Carquest Nationals ready to roll at Pacific Raceways

Mirror staff

Plenty of horsepower will be on display this weekend at Pacific Raceways. The 18th annual Carquest Auto Parts Nationals will bring the best drag racers from around the country to the quarter-mile track in Kent.

The event will feature three professional divisions — top fuel dragster, funny car and pro stock — and eight sportsmen categories. Officials are expecting the Carquest Nationals to draw over 70,000 people over the weekend.

Pacific Raceways will also draw numerous racers from Federal Way. Leading the list of local entries is Mark Hentges, who runs in the top alcohol dragster division. Hentges has been driving race cars since 1976 and has spent the last 11 years in the top alcohol division. In 2001, Hentges won three national races and five Northwest Division races. Last year, Hentges finished third in the Northwest Division point standings.

Other Federal Way entries this weekend will be Brian Thompson in stock eliminator, Brett Coty in super gas, Arlyn Staiger in the super comp division and Rick Clements and Cameron O’Connell in super street.

One Federal Way driver who won’t be making an appearance at Pacific Raceways is super stocker Troy Olsonawski, who won last month’s Jet Chevrolet Lucas Oil Championships at Pacific Raceways. He blew the motor in his 1966 Chevy Malibu recently and is currently relplacing it.

“I’ve been coming to this race for 18 years,” he said. “This will be only third time I haven’t raced. But I’m in the process of putting a new motor together and hope to race again in a couple weeks.”

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