Racing gets heated at Merritt Speedway
The conditions could not have been more perfect Saturday for a great evening of pedal-stomping, metal-crunching action at the Merritt Speedway.
The skies were sunny, the temperatures hot, the track fast, and the cars more than ready to rumble.
Taking full advantage of the ideal racing conditions was Merritt’s own Brad McKay. The young driver was a man on a mission all night, guiding his Pontiac to three first-place victories in the Bomber 4-cylinder class.
Hot on McKay’s heels in the wins column was a trio of fellow racers. The father-daughter combination of Tom and Amy Parsons were both two-time winners in the Hobby and Street categories respectively. Similarly, Bill Fader won twice in the Bomber 8-cylinder division.
The list of hard-luck racers was almost as long. The evening began with Surrey’s Jake Mills shearing a rear axle on his ’93 Grand Prix during time trials, effectively sending him to the sidelines for the rest of the night. A little while later, in the Bomber 8-cylinder heats, first time driver Challen Hughes left the track on lap 4 and slammed his borrowed car hard into a concrete barrier. Shaken but unbowed, Hughes vowed to race again another day.
“It’s my first time,” he stated shortly after the crash, “but hopefully not the last.”
The hard-luck stories continued in the 30-lap main races after the intermission.. In the Hobby class, Les Honeywell didn’t even make it to the green flag as he collided with the back end of Jack Allgrove’s vehicle during the warm-up lap, buckling the front end of his car and destroying the radiator in the process. Allgrove came away relatively unscathed and went on to wage a great battle for first place with Prince George’s Grant Powers, the eventual winner.
Lee Lindstrum from Kamloops wasn’t quite so lucky in the Street main. After taking his #92 car from the back of the grid and into the lead, the veteran racer was forced to make a sudden trip to the pits when his car started overheating during a caution flag. Unfortunately, such a maneuver – forced or unforced – while the yellow flag is up puts a car at the back of the pack when they return. Lindstrum did his best to regain the lead when racing resumed, but to no avail.
There’s much more great racing action to come this summer. The next date is August 4 & 5. Time trials begin at 5 p.m. both days and racing begins at 6 p.m.