Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Estevan Motor Speedway, A Race Night Perspective

Estevan Motor Speedway Flagman, Robert Kazakoff

Estevan Motor Speedway has long been a favourite go-to destination for yours truly. Dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to consistently make this fast, multi-grooved 3/8 mile dirt oval the pride of Southeast Saskatchewan on race day.

From a spectator's point of view, expect to be entertained with an efficient, well-run program. Unless a yellow or red flag is thrown, don't expect any down time.

As one car class is on track, the next group of cars is parked in front of the grandstands, waiting for their turn to race. This gives fans an opportunity to see the cars with their different sponsors up close.

Friendly 50/50 vendors work the grandstand area, selling and printing out tickets for the evening's jackpot.

The speedway food at the concession stand is fabulous. This is all you need too know.

Saturday, August 25 marked the end of the 2018 points season at Estevan Motor Speedway and it went out with a bang.

Here are a few things I took away from the evening.

After watching the Slingshot class, I am 100% sold on the idea that this is the perfect launching point for introducing new blood into the dirt track racing family. Different ideas have been bantered about for years, but Slingshots get people/families directly involved in dirt track racing right away. For those who say that our youth need involvement, this car class fits that need perfectly.

I met up with Weyburn's Rod Pickering in the pit area. We spoke briefly about the RP Automotive Canadian Mini Tour and the good it was doing for local racing. The tour consists of 4 stops in Swan River, MB., Yorkton, Swift Current and Tisdale, Saskatchewan.

After 15 years, what better way to spend time than reminiscing, sharing stories and a few laughs with friends at the speedway. Some I've known for 15 years, while others I have just met. It does a soul some good and I never get tired of it.

I like attending driver's meetings in the pit area. It's informative and sets the tone for the evening.

Have you ever watched how hard the flagman works a race at a dirt track? If you haven't, you should. Estevan Motor Speedway's Robert Kazakoff does a great job up in the stand.

The track officials have their duties and do their best to run a great evening of racing. Race programs don't just run themselves.

There are two things that are guaranteed to happen in Estevan. Watching Turn One of the first lap of a race and praying that everyone makes it through without trouble. The other is waiting for 4-wide racing. It's not an "if" but rather a "when" because you know it's going to happen and provide an on the edge of your seat thrill ride.

The IMCA Hobby Stocks put on a great show with a clean 20 lap feature. Cruz Wilson of Manor, SK. won his first Hobby Stock feature of 2018. His victory lane interview was a little awkward but certainly forgivable. His excitement was very evident and the thrill of the moment was overwhelming.

Winning consistently anywhere is a challenge at the best of times, but what about the perfect season? Robby Rosselli did just that by winning every IMCA Sport Mod feature at Estevan Motor Speedway in 2018. The Minot, North Dakota resident had to work for the last one but in the end, completed his perfect season with another checkered flag.

Is there anything more thrilling than watching a driver start a feature at the tail of the field and work his way up to win? This was the story of Tyson Turnbull and his #10 IMCA Modified on Saturday night. Tyson jumped the start resulting in a yellow flag. He has sent to the back of the field for the restart and used the next 25 laps to work his way to the front. On a final restart with about 3 laps remaining, Turnbull made his final move, rocketed to the lead and never looked back.

Read more about Championship Night in this Nick Nielsen article, Championship Weekend in the Books, for Discover Estevan.

The evening chilled off pretty well, suggesting that yet another racing season was close to concluding. Trailer lights illuminate the pits. Fans walk about, meeting their favourite drivers, asking for autographs and talking about racing.

After the last person has left and the lights go out on another year, the memories and stories these people will share will fill their anticipation for a new season of dirt track racing in 2019.

Me too, race fans. Me too.

Until next time, take care and good racing.

For additional Saskatchewan Dirt Track Racing, Sprint Car Racing and more, follow @SaskDirtRacing on Twitter.