Snowmachine speedsters rev up

Joey Payeur

More races
this Saturday

The weather was warm and the action hot at the Northwest Bay ice track this past weekend—and there’s enough speed to spare for another event this weekend.
The Naicatchewenin First Nation Radar Engine Drag Races were in full gear Saturday and Sunday as drivers from around Rainy River District put their sleds to the test.
“It was pretty good overall,” said Adrian Snowball, who, along with co-organizer Gary Adams and many hard-working volunteers, helped pull off the event—despite only getting handed the responsibility the previous week.
“It was especially good on Sunday. Quite a few came out,” he added.
Usually when one speaks of battling the elements, the talk revolves around miserable weather. But the balmy conditions Saturday and Sunday provided their own set of difficulties to race organizers.
“By the afternoon, the slush was starting to come out,” Snowball said. “It was tough for the racers to adapt.”
During Saturday’s radar runs, which saw racers compete to see who could reach the top recorded speed, Ken Anderson was the cream of the crop in the Class SR-5 division (701-800 cc and up), topping out at 164.8 km/h (102.4 m.p.h.) to become the only driver to break the 100 m.p.h. barrier during the day.
Darren Smith placed second at 160.8 km/h (99.9 m.p.h.) while Steve Parks was third at 160.1 km/h (99.5 m.p.h.)
In Class SR-4 (601-700 cc), Rick Mallory blasted his way to first place with a mark of 157.8 km/h (98.1 m.p.h.), followed by Andy Badiuk in second at 157.1 km/h (97.6 m.p.h.) and Josh Miller in third at 155.6 km/h (96.7 m.p.h.)
Class SR-3 (551-600 cc) belonged to Leonard Cournoyer, who topped the speed gun at 146.1 km/h (91.1 m.p.h.), followed by Dave Poirier in second at 143.9 km/h (89.4 m.p.h.) and Dale Jerry in third at 141.3 km/h (87.8 m.p.h.)
With no Class SR-2 (441-550 cc) entries, the final results of the day were listed in the Class SR-1 (0-440 cc) division. Troy Belanger easily sped to victory in the two-racer division with a maximum speed of 123.9 km/h (77 m.p.h.)
Jake Rea settled for second at 94.5 km/h (58.7 m.p.h.)
Sunday featured the drag races, which were run in a double-elimination format, with Smith ending up a double winner for the day.
After capturing the 551-600 cc class ahead of runner-up Terry Allan, Smith again dashed to top spot in the 800-and-up cc group, beating Kelly Brown in the final.
Wayne Smith outlasted Parks to win the 701-800 cc division while Mallory got the better of Badiuk to capture the 601-700 cc category.
Belanger took care of business in the 0-440 cc class, but couldn’t pull off twin wins as he settled for second behind Devin Brown in the 441-550 cc division.
This Saturday, the radar guns will be firing again and head-to-head duels also will be the order of the day.
Registration begins at 9 a.m., with racing to kick off around 9:30.
The fees are $15 for three radar runs and $20 per sled for those competing in drag racing.
Spectators are welcome at the cost of $2 per vehicle, with all proceeds going towards the payout for the races.
The ice track is located off Highway 613, 20 km north of Devlin.