There was a bit of last man standing about the weekend’s racing at the Tri-port speedway as bad luck conspired to send several drivers off early to the pits. But the early exits left more to play for for the remaining drivers battling it out on the track.
The night opened with seven cars timing in for Saturday’s meet in Port Hardy.
Glen Day set the fast time, and his speed served him well all night, keeping him clear of the collisions and breakdowns that plagued most of the other drivers.
The four fastest cars lined up for the Trophy Dash to kick off the racing, and Day was joined by Daniel Hovey, Brock Shore and the Weeks car, which had father-son duo of Paul and Chris splitting driving duties throughout the night.
Hovey got the jump off the start, roaring in front of Day and ducking inside Weeks to sit behind Shore at the front of the pack after the second turn.
Day was able to pass Weeks a lap later but couldn’t close enough ground on the lead pair to challenge.
At the front, Shore held his line with Hovey at his heels and saw the chequered flag drop to take the first win of the night.
The full complement of seven lined up for the first heat, with Ryan Doyle, Jared Breitkreitz and Steven Demoe joining the fast four.
Weeks and Doyle were able to pass on the first lap and run ahead into turn three as the pack settled into an order.
Doyle’s night on the track fizzled out in mere minutes as his engine blew, forcing the driver into an early exit.
Meanwhile, Day was finding his groove as he passed on the turn to take the lead. Hovey moved into second a lap later, using the slower car of Demoe to cover his move into second.
There was just too much daylight between him and the frontrunner to pull back the difference before the flag dropped to give Day the win with Hovey second and Weeks third.
After Doyle’s exit, the field was further reduce when Demoe withdrew before the second heat, leaving five in the running.
A great start from Hovey and Day off the green flag saw the pair shoot forward into first and second, respectively, on the first turn of lap one.
Hovey had the momentum out of the turn and was able to give himself some breathing room hitting turn three. It wasn’t to be his night however, as his axle broke coming onto the home stretch, sending his wheel bouncing down the track and drawing an “Ooh” from the grandstand.
Hovey took the top spot at the last meeting with effectively three wheels after a bent rod on his inside front wheel left it at a 45 degree angle. A repeat of that three-wheeled performance would have been a bit much to expect this time around.
Off the restart, Weeks and Day moved out front, Day pulling clear soon after and holding that lead for the duration as the battle for second saw Shore come out on top, passing Weeks on the third lap to claim second.
The drivers took an under-the-hood break before the final, while Lawrie O’Connor pulled on to the track in his modified car to put in a few display laps.
As the green flag dropped on the main event, Day took the outside line and powered into the lead out of the turn.
Weeks and Shore got into a pitched battle for second, Shore seeking to cut inside on the turns, Weeks nosing him out.
After several attempts, it looked as though Shore had done enough to get his nose in front out of turn four but some contact saw him spin out. He rejoined the race and sought to make up for lost time, but it seemed as though Weeks came off the worst in the battle, ducking into the pits the next lap.
With Day all but uncatchable, the action was with Shore and Breitkreitz as the pair vied for position. In his first season, Breitkreitz continues to improve with each race, driving with noticeably more confidence and aggression to hold off Shore for several laps.
Experience won out in the end, Shore claiming the inside line after Breitkreitz went wide on the straight and regaining second as Weeks rejoined the race.
Breitkreitz’s night ended a couple of laps later, as he limped into the pits and was unable to rejoin the field.
The order remained intact for the rest of the laps, Day deservedly taking a victory lap after a night of clean, consistent driving.
The action returns to the track on Saturday, Aug. 3, with concession available, follow the signs on the highway.