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may 24th results

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boas51:
May 24 Race Day Recap

Last year's Siemens Transportation Group Western Elite StockCar Tour champion Dan Shirley piloted his #46 2005 Pontiac Co-op Grand Prix to an early lead in the WEST series points race at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway Saturday evening.  Despite a handful of cars not being ready for the series season opener, fans watch some terrific racing under threatening skies as Shirley won the first Heat race and the rain shortened Feature.

#49, the Northern Lights Casino 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix of Ben Busch out of Prince Albert followed Shirley across the finish line in the first Heat, with the #51 Brown Oval Auto Sports 2008 Impala of Herschel's Devon Brown took third.

In the second Heat race, Saskatoon's John Rees won his first race of the year old series, taking the #26 J & A Heating Monte Carlo to the checkered flag ahead of rookie Shannon Harding in the #11 Saturn of Saskatoon 2006 Monte Carlo.  Nick Allen of Asquith in the #21 Harley Hustler 2006 Chevrolet was third.

A quick rain shower at lap 29 in the Centennial Plumbing 125 lap feature caused a brief rain delay caution.  The race had to be stopped again at lap 47 when the skies once again opened up.  Although the rain lasted only a few minutes, persistent light drizzle meant the track could not be dried and the race was declared complete under the Siemens WEST rules.  Dan Shirley was first in the #46 Co-op Grand Prix, Ben Busch second in the #49 Northern Lights Casino Grand Prix and Devon Brown was third in the #51 Brown Oval Auto Sports Impala.

The season got off to a bad start for Paul Savoie in the #95 Mopar Motor Sports 2006 Dodge Charger as his transmission locked up in corner one during qualifying and basically shredded his entire drive train.  Fans watched in horror as the car skidded out of control, stopping just a few feet from what would have been a disastrous meeting with the concrete wall.

In street stock action, Les Hillacre took first in the heat race with his 1977 NuFab Camaro, the #27 1978 Lone Star Camaro of Scott Lucas was second and Bryan Johnson in the #98 Value Tire Street Stock 1979 Camaro was third.

Bryan Johnson visited victory lane for the first time this 2008 season, winning the qualifier, followed by Scott Lucas in the #27 and the #99 of Cory Kallis.

Cory Kallis also piloted the #99 Adobe Inn 1988 Monte Carlo to the checkered flag first in the Street Stock Feature, with the #27 of Scott Lucas and Bryan Johnson in the #98 on his tail.

Race fans were also treated to the first visit of the Legends Cars of Saskatchewan, as they ran three demonstration races.  Popular in the United States and Alberta, several Saskatchewan residents have purchased Legend cars over the past year and the Saskatoon Stock Car Racing Association is helping give these new owners wheel time in practice and a few demonstration races this summer.  These cars will of course be part of the huge Mac's Froster 50 on June 14.

Complete Results:

Tiger Automotive Street Stock Division:

Heat:  1) #17 Les Hillacre, 2) #27 Scott Lucas, 3) #98 Bryan Johnson, 4) #99 Cory Kallis, 5) #36 Darryl Potts, 6) #15 Todd Pluhator, 7) #88 Brad Wrennick, 8) #13 Jordan Hill, 9) #69 Robin Drysdale, 10) #3 Mike Eby, 11) #44 Jesse Krahn, 12) #31 Rob Lavoie

Qualifier:  1) #98 Bryan Johnson, 2) #27 Scott Lucas, 3) #99 Cory Kallis, 4) #15 Todd Pluhator, 5) #36 Darryl Potts, 6) #3 Mike Eby, 7) #13 Jordan Hill, 8) #69 Robin Drysdale, 9) #88 Brad Wrennick, 10) #44 Jesse Krahn, 11) #17 Les Hillacre

Feature:  1) #99 Cory Kallis, 2) #27 Scott Lucas, 3) #98 Bryan Johnson, 4) #36 Darryl Potts, 5) #15 Todd Pluhator, 6) #17 Les Hillacre, 7) #69 Robin Drysdale, 8) #88 Brad Wrennick, 9) #3 Mike Eby, 10) #31 Rob Lavoie

Siemens Transportation Group Western Elite StockCar Tour:

Heat A:  1) #46 Dan Shirley, 2) #49 Ben Busch, 3) #51 Devon Brown, 4) #1 Les Harding, 5) #53 Scott Kessier

Heat B:  1) #26 John Rees, 2) #11 Shannon Harding, 3) #21 Nick Allen 4) #94 Jason Hankewich (DQ), 5) #95 Paul Savoie (DNS)

Feature:  1) #46 Dan Shirley, 2) #49 Ben Busch, 3) #51 Devon Brown, 4) #21 Nick Allen, 5) #1 Les Harding, 6) #53 Scott Kessier, 7) #26 John Rees, 8) #11 Shannon Harding, 9) #94 Jason Hankewich.


 Shirley has enough traction to win rain-shortened race - (The Star Phoenix)
 
Cory Wolfe
The Star Phoenix

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dan Shirley's pimped-out Pontiac could've used one more option -- windshield wipers.

The Saskatoon driver had to feel his way around a sometimes-treacherous track Saturday before claiming victory in the rain-shortened Express Foods 125 at Auto Clearing Speedway.

"I was starting to slow down because it's very unnerving to see your windshield filled with water and slick tires do not take kindly to a wet race track," said Shirley.

The 44-year-old elementary school teacher didn't get to take the checkered flag in the season-opener for the Siemens Western Elite Stock-car Tour (WEST). Officials sent drivers to the pits after 45 laps and the race, scheduled for 125 laps, was called 30 minutes later.

Shirley, who posted the fastest qualifying time, held off Ben Busch's hard-charging Pontiac. The Prince Albert driver clocked the best lap times for a stretch, but he could not get around Shirley, the series' defending champ.

"About 25 laps in, we were giving a little run," said Busch. "I thought, well, there's a lot of race to go and he and I seemed to be out in front, so I figured I'd back off just a little bit. I guess that was maybe a mistake. On the other hand, Dan is such a good driver so I was just following him and learning some things."

Despite conditions conducive to crashes, nobody took any unnecessary risks when the rain started to fall.

"I slowed down and put my hand up a couple of times and Ben was respectful of that," said Shirley. "We want to bring these (cars) home in one piece. We'll put 25 race cars out on a nice, warm Saturday night and then we'll have some action."

The anticipation of bad weather kept all but one Alberta driver, Calgary's Scott Kessler, from trekking to Saskatoon on Saturday. The field dwindled to nine cars when Saskatoon's Paul Savoie experienced transmission trouble during qualifying. Engine problems forced Kindersley's Jason Hankewich to the sidelines before the race was 25 laps old.

The jinxed race came to a merciful end when rain made the asphalt surface unsafe for the rest of the field.

While Shirley breathed a sigh of relief, Busch and third-place finisher Devon Brown couldn't help but wish for more race.

"I was starting to pick it up and I think by the end of the race we would have had a good car," said Brown, who hails from Herschel. "We would have been up there. It's kind of disappointing because we definitely had the car set up for a long run."

The Siemens WEST Series resumes June 7 in Saskatoon. The two-year-old tour, which rose out of the ashes of the former CASCAR Series, also features stops in Regina and Calgary.

"We're definitely going to see higher car counts," said Brown. "The series is a good idea. It's going to take a few years to put it together. The group kind of divided when CASCAR went -- half the guys went NASCAR and half the guys couldn't afford to go NASCAR. But in a couple of years, you're going to see more guys interested in this series, maybe even by the end of this year."

Despite the abbreviated opener, Brown couldn't help but smile.

"We had fun," he said. "Nobody's hurt and no cars got wrecked. It's always good to see cars go on the trailer."

cwolfe@sp.canwest.com
The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008
 


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