Written by Ken Keating – Photos by Illusion Photography
July 13th, 2013, Langford, BC (ISN) – There were not many empty seats as Western Speedway hosted the “Eve Of Destruction” event on Saturday night. The Lordco Auto Parts Demo Series with Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, Figure 8s, and the Bombers provided the racing while Josh “The Crusher” Bekel provided the thrills and chills with a bus jump, a car jump, a van explosion, and took part in a Total Destruction event.
Add a boat race and a fireworks display to the Trophy Dashes, Heat Races, and the Feature events and you have a great night of excitement. Popular local singer, April Reidie was on hand to sing both the US and Canadian Anthems and as usual done a great job with both. Brianne Gutowski and Jen Wright were kept busy handing out the trophies to all the winners on this night also doing a great job.
Huge Crowd fills Western Speedway for Eve Of Destruction – Photo by Illusion Photography (ISN)
Trophy Dash wins went to Mike Melin in the Demo Cars, Jake Mathews in the Demo Trucks, Cam Wilkinson in the Figure 8s, and Jarrod Soberg in the Bomber Series. Mike Melin and Jim Young picked up Heat race wins in the Demo Cars, Kenny Baker grabbed the win in the Demo Trucks, Cam Wilkinson and Marie Haywood were winners in the Figure 8 Series, while Tyler Clough and Brian Wakelin picked up the wins in the Bomber Series.
Jake Mathews and Brandon Young shared the front row for the start of the Demo Truck Feature event. It didn’t take long for the first yellow as Kenny Baker nailed the back stretch wall. Within the first couple laps most of the trucks were eliminated as the hits were hard and the damage terminal. When the dust settled George Haywood grabbed the win followed by Brandon Young and Jake Mathews.
George Haywood wins Demo Truck Feature event – Photo by Illusion Photography (ISN)
Ryan Bunyan and Dave Cates led thirteen Demo Cars to the green flag in the Demo Car Feature event. As with the trucks, the cars hit each other hard and often with Mike Melin and Jim Young took turns leading until the yellow came out on lap eight as James Young went into the wall on turn three. On the restart, Bill Gallacher grabbed the lead early and went virtually untouched as he took the chequered flag followed by Doug Richens, and Mike Melin.
Bill Gallacher wins Demo Car Feature event – Photo by Illusion Photography (ISN)
Eleven cars lined up to take the green flag in the Figure 8 Feature event and this race was also hard hitting. Cody Young driving for Rhett Szevics led for several laps and the take outs behind him were often with several drivers trying to mount a challenge. On the last lap Brandon Young caught the leader and grabbed the win with Cody holding on for second followed by Kristy Rowlandson.
Brandon Young wins Figure 8 Feature event – Photo by Illusion Photography (ISN)
Steve McCure and Tony Kambo led fifteen cars to the green flag for twenty-five laps of racing in the Bomber Series. A good car count and fast drivers coming from the rear made for lots of trading paint and three wide racing early. Jarrod Soberg grabbed the early lead followed by Brain Wakelin and Tony Kambo. On lap six Wakelin passed for the lead followed by Soberg and Tyler Clough. Wakelin started to build a good lead as positions behind began to change with Phil Lagan moving into fifth by lap eleven and coming forward in a hurry. On lap thirteen the yellow came out as Soberg spun around on turn four after being right in the thick of things earlier. That flag was the last thing Wakelin wanted as he now had Clough on the outside and the rest of the field in a tight pack for the restart. Clough got the jump early and grabbed the lead with Lagan jumping into the second spot dropping Wakelin back to third. Over the remainder of this race Lagan pushed Clough all he could to get by but fell just a bit short as Clough took the win with Lagan holding second followed by Bobby Cyr and Morgan Giles rounding out the top four positions.
Tyler Clough wins Bomber Feature event – Photo by Illusion Photography (ISN)
The Langford oval looked like a war zone after nine drivers took their turns pulling and smashing boats in the always popular boat race. Pieces big and small littered the track as the drivers tried to hang on to as much boat as possible on their own vehicle. Jamie Morgan managed to have a good portion of his boat left and was declared the winner. Josh Bekel entered the Total Destruction event but his vehicle was disabled fairly early. This event is tailor made for hard hits and they were plentiful. When the dust and smoke cleared there were two drivers tied for first overall as neither Josh Johal nor Bryce Muir would give in to the other and their vehicles unwilling to quit either as both continued to move even without a couple tires. Jake Mathews placed third in this event as well.
This event or portions of it were taped by the History Channel and will air sometime in October. Josh Bekel described coming here as “Awesome in front of an awesome crowd that loves to see things demolished and ruined and tonight we are going to ruin some things.” This is the reason he is pleased that the History Channel chose this event to film first. Josh himself did not disappoint the fans either as he drove a mini bus into a stack of four cars. The impact drove the car from the middle of the stack several feet down the track. He was unhurt and said “If I had another one I’d do it again”. Well be careful what you wish for because they had a car ready to go and after standing the previous bus on its end, Bekel jumped the car into the top of the bus. Hitting the bus was easy but finding a way out of the car stuck halfway into the bus proved to be the challenge. With the help of the rescue crew Josh exited the car again unhurt and unscathed to a huge ovation. Oh, he wasn’t done yet. There was just one little glitch as they prepared to blow up a van with him and his partner “Headache” inside at the time. That first attempt failed so track officials called for the firework show to begin and what an awesome job they done. This was one of the best fireworks shows seen in a long time at the Speedway. Just as that show ended, the glitch was fixed and the van exploded in a huge fireball. Josh and headache exited again unhurt and unscathed much to the delight of the huge crowd.
The next event at Western Speedway is the Steve Copp Construction sponsored Hornet Wednesday Night Fever event scheduled for July 17th. The next regular Saturday night event will feature the Rick O’Dell Memorial Trophy with the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Driver Challenge Series for Late Models, the Billy Foster 100 for the Stock Cars, the SDL Bins I.M.S. 4 Mini Stock Series, and the Island Dwarf Cars. Also mark your calendars for the Monster Truck show on July 26th and 27th as Rockstar and California Kid return to the Langford oval. Also scheduled on this card is the first time appearance of Michelle Monika Szulc as she will perform the National Anthems of the US and Canada as well as be one of the Trophy Girls for this event courtesy of PTW Repairs. She has sung for many of the hockey clubs and other sporting events in the Lower Mainland as well as the Victoria Royals. Singing at the Vancouver Canucks game in April is certainly on top of her list of achievements.