Bland, Aumen, Waksel, And Bird Claim Western Speedway Championships

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September 24, 2012, Langford BC – Western Speedway hosted Championship Night for The Keg Steakhouse and Bar Driver Challenge Series, the SDL Bins I.M.S. 4 Mini Stock Series, the Island Stock Cars, and the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Cars last Saturday night.

As well as the Championship races, the OTRA Series made their final appearance for 2012. After the great voice of Jenny Rhodes opened the program with the National Anthem, the SDL Bins I.M.S. 4 Mini Stocks lined up for their Heat race as Trophy Dashes were dispensed with in all Series for this event. Justin Woodske was the winner in the Mini Stock Series, Jesse Dardengo and James Miller took victories in the OTRA Series, Marc Parkinson and Chris Schmelzle won the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Car Heats, Kevin Knight and Dave Reside won the Stock Car Heats, while Brandon Carlson and Aaron Wilkie picked up wins in the Late Model Series. The Stock Car A-Heat produced some great side by side racing for several laps between Brian Clutchey and Mike Derepentigny. On the last lap, Clutchey got a little loose and got into Derepentigny a bit causing a spinout and a flat tire for Mike as both drivers were trying to overtake the eventual winner in Dave Reside. Jim Giles hit the marbles and slid into the turn one wall tearing out the steering in his Non Wing Sprint Car in his Heat race and that brought an end to his night. Chris Schmelzle, driving the #8 car, held off Jeff Bird by just a couple of inches for the win in their Sprint Car Heat.

Gord Percival and Giles Parenteau led ten cars to the green flag for the start of thirty-five laps of racing in the SDL Bins I.M.S. 4 Mini Stock Feature event. The yellow came out very quickly as Percival spun around and on the restart Parenteau took the early lead followed by Matt Szauer and Jeremy Waksel. On lap six Alex Mouner, back in his #96 car, took the second spot and then the lead on lap eight dropping Parenteau back to second followed by Szauer and Waksell. Once up front, Mouner checked out leaving Parenteau, Szauer, and the rest to battle for the next positions. Justin Woodske, Waksel, Sean Constantine all took turns in the fourth and fifth positions over the middle laps. Over the remaining laps, Mouner extended his lead and cruised to the win followed by Szauer, Parenteau, Waksel, and Woodske. Waksel had a good lead in overall points and with his fourth place finish secured his first SDL Bins I.M.S. 4 Mini Stock Championship.

Although the OTRA Series do not run for points, there is always something to race for and last night it was the Founders Trophy. This Trophy was first presented last year as a tribute to the original founders of OTRA, which included Ross Rockett, Norm Wilcox, and Dave Ireland, and won by James Campbell. Jesse Dardengo shared the front row with Ron Simpson as eleven cars took the green flag for their Feature event. Kail Beck quickly moved up to the second spot with George “The Jet” Jenson running in third. On lap four the yellow came out as Jenson spun around. On the restart, Dardengo again jumped into the lead with Kail Beck all over him while James Campbell moved into the third position. Dardengo and Beck put on a great race up front with Beck trying everything to get an edge and often running side by side with each other. When the chequered flag dropped Dardengo held off the hard charge of Beck’s and grabbed the win. Tom Cinnamon made a last lap pass for third by an inch over Campbell and Joe Dardengo rounding out the top five positions. Norm Wilcox was on hand to present Dardengo with the Founders Trophy after thirty-five laps of racing.

Chris McInerny and Kevin Knight shared the front row for the start of fifty laps of racing for the Island Stock cars Feature event and it was Knight who grabbed the lead on the first lap with McInerny holding on to second with Brandon Steen moving into the third spot by lap four and Brian Clutchey running in fourth one lap later. On lap eleven, Dave Reside moved into the third position followed by Kyle Cottam two laps later. On lap seventeen, Cottam moved past Reside and into third behind Steen. The middle laps produced some great racing between Steen, Cottam, Reside and Clutchey as Knight seemed to be in control up front. On lap thirty-eight, the lapped car of Brad Andrews got really loose as Steen was about to go by on the outside. Going through turn one, Andrews was still trying to regain control and ran into Steen taking the #87 car into the turn one wall and nearly collecting Reside as well. Steen and his crew made some quick repairs and got him back into the race on the lead lap but well back. He had a great run going until then. On the restart, Knight got away again followed by Cottam and Clutchey. Cottam was in the thick of the Championship points and was ahead of Cody Aumen on the track but he got a little loose on the corner and Clutchey and Reside went by as Knight took the chequered flag first. Clutchey, Reside, Cottam, and Rhett Smith rounded out the top five positions. Aumen finished sixth and that was enough to secure the Island Stock Car Championship for 2012.

Wade Bland carried the lead in the points chase over Jason Tarasenko as twelve cars lined up for a seventy-five lap Feature event in the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Driver Challenge. Aaron Wilkie had the pole but it was Dale Robinson grabbed the lead on the first lap followed quickly by Gary Smith and Brandon Carlson until Darrell Midgley moved past Carlson on lap six. On lap twelve, the yellow came out as Smith spun around which also sent Midgley to the back of the pack as well. On the double file restart, Carlson and Robinson led the field back to the resumption of green flag racing and Carlson was quick to get the lead. On lap sixteen, the yellow came out again as Rory Smith spun around all by himself. Carlson and Robinson lined up again for the restart and again Carlson got the better jump and went back to the lead as Jason Tarasenko and Wade Bland moved up to run second and third respectively as Smith moved back in contention running fourth. Over the next several laps, the front runners were starting to lap traffic but all made it through with very little problems. Tarasenko made a few attempts to pass the leader but couldn’t pull enough to get by as Carlson went on for the win with Tarasenko finishing second followed by Bland, Wilkie, and Smith rounding out the top five positions. After final points were calculated, Bland finished atop the points chase to claim the first Keg Steakhouse and Bar Driver Challenge Championship.

Ron French and Matt Verhagen shared the front row for the start of thirty laps of racing in the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Car run for the Championship. French grabbed the early lead as Darryl Morneau moved into second and Marc Parkinson took the third position. On lap five, Parkinson moved into the second position as Matt Mansell drove into the third spot. On lap fifteen, Jeff Bird came out of nowhere and grabbed the lead as Mansell moved into second followed by Chris Root by lap nineteen. On lap twenty the yellow came out as Chris Schmelzle and Paul Verhagen got together going through turn one. On the restart, Bird again grabbed the lead followed by Root and Mansell. Bird held of the charge from Root and went on to the win followed by Root, Mansell, Duane Zeinstra, and Morneau rounding out the top five positions. Bird captured the Reg Midgley Memorial Trophy, the Feature event Trophy, and the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Car Championship all in the same race. All the winners were greeted at Victory Square by Jen and Winter in beautiful gowns courtesy of Victoria Bridal Boutique. Congratulations to all the Champions crowned during this event!!!

As a foot note, it was announced that Saratoga And Western Speedway will enter a new co-operative program to keep racing alive on Vancouver Island. Paul Hargreaves, owner and manager of Saratoga made the trip down to watch the Championships here and with the complete closure of Race City and Wenatchee Super Oval in Washington, plus the great racing with the Bomber Driver Challenge and that great Hornet race last week. More races between the two tracks are being planned for 2013.

The next race at Western Speedway will be on September 29th and will be Championship night for the Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, Figure 8s, and the Bombers. Also on this card, the Hornets will be featured again with drivers expected from Saratoga as well. This race will conclude racing for the 2012 season so we will see you there.

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