Whether you prefer hard fought door to door battles, bump and run style passes or even big ol’ crashes and pile ups, the annual Rea Memorial had something in store for every race fan.
Heavy rains pushed the start of action to Saturday night, beginning with the Emo Street Stocks, where the #24 of Andrew Piilo put on a clinic in the first heat passing half the field in the opening few laps. Meanwhile the #12 of David Caruk worked his way from a 3rd place start into the first position which he held through the only caution of the heat for a single car spin in turn 4. The second heat race was dominated by the #33 of Garett Gamsby until the #555 of John Staal spun into the infield bringing out the only caution of the race. By the restart the #54X A.J. Kellar had raced his way from 7th to 2nd where he was ready to battle with Gamsby. On the restart the #54X tapped Gamsby just enough to make a lane and sneak past to take the heat win. In the 3rd heat race the #55 of Tylar Wilson was able to use a pole position start to claim an easy heat win. In the feature race the #54X was able to move from his 3rd place start to first in the first handful of laps where he was able to hold the field off until the checkard flag claiming the first feature win of the weekend. Farther back in the pack the #07 of Colt Germain began working his way up through the field earning 7 spots by the time the first caution flag flew for Staal and the #3X of Lyle Thompson spinning in turn 3 creating a mess of cars. As the green flag flew again the #25RIP of James Wall battled for 2nd place but wasn’t able to make any headway against Gamsby. As the action continued Wilson began to charge for 2nd where he also met with the road block of Gamsby in the second position and before Wilson was able to find a lane past, the checkered flag flew.
As the Wissota Midwest Modifieds took to the track the racing surface began to transform and started to develop a dominant lane which the #69 of Justin Jones was able to take advantage of and lead from the start to the finish closely followed by the #3H of Keelan Hall. Meanwhile farther back in the pack multiple drivers struggled with tight race cars eventually bringing out 3 cautions. In the second heat race the #86eh of Tanner Ulakovic dominated and won the race from start to finish with #08 of Frank Veert charging from last place to 2nd. In the 3rd heat race the #88V of Paul Veert broke out to an early lead while #38 of Gavin Paull raced from 6th to 2nd until a spin and car off track in turn 3 brought out the caution. As the race resumed Veert and Paull quickly pulled away from the field claiming easy 1st and 2nd place runs respectively. In the 4th heat race the #85 of Jamie Davis leaped to the lead over the #4B of Brandon Rehill and ran away for the victory, meanwhile the #70 of David Simpson fought his way to a 3rd place finish. With 29 cars in class and only 16 cars qualified for the feature, based on heat results, the last 4 drivers in the feature would be determined by the top 4 finishers in a B Main. In the B Main things remained quiet with the #80 of Doug Wakefield working is way to first and holding on for the victory with 3 other racers from Thunder Bay. In the feature race all the heat race winners found themselves battling for a top 5 position until there was big wreck in the middle of the pack with all the drivers suffering minimal damage. As the racing action resumed Jones went to work on leader Rehill trying to find his way to the lead. Through multiple late race cautions Jones was able to earn and maintain the lead claiming his first feature race win of the season.
In the Wissota Modifieds Jeff Davis in the #85 set the pace for the night and handily took the heat race win from his pole position start. With an impressive run the rookie #4A of Dawson Allen was able to gain a couple spots for a 3rd place finish. In the second heat race the #12 of Tony Cassie was able to hold off all challengers and win the heat race, while farther back in the pack the #32C of Curtis Stieh brought out the caution. In the 3rd heat race the action slowed down quickly as the #02 of Dayton Brady spun in turn 1 while #99 Brody Strachan worked his way to the front of the field. In the feature race the track continued to transform which wreaked havoc for the whole field. Davis was able to take the lead from the drop of the green flag through to the checkered flag with great restarts holding off all challengers for his 3rd feature of the season. Throughout the race there was 3 cautions for single spins but with such a narrow racing groove none of the drivers were able to re-gain some of their positions.
With such a short time between races, there was no time to work the track in it was a similar one groove track as had developed toward the end of the night. The Emo Street Stocks started Sunday with a hard fought battle for the lead between the #80 of Darren Derendorf, Thompson, and the #54 of Dean Kellar after Gamsby spun in turn 4. As the racing resumed Thompson and Kellar both raced past Derendorf with Thompson holding on for the heat race victory. In the second heat Wilson was able to maintain his first place start to earn an easy heat race win as within the first few laps the entire field began to spread out. In the final heat race the #45 of Sierra Happy was late to the starting grid and tried to catch up with the field but was black flagged because of how late she was. Once the racing action began Germain was able to take the lead within the first couple laps where he had to fight off a hard charging #54X for the heat race win. Farther back in the field the #77 of Kyle Bolt fought hard for third place but was unable to find his way past the #25 of Kat Luretig. The feature race had all the carnage a race fan could ask for starting with trouble for the points leader Wilson who had what looked to be an engine expire in the opening laps, followed by a five-car pile-up on the front stretch and one car in the pits. On the restart, two more cars ended their day turning each other sideways under the flag stand. The final race ending wreck was a chain reaction accident in turn two that sent Derendorf to the pits with half the body work hanging on by a thread. Through all of this A.J. Kellar was able to quickly earn and hold onto the lead through all five restarts to claim his fourth feature win of the season.
With four fewer cars than Saturday, some of the pressure was off – it was announced that all 25 Wissota Midwest Modified drivers would make the feature. In the first heat race, Paull in the #38 was called on his restart twice by starting before the restart zone in turn 4. Once the action got started Paull and the #33C of Cole Chernosky took their front row starts and held the field off until the checkered flag despite a restart in the middle of the race for a car moving one of the infield marking tractor tires. In the second heat race Jones was back to his winning ways by claiming the lead early and holding onto all the way to the checkered flag. Farther back in the pack 2 cars made contact and spin leaving nowhere for the #31J of Mike Jacques causing the final caution of the race. In the 3rd heat race Davis and Rehill spent the whole race battling for the lead with Davis maintaining his winning ways from Saturday and claiming the win. Come the feature race track position was the name of the game as pole sitter Trenton Woodbeck in the #00 was able to lead the race from start to finish to claim his first ever feature win. Farther back in the pack the whole field was bumper to bumper causing multiple pairs of cars to spin together causing minimal damage. Through four cautions there was only four cars unable to finish the race.
In the Wissota Modifieds both heat races ran without incident leading to lots of green flag action. In the first heat the #12P of Brandon Pelepetz was able to hold the field off all race long, meanwhile the #621 of Colin Chaschuk received some mechanical damage from minor contact which brought an early end to his weekend. In the second heat the #44 of Tyler Brown spent the whole race working his way forward as multiple drivers slipped out of the groove. In the feature race it took a few laps to get going as after three restarts the field was finally able to complete multiple laps under the green flag. With such a slick track restarts were difficult. The grip was low on the high line and it was hard to keep a car in line. After the three early spins the #12 of Tony Caissie was able to breathe as he was able to build a small lead over the field. Davis worked hard from the middle of the pack to earn himself a 2nd place finish but wasn’t quite able to catch Caissie.
The Borderland Racing Association would like to say thank you to this week’s sponsors Tompkins Hardware, Norlund Oil, Devlin’s Corner Store, John Gavel Custom Manufacturing, and Harold McQuaker Enterprises as well as all of the other sponsors who help keep all of the facilities around the track open. The Borderland Racing Association would like to also say thank you to the fans who braved the weather Friday, packed the stands Saturday and held on through the heat Sunday 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. The 2022 race season comes to a close this Saturday August 27 with Hot Laps at 7 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m.