Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
August 29, 2012     The New Era Paper
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August 29, 2012

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Page 10 ,PORT. IT, Tef= ra - Au.qust 29, 2012 Changes giving Willame00tte Speedway a leg up in racing dress is the same. The structure under the grand- stands is the same, said General Manager Chris Nofziger. Everything else was overhauled this last spring. Each week this summer, Wil- lamette has added something new, Deatherage said. The bulk of the new construction was completed over seven months, allowing racing to start in May. By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era Almost everything is new this year at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon. "It&apos;s pretty much not what has changed," said Be n Deatherage, an- nouncer and press officer for the course. "It's what hasn't changed." The flag pole in the center of the track is the same, he said. The ad- The exterior of the Willamette Speedway sports a modern, visually clean- er style. "It's now becoming one of the most premiere, talked about race tracks in the entire nation," Death- erage said. The track was owned by Clair and Evelyn Arnold. Clair Ar- nold died, and Jerry and Jimmy Sch- ram purchased it in 2010. The Schrams own and operate Gray's Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., and Sunset Speedway Park in Banks. They're also involved in other events and tracks. The new track is wider and more racy, Deatherage said. Track records set in the past 10 years haven't fall- en, and times don't appear higher, but top speed is. The new track is a true one- third mile now, and it doesn't bottle- neck the drivers any more, Deather- age said. "Bsaically, it was falling be- hind," Nofziger said. "It needed a lot to get up to the top. It's always been a premiere track in the Northwest." But now, it's what shows up on television, Nofziger said. "It's right up there with NASCAR-owned fa- cilities." "Obviously, we're not done. Photos by Sean C. Morgan Announcer and Press Officer Ben Deatherage, left, and General Manager Chris Nofziger talk about changes at Willamette Speedway. It'll never be done. The technology changes constantly." The track is attracting high pro- file races, tours and drivers. The American Sprint Cars Se- ries went through the speedway two days in July, Deatherage said. "Those are the best 360 drivers in the country." The World of Outlaws will be there on Labor Day, Deatherage said. That's the biggest there thing there is. Gates open at 1 p.m., and he expects 4,000 to 6,000 to attend the event. It would have been difficult to get the World of Outlaws to come to the area with the old track, Deather- age said. They'll go to any track, Nofziger said, but they need to pit with their trailers, and that would have been more difficult when the pits, which have moved, were inside the track. tsst tim, lloorlnU, Io. Over 30 years experience Free estimates Locally owned Tear-offs with no mess Hand nailed, architect & 3-tab shingles Snap-lock, Hi-rib metal & fiat roofs All workmanship guaranteed CCB# 110950 m Yeack From page 7 lead in classics with four or five races left, but he is only 20 points ahead of Justin Evans of Lebanon in mods, with three races left. Races at Willamette generally include i5 to 20 drivers, but some will have close to 50. "It's really just a breakout year because this class is stacked - the mods," said Ben Deatherage, announcer and press officer for Willamette Speedway. "It's on par with the late models." The track has had a lot of visi- tors this year, he said, "I like to call them invaders - so Kyle's defend- ing the home turf pretty well." Yeack has had two double wins this year, and that's relative- ly rare, Deatherage said. "Really what I think's been helping is run- ning the different classes." Track time is very important for the drivers, Deatherage said. It goes beyond practice and reading strategy. Week after week, Yeack's running races in two classes. It's experience on the track. "It's just like anything really. In racing, we call it seat time," Deatherage said. <:z, Photo by Sean C. Morgan Kyle Yeack races around turn two at Willamette Speedway during Satur- day's qualifications. 541-367-2HI3 i.,  .-.,m- "-P', "',  "7" "7" ii "P  "I" I .. mm mm u mm mm m mm n mm i I i i mm in i Ve00eta O let , FREE Egg McMunin Iwho,esome|' r"Jc:F1 mc J . with purchase of .... " I breakfast lm ' With Hibrowns and Toast '8.95  many McCafe ......... I choices I' m espresso. ..............................................  m- . /'/ V m oeverage m A | . CALL IN your TO-GO order n|( I (541) 367-0433  IValid only at Sweet .o cDonald',, i  | Mort-Thursday 7am -2:30pro I lP  I / Fd-Son 6ore-2:30pro IINot valid with any other offer, discount, coupon or i --'k._.lr,... i% 0uoT*JG,o:&;,70.,= i ilmeaL Limit one coupon per person per visit. Cash . C. 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