A night full of aggressive racing

Racing action Saturday at Saratoga Speedway was highlighted by a night full of aggressive racing with the IMCA Modifieds, Bombers and Dwarf cars. The action featured lots of incidents of trading paint and bent metal which eliminated three cars, along with two for motor problems and one for a blown transmission. In the Modified heat, Jamie Fleming and Chris Beaulieu tangled sending Fleming hard backwards into the tires, damaging his car. Beaulieu had a bent spindle which he replaced in time for the main. Fleming was done for the night. The 20-lap main had a first-time winner as Campbell River’s Jeff Monks took an early lead and held off a challenge from Beaulieu in the final laps. Campbell River’s Travis Stevenson won his second straight Modified dash, and the 12-lap heat win went to Brad Kotscherofski ahead of Don Hallgarth and Peter Muloin. A 14-car field of Dwarf cars were on hand for the nights racing though two were lost before the first event. A four-lap trophy dash went to Brayden Aumen, and heat race wins went to Tovay Helgesen, the only female Dwarf car driver, and Campbell River’s Stewart Lee. The 25 lap main was a spirited affair as 12 drivers took the green flag. Victoria’s Adam Smith led the first 18 laps before he got involved with Brad Struck, which brought out the yellow flag, giving Courtenay’s Mike Meers the lead. But Lee wound up winning his fourth Saratoga dwarf main ahead of Meers and Aumen.

In Bombers, Parksville’s Charlie Akerman won the 25 lap main ahead of Chad Taks and Boston Larsen. Powell River’s Devon Degraag won the trophy dash and Taks the 10 lap heat. Next race for the Modifieds and Bombers is July 15 and the Dwarfs Aug. 26.

This Saturday, the speedway hosts three special attractions to go along with the Mad Max cars, the Hornets, Road Runners and Crash to Pass cars: Robo Dragon, Crash to Pass trailer race and a stunt show by the Crusher.

Guest talk….Helgesen is not just the only female dwarf car driver but is also the only female sprint car driver in the Wilroc Lite series..Dano Bryant began his night changing a blown clutch then saw his night end in the Modified heat race with motor problems…note to all drivers: next practice night is July 26 as the speedway goes to practices every two weeks…Local racing suffered a loss last week as Campbell River’s Tommy Hamilton passed away, leaving behind a history of successful race car driving. He joined George Stuart as the only local drivers to be inducted into the Victoria Racing Hall of Fame. Terrible Tommy was known for racing stock cars at Oyster River speedway (now known as Saratoga), Victoria and the defunct Langley Speedway, along with being the winningest Mustang driver on the former Westwood race course in Vancouver. Tommy, who served as one of the first tech-men at Saratoga, was a friend to many. His friendly smile will be missed but he will be remembered for having lived a good life…

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