Westover races to the lead at Emo Speedway

By Darren Derendorf
Special to the Times

The only thing hotter than the weather last Saturday night was the action under the lights at the Emo Speedway! The volunteers were able to groom the dirt track into a very competitive multi groove race track, which made the driver’s job of putting on a show an easy task. Whether it was the Street Stocks slinging it thought the corners or the Modifieds only using three wheels down the straight away, the drivers put on great race for our new at track announcer, Joey Payer’s first night in front of the mic.

Despite being the smallest field of the night with six cars, the Emo Street Stocks were still able to put on a show. The opening heat race of the evening saw hard racing from the drop of the green flag with the drivers working their way forward through the field. Andrew Piilo of Nolalu, ON and Sierra Happy of Devlin, ON started midfield and were able to methodically work their way to the front of the field in time for the checkered flag to fly with Piilo taking the win and Happy in 2nd place.

The feature race was able to run caution free but not without its excitement. Early on, Sierra Happy had a moment and excited the racing surface, but was able to regain control and keep the car pointed in the right direction. The hardest racing in the field was found for 3rd place with the battle of the 24s of #24 Andrew Piilo and #24T of Lyle Thompson, who was able to take his first ever podium position by the end of the night, however after contact was made Piilo’s car wasn’t quite as fast as earlier and fell back to a last place finish. After Happy’s off moment, Raice Westover was able to take the race lead and hold the field off to the finish. As a salute to the fans, Westover celebrated his victory with a Polish Victory Lap.

It was an exciting night at the races, with more to come throughout the summer. Spectators are allowed back in the stands, with the next race coming up on Saturday night. – Erika Sheppard photo

Top 3 – 1. #15R Raice Westover 2. #3X Jesse Thompson 3. #24T Lyle Thompson

The field of Wissota Midwest Modifieds were the largest of the night with 17 cars and they made a point to give the fans some action. The first heat race was off to an exciting start as the #26 of Paul Hari spun in turn 2 to bring out the first yellow. Only a couple laps later the 2nd caution was thrown after the #3H of Keelan Hall was slow to the pits after spinning by himself. Despite a damaged race car from the first caution flag, Austin Hunter of Winnipeg, MB was able to race his way through the field to a 2nd place but was no match for Patrick Davis of Sioux Lookout, ON who was able to hold the lead from start to finish. In the second heat race hot shoe Colin Chaschuk lead from start to finish but was disqualified after missing the scale station after the race, which lead to David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON being awarded the race win after starting on the back row and racing his way towards the front. There was heartbreak for the young Garrett Paull as he came to a stop in turns 1&2 with a mechanical breakdown, preventing him from finishing the night of racing. After 2 tumultuous heat races the 3rd stayed calm and caution free with Brandon Rehill and James Lambert leading from the front row and holding off the field until the end of the race.

The Wissota Midwest Modified feature saw the front runners from the heat races showing the way early. However the race was slowed early with 2 back to back caution flags, the first brought out due to a spin the 1st turn by the #26 of Paul Hari. The second of which was a result of 2 cars spinning in turn 3 coming to the green flag for the 1st restart. As soon as the green flag came back out, our leaders began racing hard. Shortly before the 3rd caution David Simpson was able to sail high, wide and handsome past the leader from the start, Tanner Williamson. With a slow car in the 3rd turn bringing out the caution the fans were treated to another hectic restart. Despite a great restart Williamson was not able to get ahead of Simpson. As the laps dwindled down, the best racing in the field was found battling for 5th place with 4 drivers battling side by side. In the last couple of laps Williamson was able to take the inside lane and sneak past Simpson and take home a hard fought 1st place finish.

Top 3 – 1. #88 Tanner Williamson 2. #70JR David Simpson 3. #59X James Lambert

Rounding out the excitement was the Wissota Modifieds with a 12 car field of their own. Their first heat of the night did not disappoint with side by side action from the drop of the green flag all the way through to the checkered flag where Brody Strachan of Devlin, ON was able to best the field. In the 2nd heat race we saw hard racing and heart break. After a late race caution Chris Bouwman of Garson, MB was unable to hold off a hard charging Jeff Davis of Devlin, ON for the win. Unfortunately much like Garrett Paul in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds, the #9 of Lee McRae was plagued by mechanical issues causing him to pull off the track mid race and not getting the chance to start the feature race.

In the feature race, despite the race running caution free, there was hard racing from flag to flag as some drivers found speed early but began to fade as the laps counted, while others were able to find speed late into the race. Pole sitter Brady Caul of Fort Frances was after to an early lead. However after Jeff and Jamie Davis sorted out 2nd and 3rd place they took the fight to Brady Caul with both Davis’ finding their way past Caul late in the race. Starting towards the rear of the field Blake Ferris was able to work his way up for a solid 3rd place finish.

Top 3 – 1. #85D Jeff Davis 2. #16 Jamie Davis 3. #14 Blake Ferris

The Borderland Racing Association would like to say thank you to all 352 fans who were able to join in on the action Saturday night and to any other fans our there, if it wasn’t for you, there would be no show for the drivers to put on. Thank you to this week’s sponsors Asselin Transportation and Ron’s Auto Body. 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 this Saturday night July 24th with hot laps at 7pm and racing at 7:30pm. Please follow all Covid-19 regulations per the Ontario Government and we hope to see you all at the races!