Loveday triumphs in return to Emo Speedway
While he’s now plying his trade on the USMTS circuit, Fort Frances native Brad Loveday showed no rust Saturday night in his return to the Emo Speedway.
Loveday, who last competed at the 3/8th-mile oval back in 2010, worked his way up the front in the 20-lap WISSOTA Modified feature race and captured the checkered flag as part of the track’s Mid-season Shootout.
“It feels good to be back at the home track after a couple of years away, and it’s always nice to run in front of the home crowd,” Loveday smiled.
“Before we came down tonight, I talked to [Borderland Racing Association president] Anthony Leek and said that if were able to come down and race tonight, and if we were able to win, we would go and represent the track at the Race of Champions.
“And since we were able to win tonight, we will go down for that race,” he noted.
Starting in the middle of the pack, Loveday used the inside line to his advantage as he worked his away around Steve Nordin, Glen Strachan, and Denny Trimble to move into the lead near the halfway point of the race.
“I ran that low line because I know that Glen likes to run that high line and Denny liked to run in the middle,” Loveday explained.
“You can’t follow those guys around if you want to get by them,” he reasoned. “You have to pick your own line and take your chances.
“In my case, I was able to get to the bottom line and it worked out to my advantage.”
Loveday held off Trimble during a couple of late-race re-starts to prevent any challenges for the lead, though at times it looked as if a metal bar on the left side of his car, which was rubbing against his left rear tire, could prove to be he is undoing.
“Generally, the tires that we run in the USMTS series are smaller in diameter than the Hoosiers that we race [on] here, so we just don’t have the clearance in that area,” explained Loveday, who will be getting back behind the wheel next Friday (July 20) for the World Dirt Modified Championships at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Mn.
“But when you are out in front late in the race, you just have to keep on going and see what happens,” he stressed.
Trimble followed Loveday to the finish line while Strachan, who had won the heat race earlier in the evening, wound up third.
Despite not collecting the win, Trimble still was able to move into the points lead for the first time this season as defending track champ Gavin Paull was competing at an event in Alexandria, Mn.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds also competed for a chance to run at the Race of Champions in September, with Chuck Lambert holding off division points leader Christopher Leek to capture the checkered flag Saturday night.
“I saw Chris’ nose once there late in the race, and I knew that I had to drop down and take his line because if I didn’t do that, he would get by me,” Lambert said following his second feature win of the season.
“When he had that re-start with a few laps to go [following an incident in Turn #2 involving Glenn Godin], I was looking and waiting to see his nose again, but I never saw it so I knew we were good,” he added.
Prior to the night’s action, Lambert and his crew had been discussing the possibility of running at the year-end event in South Dakota, but their minds were made up following the feature victory.
“I think it’s safe to say that we are going to be going down now,” he smiled.
Cody Ossachuk rounded out the top three in the feature while Leek extended his points lead with a win in the heat.
Finally in the Street Stocks, Darien Trimble was the man to beat Saturday night in his second appearance at the Emo Speedway this season, cruising to the checkered flag in both the heat and feature races.
“Tonight was intended to be a shakedown, so I’m really happy with how things went,” he enthused.
“I didn’t make any adjustments to the car heading into the feature because I wasn’t totally sure what the track was going to do, but we’ll take it.
“A win’s a win, and it doesn’t matte how you get it,” he smiled.
Behind Trimble, division points leader Libby Wilson got past Wes Morrisseau on the final lap to finish in the runner-up spot.
Racing is set to resume this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Emo Speedway (weather permitting), with the WISSOTA Super Stock taking centre stage as drivers from Manitoba, Minnesota, and Ontario compete in the one night only event.
The other three regular classes also will be competing, with expanded car counts expected.