blank 08/19/09 12:49PM , Chevy, Ford, Racing, Saratoga Speedway

Monster Trucks put on 'powerful' show
Fans wanted it! Fans got it! Loud engines, crashes, and excitement - all at one event!

Saratoga Speedway hosted two days of non-stop racing action featuring two of North America's newest Monster Trucks, Crash-to-Pass cars, Hornet cars, Figure 8 cars, and Road Runner racing.


Time Flys, a 1934 Ford, driven by Kelvin Ramer of Watsonville, California, took seven years to build and was powered by a 565 Chevy Dart Motor. This monster pushed out 1500 horse power and thrilled the crowds. Not to be beat, Justin Cluster - also from California - fired up Fired Up!, a 2006 Ford Ranger with a 572 Chevy Motor, and also pumped out 1500 horse power only to hear the crowd scream for more. This car-crushing exhibition, along with their 300 foot power wheelies thrilled the crowd with the season's last Monster Truck show.


With only six race dates remaining going into this past weekend, the point champions and top 10 positions are still far from being decided for the Crashers, Hornets, Figure 8's, and Road Runners. The weekend's action was intense with almost all of the races hotly contested while producing a number of first time winners, the season's third rollover, and another track record.


Once again the Hornet class was out in full force as 26 cars raced on Friday night followed by 30 cars on Saturday. By the time the last flag fell on Saturday, the class had 17 races over the two nights with nine different drivers picking up wins.

On Friday, current point-leader, Victoria's Brandon Steen, took the win in the 25-lap A main event, followed by Victoria's Brandon Phillips, Weston Lane, Dave Hargrave, and Kevin Lawrenuk.

Friday's Hornet racing kicked off with a first win for Justin Formosa in the C dash. Other dash wins went to Alex Benyuk in the B and Steen in the A. In heat race action, another first-time winner was Lane Pearson in the C heat. Corey Sanderson won the B heat and B main, while Lawrenuk picked up the A heat win.

On Saturday, 18 Hornet cars lined up for the A main which was scheduled for 35 laps but was cut short to 24 laps after Lane and Gord Fraser got together at the end of the straight-away. This encounter ended with Lane landing upside down off turn one -- a crash that will force him to build up a new car before the next Hornet race Aug. 29.

This same race saw Ryan Guest in the lead for over half the laps, until Lawrenuk caught up and passed him. Norm Spann, Guest and Lawrenuk pulled away from the rest of the field and when the red flag came out to stop the race, these three cars were in victory square. Lawrenuk picked up his first-ever Hornet car A main win. Guest came in second, followed by Spann, Phillips and Andrew Buchanan.

The night's racing began with Rachel Sawatzky doing her best as a fill-in driver, and winning the C dash. Other dash wins were claimed by Sanderson and Courtenay's Calvin Chamberlin - his first dash win. In heat race action, a large car count produced four heat races with wins going to Benyuk (who would also go on to win the B main), Sanderson, Lane, and Lawrenuk.


A two-day race weekend for the Road Runners saw three drivers compete for Friday's trophies. Point leader, John Dayly of Nanaimo, not only won five of the six weekend races but also set a new track record of 18.925 seconds. On Friday he won the dash and main ahead of Beau Haselhurst and James Buchanan. Haselhurst won the heat race. Trophies went out Saturday to Dayly as he won the dash, the heat, and then the main, just ahead of Buchanan, Haselhurst and Derrick Senft.


The weekend's Figure 8 racing action resulted in defending point champion, Brandon Steen, helping his cause as he won three times. Steen captured the trophy dash win on Friday, and then on Saturday he claimed the main event and heat race. Friday's races saw Sawatzky take wins in both the heat race and main event. On Saturday, Steen crossed the line ahead of Walker Welsh and Andrew Buchanan. Steen started the night off with a close win over Welsh in the trophy dash.


The Crash-to-Pass class always pleases the crowds at Saratoga Speedway with wild bumper crashing, tire-squealing action! Fans witnessed eight crashers do their thing Saturday as they entertained the close to 1,500 spectators. The night ended with smoke-show donuts from all of the drivers.

On Friday, Mike Morningstar won both the trophy dash and the heat race. Campbell River's Glen Pinto captured the main event.

Defending point champion, Travis Stevenson, made his second race of the season a memorable one as he took the win in the 20-lap main event. He celebrated his win with one of the best displays of donuts seen at the Speedway. Courtenay's Don Hallgarth began the crashers night with the trophy dash win. Stevenson won the heat race.


On Saturday, the Old Timers Racing Association returns to Saratoga Speedway for the second time in two weeks to race their vintage race cars. The line up on Saturday features a full field of Dwarf cars, Bomber cars, IMCA Modifieds, and the Motorcycles.

With less than a month to go in the season, racing action on Aug. 29 includes the Hornet cars, the Bomber cars, the IMCA Modifieds, the Road Runners, and the Motorcycles.

On Saturday Sept. 5, the racing events include, rain or shine, the Crash-to-Pass cars, the Hornets, the Figure 8's, and the Road Runners. In addition, Saratoga welcomes the return of the crazy-hilarious, must-see-to-believe "Crash-to-Pass Boat Race". Be sure to stay the whole evening to witness the first-ever Saratoga "School Bus Jump" - just in time for the start of the 2009-2010 school year!

Sunday, Sept. 6, marks the first of two championship nights as the Bomber cars end their season with a double points' championship. The IMCA Modifieds, the Motorcycles, Hornets, and Road Runners compete for their second last race before their championship event on Sept. 12.

The following weekend will be the championship night for the Crashers, Hornets, Figure 8's, and Road Runners. The evening concludes with a season-ending fireworks display that you won't want to miss.

Pit Stop...Oyster River's Jason Beaulieu had both of his NPP Late Model races cancelled over the weekend due to wet weather in Alberta. Beaulieu was to race Saturday in Lethbridge then Sunday in Calgary...The Hornets continued to grow over the weekend as new drivers Lyle Boley # 86, Chrissy Ohrlein #71, and Jeron Dikkentman #78 came out to race...Heading into Saturday's racing, Port Alberni's Rob Gaudrealt sits in top spot in the point championship battle. He's 182 points ahead of Campbell River's Stewart Lee. Defending point champion Kyle Harrison sits 365 back from Gaudrealt.

Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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