Sauble Speedway – Saturday July 2nd, 2011 – Where, oh where, OH WHERE do I even start?! Saturday night at Sauble Speedway was the Annual OPEN WHEEL EXTRAVAGANZA, and that big ten dollar word does nothing to describe what happened on that hot, humid evening that will surely go down as one of the most action packed Hurricane races of all time.
If you wanted fast, good looking Sprint Cars…You got ‘em.
If you wanted LOTS of Sprint Cars…….You got ‘em.
If you wanted crashes & cautions, including Ambulance AND Firemen…You got ‘em.
And, if you wanted 3 & 4 wide cars battling it out for 1st place…You got that too!
23 Cars took to the field on Saturday night, and first of all, let me say, that is a sight to behold from the announcer’s tower. The sheer thought of having to keep track of all those “wild things” was daunting to say the least. The cars all looked great, and the sound of 23 Hurricane motors buzzing along was almost deafening.
The first lap saw our 1st Caution for the evening, as cars bunched up on the straight away between corners 2 and 3. A full restart was called…But, this was just a sign of things to come…..
During the 4th full lap we saw the #97 of Robin McLean, #84 of Richard Woodland, and the #21 car driven by Larry Westwood, all go for a full force hit & spin. The Ambulance was called out for its first time for the night. Both Robin McLean and Richard Woodland had to take that dreaded ride back to the pits where the damage to their own bodies was assessed as well as the bodies of their cars. We are glad to say that other than bumps and a few bruises, both drivers will be okay, but they will both be busy this week prepping their cars for next Saturday’s outing to Grand Bend Speedway.
During the course of this Caution, we also lost rookie driver Kyle Durnin for several laps, who joined us in the #51 car, and #93 Amanda McCall lost her chain in the pile up, and was out for the race for the evening.
The pack was thinning out, and the cars were getting some what easier to count…
We saw 3 more cautions before the 17th lap…and then it happened…..Car
#24 looked as though the brakes were getting hot as he drove by the tower. By the time the car made it around the track just one more time, the entire back end was aglow with flames and burning metal! A call for an immediate Red Flag Stop, saw Ryan Brown turning in to the infield and trying to escape his car and the heat of the flames creeping up his seat. Although he got out quickly, and the emergency crews were fast on hand with extinguishers, it was not quick enough for Ryan “Fireball” Brown, who by that time, had sustained 2nd degree burns to his lower back, between the jacket and pants of his fire suit. Ryan received immediate medical attention, and we are glad to say he is doing much better now. We hope Ryan has a quick recovery, and that MacDonald Motorsports can pull this car together for next weekend.
So now there are just 2 laps left, and the crowd can feel the tension as our top 5 contenders are getting ready to battle neck and neck for that oh so coveted Black & White Checker Flag…. The green flag drops and the racing is wild with cars taking the corners 3 and 4 wide! And although we had cars 48, 62, 10, 99 & 7 all running consistently in the top 5 positions, it could have been anyone’s win. The last 2 laps were fierce with competition, and excellent driving skills. Rounding the final corner heading for the Start/Finish line, the #62 of Rob McCall passed the #48 of Brian Woodland, and it looked as though Rob would take his first win of the season. Then, taking the 4th turn too deep, Rob momentarily lost control of his newly rebuilt car, and #48 stole his position back once again.
When the final black & white flag flew, we saw Brian Woodland in his car #48 keep hold of his front running position with just a second to spare before the #62 of Rob McCall crossed the Finish Line behind him.
Then came A.J. Emms in his Red Hot #10 Car, Adam Tyo in his Blue Ice Rocket #99, and the Screamin’ #7 of Larry Lawson round out our top five spots.
Brian Woodland in now officially holding the first winning streak of the year, with his second Feature win in a row for the season. Excellent work Brian!
On a different note, this Saturday also saw many other things happen that we just wanted to make special note of.
First, Chuck & I would like to thank all the guys that came to help us offload our trailer and get our tents etc. set up on Saturday.
Dealing with a broken weld on our trailer really put us behind the 8 Ball on the drive up on Saturday afternoon, and we appreciate all the help you gave us to get up and running so quickly once we were on site.
Second, we would like to thank Richard Woodland, driver of car # 84 who offered his welding services to Car #18 over the course of the heat races and help get him back together, to ensure all our drivers who were in attendance, actually got a chance to make it to the Feature race.
The support our team members provide to each other cannot be surpassed anywhere. It is such an honour to help run a club for drivers that take their racing seriously, but are also willing to stop and help out a fellow driver to make sure everyone at least gets a shot at racing that day. It makes going to the track a joy – every single time.
Next weekend we will be at Grand Bend Speedway – its one of the smallest and fastest tracks we race at – Kind of like Bristol is for Nascar! It’s sure to be exciting racing, and we look forward to seeing you all there.
Jackie Francis – Hurricane Midgets Racing Club