Spokane, Washington’s Shelby Thompson added his name to the record books for one of the biggest races in the Northwest, taking the win in the 32nd Montana 200 at Mission Valley Super Oval Saturday night.
Thompson took the lead from Agni Howell on lap 164 of the 200-lap Super Late Model event, adding the Montana 200 to a resume that also includes the 2015 Apple Cup and the 2016 Leonard Evans Memorial 150.
“That was cool. That was a lot of fun," said Thompson in victory lane. "I just have to thank Todd Havens, the whole Havens family. Chuck Carruthers, dude, you know how to set up a race car. I just had to sit in the seat. That was awesome.”
While Thompson celebrated the victory, a pair of Montana drivers with more than a decade of experience in the Montana 200 left still searching for a win in their home state's biggest race.
Agni Howell, making his 15th start in the event, took the lead on lap 112 from Dave Garber. However, he was unable to hold off the charging Thompson and settled for a second-place finish.
“I feel disappointed,” said Howell. “My dream is to win this, and I mean it’s a real live, big, huge dream. I sacrificed everything I possibly can to do it, and I’ve done everything I know how to do.
“I’m really close. I’m disappointed, very disappointed, but also really grateful.”
Meanwhile, Alex Lessor finished in the third position, giving him three podium finishes in 16 starts at the Montana 200.
“We brought a brand new car to this race, so this was really impressive,” said Lessor. “I really want to win this race. I’ve had a couple of people compare this to our Daytona 500. I think it’s a little bit of a joke, but it’d be a big deal to win this race.”
Zachary Riehl finished fourth, with Garber completing the top five. Dillon Huffines, Zander Peters, Danica Dart, Cory Wolfe and Kaidyn Moran rounded out the top 10.
The 32nd Montana 200 marked the third race in the event's time at Mission Valley Super Oval. The event took place every year between 2001 and 2019 at Montana Raceway Park before that venue closed, and found its new home at Mission Valley for the 2021 season. B.J. Tidrick had won both runnings of the Montana 200 at Mission Valley prior to Saturday night.
32nd Montana 200 Race Results
|10||5||Kaidyn Moran||199||1 Lap|
|11||7J||Jake Booher||180||20 Laps|
|12||97||Jason Jefferson||178||22 Laps|
|13||54||Grant Thompson||126||74 Laps|
|14||74R||Jason Robinson||67||133 Laps|
|15||22||Justin JD Undem||67||133 Laps|
|16||66||Jeff Smyth||59||141 Laps|
|17||10||Jon Davisson||36||164 Laps|
|18||92||Levie Jones||32||168 Laps|
|19||54C||Tristan Corpron||21||179 Laps|
|20||25||Jeff Hillock||17||183 Laps|
Photo Credit: Dishaw Photography, Kyle Dishaw