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Northwest Super Late Models Roll Into Wenatchee Valley for Leonard Evans Memorial 150

The Leonard Evans Memorial 150 will take place at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval for the ninth time in Northwest Super Late Model Series presented by RaceCals history.


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Event: The “Leonard Evans Memorial 150” will take place at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval for the ninth time in Northwest Super Late Model Series presented by RaceCals (NWSLMS) history. The annual event will take place on Saturday, April 27th and pay respect to Leonard Evans, the father of four-time NWSLMS champion Garrett Evans, and the grandfather of Jan Evans. $5,000 will go to the winner. It will be Round #2 of the 10-race season schedule for the series and the 22nd time the series has visited the ¼-mile oval.


Previous Winners: Haeden Plybon was the winner of last year’s “Leonard Evans Memorial 150”. It was the first of four wins in five events for the 2023 Kulwicki Driver Development Program championship runner-up. It was a springboard to his NWSLMS championship, and his second victory in the Spring event, after winning in 2021. Other winners of the “150” include Tayler Riddle (2015, 2018), Shelby Thompson (2016), Shane Mitchell (2017), Gracin Raz (2019), and Evan Goetz (2022). Plybon and Goetz are both entered this weekend.

Championship: For the first time in his young career, Kasey Kleyn leads the championship standings by one point over Garrett Evans and Kole Raz. Kyle Tellstrom, BJ Tidrick, Zander Peters, Rod Schultz Jr., Ken Bonney, Eric Rhead, and Nick Gibson round out the top-10. Early championship favorites Evan Goetz and Haeden Plybon sit 14th and 18threspectively after the “Apple Cup” at Tri-City Raceway at RMEC (WA).

Championship Leader: Kasey Kleyn will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to grab the series championship. The 2023 series rookie will miss a couple of events during the Summer and will need to perform at an extremely high level to have a chance to become the 2024 champion.

“It feels pretty good to have the lead right now, but we don't have every race on the schedule”, Kleyn admitted. “So, we know if we want to win the championship, while missing the races we are, we know that we have to win or top-three the rest of the races we will be running, to even have a shot at it.”

Rookies: Zander Peters leads the current Jefferson Racing Rookie-of-the-Year standings after one event. Eric Rhead, Trace Thompson, Evan Goetz, Danica Dart, and Jess Havens are the top half dozen.

Entry: 19 Super Late Models are currently expected to compete this weekend, representing four states and one Canadian Province. Drivers from Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Nevada will be joined by Victoria BC driver Kyle Cottam. Kasey Kleyn, Evan Goetz, Haeden Plybon, and Jason Jefferson are former series winner. Dave Garber, Terry Halverson, Andy Beaman, Thane Alderman, Jason O’Neil, and Eric Rhead are former Late Model touring series winners.

Family Honor: Jan Evans will fly the flag for the Evans family at this year’s memorial event. Evans’ father Garrett is surprisingly winless after finishing second in 2015 and 2016. Jan was the 2017 NWSLMS championship runner-up and will make his fifth start in the ninth running of the “Leonard Evans Memorial”, honoring his grandfather. He knows a win would be special, especially as the only family member to accomplish the feat.

“I have big shoes to fill when it comes to my dad. It would take me years to catch up to his accomplishments. I’m just thankful he’s giving me the opportunity”. Evans stated. “It would mean a lot to win the race in my grandpa’s honor. My grandpa had MS, so he used to park his van on the hill, just past the pit gate, and watch us race with my grandma.”

Youngest Winner: In 2022, Evan Goetz became the youngest winner in NWSLMS history, when he beat Tayler Riddle and Max Schroeder to the finish line in the annual spring event at WVSO. Now a 2024 Kulwicki Driver Development finalist, Goetz will seek to make it two out of three “Evans Memorial” wins this weekend. Goetz closed the 2023 season with consecutive series wins, but had a disappointing start to the season, getting caught up in the “Big One” at Tri-City Raceway RMEC. He will head to East Wenatchee with a positive mindset, knowing what it takes to win at the ¼-mile oval.

“I’m going in with the same mindset into the next race, a positive mindset is key”, Goetz explained about his approach to Round #2 of the series schedule. “Jeff Jefferson told me a few years back “if you think you’re gonna win, you will, if you think you’re gonna lose, you will”, and that stuck with me. I have a lot of laps around WVSO, and it’s such a picky track, you have to hit your marks every lap if you want to be consistent”.

Veteran Racer: Ken Bonney is a long-time racer at Hermiston Raceway (OR), who has participated in the NWSLMS full-time over the last several season. At the season opener, Bonney tied his career best finish, coming home eighth in the 31-car starting field. He hopes that momentum will continue this weekend, in a car that has many seasons of racing under its’ belt.

"I am hoping to bring in lots of momentum, after our top-eight finish in my really old Port City Super Late Model", Bonney proclaimed. "I just found out that both of my front shocks were bent. My old car has always done well at WVSO. We don't have much setup time there, but I hope to hammer down and move to the front. The newer cars have so much more technology into them, but I think this year we are more set up to win and race up front, if I keep up with all these young drivers. Best of luck to all the drivers."

Comeback Kid: Jess Havens will continue his comeback, after suffering a Lisfranc foot fracture when his throttle stuck at Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway in March of 2023. He destroyed his Super Late Model and had to miss multiple events during the season. One of those events was the “Leonard Evans Memorial”. Havens is excited to make his first Super Late Model start at WVSO this weekend, after several failed attempts.

“I’m really looking forward to racing at WVSO”, Havens stated. “I haven’t been able to race there as much as I would have liked last year, so I’m ready to give it my best this year! I really like racing WVSO because the competition is always phenomenal, and it's a fast track!”

Double Header: This weekend’s event at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval will be a two-day event, with the Pro Late Models taking center stage on Friday in the $4,000-to-win “Spring Sizzle 100”. They will be joined by the NW Focas Midgets, Legends and Bandoleros. The NWSLMS will have three practice sessions on Friday. Fan Gates open at 4:30 PM. Saturday will see the NWSLMS joined by the NW Focas Midgets, Bandoleros, and the Legends. Fan Gates open at 3:30 PM with Opening Ceremonies at 5:00 PM.

Livestream: For those unable to attend the “Leonard Evans Memorial 150” in person, the event will be shown LIVE on Racing America, with a subscription to their livestream events. Six series events will be broadcast LIVE on Racing America in 2024.

Expected Entry List: (4/24/2024)

1 Kasey Kleyn, Quincy, WA
2 Terry Halverson, Wenatchee, WA
021 Todd Connell, Yakima, WA MAYBE
3K Ken Bonney, Hermiston, OR
3 Andy Beaman, Selah, WA
4 Arlyn Long, Tumwater, WA
4 Kyle Cottam, Victoria BC, Canada
5H Jess Havens, Spokane, WA
5E Jan Evans, E Wenatchee, WA
09 Thane Alderman, Las Vegas, NV
17P Robert Presley, Olympia, WA
29 Jason O'Neil, Spokane, WA
33 Christopher Kalsch, Hillsboro, OR
42 Evan Goetz, Okanogan, WA
55 Haeden Plybon, Spokane, WA
66 Eric Rhead, W Bountiful, UT
69 Zandar Peters, Eatonville, WA
93 Dave Garber, Spokane, WA
97 Jason Jefferson, Naches, WA MAYBE


The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued partners including RaceCals, Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Gibson Diesel Performance, AR Bodies, Penske Racing Shocks, Five Star Bodies, AFCO Racing / Longacre Racing Products, Franks Racing Radio, Jefferson Racing, Impel Motorsports, The Fan’s Connection LLC, Northwest Road and Drive, and The Ti Company. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

-Story: Kevin Peters, NWSLMS
-Photo Credit: Shari Garber, NWSLMS

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