By Andy Guest
It’s down to crunch time for the 2018 racing season at Saratoga Speedway as only three race dates remain to decide season point champions.
The stretch begins this Saturday night with a rain or shine night of Crash to Pass, Mad Max, Road Runners and Hornet car action followed by the season championship for the IMCA Modifieds and Bomber cars Sept. 22. The season comes to an end on Sept. 29 with another rain or shine event with champions being decided for the Crash to Pass, Mad Max. Road runners and Hornet cars with a traditional season ending fireworks show to officially end the oval track racing season.
Going into this weekend, only two championships look to be firmly in place with Josh Taks holding a 221 point lead on Garrett Ann Rosner in the Road Runner division while Dannielle Dunn has a 258 point lead on husband Damon in the Mad Max point race.
Close battles highlight the other three championships as Troy Ordano has a 78 point lead on Chris Campbell in the Crash to Pass division while in the Hornet car point battles, Raymond Fortier has a 51 point advantage on Nigel Neufeld in the A division and in the B’s James Laidlaw has a 50 point lead on Ayden Sandirson.
On Saturday Sept. 1, two rollovers and a track full of destroyed travel trailers highlighted a full night of racing action featuring Crash to Pass, Mad Max, Road Runners and Hornet cars before a big crowd.
The Fabricland-sponsored night of racing saw Chris Campbell come away with the Crash to Pass main event with Ordano picking up the heat race win and in Road Runner racing, Taks took advantage of a late race spin by leader Austin Hack to capture the main event after Hack pulled off a close win in the heat race.
The Mad Max main event featured a rollover that happened in the same place as one a couple weeks earlier by the same driver. Port Alberni’s Don Best found himself upside down after being sent off the track into the tires at the top of turn one which forced the car nose-first into the ground before landing on his roof. After Best was removed uninjured from his wrecked car, the race continued and it was a late race pass that gave Glen White the win after heat race wins for Damon Dunn and Toryn Davies.
A 41-car field for the Hornet cars made for some hotly contested races that saw nine races with nine different winners.
In the A division, Modified point champion Chris Beaulieu was behind the wheel of Brad Grant’s Hornet car for his first time and he made it look look like any other car he has raced.
The first part of the race saw Beaulieu running in mid pack but by the halfway mark he started quickly moving up and after he took the lead, he went on to a uncontested win. Earlier heat race wins went to Darren Monk and Jimmy Antonik.
In the B division main event, wins went to Chyanne Davies and Ayden Sandirson with heat race wins going to Skylar Carlson, Michael Racette and Kolton Ohman. During the second heat – won by Racette – Rider Lipkouits crashed into the tires which in turned rolled over his car which landed on its wheels and he calmly drove away into the pits to have his car checked over before returning for the main event.