Three out of four Spira Racing cars arrived at Sunset Speedway with crew member Steve Laking and his #44 Late Model for the McColl Racing Enterprises Invitational Race. The crew worked late after running at Flamboro Speedway the night before to get the cars ready for the event. Unfortunately the #22 Artik Ice Ford of Wade Watson was too badly damaged due to the wreck early in the race where he got collected in the carnage that happened ahead of him.
With a threat of rain in the air, timed practice sessions began giving each class 15 minutes to go on and off the track as they made adjustments. Billy had a push condition in the centre and was loose off as Samantha was loose on exit, as was Scott. The team had plenty of time during the four practice sessions to tune the cars to the track, spring rubbers were moved from the right rear to left rear on the #81 along with an adjustment to the front sway bar. A spring rubber was added to the left rear of Scott’s car and tire pressure adjustments did the trick for him with his only complaint being his lack of seat time at the track. Minor sway bar adjustments were also made to the #86 for Billy as he was running pretty good lap times compared to the fast cars that normally run at the high banked track.
There were six heat races for the 26 cars in attendance so each car would run two and the finishes combined would set the order of the 35 lap feature. Samantha was the lone Spira Lucas Oil car in the very competitive first heat where she started 3rd out of 9 cars. The first lap produced some three wide racing and Sam got squeezed back to 6th where she ran side by side with the #35. Samantha took the position on the 4th lap and held on for the balance of the race to finish 5th. Scotty lined up 3rd in the second race with Billy at the tail end in 8th. Billy moved up quickly on the first lap and was in 4th behind Scotty, who was holding onto 3rd. Billy took the position away from his teammate at the half way mark and Scotty backed up two positions to finish 6th while Billy lost a side by side battle for position and finished 4th. Samantha’s second heat race had her starting 5th and she was pretty consistent throughout the race to finish 5th behind the eventual feature winner, 2nd & 3rd place finishers. Billy started on the pole for his second race with Scotty 4th. Some strong competition put Billy back a position to finish 2nd and Scotty dropped back two positions to finish 6th.
The cars lined up for the feature as the temperature dropped off dramatically and Billy was the closest to the front in 9th, Samantha a short distance behind in 13th and Scotty in 17th. Billy gained a position by lap three, Scotty moved back two and Samantha hung onto her position. On the 10th lap, Samantha was on the move as she moved closer to the top ten in 11th, Billy fell back to 9th and Scotty maintained his position until the leaders caught him at the half way mark. The first and only caution came out for the #33 car spinning on his own and that brought the strung out field back in together. The #10 was dominating and as he took the green for the restart, Billy ran in 6th, Samantha in 12th and Scotty 20th. Billy lost a position in the final run to the checkered flag to the #9, however he had a good side by side run with the #51, the current points leader at Sunset Speedway, to gain the position back and finish 6th. Samantha had a very good run and was much improved compared to her first run at the track last year and finished 10th. Scotty survived his maiden voyage at the great facility to finish a respectable 19th. Crew member Steve Laking had a great run in his Late Model for their 75 lap feature and despite being sent to the back of the field with the #51 for getting tangled up with a lapped car early in the race, finished 3rd to get in the picture by Dave Franks Photo’s at the finish line.
An extra thank-you goes out to Dave for the quality pictures that he provides our race team at Flamboro Speedway and most other tracks that we travel to. Check out Dave’s web page atwww.davefranksphotos.com/ to see thousands of photos that are available to purchase.
Next up for the Spira Team is a return to Flamboro Speedway on Sunday June 2nd. Pit gates open at 4:00pm, spectator gates at 5:00, qualifying is set to begin at 6:30 and the feature races are set to begin at 8:00.