The second last race of the 2017 season at Saratoga Speedway Saturday saw two point champions crowned and two track records set on the Schnitzer Steel Championship night.
The Modifiedes and Bomber cars were joined by a night of racing by the Road Runners and Mad Max cars. Oyster River’s Chris Beaulieu, having already clinched the Modified points championship and his speedway best seventh, put a stamp on his dominating season by winning the heat and the 40-lap main. Beaulieu grabbed the lead from Jeff May on the 10th lap and even with a caution flag restart on lap 24, was able to pull away to capture the win ahead of Peter Mulion and May, who earlier won the trophy dash.
Campbell River’s Boston Larson went into Saturday’s racing with a 48-point advantage on Chad Taks and 101 ahead of Charlie Akerman in the chase for the Bomber championship. Larson used a second place finish behind Akerman in the main event and a win in the heat to win his second speedway championship (he won the Hornet championship in 2014). He joins dad Darren (2015) and uncle Darrell (2016) as the Bomber point champion by finishing 59 points ahead of Taks and 85 ahead of Akerman.
The two new season track records were set first by Road Runner driver Ryan Guest with an 18.97 lap, then Akerman posted a new lap time in the Bombers with a 17.2. Being that the records for track records based on rule changes aren’t available, the records are based on the best laps of the 2017 season.
In Road Runner racing, Guest boosted his class leading point total to 116 as he attempted to capture his third straight championship, and did so by winning the heat race and main event. In Mad Max racing, Toryn Davies came away with the win in the heat race and 25 lap main event while point leader Danielle Antonik built her point lead to 128 over Damon Dunn.
The 2017 season comes to a end this Saturday night as Kite Delivery presents championship night for the Hornets, Mad Max, Road Runners and Crash to Pass with only one class having their point championship clinched. The Hornet As has Carter Hintz with a 245 point lead on Luke Dixon — a total that cannot be overcome giving Hintz the championship. The Hornet Bs have the closest battle of all eight classes as only 61 points separate leader Jimmy Antonik, Randi Joyce, James Laidlaw and Evan McLuckie, making their last main event of the season deciding the 2017 champion. Guest’s 116 ahead of Austin Hack and Antonik’s 128 point lead over Dunn favours the two drivers, but with racing being an anything-can-happen-sport, their championships more than likely will be based on qualifying and heat race results. The final points battle comes in Crash to Pass as Troy Ordano has a catchable 70-point lead on Rich Hutton while Scott McLellan will have to take advantage of some breaks to catch Ordano as he sits in third, 140 points back.
This Saturday is a rain or shine event. With the fire ban lifted, the 2017 season will end with a speedway trademark fireworks show. The last race of the season will be the popular Great Pumpkin race where every possible car in all classes will have a pumpkin on their hood and the last to not fall of is the winner…..This weekend is the last weekend for the Go Karts and monster truck rides.