PORT HARDY—For a time Saturday evening, it appeared stock car driver and mechanic Ryan Doyle had reversed the superstition regarding black cats and bad luck.
Alas. In the end, all but two drivers found themselves cursed to one degree or another during the annual Dust Bowl races at Triport Speedway.
Glen Day outdueled Brock Shore to claim the weekend title and the top prize of $175 Sunday afternoon. But one night earlier, Paul Weeks appeared to be in the driver’s seat.
Weeks won the trophy dash before dropping a bracket plate from his leaf-spring shocks sometime during heat racing. After several volunteers fruitlessly walked the muddy, churned-up track in a search for the part, Doyle fabricated a replacement bracket at the back of his Black Cat Repairs service truck.
“The last time I did this, two years ago, Daniel (Hovey) had a pretty hard hit with his front end,” Doyle said. “We pulled out his bumper with a couple of trucks, welded his steering, and he went out and won the next heat.
“Maybe this Black Cat is a lucky truck, hey?”
That appeared to be the case as Weeks took the freshly created part and bolted to the front of the pack in the 25-lap main event. He was running so far ahead, in fact, that flagman Dan Stewart was prompted to drop a competition yellow flag to bring the cars back together.
But two laps after the restart, Weeks suffered a flat tire, then discovered after he limped around the track and into the pits that his engine was wrecked, to boot.
At least he raced. Hovey blew his engine on the second of two qualifying laps and was finished for the weekend, despite a yeoman effort to put in a new engine overnight, in time for Sunday’s races.
Doyle and stock truck racer Terry Olfrey also bowed out of Saturday’s main, leaving the final nine laps a match race between Day and Shore. Shore managed to hold off a pair of passing attempts by Day on the final two laps to claim his first career main event victory.
That win, on the heels of his Heat 1 win, left Shore in a tie with Day for weekend points heading into Sunday’s action.
He continued the momentum, winning both the trophy dash and Heat 1 to jump into the lead. But Day prevailed in both the second heat, then led Shore, Weeks and Doyle across the line in the main event to clinch the Dust Bowl title with 201 points to Shore’s 180.
Season points racing continues on Aug. 25 with a 7 p.m. show at the track.