Fourteen Year Old Gait Wins Hornet Feature Saturday at Western Speedway

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September 16, 2012, Langford BC – Western Speedway hosted the Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, Figure 8s, and the Bomber Series plus as an added attraction, the Steve Copp Construction sponsored Hornet Series racing on the big oval in front of a large crowd on Saturday night.

The program had Trophy Dashes, Heat races, and Feature events plus a Total Destruction to wind up the night’s events.

Trophy Dash wins went to Morgan Giles in the Bomber Series, Shawn Young in the Demo Car Series and the Figure 8 Class, George Haywood in the Demo Truck Series, and Daryl Cahill in the Hornet Series. Mark Lockhart and Tyler Woods picked up Heat race wins in the Bomber Series, Joe Liberatore in the Demo Car Series, James and Brandon Young in Figure 8 action, Jacob Townsend, Matt Schultz, Kevin Lawrenuk, and Cam Phillips picked up Hornet Heat race wins.

Mike Dash and Ashton Campbell led thirteen cars to the green flag for the start of the Figure 8 Feature event with James Young jumping into the lead on the first lap. Several drivers toook their turns at running in the second position in the early going until Rhett Szevics took over on lap eight. On lap ten the yellow came out as Jake Burns had to be pulled from the track as he was stopped in a vulnerable position. On the restart, James again surged into the lead followed by Szevics until he took the lead on lap eighteen. Brandon Young moved up and grabbed the lead on lap twenty-two dropping Szevics back to second with Shawn Young now running third. When the dust settled, Brandon hung on for the win followed by Szevics, and Shawn Young rounding out the top three positions after forty laps.

The Steve Copp Construction sponsored Hornet Series has had great support from the drivers and teams ever since its inception several years ago whether it be for the Wednesday Night Fever events, winter Enduros, or as an addition to a regular race event running on the big oval such as the case last night. As the race season was over, at Saratoga, several Hornet drivers from there made the trek down to Western Speedway and joined the local field for a mammoth Feature event that saw thirty-six cars on the grid for the start of racing for thirty-five laps. The front row was shared by Brenda Leslie and Rocky Sandhu while the last two rows were so far back, they were a quarter lap down before they got to the green flag. It was not uncommon to see four and five cars running side by side trying to make up positions. Brandon Phillips, in a beautifully prepared car, grabbed the lead on lap three followed through by Kyle Fallowfield and Tristan Gait. Cam Stanfield and Daryl Cahill moved into contention moving up to run fourth and fifth respectively by lap seven. On lap sixteen the yellow came out and on the restart, Phillips again took off into the lead. On lap twenty-one, Gait moved up into the second spot while behind him, Cam Stanfield, Darryn Cahill and Kevin Lawrenuk were battling hard for the next positions. On lap twenty-eight, the yellow came out as Darren Yate’s car came to a stop up against the wall exiting turn four and before the whole field got slowed down, Phillips nailed the stalled car from behind causing severe damage to both cars and bringing out a red flag to check the drivers after the hard hit. Thankfully, no one was hurt. On the restart, fourteen year old Tristan Gait jumped into the lead and went on for the win followed by Darryn Cahill, Kevin Lawrenuk, Daryl Cahill, and Cam Stanfield rounding out the top five positions in a very exciting race. Gait is the first driver that halted the amazing win streak of five Feature wins by Ryan Smith on August 1st in regular Wednesday Night Fever events.

In the combined Demo Car and Demo Truck Feature event, Danny Madden grabbed the lead from a standing start with George Haywood and Jake Matthews quickly moving into contention. “Smokin” Joe Liberatore returned to run his #63 Demo Car and was in a battle for the lead when his power steering failed and Joe disappeared behind the turn four wall on lap six bringing out the red flag as no one could see his car. He was OK but his car got hung up so they couldn’t get it out until after racing was finished. George Haywood went on for the victory in the Truck Series while Jim Young won the Demo Car Feature event. The finishing order was Haywood, Madden, Jim Young, Dan Kemp, and Brandon Young. Even while going through surgery for a type of cancer, Joe and his teamed worked tirelessly on the fund raising for the Cops For Cancer tour and after his Annual Head Shave on the front stretch, they turned a cheque over to the cause for over seventy-seven hundred dollars, a tribute to the very popular and dedicated driver and his team. Congratulations Joe!!!

Rich Gerhardt and Bruce Knight led a field of seventeen cars to the green flag and forty laps of racing in the Bomber Series. On lap two Eric Fournier forged to the lead running side by side with Knight for several laps before he was able to fully clear and then followed by Knight and Brenden Moore. On lap nine, Aaron Campbell moved up to the third position dropping Moore back to fourth. On lap thirteen, the yellow came out as Knight spun around. On the restart, Fournier again got the lead leaving Cameron and several other drivers in a battle for the next positions. Several drivers got caught going under the twenty second lap time and suffered a stop and go as they were trying to reel in the leader. On lap eighteen, Andrew Wilson, in his backup car, drove into the third position and into contention. When the chequered flag dropped at the end of thirty-five laps, Fournier took the win followed by Sean Staniforth, Morgan Giles, Tyler Woods, and Brenden Moore rounding out the top five positions. Winter and Rockell were on hand to present all the winners with their respective trophies.Six cars joined in a Total Destruction event to conclude the night’s program and after some very heavy hits and a few cat and mouse games, Bryce Muir was the last car moving.

The next event at Western Speedway is Championship night for the SDL Bins I.M.S. 4 Mini Stocks, the highly competitive Island Stock Car Series, the OTRA Series, the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Driver Challenge, and the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Cars running for the Championship and the Reg Midgley Memorial Trophy scheduled for September 22nd. The Keg Driver Challenge will run for seventy-five laps as a makeup date for an earlier rain out and should make for a great night of racing at Western Speedway.

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