Race Results: August 5, 2000

Owner:      James Alan Sherman

Drivers:    Jeff Blanton and  
            James Alan Sherman

Crew Chief: Ed "Tar Heel" Blanton

Chassis:    2000 Eagle

Engine:     Marc Huson 360 Shark

[Beitler Performance]

It was a nice warm evening at Grays Harbor Raceway. My younger son Blake, age 14, was with me in the pits. My best of two time trials was a 14.489, which was 4th fast out of 13 cars in the 360 sprint division. Because of the random inversion, this put me on the front row of my heat race, next to John Tharp, a hard-charger in a good car, who unfortunately has a well-deserved reputation for being "crash-happy". I have lost count of how many guys he has sent home "on the hook". He is the only guy I know of who has been banned from Skagit Speedway for "rough driving". One thing I knew: I did not want to be racing right beside John Tharp. I told Jeff that I planned to give way and let him take turn one from me, rather than risk getting taken out on the first lap. Jeff advised me to try to get the jump on him. Since I was starting on the inside, Jeff said "force him up high, where he does not want to be, just as you are approaching the starting line; push your car up to the middle of the track and make him hit you or go up higher". This sounded a bit risky but it sure appealed to me more than did conceding the race, so I decided to try it. It almost worked, too, and probably would have, except that, as I learned afterward that he was running a lot more horsepower then we thought he had, so he still managed to beat me to the corner in turn one, where I had to give way. So I followed Tharp in 2nd place for a while until someone else passed me, and I managed to finish in 3rd place again. JPS