Story and Photos By Ken Keating
Victoria (ISN) – The still air around Western Speedway came to life last Saturday night as the Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, Figure 8s, and the Bombers opened the 58th year of operation at the famed oval.
April Reidie, the talented singer with the Turnpike Bandits, got the evening going with the National Anthem followed by Trophy Dashes, Heat races, and Feature events for all classes.
Mark Lockhart was the first winner of 2012 driving his #77 Camaro to a Trophy Dash win in the Bomber Series. Chris Stone was also a winner in his Trophy Dash. Other Dash winners were Cody and Brandon Young in their respective races, George Haywood won the Demo Truck Dash, and Robin Trotter won the Demo Car Dash. The Heat race winners included Cody and Shawn Young as they won their respective races in the Figure 8 Class, George Haywood in the Demo Truck Series. Bobby Cyr and Mark Lockhart won the Bomber Heats, and Joe Liberatore won the Demo Car Heat.
Kyle Rizok #29, Ashton Campbell #23, and James Young #81 tangle in Figure 8 Series.
Gilles Cyr #29 races with Sean Staniforth #8 in Claimer action
Eleven cars took the green flag for forty laps of racing in the Figure 8 Feature event led by last year’s Champion Kyle Rizok with James Young sharing the front row. This bunch of drivers got a lesson in the school of hard knocks as it featured real hard hitting right from the drop of the green flag. Rizok got out to the early lead with Brandon Young and Kail Beck moving up to challenge within the first few laps. On lap ten, Beck took the lead from Rizok as behind them Shawn Young and Cody Young were on their way forward. On lap sixteen Shawn took the lead with Cody moving into the second spot. Beck was the recipient of a hard hit as the rear axle was almost disengaged from the rest of the car but he managed to limp through a few extra laps until a mechanical black flag caught up to him sending this warrior to the pits. On lap twenty five Rizok moved back in contention regaining the second spot with Cody now running third. On lap thirty, Cody again took the position away from Rizok as the field was now somewhat diminished as cars fell by the wayside. Up front, Shawn continued to lead and when the dust settled, he was the only car left on the lead lap finishing first after forty laps on his triumphant return to Western Speedway. His brother Cody finished second, on his return, with Garrett Dougan, Rizok, and Rhett Szevics rounding out the top five.
Shawn Young wins Figure 8 Feature event.
Three Demo Cars and three Demo Trucks took to the track in a combined Feature event scheduled for fifteen laps. Kenny Baker had a brand new truck and gained the lead on the first lap. Normally trucks are to hit only trucks while cars are to hit cars but that really doesn’t happen as they were bumping everything. Kenny Baker took top honors in the truck while Robin Trotter took out his friend Kirk Peacey with just two laps remaining and took the honors in the Demo Car Series.
Robin Trotter wins Demo Car Feature event
Last season Bomber drivers had to keep their cars over the 20 second lap time or suffer a stop and go penalty and this season this rule still applies making for a double challenge to said drivers. You have to beat the competitors as well as that clock which isn’t easy in the heat of competition. Gilles Cyr entered the evening with a beautifully prepared car and suffered the penalty in the Dash followed by another penalty in his Heat race beating the 20 second lap time. Mark Lockhart was on his way to a clean sweep as he entered the Feature event for the Bombers with eighteen cars lined up behind the new Dodge Ram Pace Truck for forty laps of racing.
Tyler Woods had the pole and got the early lead after nailing the front stretch wall in qualifying and making the repairs for the Feature event. Lockhart moved quickly to take the lead on lap five with Woods running second and Sean Staniforth moving into third and Bobby Cyr taking the fourth position. On lap eleven, Staniforth moved into the second spot with Gilles Cyr taking the third spot two laps later. On lap fifteen, Lockhart suffered the stop and go penalty sending him to the pits and surrendering the lead to Staniforth. Over the next few laps, Bobby and Gilles Cyr battled back and forth for the second spot as Chris Stone moved into the mix running fourth. On lap eighteen Gilles was too fast and suffered the twenty second lap penalty once again having to go to the pits. On lap twenty five Bobby took the lead with Brendon Moore moving up to run second dropping Staniforth back to third. Over the next couple laps and running very close together both Staniforth and Bobby Cyr got busted for fast times and drove to the pits. Chris Stone drove to the lead with Aaron Cameron now in the mix as the earlier penalized drivers were coming back through the pack. Gilles again was too fast getting a second penalty while Staniforth gained on the frontrunners running back in the second position by lap forty five. On the last lap Staniforth gained the lead and went on to win an eventful Feature race. At Victory Square he learned that he was mistakenly given the black flag penalty in the tight racing and when asked about that. His reply was, “That will teach you to black flag the wrong car”. Cameron held on for a second place finish with Woods, Lockhart, and Stone rounding out the top five positions.
Sean Staniforth wins Bomber Feature event
The next event at Western Speedway is the season opener for the Stock Cars, the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Cars, and the new Keg Steakhouse & Bar Late Model Twin 50’s. Car counts are expected to be high in each Series and should provide great competition. Don’t forget the new early start time of 6:30 PM each and every race date for 2012.