PORT HARDY—The stock racing showcase event — the Dustbowl — is a month away, scheduled for the Aug. 16-17 weekend.
But the drivers got a great practice session during last weekend’s race day as the hot and dry weather left the track in dry-slick condition.
Not everyone found the unforgiving corners to their liking however, with several spinouts as the drivers came to grips with the lack of grip.
With the cars kicking up huge plumes of dust, the front was definitely the place to be, as Jared Breitkreitz proved in the Trophy Dash, the course rookie claiming his first checkered flag.
After timing in on the hot laps, Breitkreitz started on the front row alongside Jim Swift, with Brock Shore and the fast car of Glen Day behind. Breitkreitz picked his line from the flag drop, raced into the lead on the first corner and never gave it up, fighting off pressure from Shore on the last lap to hold out for the win.
Breitkreitz nearly carried the momentum into the first heat too. With Chris Hardy joining the field, Breitkreitz once again took position at the front of the pack and was looking on course for a repeat when his engine seemingly died mid-corner.
Shore took full advantage, roaring past and holding the front for the checkered flag, followed by Day and Swift.
The drivers were joined for the second half of the day by Paul Weeks and Daniel Hovey who worked right up to — and slightly past — the last minute to get their cars on the track.
The second heat saw Swift take his first checkered flag of the season. A collision with the side wall had put Swift out early in the last meeting but he got the reward his solid driving deserved this time, finding the front off a restart and never looking back.
Defending track champion Day returned to the top spot in the main event, biding his time as the dust-laden track began racking up casualties and moving up to the shoulder of front-runner Swift with a half dozen laps remaining. Day took his chance off a restart, cutting inside out of turn two and forcing his way in front down the back stretch for a lead he never looked like giving up.
Behind Swift, Hardy recovered from a spin on the last corner to claim third and Breitkreitz made a superb move to cut inside of Weeks out of turn two in the final laps to take fourth.
Hovey got a push to the pits as the damage from a collision compounded the problems from an oil leak, and he was joined by Shore after a collision with the side wall.
The drivers return to the track Saturday, July 26, at 6 p.m. for the next race day.