A Full Weekend of Fun was had at the Emo Speedway

By Darren Derendorf
Emo Speedway

After a week off at the Emo Speedway your short track heroes were back in action this past weekend with 2 days of racing action. Although the waters may have been calm on Friday night, it was the calm before the storm, and with the grandstands packed Saturday, all the racers were elbows out racing and left it all out on the track. Whether it was during the hot action out on the oval in the evening, or the July 1st fun in the sun Saturday afternoon, the Emo Speedway had a little something for everyone this weekend.

Throughout Saturday afternoon there was plenty of fun to be had at the Emo Fairgrounds, between the bouncy castles, a Canada themed scavenger hunt, and the splash zone for the younger family members, to over 20 of your favourite local makers and bakers that were ready to provide a sweet treat or the perfect item to bring home, the Emo Fire Department was even on hand to help cool you down from the blazing heat. To make sure that everyone was well fed, food was available all day from Buckshot’s BBQ Pit, Chinese Food by Edna Wood, and the Emo Barwick Devlin Minor Hockey Association. As the afternoon turned to evening the festivities weren’t done yet as the Emo Speedway Canada Day Bike Parade took place in front of the grandstands during intermission, with some of the participants making sure the drivers got to enjoy the parade by making a full lap around the horse track that surrounds the speedway and the pits, and finally at the conclusion of the races there was a spectacular Firework Show provided by the Township of Emo. Throughout the day, the Township of Emo, the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society, and the Borderland Racing Association had a friendly competition at the dunk tank, to see who could raise the most for the Emo Food Bank in one hour, with the Township raising a whopping $485 the BRA raising $295 and finally the RRVAS raising $185. Congratulations to this year’s Car Show winners, Best in Show (as determined by the BRA) Mickey Ryll with their1954 Chevy and to the Fan Favourite winner Dennis Ivall with their 1928 Ford Model A Roadster Pick-Up. Finally thank you to all the people and organizations who helped in hosting the July 1st activities, but a huge thank you needs to go to Tammy Strachan, Alyssa Strachan, Jyllian Westover, Dawn Westover, and Chantal Derendorf for their months of planning, so if you see them on the street, please give them a pat on the back.


The Emo Street Stocks started Friday evening with 2 heats of clean precision driving, with the #54X of A.J. Kellar flexing some of the muscle his car had racing from 7th to 1st. In Friday’s feature Kellar started from the pole and was able to hold a several car length lead throughout the entire race, and rebuilding it very quickly after the only caution for contact between the #45 of Terry Kellar and the #583 of Nathaniel Keck. After the restart the battle for second was very heated as the #33 of Garett Gamsby, #24 of Andrew Piilo, #55 of Tylar Wilson, and the #86 of Kevin Desserre raced nose to tail waiting for each other to make a mistake as the inside line proved to be the fastest way around the track.

Friday Top 3

  1. #54X A.J. Kellar
  2. #Garett Gamsby
  3. #24 Andrew Piilo

Come Saturday the racing groove widened to nearly the whole track and the Emo Streets Stocks took advantage with door to door racing. In the first heat Wilson and Gamsby gained 2 spots in their heat where Piilo and Kellar were able to build big margins of victory in their respective heats. In the feature race the drivers were elbows up and the first victim of the hard racing was Gasmby who spun on the back stretch and caused the first caution. With the field bunched together on the restart, there was contact between Piilo and Desserre on the exit of turn 2 that caused them both to spin blocking the track and collecting another 3 cars in the accident. Piilo was the only driver able to continue from the accident, and in the 4 lap shootout to the checkered flag Piilo’s car began smoking and he pulled off early with a major mechanical failure. With all the carnage behind them Kellar, Wilson and the #18 of Abe Germain were able to battle for the win, with Kellar just barely holding off a hard charging Wilson on the last lap.

Saturday Top 3

  1. #54X A.J. Kellar
  2. #55 Tylar Wilson
  3. #18 Abraham Germain


As the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds took to the track Friday night as an adaptable car would prove to be the most important as most cars could only find speed on the inside line, however bad luck struck in the second heat mere laps after taking the lead #85 Jamie Davis slowed due to a flat left rear tire, but he was able to hang on for a third place finish. The feature race ran green the whole way with Davis quickly finding his way to the lead, with the other big movers of the #14C of Cody Ossachuk and the #86eh of Tanner Ulakovic both gaining 4 spots to finish 3rd and 4th respectively.

Friday Top 3

  1. #85 Jamie Davis
  2. #14 Edward Bell
  3. #14C Cody Ossachuk

The wide track proved to be tricky for some of the Midwest Modifieds with several drivers going over the edge of the track or spinning in the middle of corner 2, but the front runners from Friday quickly found themselves at the front in the first heat with Davis gaining 6 spots to finish second, Ulakovic gaining 3 spots to first, and in the second heat Ossachuk gained spots to second where the #3X of Jesse Thompson was able to hang onto the lead for his first heat win of the season. In the feature race there was a door to door battle throughout the entire field with Ulakovic and Davis exchanging blows for the lead, but the caution fell a few laps into the race when Ossachuk and the #2C of Dan Tocheri made contact in turn three eventually collecting several other cars. As the green flag returned the door to door racing continued with a second caution coming with 5 laps to go for a single car spin, meaning Davis would have to hold the field off one more time on a Green, White, Checkered finish, which he was able to, to claim a weekend sweep of feature wins.

Saturday Top 3

  1. #85 Jamie Davis
  2. #86eh Tanner Ulakovic
  3. #10D Patrick Davis


In the WISSOTA Modifieds heats the strong contenders quickly found their way to the front of the field in all three heats, with #99 of Brody Strachan gaining 3 spots, the #12 Tony Cassie gaining 3 sports and the #88 of Tanner Williamson gaining 2 spots in each of their respective heats. In the feature Williamson was able to hold his 1st starting position until he caught up with lap traffic which slowed him down allowing several other drivers to catch up. After contact mid field causing a caution, Cassie and the #85 of Jeff Davis were able to find their way past Williamson on the restart in the 2 lap shootout to the checkered.

Friday Top 3

  1. #12 Tony Caissie
  2. #85 Jeff Davis
  3. #88 Tanner Williamson

On Saturday the Modifieds continued the action with 3 wide racing in the first heat for the 2nd position with the #44 of Tyler Brown taking the second spot at the checkered, but Davis showed just how tough he would be to beat by winning with a large margin of victory. In the second heat race the 3 way battle was for the lead with Strachan, the 4JR of Cameron Brown, and the #21 of Matt DePiero and it raged until the last lap with Strachan taking the win. In the feature race the #06 of Mike Wilson was a man on a mission and was able take the lead early but was under constant attack by the #4JR, #44, #85, #99, and #12. With 8 laps to go the caution fell as the #06 spun into turn 3 and collected several other cars, bringing the end of the day to 2 drivers. With only a couple laps to go it was up to Davis to hold off the field, but on the exit of turn 4 Strachan was able to get a nose in over the next couple turns worked past Davis to claim the victory.

Saturday Top 3

  1. #99 Brody Strachan
  2. #85 Jeff Davis
  3. #44 Tyler Brown

As an added treat for the weekend of racing 3 of Northwestern Ontario’s best Hornet (race cars with 4 cylinder motors) racers came to the Emo Speedway to put on a show for the fans. Although there were only 3 cars we got a chance to see some amazing outright speed as the #426 of Brendan Makkinga from Thunder Bay lead the way in both the Friday and Saturday night features, while the siblings from Kenora of Kamea Mulholland in the #17 and Madoc Mulholland in the #71 raced door to door every time they took to the track, with Kamea taking second place 3 times, but in the Saturday night feature Madoc was able to finally claim a 2nd with a photo finish in Saturday’s feature. After showing so much speed Friday Makkinga decided to race with the Emo Street Stocks Saturday night as an extra challenge but would not be scored during the race, and the 13 year old driver stepped up as he was able to pass 2 of the larger and more powerful cars in the heat race and scored a top 10 in the feature becoming a star of the weekend.


The Borderland Racing Association would like to say thank you to Friday’s sponsor Sunset Country Ford and to the Township of Emo and the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society for their help with the July 1st Festivities. The Borderland Racing Association would like to also say thank you to all of the fans and community members who were able to join in on the fun and excitement Friday night and all day Saturday. Finally thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work all week long to make sure the track and Fairgrounds were prepared for the weekend of entertainment. The action continues this Saturday July 8th with Hot Laps at 7pm and Racing starting at 7:30pm.