The Emo Fair, over the past decades, has become more than just a two-day event.
It has become the biggest weekend in racing in the region and draws dozens of competitors from as far west as Saskatchewan, as far south as St. Paul, and as far east as Thunder Bay.
With the two days of races, there were no repeat winners this year as Chuck Lambert and Cody Wolkowski took the WISSOTA Midwest Modified wins, Nolan Olmstead and Joey Galloway the WISSOTA Modified wins, and Ron Westover and Scott Messner wins in Street Stocks.
The capacity crowd had their share of watching some great entertainment, with several close battles and last-lap passes.
The high car counts in all three classes show a wide variety of talent and luck. There were several surprise moments over the weekend, as well.
On Friday night, Olmstead returned to the Emo Speedway for the first time in seven years and claimed the checkered flag after holding off a hard-charging Galloway and Derrick Big Eagle.
Olmstead was gleaming during the post-race interview.
“To come back here after seven years and win on a fair night is really awesome,” he enthused.
“It is so great to see such a large crowd come out because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy what we do out on the track,” Olmstead added.
Olmstead is the promoter for Greenbush Race Park, about two-and-a-half hours west of Emo. He has not had much time in Modified racing this season due to that commitment, but the Emo Fair definitely will be a highlight for him for months to come.
Galloway, meanwhile, is rarely is able to come to Emo any more. He works in Saskatchewan and normally races on the IMCA circuit.
While Saturday night’s win was not his first during the fair, the feelings of pride and accomplishment are no less.
“The Emo Speedway put on a really great show this weekend,” he remarked. “It feels just as great to win it a second time as it did the first time.
“Without all the help from my family and friends, this just wouldn’t be possible,” Galloway noted.
“It feels great to come back and take a win.”
It was definitely a time for celebration for Chuck Lambert, who has run a more limited season this year but came out flying during Friday night’s races.
“It was awesome to win,” he enthused.
“It was actually a scary thing,” he added. “Cody Wolkowski, Kevin Monteith, and others I knew were coming.
“It’s really good to win since it is the Rea Memorial,” Lambert continued. “The Reas are big supporters of racing and it means a lot to me to win it for them.”
For Scott Messner, winning at the Emo Speedway is something he enjoys doing—and the noise the crowd made when he topped the Street Stocks on Saturday night showed that local fans approve of him.
It was a hard-fought weekend for Messner, who has several engine troubles Friday night, which ended his race early.
But Saturday night was a big change as he drove from deep in the field to battle for top spot with Darryl Desserre, just beating him on the last lap.
“I have to thank all the fans, my girlfriend, and my family and friends for being able to support me and my racing career,” said Messner.
“It feels great to come back a year later and win at the fair again.”
The Rea Memorial Championship is a two-day points battle that are added up on the end of night two, with presentations done in front of the pit canteen after the completion of events.
Glen Strachan was the big winner in the overall points—despite not taking the checkered flag on either night. High, consistent finishes were more important in the points chase.
“This year has been a really big change from last year,” noted Strachan. “We had so many problems last year with engine, transmission that it was starting to become a burden.
“This year has been a big difference with leading the points this year and now winning the Rea Memorial Championship,” he remarked.
Every driver has someone to thank and that was really shown during the feature interviews in front of the grandstand. It is this kind of dedication from fans, drivers, sponsors, families, and friends that make the Emo Speedway and the Rea Memorial Weekend a special place to be each and every year.
Saturday’s weather was as beautiful as Friday’s, with about the same amount of cars entering.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds kicked things off once again with another total of 23 cars in the pits split into three heats.
In the first one, Nordin held off Visser for the win. Kevin Monteith, meanwhile, had a repeat from Friday by winning the second heat on the last lap, passing rookie Cody Ossachuk.
Thunder Bay native Don Craig claimed the third heat.
In the ‘B’-Main, Lambert took the win while Veert, T. Wilson, M. Wilson, and Jamie Smart transferred to the feature.
The feature for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds was a dragged-out affair. There were several cautions due to spin-outs, pileups, and take-outs.
When all was said and done, Wolkowski was the winner by moving from 13th position to capture his first-ever fall fair feature.
Lambert, who had a harder second night, still made a great showing by having moved up 13 positions to third.
The Street Stocks were split into three heats for the second day of the fair due to the addition of Char Nicolson.
Jeff Wickstrom claimed the first heat, Nick Leininger the second heat, and Don Bowman the third.
The feature was very exciting again as Daniel Hettinga led for much of the race, but a late-race caution had Westover, Desserre, and Messner all behind him.
The race was close as Desserre and Messner cleared Hettinga and battled it out. Messner then had just enough steam to pass Desserre for the win.
And in the WISSOTA Modifieds, Scott Splitoesser cleared the field and took the win in the first heat, with Jamie Davis in second.
Big Eagle claimed top spot in the second heat, followed by Galloway.
Then in the feature, the only direction Galloway was going was forward as he took off from the second row and left his fellow drivers behind.
Lapping more than half the field, Galloway claimed his second-ever feature at the fair—very happy to return to his home track and take a win.
The Rea Memorial point champions were #15 Ron Westover in the Street Stocks, #99 Glen Strachan in the WISSOTA Modifieds, and #224 Cody Wolkowski in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds.
A big thank you to everyone for putting on a great Emo Fair in 2010.
A reminder that next week is the Keith McNally Memorial race, with hot laps at 7 p.m. and racing at 7:30.
•Feature—1. Ron Westover 2. Darryl Desserre 3. Darien Trimble 4. Richard Visser 5. Lindsay Bourre 6. Nick Leininger 7. Terry Martin 8. Mike Wilson 9. Alex Gamie 10. Tyler Wickstrom 11. Libby Wilson 12. Wes Morriseau 13. Don Bowman 14. Carlee Bosma 15. Scott Messner 16. Jeff Wickstrom 17. Daniel Hettinga
•Heat #1—1. Desserre 2. Trimble 3. Leininger 4. Morriseau 5. Hettinga 6. Bourre 7. Gamie 8. M. Wilson 9. L. Wilson
•Heat #2—1. Messner 2. Visser 3. Westover 4. J. Wickstrom 5. Bosma 6. Bowman 7. Martin 8. T. Wickstrom
•Feature–1. Nolan Olmstead 2. Glen Strachan 3. Joey Galloway 4. Derrick Big Eagle 5. Ron Korpi 6. Shawn Hnatiuk 7. Denny Trimble 8. Tyler Brown 9. Bill Witherspoon 10. Jamie Davis 11. Dwayne Pelepetz 12. Danny Rea 13. Kely Gavel 14. Scott Splottsoesser 15. Rick Bourre 16. Gavin Paull 17. Brad Loveday
•Heat #1–1. Paull 2. Splitoesser 3. Pelepetz 4. Big Eagle 5. Rea 6. Hnatiuk 7. Brown 8. Galloway 9. Gavel
•Heat #2–1. Strachan 2. Loveday 3. Olmstead 4. Davis 5. Witherspoon 6. Korpi 7. Trimble 8. Bourre
•Feature–1. Chuck Lambert 2. Kevin Monteith 3. Cody Wolkowski 4. Don Craig 5. Brady Caul 6. Matthew Mutz 7. Tylar Wilson 8. Scott Bruce 9. Jamie Smart 10. Kendal Gamsby 11. Ken Perry 12. Anthony Visser 13. Paul Veert 14. Christopher Leek 15. Mike Wilson 16. John Hettinga 17. Steve Nordin 18. Matt DePiero 19. Dave Rea 20. Jeff Davis
•Heat #1–1. Wolkowski 2. T. Wilson 3. Lambert 4. Hettinga 5. Mutz 6. Rea 7. Perry 8. Smart
•Heat #2–1. Veert 2. Davis 3. DePiero 4. Caul 5. M. Wilson 6. Nordin 7. Godin 8. Owen
•Heat #3–1. Monteith 2. Visser 3. Craig 4. Gamsby 5. Bruce 6. Leek 7. Ossachuk
•‘B’-Main–1. Leek 2. Rea 3. Nordin 4. Perry 5. Smart 6. Ossachuk 7. Godin 8. Owen
•Feature—1. Scott Messner 2. Ron Westover 3. Darryl Desserre 4. Jeff Wickstrom 5. Daniel Hettinga 6. Richard Visser 7. Don Bowman 8. Mike Wilson 9. Nick Leininger 10. Alex Gamie 11. Lindsay Bourre 12. Charlene Nicolson 13. Tyler Wickstrom 14. Libby Wilson 15. Darien Trimble 16. Carlee Bosma 17. Wes Morriseau 18. Terry Martin
•Heat #1—1. J. Wickstrom 2. Hettinga 3. Morriseau 4. M. Wilson 5. L. Wilson 6. Gamie
•Heat #2—1. Leininger 2. Martin 3. T. Wickstrom 4. Nicolson 5. Bourre 6. Bosma
•Heat #3—1. Bowman 2. Westover 3. Messner 4. Trimble 5. Visser 6. Desserre
•Feature–1. Joey Galloway 2. Jamie Davis 3. Scott Splittoesser 4. Gavin Paull 5. Glen Strachan 6. Bill Witherspoon 7. Denny Trimble 8. Shawn Hnatiuk 9. Derrick Big Eagle 10. Gary Wilson 11. Tyler Brown 12. Dwayne Pelepetz 13. Danny Rea 14. Randy Belluk 15. Ron Korpi 16. Rick Bourre
•Heat #1–1. Splittoesser 2. Davis 3. Paull 4. Hnatiuk 5. Wilson 6. Brown 7. Belluk 8. Bourre
•Heat #2–1. Big Eagle 2. Galloway 3. Korpi 4. Strachan 5. Rea 6. Pelepetz 7. Trimble 8. Witherspoon
•Feature–1. Wolkowski 2. Hettinga 3. Lambert 4. Nordin 5. Visser 6. Mutz 7. Caul 8. M. Wilson 9. Monteith 10. Smart 11. Perry 12. Ossachuk 13. Bruce 14. Wilson 15. Davis 16. DePiero 17. Godin 18. Craig 19. Veert 20. Leek
•Heat #1–1. Nordin 2. Visser 3. Caul 4. Perry 5. Wolkowski 6. Lambert 7. T. Wilson 8. Veert
•Heat #2–1. Monteith 2. Ossachuk 3. Hettinga 4. Godin 5. Mutz 6. Owen 7. Smart 8. Gamsby
•Heat #3–1. Craig 2. Davis 3. Bruce 4. DePiero 5. Rea 6. Wilson 7. Leek
•‘B’-Main–1. Lambert 2. Veert 3. T. Wilson 4. M. Wilson 5. Smart 6. Rea 7. Owen 8. Gamsby