By Pat Monsigneur
Special to Black Press
Saratoga Motorsports Park kicked-off the Speedway’s 2022 race season with a bang, all thanks to the sponsorship of Robbins and Company Chartered Professional Accountants.
Opening night at the Black Creek oval couldn’t have been more successful from the perfect spring weather to the impressive numbers of race enthusiasts young and old who came to witness exciting on-track action and listen to Hall Of Fame track announcer Rocky Horne make the calls.
The venue introduced a new “designated seating” format and an improved visitor-parking process, which had immediate positive impact on spectator comfort as the new Saratoga Speedway team continues to improve event operations. The first home-track hero event of 2022 featured an impressive field of Kyte Delivery Systems Hornet “A” and “B” cars and the return of the Sunwest RV Centre Crash to Pass warriors. Victoria’s “Capital Drift” demo team put on a memorable performance and kept the fans on their feet as their cheering eventually overpowered the horsepower!
Race qualifying saw a new track record set in the Sunwest RV Centre Crash to Pass class. It took atwo2-car shootout to decide the racing order when Erik Jessen and Sheldon Hopp put up equal lap times of 18.271 in the first round. Speedway officials called for a 3/8-mile heads-up dual that resulted in Erik Jessen marking a record-setting 18.096.
One of the race-format improvements for 2022 is the “Competition Transfer,” which provides the top six racers in the Kyte Delivery Sytems Hornet “B” feature race an option to join the Hornet “A” field for their feature race to see if they have what it take. Apparently they do; Brandon Hopp son of one of the night’s CTP dualist: Sheldon Hopp, took his chance to walk on the wild side. The “B” racer was rewarded with not only a double payout for his efforts but a second-place finish and the trophy to go with it.
Opening night’s first place winners were: Sunwest RV Center Crash to Pass: Sheldon Hopp, Kyte Delivery Hornet “A”: Boston Larson, and the Hornet “B”: Brandon Hopp.
All the fun and excitement set the stage for a spectacular display of colour and sound that put a smile on everyone’s face as Don McCauly of “AFA Fireworks” lit the night up in a grand finale to remember.
Racing action continues next week when another instalment of ‘Home Track Heroes’ take to the oval with the VIROC iMods, and Ace Brewing Company Bombers both battle for double points, and the Kyte Delivery Hornets come back for round two.