From Hometown Heroes to Young Guns

Staff photo by Brett KaneKaylynn Jeffery, 14, poses with her street stock racecar.

HERMISTON — It was a celebration of generations young and old at the Hermiston Raceway on Saturday night.

The opening ceremonies included an homage to longtime Hermiston racer Ron Van Cleve, who died 13 years ago at the age of 73 after suffering a heart attack. Van Cleve’s daughter Ronda, who took her name from her father, waved a checkered flag as she took a lap around the course.

Van Cleve also served as an official at the Tri-City Raceway.

“He was one of a kind,” said promoter Greg Walden. “He enjoyed life and was always pleasant.”

The heat races soon kicked off, led by the Bandolero division, which consists of kids between the ages of eight and 12 driving cars with 6.5 horsepower engines. Ryker Ohler — or as the announcers referred to him, the “Iceman” — swept the competition, taking first place in both the division’s heat race and main event.

Ohler, 10, is from Prosser, Wash., and has only been racing for a couple of months.

“I like driving, passing people, and going fast,” he said.

Ohler wasn’t the only young racer to steal the show: Yakima driver Kaylynn Jeffery, 14, was the only female in her street stock class, and has been racing since she was eight.

“I love the adrenaline rush,” she said. “There’s nothing better than driving fast and turning left.”

Jeffery even purchased her current race car on her own when she was 11 — with $2,000 of her own money, earned by selling her first car. She ended up taking third place in the street stock main event.

“With these kids, it’s all business,” Walden said. “They don’t resemble a normal kid; they’re racers.”

The Raceway’s main attraction for the night was the Columbia River Legends: a class that races strictly in older cars that run on motorcycle engines.

“They’re hard cars to drive. There’s a ton of horse power in those tiny, little cars,” Walden said. “They’re overpowered beasts.”

Neena Kik of Hermiston took first place in the division’s main event.

The Raceway’s next event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

————

HERMISTON RACEWAY RESULTS

August 18th

HORNETS

1. (777) Devin Taylor; 2. (77) David Knowles; 3. (18) Karin Pitzer; 4. (17) Kedric Preston; 5. (13) Ryan Rodabaugh; 6. (12) Kris Marlow; 7. (69) Cody McDonald; 8. (21) Owen Berglund; 9. (24) Justus Zamudio; 10. (11) Joe Dunn; 11. (7) Tracy “Snoop” Howell; 12. (5) Andrew Decker; 13. (1) Rob “Ricky Bobby” Cassano; 14. (22) Caroline Barnes; 15. (09) Malorie Whitbeck.

BOMBERS

1. (123) Shade Cole; 2. (17) Kedric Preston; 3. (55) Justin Gage; 4. (N21K) Carl Leggett; 5. (2) Brian Calley.

STREET STOCKS

1. (46) Terry Osborn; 2. (68) Bart Hector Jr.; 3. (28) Kaylynn Jeffery; 4. (77) Jeff Stremcha; 5. (18) Adam Baker.

MINI STOCKS

1. (49) Angel Oseguera; 2. (18) Jeff Mullins; 3. (29) Andy Pierce; 4. (36) Travis Bonney.

SUPER MINIS

1. (11x) Patrick Mullins; 2. (11) Chris Kohler; 3. (27) Ron Wilbur.

LATE MODELS

1. (3) Ken Bonney; 2. (15) Jeff Whitbeck; 3. (7) Tom Abercrombie; 4. (37) Charles McDonald.

BANDELEROS

1. (13) Ryker Ohler; 2. (77) Jordan Mullins; 3. (5) Brock Genz; 4. (47) Meredith Thompson.

COLUMBIA RIVER LEGENDS

1. (3) Neena Kik; 2. (66) Austin Snodgrass; 3. (54) Trace Thompson; 4. (24) Jose Zamudio; 5. (43) Bill Kik; 6. (13) Donnie Rabbit; 7. (2) Jeff Mueller; 8. (01) Brock McDonough; 9. (10) Lloyd Bigler.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.