Gary Wray trusted his pawn-shop purchased belt sander and it paid off big.
The 59-year-old Coupeville man won the Freeland Frontier Building Supply and the area belt-sander races last week. He did it all with a cheap, used Porter Cable belt sander.
“I got it at a pawn shop, actually,” Wray said. “Probably paid $100.“
“It’s not necessarily speed, it’s smoothness. It runs straight.”
Winning the two races paid him $600 in Frontier Building Supply gift certificates. Over the past five years that has Wray competed in belt-sander races, he estimated he won $1,400 in prizes and money.
“It breaks up the monotony of working all the time,” Wray said.
He’ll have to savor the glory of victory and $600 worth of new tools and equipment. Because he won the races this year, Wray cannot race next year.
Belt-sander races are a staple event in late July in Island and Skagit counties. The circuit began at the Sedro-Woolley Frontier, continued at the Oak Harbor location, then Freeland and finished in Anacortes on Aug. 2.