Presenting the First Annual 
Northwest Sprint Car Invitational

For Immediate Release: Northwest Sprint Car Invitational Media Relations


HERMISTON, Ore. (October 10, 2009)-Mark Jones used a near flawless set-up underneath his V-Power sprint car chassis early Saturday evening en route to victory in the inaugural Northwest Sprint Car Invitational held at Columbia Motor Speedway in Hermiston, Ore.
Tony Berry, who watched the water temperature climb over 240 degrees in the late stages of the 50-lap main, held off fast time winner, Craig Deaver, for second place. Mike Fought and Rich Fast rounded out the top-5.
The race was slowed for three caution periods and run in just over a green flag time of 40 minutes. Cole Tupling led the field to the green flag but bobbled exiting turn No.4 just before the first circuit was completed. That opened the door for Don Kundra to dive underneath and lead the race’s first handful of laps. Jones jumped on Tupling’s misfortune and grabbed second place while Berry dropped back to fourth in the early going.
Deaver started 12th based on an invert and steadily climbed through traffic to seventh but was forced to pit under the race’s first yellow flag on lap 10. The Lake Tapps, Wash. native replaced a flat left front tire and restarted the race in 16th place but still maintained a lead lap position on the track.
Jones and Berry worked their way by Kundra just past the race’s first quarter point and began to pull away from Kundra, Fought and Rick Brown in the middle portions of the event.

Justin Mack brought the race’s second caution and the slowdown allowed the field to bunch up. Deaver had managed to gain 12 positions in the short burst of racing and found himself fourth behind Fast, Berry and race leader Brown as the race resumed.
Berry and Deaver waged a spirited battle for second place as lap 31 began but Berry’s Oak Tree Inn sprinter had the upper hand exiting each corner and began to pull away from Deaver’s CES Northwest machine. By lap 33 the pair worked through lapped traffic but started to lose ground to Jones’ V-Powered chassis. 
Kundra lost a motor in turn No. 3 on lap 36 resulting in the early evening race’s final yellow flag. With lapped traffic interspersed in the field, Jones, Berry and Deaver were nose to tail with several lapped cars behind  them to Fought in fourth place and Brown in fifth. Jones jumped on the restart and flew away from his closest challengers to notch the first ever sprint car race victory at Columbia Motor Speedway since it reopened in May. 
“(Columbia Motor Speedway) is a blast to drive,” Jones said from victory lane. “This is a tough track to hook-up on with a sprint car and we got the set-up right and our Don Vonderfecht engine was great. Don was out here from Nebraska to help us this week and this is great to get a win for V-Power with him at the race. I knew we hit it just right as we were able to move away from the traffic and Tony and Deaver there in the late going.”
Berry battled Deaver and the potential anxiety of a boiling motor to take  a runner-up finish. “We had the water temp go to 240 right from the get’go. I saw Deaver get along side us twice there in the late going and I was just trying to save the car for a late race run to the end. Our Oak Tree Inn sprinter got tight there at the end and I just couldn’t get to Mark there like we wanted,” Berry said. “All in all this was a great race and a lot of fun to run here at Columbia Motor Speedway. I have to thank their staff for working with Justin (Popple) Mark and I to get this going and we’re looking forward to coming back in 2010.” Deaver also indicated that he’d be back for the second running of the Northwest Sprint Car Invitational after having a strong car throughout the day. “It’s a very challenging track and I think it plays into being a place where the driver has to take control. It just wasn’t our night but we’ll come back and see what we can do with it again next year. We had that flat tire there early and it set us back in the field and then in the late going we started to have our right rear go down and the car went tight until it’d build some heat up to ride on the (tire). Every restart I’d have to wait until it’d build up that heat then make a charge.”

1st Annual Northwest Sprint Car Invitational Finishing Order

1) 66 Mark Jones, V-Power, Page, ID
2) 53 Tony Berry, Oak Tree Inn, Spokane, WA
3) 15 Craig Deaver, CES Northwest, Lake Tapps, WA
4) 78 Mike Fought, Beaver Lake Nursery, Othello, WA
5) 6 Rich Fast, Rottinghaus Farms, Mesa, WA
6) 36 Rick Brown, Isackson Dozing Inc., Springfield, OR
7) 71 Kirk Eklund, Kerslake Machine, Edgewood, WA
8) 11 Rich Leighty, Walker Motorsports, Pacific Beach, WA
9) 27 Ralph Deaver, CES Northwest, Edgewood, WA
10)  16 Ron Rhode, What’s a sponsor?, Lewiston, ID
11)  23 Wes Helgeson, Performance Associates, Spokane, WA
12)  55 Don Kundra, Two Dogs Cylinder Head Shop, Othello, WA
13)  3 Cole Tupling, Lloyd Logging, Okanogan, WA
14)  34 Rob Matherly, A-L Compressed Gases, Colbert, WA
15)  34x Justin Mack, Rock Lake Race Team, Benton City, WA
16)  69 Butch Duren, Duren Custom Paints, Cheney, WA
17)  6w Ian Thomas, Thanks to Dixon Helgeson, Rossland, BC
18)  86 Joe Smith, Mackey Seed, Moses Lake, WA
19)  13 Mike Basher, Buds Machine & Engine, Yelm, WA
20)  19 Justin Popple, Spokane Pump, Colbert, WA



Northwest Sprint Car Invitational is Upon Us!


Source: AJB Motorsports Marketing


October 6, 2009 (Hermiston, OR) – With most racing events for the 2009 season having concluded some enthusiasts are starting to turn their attention towards football and hunting season, but WAIT – there is one more big event yet this year! The Northwest Sprint Car Invitational will be this weekend, October 10th, 2009 at Columbia Motor Speedway in Hermiston , Oregon .


The track which had racing return to it full time this year will be the site for the ground-pounding action of pavement sprint cars – as teams from INSCA, WESCO, the ERP Sprint Cars and WILROC compete against each in the first annual event. The track will open for practice Friday at noon and run until dusk. The track will open Saturday at 10, with qualifying slated for 1:30 pm.


On Saturday, the competitors will join forces as they walk through the stands with their helmets for a “Pass the Helmet” donation for injured sprint car driver, Travis Rutz. The Northwest native was racing at the famed Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana when he was involved in a serious racing accident. Travis was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he has received care from perhaps the premier medical staff in regards to racing trauma. All donations received during this Pass the Helmet will be given to the Rutz family as they work through this difficult time and we all wish Travis a speedy recovery.


Then the drivers will suit up and compete in the main event, which will be a 50-lap feature with the winner taking home $1200 in prize money.


A special thanks to our contingency sponsors:

Longacre Racing Products

Hinchman Racing Uniforms

Lejeune Performance and Fabricating

Speedmart Inc.

Whitley Fuel

Race Car Supply

Oak Tree Inn – Hermiston , Oregon – Official Hotel for the 2009 NWSCI – 541-567-2330.


Also a special thanks to our Race Officials:

Bill Birdsell (Race Director)

Rabbit (Flagman)

Doug Pace (Announcer)

Trish Eklund

Beth Dudley


The expected entry list for the First Annual Northwest Sprint Car Invitational:







Rich Leighty

Pacific Beach, WA



Justin Popple

Spokane, WA



Mark Jones

Smelterville, ID



Wes Helgeson

Couer da Lane , ID



Craig Deaver

Lake Tapps, WA



Tony Berry

Spokane, WA



Cole Tupling

Okanogan, WA



Doug Mclees, Jr.

Olympia, WA



Brian Mclees

Olympia, WA



Ralph Deaver

Edgewood, WA



Kirk Eklund

Edgewood, WA



Mike Fought

Othello, WA



Rich Fast

Ephrata, WA



Bob Witte

Ephrata, WA



Corky Harbison

Otis Orchards, WA



Rob Matherly

Colbert, WA



Butch Duren

Cheney, WA



Jerry Proper

Spokane, WA 



Eddie Isaacson

Redmond, WA



Mike Basher

Olympia, WA 



Ray Lince

Tacoma, WA 



Justin Mack

Tri-Cities, WA



Mitch Olson

Tacoma, WA 



Ron Rohde

Lewiston, ID 



Donnie Kudrna

Othello, WA



Other drivers and teams are still attempting.


If you have any questions regarding this event, please call: 800-336-2682 or 509-499-9582. You can also visit


 Source: AJB Motorsports Marketing 

September 24, 2009 (Hermiston, Oregon) – Columbia Motor Speedway and staff are proud to announce the first-ever running of the Northwest Sprint Car Invitational to be run during the day of October 10, 2009. This exciting event will pit the drivers of the Inland Northwest Sprint Car Association (INSCA), the Washington Econo Sprint Car Organization (WESCO), the ERP Winged Sprint Cars and the WILROC series of Canada against each other on the 3/8th’s of a mile oval for fun and excitement heading into the winter. 

The Columbia Motor Speedway, located in Hermiston, Oregon, has a proud tradition of sprint car racing at the facility, but it has been several years since sprint cars have run at the track providing a venue that should prove new and challenging to many of the teams looking to compete. 

The format for the event will call for the four highest finishing cars in points from each series being guaranteed a starting spot in the main event. All sprint cars will qualify; the four fastest cars not already locked in through their season’s points position will be guaranteed a starting spot. A B-main will be run in order to fill the remaining six starting positions on the grid. 

The feature event will be a 50-lap race with the winner receiving a $1,200 check and regional bragging rights heading in to the long winter. Also at stake are series’ bragging rights: each series will sport a brightly colored strip across the top of the wing to signify which association they race with on a regular basis. 

The rules for the event allow for racers from all over the region to be eligible for the $1,200. Cars must run a 360ci motor with steel block and heads and a 2 3/16th’s injection. The fuel will be methanol only, the American Racer 132 compound tire will be required for the right rear and the weight rule will be a minimum of 1625 lbs with driver. “This combination has consistently provided close competition and we fully expect to have a legitimate 26 competitive cars for this first-ever event,” stated organizer, Mark Jones. Those drivers that race with other series, on either dirt or asphalt, are invited as well to compete for the top prize.   

“C.M.S. is extremely excited to bring the Winged Sprint Cars to this fast and furious 3/8th’s of a mile track! It has been a number of years since the area has seen the open wheel cars and we expect to draw record crowds for the event. We know that the Northwest Sprint Car Invitational will be a huge success and plan to schedule more of these Open Wheel special events for the future,” stated CMS Representative Chad Ayers. 

The track will be open from 12 pm – dark Friday October 9th for open practice and qualifying will begin at 1 pm on Saturday October 10th with racing slated to begin at 2 pm.  

For more information and an updated list of drivers that are expected to attend the event please visit or call either 800.336.2682 or 509.499.9582. 

For more information about the Columbia Motor Speedway please visit:

For more information on each series visit:

NOTE: Due to this being an end of season race event we will all need to do Pre-Ordered Pre-Paid American Racer Right Rear tire orders!!! You may contact Nick Behn directly at Race Car Supply  (877-858-1464) to place your order by 9/30/09. . 
Any questions on this exciting event please call 509-499-9582 or 800 336 2682. 
RCS will have a limited number of American Racer tires available for the other three corners.

Oak Tree Inn
1110 SE 4th St
Hermiston, OR 97838
Phone 541-567-2330 Fax 541-567-5044 
Clean comfortable rooms with light proof drapes, including microwave, 
fridge, coffee, hair dryer, ironing board & iron, recliners, 24 hr front desk

Please call 541-567-2330 and ask for the special October "Sprint Car Invitational" 'racers rate'
10 Day Weather Forecast for Hermiston, OR (97838) -

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