Northwest Super Late Model Series
14-Year-Old Evan Goetz Wins Leonard Evans 150
May 2, 2022
Spokane, WA - In 2021, the Northwest Super Late Model Series (NWSLMS) returned to Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway (ID) for the first time since 2016. Garrett Evans scored his only 2021 series victory that day, eventually leading to his fourth series championship. The NWSLMS will return for the second year in-a-row for the “Liberty Launch Academy 125” on May 14th. It will be the sixth time the series has visited the facility in its 49th season of operation. It will follow Friday night’s Pro Late Model featured program. For the Super Late Models, it will feature a single day format for the teams, thanks to Stateline Speedway promoter Matt Alexander and Track Owner Luke Kjar.
The ¼-mile asphalt oval has seen very few Super Late Model events since the division was replaced in 2019 with the Pro Late Models. The last time the NWSLMS visited, 22 Super Late Models appeared, with Evans the winner. In 2016, two events were held. The facility also hosted two events in 2015. In those previous four races, the victories were earned by Blake Williams (2015), J.C Wofford (2015), Braeden Havens (2016), and Garrett Evans (2016).
Multiple Stateline Speedway Track Champions have registered for this weekend’s event. Those include recent champions Alex Lessor (2019), Haeden Plybon (2020) and Jason O’Neil (2021). Both Plybon and O’Neil competed in last year's event, with Plybon finishing third and O’Neil ninth. Plybon has had a disappointing start to the 2022 campaign as the Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist has series finishes of 12th and 17th. His 2021 NWSLMS stats showed two victories in four starts, with a worst finish of third, which was at Stateline. He hopes the experience he has at the facility will turn his season around, despite the differences between his Pro Late Model and Super Late Model.
“I feel like the experience will help tremendously due to it being a low grip multi-groove track, which should cause some good racing and tight, fun battles. I'm excited for the race, and with our game plan, I hope to take home the win. There is definitely a huge difference between the two (Pro Late Model versus Super Late Model), even with it being a low grip track. The slicks definitely change it greatly.”
O’Neil is the most recent Pro Late Model champion at the facility, 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 two 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). He was ninth at Stateline in 2021, but 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.”
Alex Lessor will make an infrequent start at the facility, since his 2019 Pro Late Model track championship. The Kalispel, MT racer is mostly known for his success at the now defunct Montana Raceway Park (MT) and now at Mission Valley Speedway (MT). The former MRP champion nearly won the Montana 200 in 2013, finishing second behind Jonathan Gomez in the 39-car field. He was a winner in the ARCA West Late Model Challenge Series and the ARCA West Ignite Race Fuels Series. In his four NWSLMS starts, he has a best finish of eighth at the Spokane Super Oval (WA).
Braeden Havens may not have a track championship at Stateline, but he was the championship runner-up to Plybon in 2020. He has an “Idaho 200” victory, when the event was a NWSLMS event in 2016. The Airway Heights, WA racer calls the ¼-mile oval his home track. He feels like his experience, as well as his adoration for the facility, will help his efforts this weekend, as he looks forward to the event.
“Well, I have raced at Stateline since I was 15 in a Late Model, so I would say I love racing out at Stateline”, Havens explained. “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. Being able to spot for him in the Pro Late race then racing the Super Late.”
Kasey Kleyn has entered this weekend’s event, and if he starts the “Liberty Launch Academy 125”, he will become the youngest driver to make the starting field for a NWSLMS race. He will be 14 years, two months and one day old.
Another 14-year-old driver just became the youngest winner in the series, after coming home in front of Tayler Riddle, Max Schroeder, Trenton Moriarity, and Kaiden Anderson at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval. Okanogan, WA teenager Evan Goetz took the field by surprise two weeks ago. He will now head to his best track with an unassuming attitude.
“I am gonna show up to the track and be humble and not say much”, Goetz stated. “I’m just gonna focus on the car. Stateline is my fastest track so we should be good there.”
The “Liberty Launch Academy 125” will be Round #3 of 10 for the NWSLMS. Mike Longton enters the event as the championship leader followed by Randy Marshall Jr., Kaiden Anderson, Trenton Moriarity, and Max Schroeder. Randy Marshall Jr. leads the Jefferson Racing Rookie-of-the-Year Standings followed by Kaiden Anderson, Haeden Plybon, Nick Gibson, and Evan Goetz.
The series has drawn 23 Super Late Models to each of the first two events at Tri-City Raceway at RMEC (WA) and the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval (WA). 22 Super Late Models are expected this weekend, with eight drivers attempting their first 2022 starts. 34 different drivers have already competed with the series in 2022.
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 3:45 PM. Qualifying for the Johnson Surveying Hobby Stocks, Angel’s Bail Bonds Bandoleros, and NWSLMS rolls off at 5:00 PM. Trophy Heat Races for the Hobby Stocks and Bandoleros are followed by the “Happy 10” practice session for the Super Late Models. The feature events for the Bandoleros, Hobby Stocks, and Super Late Models 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. 3K Ken Bonney Hermiston, OR
3. 8 Alex Bartlett Spokane, WA
4. 9 Mitch Kleyn Quincy, WA PLM 1ST
5. 11G Nick Gibson Nampa, ID
6. 12 Trenton Moriarity Monroe, WA
7. 13 Matt Doyle Wenatchee, WA
8. 13 Trayten Tarr Spokane, WA PLM 1ST
9. 16 TJ Monroe Boise, ID PLM 1ST
10. 17S Max Schroeder Tacoma, WA
11. 21 Dan Nelson Kennewick, WA PLM 1ST
12. 22 Evan Goetz Okanogan, WA
13. 24 Tim Babcock Kennewick, WA
14. 29 Jason O'Neil Spokane, WA
15. 33 Christopher Kalsch Hillsboro, OR
16. 37 Kaiden Anderson Yakima, WA
17. 53 Alex Lessor Kalispel, MT
18. 55 Haeden Plybon Spokane, WA
19. 83 Braeden Havens Spokane, WA
20. 93 Dave Garber Spokane, WA
21. 98 Chris Kellogg Spokane, WA
22. 99 Cam Kellogg Spokane, WA
-Northwest Super Late Model Series Press Release and Photo