Break in weather lets racing season to get underway at Emo Speedway

After a couple weeks of uncertainty, Mother Nature finally decided to cooperate for more than a day or two and let the racing action at the Emo Speedway get under way! Whether the cars have been fully prepped for the last couple of weeks or were just getting the final touches, duct tape numbers and all, all the drivers were ready to get back out on the track to kick off the season. With close battles in nearly every race throughout the evening the fans who came out to the Emo Speedway for our opening weekend were treated to some amazing racing action all night long.

Before the heat race could even start, the drama began with the reigning champion Raice Westover having to post a DNS as a small oil leak was found after hot laps. Once the remaining driver’s took to the track Tylar Wilson was able to turn his front row start into a relatively easy win with Garett Gamsby and Jesse Thompson chasing him down but running out of time by the end of the heat race. In the Feature race the 3 fastest drivers from the heat race started at the front of the field and started shucking and jiving for position. Despite starting at the rear of the field Raice Westover was able to work his towards the front of the field by the mid-point of the race. A brief caution flew after Jesse Thompson ran out of room on the high side of the track and spun on the exit of turn 4. As the racing action resumed the eventual Top 3 continued battling for the first victory of the season. After starting at the back of the field, due to being the cause of the caution, Jesse tried to every which way to get around the #28 car of Doug Derendorf but after several laps found a gap on the inside. While racing door to door down the backstretch, the 2 drivers made contact which sent the #28 to the right, nearly flipping over but landing on all 4 wheels. After Doug and the 28 car were towed into the pits Raice, Garett and Tylar made one last dash to the finish with Raice being the eventual winner.

Top 3 – 1. #15R Raice Westover 2. #33 Garett Gamsby 3. #55 Tylar Wilson

With several new drivers in the Wissota Midwest Modified class there was several cautions in the 2 heat races, but all of the rookies were able to take lessons away from their respective races. In the first heat race Carter Kinnear in the #23 was able to hold the field off until the last few laps when the #14C of Cody Ossachuk was able to work his way into the lead. In the second heat race the #4B of Brandon Rehill was able to hold off all contenders to score an easy first victory, while the hardest fought battle was for 2nd between the #16 of Garrett Paull, the #85 of Jamie Davis, and the #3D of Kevin Monteith with Paull besting the 2 veteran races. The feature race was filled action from start to finish as Kevin Monteith and Jamie Davis worked their way to the front of the pack. With only a couple of yellow flags throughout the race to slow the field Garrett Paull had his work cut out for him with his front row starting spot. As the attrition began with Carter Kinnear coming to a stop on the front stretch, and Brandon Rehill, the #24 of Cory Randle and the #89 of Kolby Reed all spinning and slowing the action, Garrett was still able to hold off the hard charging field. As the green flag flew for the final time Jamie Davis had played his cards right and had enough on the final restart to find his way past Garrett and sail to the first feature win of the season.

Top 3 – 1. #85 Jamie Davis 2. #3D Kevin Monteith 3. #16 Garrett Paull

The first Wissota Modified feature saw all the drivers keep their noses clean with Brody Strachan in the #99 taking his front row start to an easy victory, however the #50 of Brady Caul and #88 of Tanner Williamson battled all the way to the checkered flag for 2nd place. In the second heat the #21 of Matt DePiero was able to work his way from 4th to first in the first few laps and hold the field off for the victory. This gave the rookie #4A driven by Dawson Allen a chance to come to grips with the most powerful cars that the Emo Speedway has to offer and he was able to finish the race caution free. In the feature Brady Caul and Tanner Williamson were able to use their inside starting position to find their way to an early lead. A few laps into the race the #4C of Chris Bouwman spun in turn #2 with the #44 of Tyler Brown trying his best to avoid the accident but spinning himself and running into the #4C door to door. As the racing action resumed Caul and Williamson were able to hold the field off one more time and began to pull away from the field until the rookie Dawson Allen spun in turn #3. As racing resumed there was a bottleneck out of turn #2 with DePiero, Williamson, and the #85 of Jeff Davis getting into each other with only DePiero having to turn into the pits. After the contact Williamson was able to run away from the rest of the field, to his first victory of the season, while the door to door racing continued for second place. As Caul and Davis battled it gave Strachan the chance to catch up and prevail over the other drivers for second place.

Top 3 – 1. #88 Tanner Williamson 2. #99 Brody Strachan 3. #85 Jeff Davis

Despite the season just getting underway the racing neighbours from Thunder Bay will be hosting a 3 Day show at the Thunder City Speedway this weekend June 3rd, 4th, and 5th, so the Emo Speedway will take this coming Saturday off to let all the driver’s go chasing the big payday in the city. The Borderland Racing Association would like to say thank you to all of the sponsors who help keep all of the facilities around the track open. The Borderland Racing Association would like to also say thank you to all of the fans who were able to join in on the action Saturday night and to any other fans out there, if it wasn’t for you, there would be no show for the drivers to put on! Finally thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work all week long to make sure the track is ready for the fans and drivers. We will be back next Saturday night June 11th with hot laps at 7pm and racing at 7:30pm.

Faces Behind the Helmet

This week we sat down with our reigning Wissota Modified Champion #85 Jeff Davis.

What is your favourite race track food? Pizza, any kind of pizza is good with me.

When did you start racing? I started a Wissota Midwest Modified when I was 15 but started racing go-karts when I was 6. I finally moved into the Wissota Modifieds full time in 2018.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to start racing? I’d say just to respect their own and other’s equipment. Maintain your equipment properly and show that you want to learn. The experienced driver’s will notice that and be more likely to help out.

What is your favourite part about racing? Mostly just the atmosphere, I don’t know how to explain it just the feeling of family.

What made you choose your Behind the Helmet photo? That was a chassis my brother wrecked, and it sat out in the grass for 3-4 years. My dad and I brought it in and cut it in half and rebuilt almost the whole thing while the border was closed and I couldn’t go buy a newer car.

In the Shop with 3D Racing

With all the major work completed on both cars before the end of the May Long Weekend it was a fairly quiet week in the 3D Racing stable. After getting the final “nut and bolt” checks completed on both the #80 and #28 cars we decided it would be a good plan to attend the opening season practice session on Friday evening. Little did we know at the start of the night we would break a team record Friday evening. After pulling out onto the track and using a pace lap to get comfortable in the car the green flagged dropped and I got the chance to see what this new driveline could do. Unfortunately after only 2 laps while coming out of turn 2 the engine revved strangely and had no forward drive, as I reach down to make sure the car is still in gear, I found the gear shifter was no longer attached to the transmission.

Once I coasted into the pits and got a push to our pit stall I was able to reinstall the shifter fairly quickly, but when trying to restart the car to go back out for another practice session, there was no drive in any gear. Once we lifted the hood up we could see the culprit for the lack for drive, 3 large cracks in the bell housing of the transmission. Without a solid mount to the engine the transmission isn’t able to transfer power from the engine to the tires, as for the record, 2 is the fewest laps I have ever ran before having a catastrophic failure.

With only one car ready to race the Pre-Race prep was twice as fast Saturday afternoon. Upon getting to the track we were able to slowly unload the car and relax as race time neared. With a new car underneath him Doug took the #28 out for hot laps and found the handling of the car to be a bit temperamental. With a minor air pressure adjustment for the heat race Doug went back out to see what the car could do in the heat of competition. Doug found the car was handling better but the engine would not exceed 3000RPM at full throttle, when a race engine should be closer to 6500RPM. During the intermission, the best guess we could come up with as a team was that this new car was meant to be driven in low gear of the transmission instead of high gear.

As Doug pulled out he was able to confirm our theory, and be able to pull away from other drivers down the straightaways. The first half of the feature race was spent learning how the car would handle in different situations, which nearly paid dividends after the mid race caution of the spin of Jesse Thompson as Doug was able to make his car as wide as the track and hold Jesse off for several laps, however after a small amount of incidental contact down the back stretch Doug’s car turned right off the track and dug into the sand just over the bank which tilted the car up towards the driver’s door but immediately landed back on all 4 wheels.

The 28 car was able to drive onto the trailer under its own power with nothing more than a tire change to replace 1 flat tire from the accident, but will require further diagnosis to make sure that there is no further damage that couldn’t be seen under the lights. As for the #80 we will be getting a professional involved assist in diagnosing what is causing the driveline issues that have been plaguing this car for the last year. Depending on what we can find, we will be getting both cars race ready for the next night of short track action on Saturday June 11th. Hope to see you at the track!