River City Speedway’s 39th year opens Saturday at 5 p.m. May 13 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds motorsports facility in St. Helens. Stock car race fans can arrive at the track when the gates open at 3 p.m.
River City Speedway will begin it's 39th year of stock car racing with it's 2023 season opener Saturday at 5 p.m. May 13 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds motorsports facility in St. Helens. Race fans can arrive at the track when the gates open at 3 p.m.
Local competitors who are considered as top contenders to win a division championship include St. Helens drivers Bob Berg and Lanette Phillips and Dick Gaboury of Rainier.
The Columbia County Racing Association (CCRA) schedule consists of 14 events on the quarter-mile clay oval track, including the second race on May 20. Events are scheduled almost every Saturday throughout the spring and summer, followed by the Sept. 23 season finale. Drivers will compete in nine classifications that include Sportsman, Four Cylinder, Tuner, Tracer, Pure Stock, Street Stock, Modified, Northwest Dwarf Cars and Micro Sprint.
Berg, 58, won the Four Cylinder Division title last year while driving his 1998 Cozy Lawn Maintenance sponsored Dodge Neon to four main event victories. Berg also won Four Cylinder titles in 2021 and 2016 and he won the 2018 Tuner Division championship which marked the fourth title of his 30-year motorsports career. Berg and Gaboury, 74, are the top drivers in the Four Cylinder class this year.
"I think I'm going to retire after this season and hopefully I will win the championship, which would be my third title in six years, which isn't too bad," said Gaboury, who will compete as a co-driver of the Economy Auto Wrecking sponsored 1992 Nisson Sentra with Longview's Dan McDonald. "I think Bob Berg and I will probably finish one, two in every race, because we have the fastest cars. It should be a lot of fun this season and I'm ready to start racing."
Phillips, 48, drove her Ross Diesel & Auto sponsored 1979 Buick Regal to three main event wins and two trophy dash victories to propell her to the top of the point standings and win the 2022 Pure Stock Division championship. Phillips recorded top-five finishes in every race last year.
"I had a great season last year and so I'm going to try and win the championship for a second straight year," said Phillips, a third-year driver who was runnerup in the series standings to Portland's Tom Zywicki her first season in 2021. "I'm definitely excited about the start of the race season on Saturday. It looks like we'll have few new drivers this year, so we'll see how everything turns out, because there's a lot of talented drivers in this class."
West Linn brothers and co-drivers Myke and TJ Landis are the defending Tuner Division champions and are considered as the top drivers in the class again this year with their Tri-Pod Defelopment sponsored 2003 Ford Focus.
Anthony Brinster of St. Helens and Vancouver's Don Jenner are also top returning drivers who are expected to be frontrunners this year two. Jenner was dual division competitor and he won both the Sportsman and Modified Division titles last season. Brinster took fourth place in the Four Cylinder Division last year and he'll drive a 2012 Nissan Sentra owned by Gaboury in the Tuner Division.
For updated information about the track in case of inclement weather that sometimes results in races being canceled, it's best to call the speedway office at 503-397-6506. The speedway is located at 58892 Saulser Road in St. Helens.
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