SASKATOON, SK (August 27, 2017)- The calendar didn’t show a full moon for Saturday night, but it sure looked like full moon racing at Wyant Group Raceway. Maybe it was a carryover from the solar eclipse on Monday.
Safety crews were busy picking up fibreglass all night around the track as drivers bumped and ground their, claiming that little piece of real estate around their car.
Of course there was a lot on the line. Race teams were not only down to their second last race of the season, but the Sportsman division was running their invitational meet, the Race for the Cure 100. That brought teams from around Saskatchewan and Alberta together with one goal in mind… raising money for and awareness for the type of cancer they were representing.
Over the years the Sportsman drivers have raised thousands of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society. Even though the drivers are generous with their time and wallets going into this race, it doesn’t mean they don’t want that prestigious trophy in their shops. The battle on the track is fierce from green flag to checker.
The Legends cars were also here running dual duty on the score card, earning points in the Earthworks Sask Legends series as well as the Chase for the Western Cup. 10 Legends cars timed in and ran the heats and 40 lap feature.
The night started out easy enough, with Neil Scheider taking down a track record that had been on the books since 2012. Qualifying for the Shell V-Power Sportsman saw the #93 Burco Electrical Contractors Camaro lay down a lap in 15.152 seconds. Cale Siemens was second in the #28 Lucky Bastard Distillers Impala.
As top qualifiers they would be given the opportunity to pick up some extra cash for their cancer charity; $600 if they start at the back and come through to win the race. Both Cale and Neil jumped at the opportunity.
Everything about the race is unconventional. Each driver picked a child out of the crowd who would throw a bean bag towards a tire target.
Closest to the tire would start in poll. Next closest was outside poll and so on.
Destiny Klyn’s bean bag was the only one to land in the tire, so the #55 Canadian Diesel Power Trucks from Hanley would start on the poll. The
#77 Crop Pro Consulting Monte Carlo of Shane James from Naicam was outside poll.
Leading up to the Race for the Cure feature race, Ryan Thompson picked up the win in Heat A, piloting the newly rebuilt Dodman Homes Camaro to the winners’ circle. Cale Siemens took the Heat B win in his #28 Luck Bastard Distillers Monte Carlo.
The Race for the Cure Feature had a quick end for the #15 of Dave McIntosh. During warm up laps he was having trouble with his car.
Apparently the shift linkage had jammed. The start of the race was held up while he went to his pits where his crew crawled under the car.
The #15 pulled back onto the track and joined the field, so they were given the ‘one to green’ signal, meaning they would be getting the green flag on the next lap. As the pace car brought them through corner two, the #15 pulled back off into his pit. Because he did not take the green flag his car was not allowed to re-enter the race once repaired. He would have to watch the race from his pit.
Disaster also hit Neil Schneider as in lap two he was given a mechanical flag to report to his pit to fix an issue with his car. The #93 Camaro was spraying fuel out the right rear corner. It would appear his fuel cap was loose or the rubber was pinched or something. Pitting under green cost him 3 laps.
The #55 of Destiny Klym did jump out to an early lead though, leading the field for the first four laps. That’s when Damen Meier took over, leading the next 37 laps until caution number three.
Cale Siemens got the jump on that restart. That’s when things got a little interesting as around lap 47 Neil Schneider completed a pass on Siemens, gaining back one of the laps he lost earlier. Caution came out within a lap, but Schneider had already crossed the start line again saving the pass and preserving the lap gain. When we would go back to green for lap 48 he would be scoring only two laps down.
A couple more cautions and then the move of the race occurred around lap 90/91. Kerry Neufeld had been working on Siemens for several laps and suddenly Schneider appears again. He had once again worked his way through the field and was poking around the leader.
Neufeld had different ideas though, as did Meier. Lapped traffic comes up and Schneider is in the wrong place and drops back a couple of spots.
Neufeld is on Siemens again and Meier starts working around Siemens.
Siemens and Neufeld get caught in the wrong line as they come up on traffic and Meier slides by taking over the lead on the back straight.
It’s close coming through corner four when Siemens slips and slides down the front stretch bringing out the caution.
Because the caution takes everything back to the last completed lap, Meiers pass was wiped out and the leaderboard went back to 28-2-53.
However, as the #28 was the cause of the caution he moves to the back, handing the lead to the #2.
Siemens car was in the grass against the inside wall which took a while to clean up. The last crossing was actually 28-93-2-53, but because we were inside the last 10 laps of the race the cars are relined with the lead lap cars at the front. Schneider would have had a chance at the front row, but that went away as he was pushed back to 10th, behind the lead lap cars.
The rest of the race remained uneventful as #53 was clearly used up and the #2 Neufeld Building Movers Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS held on to win.
Second was the #49 Northern Lights Casino Monte Carlo of Ben Busch and Damen Meier hung on for third in his #53 Chevy SS.
In Legends Chase for the Western Cup Action, Saskatoon driver AJ Morrison timed in quickest at 16.314 seconds. The young AJ also won the second heat race and the Earthworks Feature race in his #84 Snooker Shack Ford Coupe. Brad Blumer was the winner of the first heat in his
#24 Ford Coupe.
Following AJ in the feature was the #19 of Greg Slater from Camrose, and the #24 of Brad Blumer from Dinsmore.
In the Golf’s Car Wash Street Stocks, #81 Curtis Houben took the Heat win, while #3 of Craig Katelnikoff took the Qualifier race. Curtis Houben was back on top in the Golf’s Car Wash feature, taking the win in the #81 RPM Camaro. Scott Barrand was second in the #1 Tailgatorz Sports Bar Camaro and Mike Rea was third in his #18 J&L Frame and Alignment Monte Carlo.
One more in the books for the Tiger Automotive Pro Trucks, one more to go. Saturday Keven Dyck climbed in his old #10 Silverado now owned by Rob Naismith. He drove it like he owned it though, winning both the heat and the Tiger Automotive feature in the #10 Pinnicle Builders Silverado.
Brennan Kirton’s #92 Cervus Equipment Silverado picked up the Qualifier win.
Behind Dyck in the Tiger Automotive feature was the #01 Family Pizza
F150 of Alex Leschenko and Shantel Kalika in the #49 OK Tire and Auto Service Dodge Ram.
Next weekend was set aside on the schedule as a rain date, but we got through the entire schedule intact, so it’s another weekend off at Wyant Group Raceway. We will return for the final three and biggest event weekends starting Saturday September 9th with the start of the points finals for the Bandoleros, the Pro Trucks and the Street Stocks. It is also the annual Street Stock Invitational, the Martensville Valley A&W 100.
The Golf’s Car Wash Mini Stocks are here too for their second last race of the season. September 9 will also be our last evening race of the season, with September 16 and 24 having 2:00 starts.
So remember, mark your calendars for Saturday September 9. Action starts in Martensville around 9:00 a.m. with a driver meet and greet, continues through the afternoon with a Show and Shine along Centennial Drive, and concludes with racing at Wyant Group Raceway. Gates open at 5:00pm, with the first green flag at 6:05pm.