Making an adjustment or a manipulation is something Scott Lenz does well, whether it is as a chiropractor or as a race car driver. His name appears often in the top contenders at the Jackson County Sports Park and for the third year, Lenz and crew have made the record books at the Northwest Modified Nationals.
Sixty-seven drivers had hopes of standing on the podium July 31 at the 11th annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals, held in Elma, Wash. In the time trials, Lenz was the fastest qualifier in the single lap and Jason Beaulieu, a Canadian driver, was second. At the end of eight heats, Lenz was 15th, with only the top 16 locked into the Saturday A Main. The remaining 51 drivers competed through the D, C and B Main for the other eight positions for the Saturday night event.
The 40-lap final A Main got underway at 11 p.m. (yes 11 p.m.) on Saturday night. Three time winner, DeBenedetti, jumped out in front as the green flag waved the field of 24 on. By lap six, Beaulieu had worked his way through the pack to find himself in 2nd, but still several car lengths behind DeBenedetti. Lap eight was the last one for DeBenedetti as his car rolled to a stop with a broken z-link mount off the frame, a vital part of the rear suspension.
A local favorite at the Grays Harbor track, Scott Miller, was in 2nd place with Lenz in 3rd. As the race restarted, Lenz quickly moved into second and appeared to be in a position to take the lead. Beaulieu lead by two car lengths. By lap 17, the leaders would enter lapped traffic. “Lenz looked to capitalize as he pulled alongside Beaulieu but could not pull off the pass,” noted Dennis Daniel, who wrote about this race.
On lap 30, the caution flag flew and the field was bunched up, with the lapped cars being moved to the rear. Only eight cars remained on the lead lap with just 10 laps remaining. Daniel said, “Before the caution, Lenz didn’t seem to have enough to power by Beaulieu and take the lead, The restart would give him a new chance to be glued to his rear bumper and see if he could pressure Beaulieu into a mistake or overtake him.”
As the white flag flew, Lenz was right behind Beaulieu, so close he showed Beaulieu his bumper, but Beaulieu was able to pull away and take the checkered flag.
This marked the third straight podium finish at the Grays Harbor Modified Nationals for Lenz. In 2008, he finished 3rd and in 2009 and now in 2010 he placed 2nd.
Lenz drives for car owners Milton and Kathy Gorden, of Central Point. Jim and Marcia LaVia, also of Central Point, sponsor the engine. Scott Ford, another Central Point resident, is the crew chief. A name known for a number of years in racing circles, Bruce Rayburn, of Eagle Point built the car. It has a 406 cc Chevrolet engine.
Lenz grew up in Central Point with his father very involved in the sport of car racing. Lenz began racing in 1986.
Today, Lenz, now Dr. Scott Lenz, and his wife, Dr. Leigh Lenz, have Lenz Chiropractic in White City. They moved from Eagle Point to their new facility just about a year ago. And, they are parents of Bradley, 18 mos. and Brandon, just three weeks old.
Lenz next big race will be the 14th Lon Skinner Memorial on Labor Day at the track in White City. He was the winner of the 2nd annual in 1997 and placed 2nd last year. “I’m hoping for another first this year,” said Lenz, who praised his entire team. “So often it is just the driver people hear about, but that is all I do is drive. It is the sponsors and men like Rayburn and Ford that make it possible for me to be the driver.”
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent