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Owen Riddle Triumphs in Summer Showdown

Owen Riddle hoisting the Summer Showdown trophy (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

On a night where fuel was a concern, Owen Riddle won the ninth annual Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway Saturday.

Riddle was both relived and thrilled to earn a check of $25,000 after battling Derek Thorn throughout the night. Not only he successfully took the top spot from him multiple times but did it for good on Lap 158.

Riddle storming his way by Thorn for the lead (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

“To be able to battle Derek for the win is a great accomplishment. Best in the country and glad to be able to run with him tonight,” Riddle told The Podium Finish.

“Very long day and weekend. Worked very hard on the car the whole time. I had to do my job. Everyone had to do their job on the pit crew, and it all worked out.”

Fuel Economy Concerns

During the first 93 laps, cautions breed cautions due to spins and accidents. The most notable being Lap 93 when Ryan Philpott’s right side was demolished after crashing in Turn 2. This brought out the red flag and officials declared it as the seven-minute break intended for halfway.

Part of the influence was fuel being an issue among the competitors. This also led to the first two cautions laps counting going forward.

The remains of Philpott’s No. 52 SLM (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

In the back of Riddle’s mind, there was some thought about making it on fuel.

“You’re always a little concern with fuel when you have many cautions,” said Riddle. “Also, how hard you are on your tires, but we had to start saving a little bit in case we had a green-white-checkered.”

That was the case on Lap 197 when Riddle’s nice gap on Tyler Tanner was gone. Instead of a convincing win, Riddle had to settle the competition which was accomplished.

Three hours of hard racing, Riddle made his mark in Monroe (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

$80K Dream Dashed for Preston Peltier

Peltier had a long 207-lap night as his shot at $80,000 due to the bonus program was taken away earlier. After working his way from the rear due to accepting the challenge where he could win the bonus, problems unraveled.

Peltier’s night went wrong before the halfway point (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

Already inside the top-five, Peltier’s No. 18 machine couldn’t fire up in the pits. He was able to get his car going, but was penalized a lap for pitting the wrong way. Rather than scoring a big pay day, he only got a top-10 for his troubles.

Tough Outings for NASCAR Veterans

Further down the running order is where you’ll find NASCAR drivers Jesse Little and Ty Dillon. Each had separate issues throughout the weekend, with Dillon only completing two laps before his night was done.

As for Little, he had a fun night at the 5/8-mile circuit, but it could’ve been a much different story. Little was supposed to compete in the Trevor Cristiani-owned No. 78 machine until a valve altered the gameplan.

Little and Dillon observing the valve issues prior to final practice (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

Once the diagnosis was made, several talks were made to keep Little on the 31-car grid. That’s when Rob Dees lends his No. 91 super late model to Little from final practice onwards.

Additionally, the lack of speed played a role on the decision to switch cars. More so that Evergreen is synonymous to the Little family dating back two generations. Jesse’s dad Chad Little won the Motorcraft 500 three times back when it was Monroe’s biggest race.

Little explained what happened Saturday morning that led to him running the Dees’ owned machine.

“Our valve spring on the left side in the manifold gave weigh on the very back. With these sealed engines, it’s tough to carry spare parts,” said Little.

Little on his way to climbing onboard Rob Dees’ car (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

“We were searching and looked like we came up with no luck. We decided to reach out to Rob. He was kind enough to let us hop in and ran some laps.”

Unlike Dillon, Little did finish the race in 16th but was down 23 laps to Riddle.

Little in Dees’ car, ahead of Washington racing legend Garrett Evans (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish).

2021 Summer Showdown Top 10 Results

  1. Owen Riddle
  2. Tyler Tanner
  3. Brandon Farrington
  4. Derek Thorn
  5. Tayler Riddle
  6. Kody Vanderwal
  7. Doni Wanat
  8. Preston Peltier
  9. Randy Marshall, Jr.
  10. Daniel Moore

Throughout my young motorsports media career, my number-one goal is to be a personnel that can be flexible with my writing and photography in the world of NASCAR and INDYCAR. Content delivery is vital because this is my main passion and what keeps me going. On the side, I also do sports production ranging from Seattle Kraken hockey to the 2023 NCAA Women's March Madness. All for the love of the game. With four National Motorsports Press Association photography awards, I'm not slowing down anytime soon. Outside of media, I'm super vocal about my musical tastes that goes from Metallica to HAIM. At times, there might be some Paul Thomas Anderson and Southern California references in my social media.

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