The chill air Saturday night did nothing to deter fans from coming out to see the season’s finale at Tri-Port Speedway, as the drivers took advantage of the conditions to take to the circuit one last time.
And they were glad they did as the drivers put on a show for the crowd.
Four cars lined up for the four-lap trophy dash opener, with Paul Weeks sitting out to put some extra work into his car after Brock Shore set the fast time in the hot laps.
Glen Day was able to pull ahead of Shore and Ryan Doyle after the first lap and went on to win the race.
Weeks rejoined for the first heat, with orange flashes from under his car on the turns from the engine running rich. Weeks took advantage of the break at the intermission to get under the hood to try and adjust the mix.
The five cars then came out for the thirty-lap main event to round out the season. Weeks led the pack from early on, aggressively defending his line as first Daniel Hovey then Day took turns trying to pass. Day thought he had got his chance as he gunned ahead after rounding the turn outside of Weeks, but a flag had dropped behind him for a tyre on the track and he restarted behind again.
He got his chance two laps later though and nipped inside before pulling ahead as Weeks had to keep one eye on the rapidly advancing Hovey.
Hovey’s chance came soon after, as Weeks had to cut a corner after coming too close to a tire on the inside. His loss of momentum allowed Hovey a clear run at the corner and he was able to clear the turn in time to take command of the inside line.
The drama wasn’t over yet either, as Weeks slowed after the last turn and Doyle and Shore passed him on either side in a photo finish for third under the checkered flag. The cars lined up in front of the crowd in finishing order and smoked the tires, Weeks’ still over-rich engine throwing a cloud of smoke over the stands.
Doyle then shouted to the crowd asking if he’d got third, the tower confirming that he had indeed squeaked ahead on the line.
The drivers were then each awarded with a cash prize, the funds donated by race officials, volunteers and fans. The season’s standings were then totaled, and Day announced the season winner, receiving his trophy from the trophy girl in front of the stands.
Race organizer Sonya Gullacher explained that the cash was a token of appreciation for the hard work the drivers put in each week. “It’s not a cheap sport,” Gullacher said. “These guys come out each week and pay to race, pay for their fuel— it’s just a way to give something back.”
The tower thanked everyone for coming out and said they were looking forward to seeing everyone next year.
The appreciative fans gave the drivers a huge cheer for their night’s efforts and the tower called down over the tannoy, “Brock, light those tires one more time for these guys.”
“I don’t know if it’ll even start after that,” came the quick-fire reply.
Fast time: Brock Shore
Trophy Dash: Glen Day
Main event: 1. Glen Day; 2. Daniel Hovey; 3. Ryan Doyle
Day totals: 1. Daniel Hovey; 2. Glen Day; 3. Paul Weeks; 4. Brock Shore; 5. Ryan Doyle.
Season standings: 1. Glen Day; 2. Daniel Hovey; 3. Justin Reusch; 4. Paul Weeks; 5. Ryan Doyle; 6. Brock Shore.