By Anthony Leek – It was the most suitable day possible after days of wet, rainy, and windy weather ripped through the Rainy River District. Season Championship night was at hand for the Emo Speedway with the usual classes of WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, and Street Stocks. While the WISSOTA Modifieds and Street Stocks had their champions decided, the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds had a slight chance for John Hettinga to sneak up from second to win the track championship. Amsoil Dirt Track Racing Series was underway once again for the thirteenth time in a row since the last rainout.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds were reduced to one heat for the first time in several years, just being shy of a total of ten. In their only heat, Mike Wilson maintained the lead to win it, while Christopher Leek and John Hettinga rounded out the top three. In the Street Stocks, twelve cars were split into two heats with Dan Hettinga moving from fourth to finish with the win. Jeff Wickstrom finished second and Carlee Bosma cleaned up third. In their second heat, Don Bowman never looked back to win it, while Ron Westover had to move from sixth to take second and rookie Nick Leininger claimed the third spot. In the WISSOTA Modifieds, Glen Strachan dominated the heat race, with Bill Witherspoon and Gary Wilson taking second and third.
In the feature of the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, M. Wilson and Leek were on the front row. Off the hop, Wilson took the lead, starting where he finished in the heat. There were a couple quick restarts at the beginning but otherwise it was a straight through race. Almost halfway in, Wilson lost a bit of control in corner four, allowing Leek to pass for the lead. But, Wilson charged back and the two fought side by side for several laps. A couple more quick cautions ensued and Leek once again took the lead for a couple laps. The race was far from over as Wilson powered through the corners to pass Leek for the second win of his career. Hettinga was able to finish ahead of points leader Brady Caul in both the heat and the feature, but it wasn’t enough as the young driver of Caul claimed his first ever track championship.
In the Street Stocks, Terry Martin and Libby Wilson started on the front row. As Wilson fell back at the green flag, Martin had the early lead, just waiting for the competition to come from the back. Soon, J. Wickstrom had made his way to the front and jostled with Hettinga for several laps, a repeat from the heat race. A caution came out over halfway as Lindsay Bourre was sitting sideways on the front stretch. The cars lined back up in single file and Wickstrom continued to lead. With only a few laps remaining, Hettinga spun out at turn four, making Bowman hit the brakes. Unfortunately for Westover, he was unable to react/slowdown in time and he rear ended Bowman causing the front of the car to burst into flames. Westover was quick to get out of the car and track rescuers put out the fire almost immediately. On the last restart, no one was able to catch up to Wickstrom, who took his second feature win of the year. Bosma had another excellent run taking second spot. Congratulations to Ron Westover for winning the championship as he mathematically claimed it at the end of last week’s races.
In the WISSOTA Modifieds, the seven cars started out clean enough, but coming out of four, Brad Loveday made it three wide and very close racing ensued. Loveday and Witherspoon made contact, making Witherspoon frantically try to maintain control. The driver’s car went sideways, leaving Strachan nowhere to go but over top of Witherspoon. The two were towed off as their night was done. A couple restarts followed, with Loveday winning the race ahead of Gary Wilson and Dwayne Pelepetz. Glen Strachan claimed the top spot in the point standings.
Racing competes for one more night at the Emo Speedway this Saturday afternoon September 11th with Hot Laps at 4:00pm and Racing at 4:30pm. Mechanic s and Powder Puff races will happen after the regular program and car rides will be available for the kids during intermission.
Feature – Brad Loveday, Gary Wilson, Dwayne Pelepetz, Tyler Brown, Rick Bourre, Glen Strachan, Bill Witherspoon
Heat – Strachan, Witherspoon, Wilson, Pelepetz, Brown, Bourre, Loveday
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature – Mike Wilson, Christopher Leek, John Hettinga, Brady Caul, Anthony Visser, Kendal Gamsby, Cody Ossachuk, Steve Nordin, Tylar Wilson
Heat – M. Wilson, Leek, Hettinga, Caul, Visser, Wilson, Gamsby, Ossachuk, Nordin
Feature – Jeff Wickstrom, Carlee Bosma, Tyler Wickstrom, Daniel Hettinga, Lindsay Bourre, Nick Leininger, Richard Visser, Libby Wilson, Don Bowman, Ron Westover, Charlene Nicolson, Terry Martin
Heat 1 – Hettinga, J. Wickstrom, Bosma, Nicolson, Wilson, Martin
Heat 2 – Bowman, Westover, Leininger, Visser, T. Wickstrom, Bourre