This Saturday, Evergreen Speedway will wrap up the 2015 racing season, crowning a Champion in the Super Late Model division.

With nine different divisions competing on the 3/8ths mile paved oval in Monroe, Washington, drivers and teams will have to endure a long day of racing before getting to the final checkered flag of the season.

With three wins, three seconds and nine top-5s on the season, defending Washington State Champion Mike Holden is clearly in the driver’s seat to his second Championship in as many years. But things haven’t been as smooth as it sounds for Holden. Heading into the “Evergreen State Fair” race weekend, Holden’s sizable lead took a massive blow as he was involved in a wreck that destroyed the #32 Weatheright Roofing, Hillbilly Hotties Coffee Company, Redmond Cycle car.

“Dejavu…” said Holden. “We had a good lead last year going into the fair race before championship night & wrecked pretty hard into the front stretch wall.”

Seeing a repeat of last year’s events unfold once again, Holden is all too familiar with this scenario. Now he heads into the final race of the season in a borrowed car that came from one of his own competitors, Jeramiah Johnson who currently holds down the 7th spot in the standings.

When asked of his decision to turn his back on his own points run by offering up his car for Holden to race it, Johnson said “It’s very hard being my first year. I’m looking at next year early. I need a sponsor and help. We are a good team and they are too. This could help both of us.”

Holden’s crew chief Brian Estrin said of the wreck “My first initial thought was ‘can we fix this thing and get it back out?’ But Mike came over the radio and said ‘It’s junk.’ Really frustrated about the whole event, completely and totally uncalled for. Racing sucks sometimes…”

Heading into the final race, in an effort to maintain that points lead, Estrin said “The mindset is the same regardless of what race it is or who’s car it is. We’ve been working on Jay’s car for 2 weeks now making sure everything is where we want it to be. I feel we are at a disadvantage this weekend but given the chance we will always go for the win. It should be ok. I want to thank Jeramiah Johnson for loaning the car to us and hopefully we can get him going in the right direction for next season.”

Doni Wanat heads into the final weekend trailing Holden by a slim 36 points, his best Championship effort to date. With a win during the last race and five top-5s during the season, Doni moved into a position to claim his first Washington State Championship should Holden slip any at all.

Holding down the final spot in the top-10 standings is crowd favorite Molly Helmuth. In what could only be described as a roller coaster of a season, Molly sat out several races after another racer ended her amazing run in the Summer Showdown by putting her in the turn 3 wall on the big 5/8ths mile speedway, destroying her car in the process.

“This season wasn’t about points,” said Helmuth. “The season was all about progressing as a driver and do I feel like I have done that, absolutely.” Looking toward 2016, Helmuth said the plans aren’t finalized just yet; “Kelly will continue to work with me in the Super Late Model division to help me gain more experience and good finishes under my belt.”

Regarding where we would see the 90 car next season Helmuth stated “Haven’t discussed that yet, but probably what we did this year; travel to the various tracks in the NW and maybe expand beyond the NW. It’s all in the works.”

With just 36 points between Holden and Wanat, the clinch scenarios for Holden play out like this:

  • Should Wanat win the race, Holden will need to finish 18th to stay ahead of Wanat and claim his second Washington State Championship and repeat the feat he accomplished in 2014.
  • Finishing 19th would tie the two in the event of Wanat claiming the checkered flag, but the Championship would still go to Holden as tie breakers are settled on number of race wins.

While all of this seems to sit heavily in the favor of Mike Holden and his #32 Weatheright Roofing, Hillbilly Hotties Coffee Company, Redmond Cycle car, if we learned anything from the last race it is that racing is a fickle mistress that will turn on you in a split second. Nothing is a given until the final checkered flag flies, and this Championship battle will surely go down to the very last lap.