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Returning belt-sander race champ leaves others in the (saw) dust

Spectators enjoyed a sunny day in Freeland while cheering on the speedy belt sanders at Frontier Building Supply’s 10th annual race.  - Rebecca Leisher / The Record
Spectators enjoyed a sunny day in Freeland while cheering on the speedy belt sanders at Frontier Building Supply’s 10th annual race.
— image credit: Rebecca Leisher / The Record

FREELAND — Bosch is boss, at least when it comes to belt-sander racing.

Frontier Building Supply’s Freeland yard held its 10th annual belt-sander racing competition, and Bosch sanders reigned supreme.

“They’re a little beefier,” said first-place winner Mike Shorey of the Bosch belt sander that carried him to victory and a $300 prize.

Shorey has attended the belt-sander races for the last four years, and this was his second time winning first place.

“You gotta get mentally prepared, psych yourself up a little,” he said. “And have plenty of high-grade lubricant.”

Steve Haynes came in second place, also with a Bosch sander. He was awarded $200; the third place winner received $100.

Spectators lounged on piles of lumber outside the store to cheer on the speedy sanders as they darted across the 40-foot wooden track. Other festivities included a raffle for gift certificates and tools, a beach ball throw and a high nail contest.

“It’s just fun,” said Dion McCauley, manager of the Frontier Building Supply’s Freeland location. “It’s a customer appreciation day; it gets people involved.”

McCauley, who has been working at Frontier for 12 years, gave spectators the race play-by-play, conducted raffle drawings and presented the winners with prizes.

He said the race drew about 20 competitors, many of whom are contractors.

“It’s fun seeing each other out in the day having a good time,” he said.

Seven-year-old Jacob Ng of Freeland appeared to be the youngest competitor. With the help of his uncle, Tim Shorey, Jacob and his Makita sander came in fourth place — just short of a cash prize.

Last year Jacob came in third and won some money. How will he prepare for next year?

“We want a Bosch,” Shorey said. Jacob nodded in agreement.

 

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