Melby, Funk, and Livernash planning to race Madera Andrew Kunas
MADERA, Calif. – April 13, 2007 - A trio of young Washington hot rods are expecting to race in this Saturday’s Gerhardt Classic at Madera Speedway in central California.
Ravensdale’s Dallas Melby, La Conner’s Evan Funk, and Spanaway’s Ethan “Snake” Livernash, all competitors from the Washington Midget Racing Association, are hoping to take part in the USAC Western Midget Car Series event, scheduled to include a very long 100-lap main event that will start as many as 33 midgets going three-wide when the green flag drops.
Funk himself will be doing double duty, also hoping to make the 50-lap USAC Western Sprint Car main event in his family’s #8 wingless 360 sprint car.
Melby, who won three races and finished second in WMRA points in 2006, is coming off a big victory at Shasta Raceway Park in Anderson, Calif. in BCRA competition on March 31. Melby drives the Chris Melby-owned #9 Blue Dot, sponsored by Performance Tool and Blue Dot Fabrication and powered by a Gaerte engine.
After sharing Rookie of the Year honors with Brea Lopez in 2005, the now 19-year-old Melby had a strong second half in the 2006 season, first winning a WMRA/BCRA co-sanctioned race at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Oregon on July 29. Melby won again September 2 at Ephrata Raceway Park in eastern Washington and then won the season finale at South Sound Speedway near Tenino, Wash. on September 16.
17-year-old Funk, who is running the entire Northwest Sprint Challenge Series schedule on the dirt, will be racing part of the WMRA schedule among other midget events for Rob Lindsey. Driving the #23 Beast being powered by an Esslinger engine Funk is a relative newcomer to the pavement, but still scored a fourth place finish in his midget debut at Shasta on March 31 (after originally being scored third). Funk won three winged 360 sprint car main events on the dirt at Washington’s Skagit Speedway last year.
Between Lindsey’s midget and his family’s sprint car, Funk could potentially take well over 150 laps around Madera on Saturday.
Then there’s Livernash, just turned 18, who finished a respectable sixth in points and was the WMRA Rookie of the Year. He is again driving the Scott Livernash #55 Beast, also carrying an Esslinger engine under the hood. His big sponsors include Murray-Mac Motorsports, Latus Motors Harley-Davidson and Hi-Tech Collision.
Livernash scored several top ten finishes in 2006, including the BCRA/WMRA co-sanctioned show at Roseburg. He will be looking for better results and maybe even a first win in 2007.
Madera Speedway is a 1/3-mile banked asphalt oval, located roughly 150 miles south down Hwy. 99 from the California state capital of Sacramento. Madera is about 900 miles from Seattle, near where the three drivers live.
There could be a disappointment coming for the drivers wanting to get out of the rain in the Pacific Northwest. Saturday’s forecast for Madera currently calls for a 60 percent chance of rain.
After opening the WMRA season at South Sound later this month, the WMRA and its teams then trek to northern Idaho to race at Stateline Speedway in Post Falls on Saturday, May 5.
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