By Ed Evans
Hot and sunny skies greeted racers and fans for the inaugural race of the 2011 Northwest drag racing season.
It was the first of four races to be held this season at the Terrace Regional Airport.
Racing was hot and heavy even though the car count was down.
This may have had a lot to do with it being Grad weekend – there were even a few prom dresses noted at the track on Saturday.
Kitimat’s Randy Baker took home ‘King of the YXT’ on Saturday. It would prove to be Baker’s weekend when he also took home a 3rd in ‘Pro’ Sunday and also won the 50/50 draw Sunday.
The finals in the ‘Gamblers’ event on Saturday was a good showdown with Terrace’s Bill Boutilier in his S-10 pickup, lined up against Jim Braid and his motorcycle. Braid is a fearsome opponent in the ‘Bike/Sled’ class as he always is a super consistent racer who always gets a good light and runs his dial-in time. Braid red-lit and
gave the win to Boutilier.
The ‘Junior King’ race was settled with Kitimat’s Lou Ribero taking home his first of two wins for the weekend.
On Sunday there were many firsts. In the new ‘Sportsman’ Class, the winner was a driver running his first race ever. Marcus Wilmen drove the Caledonia Secondary School car, and took home the first place finish.
In second place for the ‘Sportsman’ class was Andrew Calkins. Andrew dropped down to this class after his ‘Super Pro’ Camero broke on Sunday. He then ran his tow pickup to take second place.
There was a second Calkins in the winners circle, as his brother, Shane Calkins, overcame Saturday motor problems to take home third place.
In ‘Super Pro’ Mike Wienhardt of Vanderhoof, ran down Haida Gwaii’s Laurence Wilkens duster for the first place finish. It marked Wilkins first time
placing in the winners circle.
In the Bike/Sled event Shawn Enmark and his sled started their season right where they left it last season, with a first place win over Leland Hoveland.
‘Super Pro’ class had a Kitimat feel as Harley Bell took down Bruce Daum in the final.
The Jr. Dragster race was also a Kitimat final as Lou Ribero took home his second first place in two days with a win over Tanner Daum. First time racer Massimo Dallavecchia took home a third place.