If Nathan Rawlings was sore after Saturday night's dwarf car race at the Hayden Speedway, it was with good reason.
Rawlings, of Vernal, Utah, was coming around the last turn when he slid off the track and collided with the wall.
After a sickening crunch and a cloud of dust, he emerged from his car, unharmed, but rattled.
"I started in to the corner too fast, and there was a car where I wanted to be," Rawlings said. "I should have stayed on it, but I when I saw the other car, I let off.
"I should have just kept drifting, but I let off and hit the wall."
In the third weekend of racing at the Hayden Speedway, dwarf cars swarmed the track.
Troy Gardner won the dwarf car race, going wire-to-wire in first place.
But the dwarf cars - each powered by 1,000 to 1,200 CC motorcycle engines - kept finding the wall.
After the race was over, Rawlings could be found by his car, holding the bits and pieces that came off after his meeting with the wall.
Rawlings said he was lucky because he hit the wall with the broadside of his No. 8h car. The only damage was a missing body panel and roll bar.
"If you go in head-first, there's going to be a lot more damage," he said. "And when you get that close to the wall, it's counterintuitive to brake."
Rawlings said the safety features of the small car, like thick metal roll bars and a neck brace, prevented serious injury.
"I'm going to be sore as hell," he said. "And that's about it."
In the first race of the night, Casey Madson dueled with Carolyn Gochee, Isadora Hitz and Lisa Montague for her first win in the sport stock class.
For Madson, 15, it was her first career win.
"This feels awesome," she said afterwards. "The track was a little rough, but if you know how to drive, you'll do fine."
Gochee, the self-proclaimed "Dirt Doctor," led for most of the race, but with one lap to go, Madson snuck in to take the lead.
"I had a chance to catch her, and I went for it," Madson said. "I just kept on it - I couldn't let up because she was right behind me."
If there was anyone with a smile as big as Madson's after the race, it was Gochee.
Gochee returned to the track after a four-year hiatus in support of Sherry Bird, a Craig woman who is battling breast cancer. Gochee will give half of her winnings to Bird.
"It was so much fun," Gochee said. "That's what racing is all about. Neck and neck, the final lap - words cannot describe it."
Gochee drives the No. 3 pink Volkswagen Beetle, which she said promotes girl power.
Having women finish 1-2-3 in her class meant one thing to Gochee.
"Girls rule," she said. "After the race, I was mobbed by little girls, and that's what I missed the most - my fans."
Gochee said she was adjusting to being a role model for young racers.
"Considering I'm up against Britney Spears and Hanna Montana, it feels pretty darn good," she said.
For the second time in three weeks, a Chamberlain has been crowned in the street stock class for the first time.
This time, it was 22-year-old Brent Chamberlain in the 11c car outrunning the class. On June 13, his brother, Heath, won the race.
"The car ran great, it was perfectly set-up," he said.
Chamberlain spent his winter working on the car, a primer-gray 1978 Chevrolet Impala, which he now says is his pride and joy.
But it wasn't the car that enabled him to victory.
"I knew that if I got out in front, I could race my race," he said. "I just knew that as soon as I was ahead, I couldn't make any mistakes."
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com.