By Terry Guest
Comox (ISN) – Five new track champions were crowned at Saratoga Speedway on Saturday. The Bomber cars, Hornet cars, Roadrunners, Crash to Pass cars and the I.M.C.A Modifieds all battled it out to see who would take home the championship in their respected classes.
The night was ended with yet another amazing Fireworks show, capping off a great end to the 2012 season.
Going into Saturday, one championship was already rapped up; the Bomber car division. #72 Stewart Lee came into the night with a commanding 386 point lead over defending champion #11 Justin Beaulieu and Mike Dionne. All Lee needed to do was qualify to insure his second championship in 3 years championship, which he did, setting fast time in qualifying with a time of 17.768. Even though Lee had already won the championship, he went out and dominated the 40 lap feature, leading all but 6 laps to win the final main event of the year. Lee ended up finishing 408 points ahead of Beaulieu and Dionne, and 611 points ahead of third place #46 Ryan Monks.
#59 Ted Dimitrov came into Saturday with a narrow 15 point lead over #66 Nick Leavitt. Dimitrov ended the night in first place in points, but after the race he was declared illegal, taking away all of his points for the night and giving the championship to #66 Nick Leavitt, who wins his first ever championship at Saratoga Speedway. #25 Andrea Cannon finished in second place, 187 points behind Leavitt, with third going to Dimitrov, 328 points back.
#98 Pat Brown was searching for his first ever championship as well. Coming into the night, Brown held a 120 point lead over defending champion #53 Kevin Noble. Brown set fast time in qualifying with a time of 15.592, meaning all he had to do was finish the main event to win his first ever championship, which he did, finishing second behind #44 Tim Openshaw. Brown finished 261 points ahead of second place Noble, and 333 points ahead of Openshaw to win his first ever championship.
Defending Crash to Pass champion #01 Jeff May came into the night with a 143 point lead over #73 Sheldon Hopp who was hoping for his first ever championship. May narrowly beat Hopp in qualifying, setting a time of 18.749, compared to Hopp’s time of 18.750. Hopp gained those points back in the A heat though, leading every lap of the 10 lap heat. May took over in the 30 lap feature race, taking the lead on lap 7 and never looking back from there, clinching his second straight Crash to Pass championship. Hopp ran into mechanical problems on lap 18, ending his hopes of a championship. Hopp finished 238 points behind May, with third place going to #11 Dan Kemp who finished 391 points back.
60 points separated the top 3 in the Hornet A division. #02 Daryl Cahill led #08 Daryn Cahill and #01 Kevin Lawrenuk going into Saturday night. Daryl set fast time in qualifying with a quick time of 18.209, giving him the early advantage. Daryl fought his way from the back in the A heat to to take the win, furthering his lead over Daryn and Kevin. 30 laps were given for the feature main event. #09 Cameron Phillips led the pack, but found himself falling back in the pack on lap 7, giving the lead to Lawrenuk. Lawrenuk would stretch his lead from there, but Daryl soon found himself on Lawrenuk’s back bumper. Daryl would battle Lawrenuk hard but could not find away around the defending champion Lawrenuk, who took home his fourth main event win of the year. In the end, #02 Daryl Cahill took his 2nd championship in the past 3 years, barely beating out Lawrenuk who finished 54 points back, with third going to Daryn who finished 158 points back.
90 points separated #64 MacLaren Inglis and #28 Brianne Fenn who were both seeking their first championships at Saratoga Speedway in the Hornet B division. Inglis started off great, setting fast time in qualifying for the B’s, and winning the 10 lap B heat, giving himself a great lead going into the main event. Unfortunately after the heat race, Inglis was disqualified for having camber on his tires, which wiped out his points for qualifying and the heat race, opening the door for Fenn. Inglis fixed his tires for the main event, giving him a chance for the championship, but on lap 8, Inglis spun out #98 Nigel Neufeld who was leading the 25 lap main event, bringing out a black flag for Inglis ending his hopes for a championship. Fenn was now guaranteed her first ever championship, finishing 96 points ahead of Inglis and 386 points ahead of #98 Nigel Neufeld and #17 Brad Dimitrov who tied for third.
The Figure 8’s also ran on Saturday, which was a class that ran for no points, just for fun. #15 Cindy Kennedy won the dash and the heat, but #02 Chantelle May dominated the 20 lap main event, leading every lap of the race.
Extra laps…This 2012 season was one of the best years of racing we have had at Saratoga Speedway in many years. On behalf of all of us at Saratoga Speedway, I would like to thank all of the many sponsors who make racing possible at Saratoga Speedway. I would also like to thank all of the race car drivers who put on an amazing show week in and week out, and to all of the many volunteers who commit every Saturday night to putting on a show for all of the fans, and finally to all of the fans who come out every Saturday night to watch the races, without all of this, racing would not be possible. So once again, I would like to thank everyone who visited Saratoga Speedway this season and I hope to see you all next year for our 2013 season.