Duinkerken Banks $7,500
DEMING, Wash. — Heath Duinkerken and Liam Ryan took home their first career Clay Cup National wins Saturday at Deming Speedway.
For Duinkerken, it was his first Clay Cup after five years of trying in the 600 division. For Ryan, the Langley, BC native took home the big prize in just his third full year of competition at Deming Speedway.
Since 2002, no one has repeated as a Clay Cup Champion in the 600 division. On Saturday night, Heath Duinkerken of California continued that streak, holding off 2007 Champion Jared Peterson to take the win, leading all 40 laps. Duinkerken had a huge lead early that slowly evaporated in heavy traffic, with Liam Ryan and Peterson following in tow. Duinkerken diced and sliced like a late night TV ginsu knife salesman, making it hard but not impossible to follow. In the fracas, Peterson slipped underneath Ryan for second in turn two, securing the runner up spot and setting sail for Duinkerken. At one point, Peterson had Duinkerken with 3 car lengths, but Duinkerken was not to be denied, as he weaved his way past another few lapped cars, quickly putting breathing room between himself and Peterson.
As the checkered flag waved, it was Duinkerken securing the $7,500 winner’s check followed by Peterson, Ryan, Dylan Black and Koen Shaw. In winner’s circle, in an incredible show of generosity, Duinkerken donated $4,000 of his check to Autism Speaks, a cause near and dear to the heart of Deming Speedway. Duinkerken also won the Match Race. Bryce Volpa won the C Main and Shaun Holtorf won the B Main.
Liam Ryan was on kill mode all weekend, as the 16-year-old would not be denied in his quest for a Clay Cup Championship.
Liam led all 40 laps of the 1200 division main event, holding off Jared Gunderson for the important win. From the outset, Ryan led early, keeping Aaron Fell at bay until the mid portion of the race. On a lap 21 restart, Fell took his shot, diving to the inside of turn one to try and take the lead, but spinning out in the process and collecting up Brock Lemley amongst others.
On the ensuing restart, Ryan would undertake challenge from Jared Gunderson on the bottom groove, but the potent #87 was up to the challenge, rocketing away through the middle groove. The chase was on from the back of the field, with Lemley and Fell racing through the field like their pants were on fire. In the end it was Ryan hanging on for the victory, followed by Gunderson, then Lemley up to third with Aaron Fell fourth and Jason Bloodgood fifth. Ryan also won the Match Race.