PETERSEN MEDIA: Returning to the seat of the Van Dyke Motorsports No. 5h machine after a week off, Cory Eliason is off and running in the Northwest as he picked up finishes of fourth and 10th with the ASCS National Tour, before scoring two Top-Five’s to open up Western Sprint Tour Speedweek.
“I really have to thank Harley Van Dyke and Fez for all of their hard work,” Eliason said. “We have had a fast car almost every night out this year, and we have been really competitive in the Northwest so far this week.”
Kicking a busy week of racing off Friday night at the Gray’s Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA, Eliason would find himself on the third row of his heat race before earning valuable passing points aboard the Lucas Oil/Hansen Machine/NAAKE Suspension backed No. 5h as he finished in the third spot.
Sitting 14th in points, Eliason would transfer into the feature event where he would grid the field from the seventh row for the 30-lap feature event. The Gray’s Harbor Raceway would hold moisture and stay extremely fast on this night, making for narrow conditions.
Still, a very fast Van Dyke Motorsports entry, would go toe-to-toe with some of the series’ top drivers as Eliason slowly worked his way forward. When the checkered flag flew, Eliason would close his night out with a 10th place finish.
Returning to the speedway on Saturday night for the Fred Brownfield Classic finale, Eliason would put on a show during his heat race as he would grab the win going away after starting in the fourth spot and earn a berth in the all-important redraw.
With lady luck not quite on his side, the Kingsburg, CA pilot would find himself with the eight pill and in the fourth row for the feature event. On this night, Eliason would have his elbows up as he worked his way towards the top-three, and engaged in a battle with Johnny Herrera for the final spot on the podium.
The duo would spend nearly the duration of the race fighting for the third spot, but in the closing laps Herrera would clear Eliason and he would settle for a fourth place finish.
Sunday night would bring on the start of Western Sprint Tour Speedweek as things would kick off at the Sunset Speedway in Banks, OR. The tight confines of the Sunset Speedway would see Eliason time in fifth fastest in time trials before finishing second in his heat race.
Getting into the Dash, Eliason would line up in the third spot on the extremely slick surface, and his second place finish would put him on the front row of the 30-lap feature event alongside Roger Crockett.
With the track being rubber down as the race came to life, the field would parade around the bottom as rubber would continue to build up. Settling into the second spot, Eliason would simply hit his marks and wait for a bobble for any chance at moving forward, but the opportunity would not present itself and Eliason would pick up his first podium finish of the week by way of his second place effort.
Heading to the Cottage Grove Speedway on Monday night, Eliason and the Van Dyke Motorsports team would continue their strong showing as Eliason would time in second fastest in his qualifying flight.
Going from sixth to fourth in his heat, Eliason would do an even better job in the dash as he would race his way from sixth to finish in the second spot, and again put his machine on the front row of the feature event.
Starting alongside Roger Crockett for the second consecutive night, Eliason would drop into the second spot as the race came to life on the racy ¼ mile speedway. Battling with the likes of Crockett, Steven Tiner, and Kyle Hirst, Eliason would stay in the thick of things amidst a thrilling feature event.
Getting into lapped traffic, Eliason would simply guess wrong as he approached the slower car as a lane change in front of him would allow Tiner and Hirst to sneak past him.
Falling to fourth, Eliason would get back into the third spot briefly in the closing laps, but would end up fourth at the stripe.
“I made a mistake on Monday night in traffic that cost us a few spots, but it happens in traffic sometimes,” Eliason said. “I have been extremely happy with how we have raced up here so far, and hopefully we can continue to be in the mix for the rest of the week.”
The Van Dyke Motorsports team would like to thank Lucas Oil, Hansen Machine, NAAKE Suspension, Maxim Chassis, and Moyle Racing Engines for their support during the year.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts- 15, Wins-2, Top-5’s-6, Top-10’s-8
ON TAP: The Van Dyke Motorsports team will continue Northwest Speedweek tonight at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with Cory Eliason by following him on Twitter @Cory_Eliason.
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