Port McNeill— Vancouver Island racers saved the best for last as the Rumble on the Runway had its final meet of the season last weekend at Port McNeill Airport.
Saturday’s event from the North Island Timing Association drew the biggest field yet as 75 cars took to the runway for a full day of drag racing on the eighth-mile track.
Although racers came from all over the Island to compete, local names still held their own and featured prominently in the standings. Port McNeill’s own Bill McDonald took first in the Super-pro class, beating out Courtenay’s Mike Hutmacker.
In the Pros another Port McNeill man raced in the final with Chris Sharpe coming in second to Don Bailey from Campbell River, while the Sportsman class was topped by Greg Wright from Victoria, who held off Courtenay’s Don Egan.
Sunday saw the big-money event with 52 cars lining up for the Vancouver Island Bracket Finals and, once again, familiar faces were in the thick of the action.
With one eye on the heavens as rain threatened all afternoon, the original field was whittled down to a final four— one of which was a Kawasaki bike. In all, four bikes ran alongside the cars but Victoria’s Ken Morrison on his Ninja was the only one able to hang in to the semis.
He ran in the first of the semis but was beaten out by Port McNeill’s Tim Walton in the Poor Boys Dream.
The second semi came with a bit of a twist. Two Courtenay racers, Hutmacker and Louis Oulette, faced off but both red-lighted after jumping the gun on the start. The officials deliberated for a few minutes and judged that Hutmacker should go through to the final given that Oulette was the first to red-light.
After Walton refueled, he faced off against Hutmacker in the final heat.
A clean start from Walton was just enough to hold off Hutmacker and take home the $1500 purse for first place. Hutmacker took home $750 for second and the other semi-finalists got their $100 entries back.
Walton’s brother Trevor also raced in the event and finished in a respectable seventh.
The event wraps up the Rumble on the Runway series for this season but organizer Maureen ‘Mo’ Andersen was already looking to the wind-up dinner and beyond to next year’s event— after a well-earned break, of course.
The season’s wind-up event will take place October 6 at the Legion in Port McNeill, with awards being presented after dinner. Tickets for the event are $25 a couple, $12.50 for a single, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and dinner served at 6.30 p.m.
Season point totals
Eric Shields – 370 (Super-pro)
Richard Spencer- 320 (Pro)
Don Egan – 310 (Sportsman)
Terry MacKay- 280
Chris Sharpe- 280
Tim Walton- 280
Dave Deck- 260
Bill MacDonald- 250
Greg Wright – 230
T.J. Stagg- 210