Emo Speedway roars into racing action once again

By Darren Derendorf
Special to the Times

For the first time in over a year, the weekend warrior racers have returned to do battle on the grounds that they know best – Emo Speedway. Despite COVID-19, the Borderland Racing Association was able to hold five events throughout the summer of 2020. However it was without fans in the grandstands. If you ask any driver, volunteer, or race fan there was something missing from last summer, the action of a Short Track Saturday night every week. Well, spectators are back and the drivers have been able to shake the rust off quickly and offer some action right out of the gate!

In the Emo Street Stock class after a dominant performance from the competitors from Thunder Bay last weekend, the local drivers got a chance to shine this weekend.

The Street Stock drivers hit the track first for their Heat race, which ran caution free despite some hard racing in the back of the pack as some of the newer drivers in the field were coming to grips with a very slick race track. At the front of the field Kevin Desserre was able to hold off the field for his first heat win of the season. In the Feature Garrett Gamsby was able to take an early lead and show the field the way until a late race restart. Towards the middle of the pack Street Stock newcomer Stephan Brown and Darren Derendorf came together and both spun into the infield bringing out the first caution of the race. Brown despite a blown front tire was able to replace his tire and finish the feature with a 4th place. On a late race restart the defending Emo Street Stock Champion Raice Westover was able to sneak past Gamsby and claim Westover’s first feature win of the season.

It’s been a long hiatus, but Borderland Racing is back in action! Fans are in the stands, and the engines are tuned up. Join the action in person on Saturday nights. Next race is this Saturday, July 17. – Erika Sheppard photo

Top 3 – 1-#15R Raice Westover, 2-#33 Garrett Gamsby, 3-#86 Kevin Desserre

In the Wissota Midwest Modified field the drivers were able to all stay out of trouble through both heat races on an ever changing track with Tanner Williamson and Brody Strachan winning their respective races. As the sun began to set the largest field of the evening took to the track. With both our heat winners starting mid pack there would be no time to wait for a caution flag to start moving up. By the time of the caution Tanner had moved up 4 positions to 4th where Brody and taken the lead advancing to 1st. The only caution of the race came when Garrett Paull, Paul Hari, and Keelan Hall had a coming together in turn 1 with both Hari and Hall having to be brought back to the pits by tow truck. The rookie Paull was able to stay on track for a 6th place finish. After the restart Brody was able to hold off the hard charging field behind him for his first feature win of the night.

Top 3 – 1-#99 Brody Strachan , 2-#59X James Lambert , 3-#88 Tanner Williamson

Emo Speedway’s fastest weekly class the Wissota Modifieds always put on a show and they did not disappoint this week. After starting toward the rear of the field in the heat race by the time the only caution flag came out the eventual winner Jeff Davis had already found himself in first place. The only caution from the heat race came from relative newcomer Cameron Brown of Rainy River with a spin-off of turns 3 and 4 but was able to rally for a 5th place finish. Leading into the final feature of the night both of our prior feature winners, Raice Westover and Brody Strachan were pulling double duty racing in 2 classes each. Both drivers were racing hard to gain track position however Wissota Modified Rookie Raice Westover spun in turn 4 to bring out the only caution flag of the race. From there it was a mad dash to the finish between Jeff Davis and Brody Strachan with Brody managing to take his 3rd Wissota Modified feature win of the season.

Top 3 – 1-#99 Brody Strachan, 2-#85D Jeff Davis, 3-#21 Matt DePiero

We would like to extend a big thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and last but not least the fans! After having spent a year with empty grandstands, it has never been more apparent how important fans are to motorsports. Without the support of the volunteers, sponsors and race fans we would not be able to enjoy this hobby that has been part of the Rainy River District for decades. We will be back again this Saturday July 17th with Hot Laps at 7pm and Racing starting at 7:30pm. Please follow all COVID-19 guidelines and we hope to see you all at the races!