NW Motorsports Report - August 3, 2023

August 3, 2023

ALL GOES AS PLANNED FOR GIBSON AT IDAHO 200

POST FALLS, Idaho (July 29, 2023) — It’s not often that all the pre-planning that goes into preparation for a long stock car race like the Idaho 200 pays off.

But for Nampa, Idaho’s Nick Gibson that’s exactly what happened as he won the 24th running of that race at Stateline Speedway, July 29. Gibson finished ahead of defending champ Haeden Plybon from Spokane and barnstorming Grant Thompson who towed in from far away Mobile, Alabama.

“We just had a good strategy for the weekend going into it,” Gibson said in a July 31 interview. “We really stuck with that.”

It paid off for a $5,000 check, plus bonus money for laps lead results in an as yet undetermined bonus.

“Two podiums two years running, that’s pretty good,” said Gibson, who coming into the race, wasn’t all that confident of his chances. “I didn’t think we were gonna win it. I figured I had a top five car.”

As much as pre-race prep fell into place, not everything went the way of the 38-year-old owner operator of a diesel repair shop.

While he was the top qualifier with a lap of 13.930 seconds on the quarter-mile high banked oval — .013 seconds ahead of Plybon and .066 better than Thompson — Gibson was also in charge of rolling the die that determined the invert of the field at the start.

His toss landed on 10 meaning Gibson would start approximately mid-pack in the 26 car field.

“I didn’t mind that, it kind of gives you a slower pace,” Gibson explained. “I feel like when the green drops and you are 10 you can kind of work your way up so I was fine with that.”

Gibson put his pre-race strategy to work from the green flag and got some time up front getting past Mitch Kleyn from Quincy for the lead from laps 26-47 before Aubree Cristiani from Boise took over from 48 to the halfway break.

Knowing that 200 intense laps — many bumper-to-bumper — can change everything about a race car, Gibson saw none of that.

“The car was better,” he said. “We kind of knew what the car was going to do. The changes we made did exactly what we thought it would do.”

Gibson and Deer Park’s Plybon did a lot if side-by-side racing in the second 100 laps and dominated. They battled back and forth for the lead either in brief spurts or longer stretches.

But in the end, it was Gibson who led when it meant the most, laps 135-200. “I was really surprised how good my car was from one to 200,” he said.

The top five included Trayten Tarr from Spokane and Cristiani.

Past Idaho 200 winners and their finishes included Blake Williams (2013) who finished 23rd.

Spokane’s Shelby Thompson, who took home a surprise victory at the Montana 200 two weeks ago at Mission Valley wound up 19th. ▪

Nick Gibson (middle) from Nampa, Idaho was the winner of the 24th annual Idaho 200 at Stateline Speedway, July 29. He’s seen with runner-up and defending race champ Haeden Plybon (left) out of Deer Park and third place Grant Thompson who towed in from far away Mobile, Alabama.


 

IDAHO 200 WINNERS

Year - Winner

2000 - Tom Sweatman
2001- John Gamble
2002 - John Gamble
2003 - Darren Rupinski
2004 - Rick Schultz
2005 - Jeff Jefferson
2006 - Kevin Richards
2007 - Gary Lewis
2008 - Gary Lewis
2009 - Gary Lewis
2010 - John Dillon
2011 - Kevin Richards

 

2012 - Garrett Evans
2013 - Blake Williams
2014 - Trevor Emond
2015 - JC Wofford
2016 - Braeden Havens
2017 - Garrett Evans (250 laps)
2018 - Gary Lewis
2019 - Glenn Knutson
2020 - Jeremy Doss
2021 - Corey Allard
2022 - Haeden Plybon
2023 - Nick Gibson


 

TOP FLAT TRACK RIDERS COMING TO SPOKANE SPEEDWAY

Spokane Speedway in Airway Heights will be a magnet for some of the nation’s top flat track motorcycle riders in a special race Wednesday, Aug. 9.

This stop catches riders who are traveling from a national event at Sturgis, South Dakota and on their way to Castle Rock, Wash. Aug. 12.

“We will be hosting our second annual Pro Show with nationally ranked riders from all over the country will be competing for their share of a $20,000 purse,” promoter Paul Morgan wrote in an email.

Of local interest, national #1 and current points leader in AFT Singles, Kody Kopp is pre-entered. Kopp is the son of former national champion, Joe Kopp, who is his coach.

“We will have all of our standard classes too, from beginner 50cc riders all the way up to our unlimited sized hooligans,” Morgan said.

Racing starts at 6 p.m. with further information available by visiting the Spokane Speedway Facebook page.


 

PEABODY COLLECTS COLUMBIA CUP

KENNEWICK, Wash. (July 29, 2023) — It was a perfect weekend for Corey Peabody and the Beacon Plumbing boat on the H1 Unlimited Racing Series.

Not only was he the fastest qualifier for the Columbia Cup race in the Tri-Cities, and the winner of every preliminary heat he entered, but Peabody also came away with the victory in the winner-take-all final heat.

It was his second career victory on the Columbia River racecourse — having scored a win in 2021 — and the second of the 2023 season for Peabody from Covington, Wash.

“I absolutely love this course,” Peabody said. “What a heck of a run.”

His boat, the oldest in the sport, was completely rebuilt during the offseason because of an end-over-end, blow-over accident in the second event of the 2022 season.

“This boat is something special,” Peabody added. “We’ve been working our tails off for a year, so thank you to all of our crew.”

His Sunday win was made much easier when three of the six boats in the final heat, including teammate J. Michael Kelly and Beacon Electric, all jumped the gun at the start and had to run an extra lap.

Dustin Echols of Monroe, Wash., driving Flav-R-Pac, took second-place while Kelly made up a lot of ground and finished third.

The abbreviated 2023 season closes this weekend at Seattle which hosts the Gold Cup with not only the sport’s most prestigious trophy on the line, but the national championship, as well. Kelly leads in the national points race by 19 points over Peabody.

Seattle hosts the Gold Cup for the first time since 1985.

A traditional race in San Diego in September was cancelled in June, citing “Steep increases in production costs. Bayfair officials said they are planning to hold a race on Mission Bay in 2024.


 

FAST FEMALES

Stateline Speedway/Dishaw Photography

The 24th edition of the Idaho 200 at Stateline Speedway featured a rarity for the event, and maybe racing across the region. The field of contestants included a record for the most female drivers at an Idaho 200. From left to right: Aubree Cristiani (finished 5th), Danica Dart, Kaidyn Moran, Haley Constance (finished 20th) and Aleena Schovaers.

 

Paul Delaney has been writing about Motorsports in the Pacific Northwest since 1976. He welcomes learning about your racing accomplishments.

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