Story and Photos By Ken Keating (ISN)
Victoria (ISN) – Western Speedway and O’Dell Slinger Service hosted the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Cars, the Stock Car Series, and the Keg Steakhouse Bar & Grill Driver Challenge with the Late Models on Saturday night.
The night began with Trophy Dashes for the Stock Cars and the Non Wing Sprints followed by Heat races and Feature events for all classes. Brian Clutchey returned to the Stock Car Series and won the Trophy Dash but had a slight engine problem before he blew the motor and was finished for the night.
Jeff Bird found his way to Victory Square winning the Non Wing Sprint Car Dash. Heat race wins went to Rory Smith and Gary Smith in the Late Model Series, Wade Bland won the fast time award posting a 17:465 lap time, Matt Mansell and Rob Scott picked up the wins in the Non Wing Sprint Cars, while Ryan Wade and Chris McInerny won the Heat races in the Stock Car Division.
Jason Tarasenko was on his way toward the win in the Late Model Heat when his car had a problem with the transmission and the car shut off for a few moments sending him almost to the rear of the pack. Dave Reside was leading the Stock Car Heat when he entered the pits when the belts came loose on his engine. McInerny grabbed the win and Kyle Cottam placed 2nd by winning the drag race to the flag with Brandon Steen in a close race. Rob Scott also had to win a drag race for the chequered flag over Ron French in Sprint Car Heats as they were side by side on the front stretch.
The first Feature event for the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Drivers Challenge saw Rory Smith on the pole with Tyler Clough on the outside front row in a field of eleven cars. Clough led the first three laps until he was overtaken by Smith. The battle for positions behind him was between Gary Smith and Darrell Midgley as they were working their way forward. On lap ten, Midgley took over the second spot and one lap later Jason Tarasenko moved up to third. On lap thirteen the first yellow came out as Clough spun around on turn one with everyone missing the spinning car. On the double file restart Smith had Midgley to his outside but quickly regained the lead with Midgley falling behind in second and Aaron Wilkie taking the third spot. Another yellow came out on lap fourteen as Steve Copp spun around and no damage done followed by another yellow on lap seventeen as Wilkie spun around with everyone missing this incident. On lap eighteen Wade Bland moved up to run third and Gary Smith followed to run fourth. For several laps Bland and Midgley drove door handle to door handle with Gary Smith in that mix and on lap twenty-one Bland finally cleared Midgley and took over the second spot. The field stayed clean throughout the remainder of the race and at the chequered flag it was Rory Smith with the victory folloed by Bland, Midgley, Gary Smith, and Tarasenko rounding out the top five positions.
Rory Smith wins first Keg Steakhouse & Bar Feature event.
Jason Tararsenko wins second Keg Steakhouse & Bar Feature event.
Brandon Hutchinson led a field of thirteen Stock Cars to the green flag for thirty-five laps of racing with Dave Reside sharing the front row. Reside quickly jumped into the lead but the yellow came out very quickly as Hutchinson turned around going out of turn two and collected several cars that included Brandon Steen, Kevin Knight, and Dean Mackeney. That crash ended Knight’s race while Steen was able to tape his car up enough to get back on the track. On the double file restart, Reside had Mike Derepentigny on the outside as the green flag fell again. Reside quickly went into the lead with Cody Aumen and last season’s Champion Ryan Wade moving up to second and third respectively by lap five. On lap twelve, Aumen moved to the inside of Reside and grabbed the lead with Wade also moving up a notch one lap later. Kyle Cottam moved up to run third on lap fourteen dropping Reside back to fourth. On lap eighteen, Wade went to go to the inside to pass Aumen and there was slight contact causing Wade to spin out bringing out the yellow. On the double file restart, Aumen held the inside groove with Reside choosing the outside lane. Aumen grabbed the lead again with Reside driving in the second spot followed by Cottam and Derepentigny. Aumen had no trouble driving to the win followed by Reside, Cottam, Derepentigny, and Chris McInerny rounding out the top five positions.
Cody Aumen wins Stock Car Feature event.
Rob Scott and Brian Bickford shared the front row fow the start of the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Car Feature event with ten cars if the field for thirty laps of racing. On the very first lap Wayde Heckford slammed into the wall between turn one and two causing lots of damage to his Sprint Car but thankfully he was not hurt. On a full restart, Bickford took the lead while Mark Stuart jumped from his sixth starting position to run second with Scott running in third. On lap seven Stuart took over the lead with Jeff Bird jumping into the third spot two laps later. On lap thirteen Bird grabbed the second spot dropping Bickford back to third. Over the next several laps, Bird closed right up on Stuart and they just completely checked out on the field setting up an epic battle for the lead. Lap after lap these two drivers blasted around the Langford oval at a terrific rate of speed with Bird trying high and low to get by Stuart. On lap twenty-six the yellow came out as Chris Root spun around on turn four. On the restart, Stuart had Bird again on his back bumper but he still had the lead. Racing side by side Bird led lap twenty-eight only to have Stuart take the lead back and hold on for the win by a narrow margin. Bird was a comfortable second with Scott, Paul Verhagen, and Bickford rounding out the top five positions. Obviously the over heating problems that Bird suffered last season has been cured as he followed Stuart to his first win in a Sprint Car at Western Speedway in a very thrilling display of driving. If this is a sign of things to come in this Series, fans are in for a treat as this was a very closely contested race. All winners received their trophies from Trophy Girls Chahala and Karleigh at Victory Square.
Mark Stuart wins Non wing Sprint Car Feature event.
The next event, at Western Speedway is “Princess & Pirates” night that will feature the kids young and older dressing in their favorite costumes, the Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, the Figure 8s, and the Bombers going head to head for their second race of the year. Anyone in full costume gets a free pass for this fun filled event. There is also a very popular boat race and a fireworks display scheduled for this night. Qualifying begins at 5:30, with racing to start at 6:30.