Story and Photos by Ken Keating
Langford BC., August 31st 2012 (ISN) – Western Speedway hosted a very exciting and competitive Big Rig race on day one of Wilson & Proctor Big Rig Mania event along with the Howie’s Car Corral Bomber Invitational, the Figure 8s, a gravel truck obstacle course, and Josh “The Crusher” Beckel was back to blow himself up in a van courtesy of Wayne’s Trucking.
The NABR Big Rigs ran complete shows Friday consisting of qualifying, Trophy Dashes, Heat races and a 35 lap main event as did the Bombers and Figure 8s. Trophy Dash wins went to Rhett Szevics in the Figure 8s, Eric Fournier in the Bomber Series, and Glen Creed with the Big Rigs. Creed also won the gravel truck obstacle course race with a time of 47:74.
James Young had the pole for the start of the Figure 8 Feature event of the night and this race was hard hitting start to finish When the dust settled Brandon Young had the win followed by Alex Carey. Brian Wakelin and Sean Whitley shared the front row for the start of the Bomber Feature event. At times cars were three and four wide going through the turns or along the straights. On lap seven the yellow flag came out as Bruce Knight spun around as a few cars got tangled up. There was a good battle up front as Bobby Cyr, Heath Cooper, and Mark Lockhart drove in a tight group. On lap sixteen, the yellow came out again as Andrew Wilson got into the turn one wall. When the chequered flag dropped on lap thirty-five, Bobby Cyr had the win followed by Cooper and Lockhart.
Victoria’s Glen Creed, was in second position in the point standings and only 25 points behind Calgary driver Darren Berdahl 460 to 435, Creed will be looking at winning both main events in front of his hometown fans this week end and he got off to a great start. Berdahl had three wins so far this year, while Creed had three second place finishes and in third place in four races. Isaac harder is third in points with 390 points. Dave Mullett had the pole for the start of the Big Rig Feature event and Bobby Fowler and Cory McMeckan battled early for the lead. By lap four McMeckan gained the advantage and started to build a good lead while behind him Isaac Harder and Glen Creed were moving into second and third respectively by lap seven. McMeckan was cruising up front but entered the pits in a cloud of smoke on lap eighteen. On lap twenty-five, Berdahl passed Creed going through lapped traffic but Creed and Harder stayed in the thick of things. On lap twenty-seven, Creed returned the favor and grabbed the lead as all three drivers stayed in a tight group. Berdahl tried a couple times to get by Creed and after running side by side for a couple laps Berdahl’s truck got just a little sideways and Creed gained enough room to come home with the win followed by Berdahl, Harder, Terrill Schmidt, and Ron Singer rounding out the top five positions.
Day two began with another “Meet & Greet” for all the fans to enter the speedway and talk to drivers of all the classes along the front stretch. Well known singer April Readie officially opened race night with both the American and Canadian National Anthems and then it was on to Trophy Dashes, Heat races, and Feature events of the night. Brandon Young won the Figure 8 Dash, Isaac Harder and Bobby Fowler won the Big Rig Dashes, while Bruce Knight and Morgan Giles picked up wins in the Bomber Dashes. The A-Dash for the Bombers proved interesting as Giles Cyr and Kevin Knight got tangled up in the first lap sending both drivers to the pits. That left Bobby Cyr and Morgan Giles to fight it out for the Trophy. Cyr has a fast car and he was too fast breaking the twenty second rule leaving Giles as the lone survivor and a winner. Heat race wins went to Alex Carey and James Young in Figure 8s, Heath Cooper and Aaron Cameron in the Bomber Series, while Bobby Fowler and Darren Berdahl won the Big Rig Heats.
Shawn Young led thirteen cars to the green flag for the Figure 8 Feature event and led for the first four laps. Leads and positions changed rapidly and on lap eight Kail Beck was in the lead. On lap fourteen the yellow came out as several cars were bunched up and Alex Carey lost both rear tires as this resembled a total destruction event. On the restart, Beck got away again and went back to lead as Rhett Szevics moved up to run in second. On lap twenty-one, Szevics grabbed the lead dropping Beck back to second and Brandon Young running in third. Szevics did not look back and won by three laps over Brandon Young in second followed by Kristy Rowlandson driving to a third place finish.
Twenty-one drivers lined up behind Sean Whitley and Daniel David for the start of fifty laps of racing in the Bomber Invitational Feature event of the night. On lap three, Andrew Wilson gained the top spot while Aaron Cameron and Heath Cooper followed him through to run second and third respectively. The yellow came out as Kevin Knight had to be pushed into the pits. Wilson got the lead again and on lap eight Cameron went by for the lead as Cooper and Mark Lockhart followed him into second and third psoitions. On lap ten, Copper charged to the lead and by lap fourteen, Lockhart moved into second with Bobby Cyr taking the third position. On lap twenty, Cyr passed for the lead dropping Cooper back to second followed by Lockhart. Brenden Moore got into the front runners moving up to run in second by lap twenty-nine with Cooper and Lockhart still in the hunt. On lap thirty, Moore got a stop and go as Ron Benham took over the third position and then moved up to run second on lap thirty-six as Lockhart, Dennis Stewart, and Cooper still remained in striking distance. Several times, Lockhart was able to get along side of Cyr over the remaining laps but couldn’t complete the pass. Cyr went on for the win just winning a drag race to the flag by just a few inches over Lockhart. Stewart, Morgan Giles, and Heath Cooper rounded out the top five positions. With this win and the win Friday night, Cyr captured the first Bomber Invitational two day total points Championship with 152 points. Dennis Stewart, Heath Cooper, Aaron Cameron, and Mark Lockhart rounded out the top five.
Terrill Schmidt and Dave Mullett shared the front row for the start of the Big Rig Feature event of the night with Schmidt gaining the early lead. By lap eight, Schmidt still led followed by Mullett and Ron Singer running in third. Darren Berdahl, with a very fast truck was coming up from back in the field in a hurry and charged to the lead by lap seventeen. He began to run away from the pack as Schmidt, Mullett and Glen Creed battled behind him. On lap twenty-six, the yellow came out as Cory McMeckan spun out. On the restart, Berdahl ran away again leaving Schmidt, Mullett, and Creed to do battle. While running in second, Schmidt tagged the back stretch wall spinning himself around and bringing out the yellow one lap later. Again on the restart, Berdahl took off and back into the lead while Creed battled Mullett for the second spot. On this night, no one had anything for Berdahl as he cruised to the win followed by Mullett, Creed, Isaac Harder, and McMeckan rounding out the top five positions. Unofficially, this win also gave the Big Rig Championship to Berdahl for 2012. All winners received ball caps from Embroidery By Us and trophies presented by Jen and Winter at Victory Square.
For the final event of the night, the spotlight fell on Josh “The Crusher” Beckel as he was going to jump a Dodge duelly pick up into a stack of four vehicles. The stunt driver from Washington State gunned the truck out of turn four and nailed his target three cars high sending the fourth car several feet down the track as his truck came to rest on the catch vehicles. Beckel climbed out to a tremendous ovation from the crowd unhurt and unscathed.
The next event, at Western Speedway is scheduled for September 8th that will feature the highly competitive Stock Cars, the OTRA Series, the Island Dwarf cars, and the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Cars running for the Roy Smith Memorial Trophy.