Five new track champions were crowned Saturday on the final night of the 2012 racing season at Saratoga Speedway.
The Bomber cars, Hornet cars, Roadrunners, Crash to Pass cars and I.M.C.A Modifieds all battled it out to see who would take home the championship in their respective classes. The night ended with yet another amazing fireworks show, capping a great end to the 2012 season.
Going into Saturday, one championship was already wrapped up – the Bomber division where #72 Stewart Lee came into the night with a commanding 386-point lead over defending champion #11 Justin Beaulieu and Mike Dionne. All Lee needed to do was qualify to insure his second championship in three years, which he did by setting fast time of 17.768 seconds in qualifying.
Even though Lee had already won the title, he went out and dominated the 40-lap feature, leading all but six laps. Lee ended up 408 points ahead of Beaulieu and Dionne, and 611 points ahead of third place #46 Ryan Monks.
In the Roadrunner division, #59 Ted Dimitrov came into Saturday with a narrow 15-point lead over #66 Nick Leavitt. Dimitrov ended the night in first place in points, but after the race he was declared illegal, taking away all of his points for the night and giving the championship to Leavitt. However, the disqualification was later over-ruled, giving Dimitrov the points championship.
In the I.M.C.A Modifieds, #98 Pat Brown was searching for his first-ever championship as well. Coming into the night, Brown held a 120-point lead over defending champion #53 Kevin Noble. Brown set fast time of 15.592 in qualifying, meaning all he had to do was finish the main event to win the title. He did just that, placing second behind #44 Tim Openshaw. Brown finished 261 points ahead of second-place Noble, and 333 points ahead of Openshaw.
Defending Crash to Pass champion #01 Jeff May came into the night with a 143-point lead over #73 Sheldon Hopp who was hoping for his first-ever championship. May narrowly beat Hopp in qualifying, setting a time of 18.749 compared to Hopp’s 18.750. Hopp gained those points back in the A heat though, leading every lap of the 10-lap heat.
May took over in the 30-lap feature race, grabbing the lead on lap seven and never looking back to clinch his second straight Crash to Pass championship. Hopp ran into mechanical problems on lap 18, ending his hopes of a championship. Hopp finished 238 points behind May, with third place going to #11 Dan Kemp who finished 391 points back.
Sixty points separated the top three in the Hornet A division. #02 Daryl Cahill led #08 Daryn Cahill and #01 Kevin Lawrenuk going into Saturday night. Daryl set fast time in qualifying with a quick 18.209 lap, giving him the early advantage. Daryl fought his way from the back in the A heat to take the win, furthering his lead over Daryn and Kevin.
In the 30-lap feature main event, #09 Cameron Phillips led the pack before falling back in the pack on lap seven and giving the lead to Lawrenuk. Lawrenuk stretched his lead from there, but Daryl soon found himself on Lawrenuk’s back bumper. Daryl battled Lawrenuk hard but could not find a way around defending champion Lawrenuk, who captured his fourth main event win of the year.
In the end, #02 Daryl Cahill took his second championship in the past three years, barely beating out Lawrenuk who finished 54 points back, with third going to Daryn who finished 158 points back.
Meanwhile, 90 points separated #64 MacLaren Inglis and #28 Brianne Fenn who were both seeking their first championships at Saratoga Speedway in the Hornet B division. Inglis started off great, setting fast time in qualifying and winning the 10-lap heat, giving himself a great lead going into the main event.
But after the heat race, Inglis was disqualified for having camber on his tires, which wiped out his points for qualifying and the heat race, opening the door for Fenn. Inglis fixed his tires for the main event, giving him a chance for the championship, but on lap eight, Inglis spun out #98 Nigel Neufeld who was leading the 25-lap event, bringing out a black flag for Inglis and ending his hopes for a championship.
Fenn was now guaranteed her first-ever championship, finishing 96 points ahead of Inglis and 386 points ahead of Neufeld and #17 Brad Dimitrov who tied for third.
The Figure 8s were also out Saturday. This class runs for fun, not points. #15 Cindy Kennedy won the dash and the heat while #02 Chantelle May dominated the 20-lap main event, leading every lap.
EXTRA LAPS 2012 was one of the best seasons of racing at Saratoga Speedway in many years. On behalf of all of us at Saratoga Speedway, I would like to thank the many sponsors who make racing possible, the race car drivers who put on an amazing show week in and week out, the many volunteers who commit every Saturday night to putting on a show for the fans, and the fans who come out every Saturday night to watch the races – without all of this, racing would not be possible … hope to see you all next year for the 2013 season …
– Saratoga Speedway