Saturday night with the running of the Central Welding Supply 125 on the 3/8’s mile oval. A starting field of 16 cars took to the track, with Tumwater WA second generation driver Parker Stephens (#4) on the pole with Speedway Chevrolet Super Late Model driver Shane Sawin lined up outside Stephens. Fast time qualifier Shane Harding drew a 5 car invert earlier in the day.
At the drop of the green flag, Stephens maintained a 2-3 car length lead over Rookie of the Year contender Luke Selliken. The Portland OR based driver was fresh off his first career victory on the 3/8’s the last time the division ran on the track.
Stephens was able to hold off both Selliken and veteran Garett Evans through cautions on lap 39 and 46 using the bottom lane to get the grip he needed. On lap 56, Selliken took over the lead until a caution on lap 73 involving former Evergreen Super Late Model Champions Shane Harding and John Zaretzke in turn 3 bunched up the field for the ensuing restart. Selliken, as he has been doing all season long nailed the restart with Evans in second and Stephens in third.
Garrett Evans used a nice move going into turn 2 on lap 90 to take the lead until the caution flag flew once again on lap 96. Two laps later, Evans was forced into the pits with a cut left rear tire handing the lead back to the 3 car of Selliken. With the laps winding down, it appeared as if it was Sellikens race to lose. Last season’s division champion Mike Holden effectively worked his way into the top 3 with Andy Sole and Doni Wanat behind Holden.
Contact between leader Selliken and Stephens coming into turn 4 caused Selliken to spin, allowing Stephens to slip by and retake the lead with 4 laps to go. Tri-Track Super Late Model rules dictate that the race must finish under 5 consecutive laps of green flag racing, so off to overtime we go!
Stephens withstood a furious charge by Holden who tried to make a move on the outside on the white flag lap, but Stephens did a great job holding his line and took the checkered flag. Holden hung on for 2nd and Andy Sole finished 3rd. Finishing 4th on the night was Doni Wanat, who is in an interesting position with both the Speedway Chevrolet Super Late Model division and the Tri-Track Super Late Model Series. Wanat, who is driving both series in 2015 finds himself in 2nd place in each one. Doni is only 5 points back of Garrett Evans in the TTSLMS and coming into Saturdays race 20 points behind defending champion Mike Holden.
Parker Stephens commented after the race “ We fought a tight car most of the night and Holden made it tough there at the end but he raced me clean and I was able to hold the bottom groove (in the closing laps) to get the win.” Stephens is making occasional races at Evergreen this season, along with events at South Sound Speedway and the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour for NTS Motorsports.