Anthony Leek, Emo, Ontario (August 23) It was a typical Saturday at the Emo Speedway for 2014. Cloudy skies and a chance of rain led to a smaller than usual crowd count. During the pit meeting, light rain started to fall on the facility leading to a 45 min delay. However, after great work by the volunteers and drivers, the track was ready to go by 8:15pm for Amsoil Dirt Track Racing Series Action.
It was the Keith McNally Memorial and Season Championship with the hottest championship battle happening between Christopher Leek and Chuck Lambert, only separated by one point in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds division. The other two classes had been mainly decided upon as Kendal Gamsby claimed the Street Stock division and Steve Nordin claiming the WISSOTA Modifieds division.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds were up first for their heat. Being one car short of two heats, it was the smallest car count since the end of July. As fitting as it seemed, Leek and Lambert were both on the front row. The race quickly turned into Lambert running away with a win, while Leek suffered the setback of heading into the feature tied.
In the Street Stocks, ten cars were split into two heats with Ron Westover coming from the fourth position to win the first race. In the second heat, Tylar Wilson repeated the same feat by starting fourth and passing for the win.
In the WISSOTA Modifieds, eleven cars were in attendance split into two heats. In the first heat, Gavin Paull used the high line to scoop the majority of cars from the sixth position to win it. Garett Gamsby finished second. In the second heat, Ron Korpi took the win in dominating fashion over Brian Nelson.
Due to the risk of inclement weather, track officials decided to run the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds feature immediately after the heats. Jake Rea and Terry Martin started on the front row, while Leek started fourth and Lambert fifth. Rea took the early lead as Leek moved into second spot. The only way for either Lambert or Leek to win the championship was to finish ahead of the other. As Leek made the pass for the lead, Martin lost control of his car over the embankment and slid on the wet grass into the pit guardrail. He was fine, and was able to restart the race. On the ensuing restart, Leek made the pass again on the outside and started to check out. However, another caution came and Lambert had now moved into second position. It was a nerve-wracking race for both drivers as Lambert ducked on the inside several times and they raced side by side on occasion. One more caution occurred leading to a green white checkered. It was a thrilling finish to one of the closest championship races in track history. Leek claimed the Keith McNally Memorial for the second year in a row and also came out on top for his fourth championship in a row, a feat never done before in any of the current classes at the Emo Speedway.
In the Street Stocks feature, Devin Brown claimed the top spot early on and a battled ensued between him and Ron Westover. The two of them were door to door for several laps until Westover was able to get around. Meanwhile, Tylar Wilson and Kendal Gamsby were also knocking on the door as they went three wide a couple of times as the track started to widen out. At one point, Brown was spun sideways, but was able to maintain control. Westover gained a significant lead for a while, but Wilson had moved into second. Within a few laps, Wilson was on the outside of Westover. Battles were occurring all over the track, but Wilson was able to clear for the lead and took the checkered flag for the fourth time in a row.
The WISSOTA Modifieds race was an incredible one, especially early on. Gavin Paull starting eighth had a hard time at first getting through traffic as they went three wide for many laps in front of him. The racing was intense as Garett Gamsby held onto the lead. But Paull was on the move as he finally got by several cars. The battle for the lead was on as Paull went to the high side to try and get around. After a couple laps, Paull took the lead and drove off into the sunset until a caution came out. The battling continued for second spot after the restart with Nelson, Gamsby and Korpi fighting for every inch. A mistake by Gamsby allowed both Korpi and Nelson to move up. The caution later came out for Gamsby spinning and collected a couple cars. On the last restart, after Korpi spun in turn two, Paull continued to dominate taking his fourth win of the season.
Congratulations to the winners and track champions for 2014! There is one more night of racing left on Saturday September 6th with hot laps at 6pm and Racing soon after for Fan Appreciation night.
Feature – Gavin Paull, Brian Nelson, Jeff Davis, Steve Nordin, Ron Korpi, Gary Wilson, Jake Rea, Lindsay Bourre, Garett Gamsby, Glen Strachan, Tyler Brown.
Heat 1 – Paull, Gamsby, Strachan, Wilson, Rea, Bourre.
Heat 2 – Korpi, Nelson, Davis, Brown, Nordin.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature – Christopher Leek, Chuck Lambert, Jake Rea, Cody Ossachuk, Kenny Perry, Anthony Visser, Terry Martin, Ken Perry, Brody Strachan.
Heat – Lambert, Leek, Visser, Martin, Rea, Ossachuk, Kenny Perry, Strachan, Ken Perry.
Emo Street Stocks
Feature – Tylar Wilson, Ron Westover, Kendal Gamsby, Devin Brown, Chris Shine, Dean Kellar, Kyle Godin, Wes Morriseau, Aaron Blacklance.
Heat 1 – Westover, Brown, Morriseau, Shine, AJ Kellar.
Heat 2 – Wilson, Gamsby, Godin, D. Kellar, Blacklance.