As of Wednesday, May 14, 2014
What do Derrike Cope, Garrett Evans, Greg Biffle and Bryon Goetz have in common?
The three NASCAR drivers and Goetz each earned victories in Apple Cup races at Yakima Speedway.
Goetz, 32, of Okanogan, picked up a gigantic victory April 13, winning the 48th annual West Coast Street Stocks main event and taking the points lead after one race in the series this season.
“I’ve never won a race in Yakima, but I have had four seconds,” Goetz said. “It was a long time coming and luck finally came my way. Last main I won was in Wenatchee in 2009.”
Goetz started seventh, but did not stay there long.
He quickly passed the leaders, making moves inside and outside.
“I had at least a quarter- to half-lap lead on the field,” said Goetz, who led 30 of the 40 laps.
Since the race is short on the half-mile track, there are no pit stops for fuel.
His father, Dave, 58, sets up the car.
“It takes a lot of creative work to make a street stock car fast. There’s not as much adjustability on them,” the elder Goetz said of working on suspension, brakes, transmission and body. “I enjoy that very much, the competition to make the car for Byron to drive to win.”
“We usually finish in the Top 3 in races we go to,” Dave Goetz said. “This is a big win for us.”
The elder Goetz competed from 1979 to 1990 in late model cars on various tracks, including Republic.
“I’m too old and slow to race now,” he said. “I would not win a race. I would just be out there going in circles.”
Dave Goetz and Bryan Smith work the pits for the younger Goetz, who pilots a 1985 Camaro. The 3,100-pound, red beast puts out about 500 horsepower (uses a bored out 350-cubic-inch engine) and reaches about 106 mph on the straights.
“The motor is really good,” Goetz said. “Most (of racing) is corner speed. The sooner you can get on the gas the better. Corner speed is the key to winning a race.”
This was the first victory in the Camaro, which he’s run for three years.
“I got a second in Yakima and a second at Spokane Raceway Park” with the Camaro, he said.
Bryon Goetz, a 2000 Okanogan High School graduate, has been racing 17 years. The last five years he’s been in the 8-race series, which includes races in Wenatchee, Stateline, Idaho, Ephrata, Evergreen, Hermiston, Ore., and South Sound in Tenino.
Al Camp is the sports editor at
The Chronicle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.