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.



August 18th


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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