The long weekend saw Saratoga Speedway hopping with action as nearly 80 race cars filled the Black Creek oval for two days of racing. They produced 28 races and, along with two monster trucks, entertained two of the biggest crowds in local sports entertainment in 2017.
The lineup featured over 50 Hornet cars along with the Mad Max cars that were joined by the always entertaining Crash to Pass cars and the closely competitive Road Runners. Under perfect conditions, Saturday night’s racing for the Hornet B cars saw heat race wins going to Carl Carlson, Tyson Seggie and Taylor Pheaton while main event wins went to Carlson in the B main followed by an A main win for Evan McLuckie. The Hornet A cars continued to display some highly competitive bumper-to-bumper racing with each race highly contested. Heat wins went to Nigel Neufeld and Ryan Jensen with the main event going to Darren Monk. Road Runner action saw Ryan Guest win the heat race with the 15-lap main event going to Ray Andersov. In Crash to Pass racing, Scott McLellan took the heat race win then Glen Ordano survived 15 laps of mayhem to win the main event. In the wild Mad Max series, Carl Kurpiela took the win in the 12-lap heat race followed by an action-packed 20-lap main event which saw Danielle Antonik take the win.
Once again under perfect race conditions, teams returned to the track Sunday for another full night of racing along with the monster trucks. The night began with heat races for all classes followed by six main events, one of which ended with the season’s second rollover. After three races the third different driver won the Road Runner main event after Austin Hack took the 20-lap win followed by wins by Brian Calderwood in Mad Max, Troy Ordano in the Crashers while Hornet main events went to Kyle Leouzio in the Hornet B main. Micheal White won the A main with Blair Mangles winning the Hornet A main event. Saturday night saw Evan McLuckie winning the Hornet A main then on Sunday he saw his run in the A main end on the last lap upside down after a tangle with another car sending into the same tires that caused Nigel Neufeld’s rollover opening night.
This Saturday night, the IMCA Modifieds return for their second race of the season after their first night was washed out due to rain. They will compete for the Darrell Wardrope memorial trophy which was scheduled to be raced on the rained-out opener. Wardrope was part of the local racing family who lost a battle with cancer in February. Joining the Modifieds will be the ever-growing Bomber class along with the Road Runners, which race for the third straight week June 3, along with the Hornets, Mad Max and Crash to Pass, which will also feature the yearly truck rodeo, which will see two self loading log trucks tossing and tearing apart two cars. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. followed by qualifying at 6 and racing with the first green flag at 7 p.m.
Guest talk…Campbell River’s Stewart Lee was in in Penticton for the long weekend for two races in his Dwarf car, and came away with main event wins on both nights…Neufeld’s heat race win was his first race after his opening day rollover in the same car after some major suspension work to get it back on the track….Andersov, a former speedway stock car driver and current late model driver at Victoria’s Western Speedway, was filling in for Kevin Hack….Speedway paving of the infield begins May 29 with helpers welcome. Work begins at 10 a.m.