Spokane, WA – Let’s try it again. The Northwest Super Late Model Series presented by Racing Dynamiks (NWSLMS) will head to Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway (ID) on August 20th. It is a make-up date for the rainout on May 14th. It will be the first event for the series since Hermiston Raceway (OR) on June 18th, where Kaiden Anderson picked up his first series victory and leaped to the top of the championship standings. Garrett Evans is the defending winner of the “Liberty Launch Academy 125”, scoring his only victory of the NWSLMS season. The win launched Evans to his fourth series championship.
Championship leader Anderson would love to repeat Evans’ accomplishment in 2021, but he is taking each race one at a time.
“The Stateline race coming up is no different than any other race”, Anderson stated. “Our plan and goals are really the same every race, from race one to the last race. Obviously, we want to compete for wins and run up front, but the main goal is to finish and bring the car home in one piece. Our team has done a really good job of preparing each and every week! It's in my hands to go out and keep doing what I have been. I'm lucky to be able to compete for this championship and also win at this level. To be the points leader at this point is pretty surreal.”
Sitting second in the championship standings is the driver who tied for second in the 2021 standings, Max Schroeder. Schroeder had a tough start to the season with a 16th at Tri-City Raceway, but he has rebounded with two top-three runs. After winning in his first series start at South Sound Speedway in 2020, Schroeder has been looking to repeat that feat over his last dozen starts. He also hopes to emerge with the series championship in 2022, anticipating a tight battle.
“I think the championship battle is just starting to heat up and I think it's gonna go all the way to the final at Tri-Cities this year”, Schroeder predicted. “We're only halfway through the season still, and to count anyone out would be a mistake. Going into Stateline, our goal is the same as always, win! We're looking forward to a great race with the Northwest's finest, and we aim to break our winless drought!”
Multiple Stateline Speedway Track Champions have registered for this weekend’s event. Those include recent champions Haeden Plybon (2020), and Jason O’Neil (2021) as well as multi-time champion Dave Garber. All three competed in the 2021 event with Plybon finishing third, Garber eighth, and O’Neil ninth.
Plybon has had a disappointing start to his 2022 championship effort. The 2022 Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist has landed in the 12th, 17th, and 10th positions thus far. The last effort at Hermiston Raceway was particularly disappointing, after battling for the lead late in the race. But the Spokane, WA racer has earned several wins in his Pro Late Model in 2022, including the prestigious “Idaho 200” last month at Stateline.
“The “Idaho 200” win definitely gives me a ton of confidence going into the next NWSLMS Tour race”, Plybon admitted. “It not only gives more laps around the track, but also gives me a good idea on how the track will be when it comes time to race. It should be a fun weekend.”
The driver who finished second to Plybon in the 2020 track championship was Braeden Havens. Havens won the 2016 NWSLMS event, when it was the “Idaho 200”. The Airway Heights, WA driver already has a Pro Late Model win at Stateline this season and is looking forward to competing against his brother this weekend, at his home track.
“Well, I have raced at Stateline since I was 15 in a Late Model, so I would say I love racing at Stateline”, Braeden began. “It is my home track, so I know the best ways to get around the track. With the new owners, the track has just gotten better and better, so I am super excited for this weekend. I am also having a lot of fun racing on the same weekends as my brother (Jess Havens). Being able to race with him in the Super is really fun.”
As mentioned, Braeden will be joined by his brother Jess Havens this weekend. Jess will make his second series start, after his seventh-place debut at Hermiston Raceway. The 19-year-old is excited to race with his brother in a Super Late Model, after his series debut.
“Racing at Hermiston was an awesome experience for me”, Jess recalled. “Getting to race with my brother was a dream for me for a long time, and we have high hopes for Stateline. I love racing on slicks and am very excited to try them out at Stateline!”
Jason O’Neil is the most recent Pro Late Model champion at the Stateline, scoring two victories in seven starts in 2021. He earned six top-five finishes to go along with seven top-10’s. O’Neil has competed in the first three events of the 2022 NWSLMS schedule. He followed up a hard wreck, and a 22nd place finish at the Tri-City Raceway (WA), with an eighth at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval (WA), and a ninth at Hermiston Raceway (OR) to sit seventh in the standings. He was ninth at Stateline in 2021, but he hopes his success at the facility last season will help him get to the front in 2022.
“We are very excited about the series coming to our home track”, O’Neil stated. “We definitely think we are capable of being up front and competing for the win.”
At Round #2 of the 2022 season, at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval, a 14-year-old driver became the youngest winner in series history, holding off Tayler Riddle, Max Schroeder, Trenton Moriarity, and Kaiden Anderson. Okanogan, WA teenager Evan Goetz took the field by surprise that day, and will look for his second series win, at a track at which he enjoys.
“I really like racing at Stateline”, Goetz explained “The track doesn’t have much grip, so it makes it a fun driver’s track.”
In 2021, the NWSLMS returned to Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway for the first time since 2016. The series will return for the second year in-a-row. It will be the sixth time the series has visited the facility in its 49th season of operation. The ¼-mile asphalt oval has seen very few Super Late Model events since the division was replaced in 2019 with the Pro Late Model Division. The last time the NWSLMS visited, 22 Super Late Models appeared, with Evans the winner. In 2015, two events were held. The facility also hosted two events in 2016. In those previous four races, the victories were earned by Blake Williams (2015), J.C Wofford (2015), Braeden Havens (2016), and Garrett Evans (2016).
17 Super Late Models are currently entered for this weekend’s event. Two drivers are scheduled to make their first appearances in the series. Those are two-time North State Challenge Series Super Late Model champion Mike Doss and 2022 “Idaho 200” fourth-place finisher T.J. Monroe. Chris Kellogg will make his first start of the season. 40 different competitors have competed in the series in 2022, with an average of 22 Super Late Models per event.
The “Liberty Launch Academy 125” will be Round #4 of 7 for the NWSLMS. Kaiden Anderson enters the event as the championship leader followed by Max Schroeder, Andy Beaman, Haeden Plybon, and Nick Gibson. Ken Bonney, Jason O’Neil, Braeden Havens, Christopher Kalsch, and Mike Longton round out the top-10. Anderson leads the Jefferson Racing Rookie-of-the-Year Standings followed by Haeden Plybon, Nick Gibson, and Evan Goetz.
Saturday will find the Super Late Models practicing from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM with open practice for all divisions beginning at 12:00 PM and ending at 3:00 PM. Qualifying for the Angel’s Bail Bonds Bandoleros, Rayce Rudeen Ranch Built IWS Series, and NWSLMS rolls off at 4:00 PM, as the Admission Gates open. Trophy Heat Races for the Bandoleros and IWS Series are followed by the “Happy 10” Practice Session for the Super Late Models. The feature events for the Bandoleros (20 laps), IWS Series (30 laps), and Super Late Models (125 laps) will conclude the evening.
For those unable to attend, the event will be shown LIVE at RacingAmerica.com with a paid subscription. Shari Garber and DJ Everett with headline the weekend’s coverage.
Preliminary Driver Entry List:
1. 1 Kasey Kleyn, Quincy, WA
2. 3 Andy Beaman Selah, WA
3. 3K Ken Bonney, Hermiston, OR
4. 5 Jess Havens, Spokane, WA
5. 11G Nick Gibson Nampa, ID
6. 16 TJ Monroe, Boise, ID
7. 17S Max Schroeder, Tacoma, WA
8. 22 Evan Goetz, Okanogan, WA
9. 23 Corey Allard, Sagle, ID
10. 29 Jason O'Neil, Spokane, WA
11. 33 Christopher Kalsch, Hillsboro, OR
12. 37 Kaiden Anderson, Yakima, WA
13. 55 Haeden Plybon, Spokane, WA
14. 75 Mike Doss, Upper Lake, CA
15. 83 Braeden Havens, Spokane, WA
16. 93 Dave Garber, Spokane, WA
17. 99 Cam Kellogg, Spokane, WA
ABOUT THE NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
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 Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, AR Bodies, Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore, Racing Dynamiks, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Five Star Bodies, AFCO/Longacre Racing Products, RaceCals, Wheel Chill, Atomic Screen Printing and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Racing, American Racer, Gibson Diesel Performance, and The Ti Company. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
-Story by: Kevin Peters/Northwest Super Late Model Serie