Steven Bradley, Winnipeg, Manitoba (September 20) Red River Co-op Speedway kicked off their two-night championship weekend on Friday. The pits were packed with visitors from the south as racers competing for national titles took advantage of the back-to-back points nights.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks and Midwest Modifieds drew the largest car counts of the season, each with 19 cars. The WISSOTA Modifieds also drew a decent turnout with 16 cars. The air was crisp with temps dropping down to just above freezing and the hardcore race fans were bundled with winter parkas and blankets. The track was extremely dry and smooth tonight, as the surface began taking on runner shortly into the heats.
There were big points shakeups in 3 of the 6 classes tonight as Ward Imrie regained the WISSOTA Modified lead, Mike Martin regained the point lead from Paul Veert in the WISSOTA Super Stock class and Paul Veert took advantage of Grant Hall’s absence in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified class to take over the points lead.
Dustin Strand, Ward Imrie, Mike Martin, Kevin Forest, Mike Anderson and Jamie Vernaus were all Friday Night winners on the first night of the third annual Prairie Classic.
In WISSOTA Super Stock action, Kevin Penner was quick to lead the lone heat. Donnell DesRossiers got bounced out of second spot entering turn 1 and eventually found himself at the back of the pack. On lap 4, Paul Veert got by second place Rod Fidler low exiting turn 4. Fidler lost another spot with 3 laps left when Mike Martin completed a pass low on the front stretch to keep point leader Paul Veert in his sights. Nothing more changed as Kevin Penner took the heat win ahead of Veert in second and Martin in third. Racing past the flag stand, it sounded like Veert’s engine was going bad – which might be a deciding factor in the class title.
In the feature, Martin and DesRossiers led 8 cars to green. Martin took command of the lead early with DesRossiers setting chase. The field raced single file for most of the race. Point leader Paul Veert dropped to the back of the field with an ill-sounding motor. Going into tonight’s race, Veert held a 5 point lead on Mike Martin, so with Veert’s bad engine it looked like his lead was in jeopardy.
With 4 laps remaining, Kevin Penner got by Fidler low on the back stretch to take over third spot.
Back up at the front Mike Martin picked up maximum points and collected his fifth feature win this year at RRCS. DesRossiers finished in second ahead of Penner in third.
Martin and Veert are officially tied for the points lead going into the last race of the year.
Feature – Mike Martin, Donnell DesRossiers, Kevin Penner, Rod Fidler, Tabitha Wasylyk, Paul Veert, Kevin Groenheide, Ryan Hambleton.
Heat – Kevin Penner, Paul Veert, Mike Martin, Rod Fidler, Donnell DesRossiers, Kevin Groenheide, Tabitha Wasylyk, Ryan Hambleton.