Western Speedway Crowns Four Champions at Final Event of the Season

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By Ken Keating

September 30, 2012, Langford, BC – Western Speedway hosted the final event of the regular season with Championship Night for the Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, Figure 8s, and the Bomber Series on Saturday night. As an added attraction, the Hornet Series, sponsored by Steve Copp Construction, also made another appearance with a full field of thirty-two cars qualified to run again on the big oval.

Also added was a van chase with four Demo Trucks trying their best to overturn a van driven by Jake Matthews. Although the van took a beating it did stay on its wheels thus making Matthews the winner. All classes ran Trophy Dashes, Heat races, and Feature events with wins going to Sean Staniforth who was joined at Victory Square with the Victoria Cougars hockey team and Winter and Jessica to present the trophy to the Bomber winner, Cody Young won in the Demo Car Series, George Haywood was the winner with the Demo Truck Series, Sean Young won the Figure 8 Dash, and Phil Lagan and Mike Melin took the wins in the Hornet Dashes. The B-Heat was red flagged as Devin Fournier hit the corner of the front stretch wall off turn four and wrecked his car on the first lap. Devin was not seriously injured in the pile up. Sean Whitley won his first race of the year with a win in the Bomber Heat while Mark Lockhart took the second Heat for Bombers, Joe Liberatore took the win in the Demo Car Class, Brandon Young was victorious in the Demo Truck Series, Kristy Rowlandson and Marie Haywood won Figure 8 Heats, and Mike Melin and Darryn Cahill took the wins in the Hornet Heat races.

Brandon Young had the pole and the points lead for the start of the Figure 8 Feature event with eleven cars in the filed. He quickly took the lead followed by James Young until lap three when Marie Haywood took the second position with Kristy Rowlandson moving up to third. On lap fourteen, Cody Young took the second spot for four laps until Rowlandson took it back. On lap twenty James Young reclaimed the second spot with Shawn Young taking third. Rhett Szevics took the third position on lap twenty-six while Brandon still maintained the lead. When the dust settled, Brandon took the chequered flag for the win followed by James Young; Shawn Young; Kristy Rowlandson; and Rhett Szevics rounding out the top five positions. Brandon was two laps ahead of all other competitors and secured the Figure 8 Championship in the Figure 8 Series.

Richard Shuck and Mike Melin shared the front row for the start of the Hornet Feature event but it was Melin who grabbed the lead after one lap as cars jockeyed for positions behind him. On lap five, Garrett Smith took over the lead followed by Darryn Cahill while Daryl Cahill and fourteen year old Tristan Gait moved in to challenge for the lead. On lap twelve, and after a yellow caution when Craig Vickery slammed into the turn one wall, Darryn shot into the lead as Gait, Daryl, and Smith battled for the next positions. These drivers changed positions almost every lap while weaving through lapped traffic sometimes side by side and bumper to bumper. When the dust settled on this race, Daryl came away with the win followed by Gait, Darryn, Smith, and Phil Lagan rounding out the top five positions.

The Demo Cars and Demo Trucks shared a combined Feature event with George Haywood and Smokin Joe Liberatore having the points lead in their respective class. Liberatore grabbed the early lead with Haywood taking the lead for the Truck Series on lap three. This race featured some hard hitting with Cody Young finally getting the second position on lap thirteen but he suffered a flat tire and had to go to the pits on the final lap. Liberatore led start to finish and took the win and the Championship for Demo Cars as did Haywood in the Demo Truck Series. Shawn Hitchings crossed the line third, Cody Young placed fourth with George Newell rounding out the top five vehicles.

Andrew Wilson and Teresa Johnson led eighteen cars to the green flag in the thirty-five lap Bomber Feature event. Wilson took the early lead followed quickly by Brendan Moore and Mark Lockhart. On lap five, Moore suffered a stop and go for going to fast giving the second spot to Lockhart followed by Giles Cyr. Behind them several drivers were coming up through the field including points leader Aaron Campbell and Troy Tarbuck. On lap thirteen the yellow came out and the restart saw Wilson with Lockhart share the front row for the resumption of green flag racing. Wilson again grabbed the lead with Lockhart running second until he fell off the pace surrendering the spot to Tarbuck followed by Cameron, Ken Hallgarth, and Morgan Giles. On lap seventeen the red came out as Rich Gerhardt slammed into the turn one wall sending water several feet in the air from the drums that take the impact and his car caught fire. The fire crews were quick to extinguish the fire and Gerhardt was unhurt. On the double file restart, Wilson had Tarbuck on his outside for the green flag with Wilson going back into the lead followed by Tarbuck and Moore moving up into third. The battle up front was intense and on the last lap the two front runners clashed on the back stretch leaving Moore with the win followed by Aaron Cameron; Andrew Wilson; Tyler Woods; and Sean Staniforth rounding out the top five positions. With is second place finish, Cameron secured the Bomber Championship for 2012.

This was the last regular event for 2012 at Western Speedway and congratulations must be extended to all the new Champions. Many thanks must also be passed to all the folks that bring racing to this area that include the many sponsors, volunteers, racers and teams that go to great lengths to give the fans an exciting night of entertainment. A vote of thanks and appreciation is extended to you the fans and those that support the great sport of auto racing at the Langford oval. We extend an invitation for you to return to Western Speedway when racing begins again in 2013. We will see you then.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.