By Ken Keating
Langford BC – Western Speedway was the site for opening night for the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Late Model Driver Challenge, plus the SDL Bins Mini Stocks, Wilson’s Transportation Island Stock Cars, and the Richlock Rentals Non Wing Sprint Car Series Saturday night.
A good crowd was on hand to see Jim Steen, who has been racing at Western Speedway for sixty plus years, pick up the win in the Stock Car Trophy Dash, Matt Szauer won the Dash for the Mini Stocks, and Jeff Bird won the Dash for the Sprint Car Series.
Heat race wins went to Chris McInerny in the Stock Cars, Alex Mouner by mere inches over Ryan Patterson, in the Mini Stocks, Darrell Midgley and Brandon Carlson in the Late Model Series, Jeff Montgomery and Dave Emmerson in the WilRoc Sprint Car Series.
Brent Morris and Shaun Ross led thirteen cars to the green flag in the first Feature event for the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Late Model Challenge Twin 50s. Morris got off to a quick start but on the first lap the yellow came out as Rob Angus spun around. On the double file restart, Brandon Carlson lined up with Morris on the front row but Morris was quickest off the start and resumed the lead followed by Carlson and Aaron Wilkie. For the first thirteen laps these cars stayed pretty well in line but then things began to change in a hurry. Dave Hemrich took over the third spot on lap fourteen while Wade Bland, after setting fast time and from the ninth starting position starting picking off cars and taking that third spot two laps later. Again for the next several laps these three drivers stayed pretty close in that running order. On lap twenty-six, Bland made his move for the second position dropping Carlson back to third and Hemrich back to fourth.
Morris had built a reasonable lead up front but Wade started to close the gap lap by lap. By lap thirty-one, Wade was running side by side with Morris and did so until lap forty-two until he made the complete pass for the lead. Wade went on to the win followed by Carlson, Morris, Hemrich, and Wilkie rounding out the top five positions.
Caleb Van Bree and Alex Mouner shared the front row for the SDL Bins Mini Stock Feature event with Van Bree getting the early advantage leading the first five laps. On lap six, Sean Constantine took over the lead dropping Van Bree back to second and Matt Szauer, whose car was severely damage during the last event, moved into the third position. On lap sixteen, the yellow came out as Szauer spun around. Constantine took over the lead again on the resumption of green flag racing and with two laps left was overtaken by Ryan Patterson who went on to take his second consecutive Feature event win. Constantine ran second with Mouner rounding out the top three positions.
Jim Steen and Wayne Hart led eight cars to the green flag for twenty-five laps of racing in the Wilson’s Transportation Island Stock Car Series Feature event. Steen led for the first three laps and Hart led for the next four laps until Chris McInerny took the lead on lap eight. Behind him, Steen was wrestling with Hart and Dave Reside and after knocking Steen back to fourth, Reside, Hart, and McInerny tried three wide racing into turn one and made it through. McInerny grabbed the lead by himself and began to build a substantial lead over the remainder of the event. Reside spun out on the very last lap as McInerny cruised to the win followed by Hart, Brendon Moore, and Andrew Wilson rounding out the top four positions.
Thirty laps would be the distance for the Richlock Rentals WilRoc Non Wing Sprint Cars to battle for the win and the Kershaw Trophy as Shane Woolcock and Deter Lejeune led sixteen cars to the green flag. Woolcock led for the first two laps and Lejuene led for the next three until Dave Emmerson, with the fast car for the night, passed for the lead on lap five. On lap eight the yellow came out as Jeff “The Hurricane” Montgomery spun around coming out of turn four. On the restart, both Mike Haslam and Montgomery got a good jump and moved up to take the second and third spot respectively. On lap twelve the yellow came out again as debris got blown onto the track. On the restart, Emmerson jumped back into the lead as Montgomery and Haslam wrestled for the next positions and now joined by Guy Barrett after another yellow flag. Yet another yellow came out on lap twenty-one as Jer Bird spun around. Thoughout these middle laps Haslam and Montgomery were having a whale of a time running side by side or bumper to bumper and finally on lap twenty-seven Montgomery got by for second. Emmerson went unchallenged and took the chequered flag followed by Montgomery, Barrett, Haslam, and Jeff Bird rounding out the top five positions.
Rhett Smith and “Downtown” Cody Brown who returned to this Series after a lengthy absence, led thirteen cars to the green flag for the second Twin 50s Feature event for the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Late Model Series. Smith got the early advantage and grabbed the lead on the first lap followed quickly by Darrell Midgley moving into the second spot on lap two. Rob Angus moved to the third spot on lap seven while Dave Hemrich took the fourth spot three laps later. In this event Wade Bland started in the tenth position and was moving forward in a hurry taking the fifth position by lap fifteen. Over the next six laps Bland was relentless picking off spots usually using the outside groove and taking the third spot. On lap twenty-seven the yellow came out and followed quickly by the red flag as oil of some kind was scattered on the track as Ray Anderosov’s car blew up. After a short delay the field went back to green flag conditions with Smith and Darrell Midgley sharing the front row. Smith grabbed the lead again with Midgley and Bland running close behind but on the next lap, Midgley fell off the pace and entered the pits a couple laps later. On lap thirty-one Bland passed Smith for the lead and went unchallenged to his second Feature event win for the night. Rhett Smith, Brandon Carlson, Aaron Wilkie, and Brent Morris rounded out the top five positions in yet another competitive race in the Late Model Series.
The next event at Western Speedway is scheduled for June 6th for the “Night Of Mayhem” with the Demo Series that features Demo Cars, Demo Trucks, Figure 8s, and the Bombers. Also featured is “the Beast” Jet Car coming up from Madera California, Capital City Drift exhibition, and the popular Boat Race.