PORT HARDY—Daniel Hovey made a splashy entrance in Sunday’s stock car racing event at Tri-Port Speedway.
Unfortunately, his exit was rather more quiet.
One day earlier, Hovey joined other family members and some in the race community at the memorial service for his father, Earl, who died in a car accident July 14.
Saturday’s scheduled racing was cancelled for the service, but Hovey was determined to race the next day with his family looking on.
Arriving late after replacing a balky starter, Hovey got a big round of applause as his car was towed onto the track.
But, after running the trophy dash and the first two heat races — placing second with a wild spin under the checkered flag in Heat 1 — Hovey was forced to sit out the main event with engine trouble.
That left Jim Swift to outduel the field for his second straight main event win at the track.
With his win, Swift picked up $200 of the prize money that was donated in Earl Hovey’s honour for the day’s racing.
William Melan, Linda Penner, Bill Day and several anonymous track fans chipped into the pot for the prize money.
The day was further spiced by the arrival of two dwarf cars, owned by drivers Brian Lee of Campbell River and Terry Olfrey of Port Alice.
The racers went head-to-head in a series of exhibitions between stock car heats Sunday, and Lee said he hoped he could coax some of his fellow drivers from Campbell River to return to Tri-Port for a full race session in the future.
Lee, now in his 40s, has been racing on the asphalt oval of Strathcona Speedway since he was 16, and switched his setup for dirt-track racing last year.
Since then, he has traveled to Washington and Oregon to race on dirt, but has only one option to train or race on the surface on Vancouver Island.
“This is it,” Lee said, sweeping his arms around the infield of Tri-Port Speedway. “I just wanted to get some more work in on a dirt track. I’m hoping I can get a few more guys to come up with me.”
Season points leader Glen Day won Sunday’s trophy dash and the second heat race.
Swift took the first heat and the main and the pair alternated wins in the seven-car field.
Race to the swiftest
Day added to his lead at the top of the season’s standings at Triport Speedway during its previous event July 26, racking up wins in both heats and the Trophy Dash.
Swift kept him from having things all his own way, however, taking first in the main event.
A healthy field of eight took to the track as Cody Robbins joined the regular lineup, taking the fast time for the day and second in the day’s points.
Dirt Bowl on tap
The biggest weekend on the racing calendar is set for Saturday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m.