A cool breeze blew as the sun shined bright above at the Sands Speedway Sunday afternoon for the ever-popular Kids’ Day. For the kids in attendance, there were a plethora of additional activities including big wheel races, coloring contests, bike raffles, and even cake! During intermission, fans were able to meet the drivers of Sands Speedway as all the competitors parked their cars on track.
Modified Four Cylinder
Following intermission, the Modified Four Cylinder field took to the track for the day’s first feature race. Ryan Proctor grabbed the race lead early on from his outside front row starting position. The race would slow early, however, as Reece Cavin spun in a chain reaction incident that began when Todd Maki and Carter Adams came together exiting turn four. All of the drivers involved remained on the track, with Maki being sent to the rear of the pack for his role in causing the caution.
On the restart, Ray Belmore made what could very well be the save of the year (Pictured Above). From the entrance of turn one and through the majority of turn two, Belmore’s car was dead sideways. Somehow, Belmore held on to the car and the race stayed green after what could have been a multi-car melee.
As the race reached its halfway point, Todd Maki had worked his way through the field to find himself in the second position behind Ryan Proctor, with Carter Adams in third. With time running out, Maki pressured Proctor with all he had. Try all he might, it wasn’t enough for Maki. Ryan Proctor held on for the win with Todd Maki in second. Carter Adams followed in third place.
As Proctor pulled into victory lane, Todd Maki stopped alongside and jumped out of his car. He ran around to the driver’s side window, helped drop Proctor’s window net, then pulled him out of the car and gave him a massive hug. In a sport that often sees tempers overshadow race finishes, it was great to see such an awesome moment between two drivers that displayed true sportsmanship.
Stock Four Cylinders
Like the Mod Four Feature before it, it didn’t take long for the Stock Four Cylinder feature to have its first caution once the green flag fell. A total of four cars were involved in a jam session in the first turn on the fourth lap of the feature. However, it was Bill Hammond and Tom Waselesky getting the worst of it. The two drivers ended up stuck together, needing the assistance of track crews to separate. Once apart, Hammond raced back to the pits for some speedy repairs from his team while Waselesky hopped out of his car to inspect the damage before hopping back in. Both drivers rejoined the field at the back of the pack.
Things would go from bad to worse for Tom Waselesky shortly after the race restart as smoke began to erupt from under the hood of his car. Bad news for Waselesky was also bad news for the field as fluid from Waselesky’s car leaked onto the track, requiring a lengthy red flag for cleanup.
When the race restarted, it was Hammond in the lead. Not Bill, mind you, but his 13-year-old son Tyler. The lead was where Tyler Hammond would stay for the final 14 lap green flag stretch as he pulled away from the rest of the field. Anthony Karnack and Kyle McMahon battled for the second position with Karnack taking the spot.
Auto Value Super Stock/Experimental Division
The mixed class action of the Auto Value Super Stocks and Experimental Division ran next in a clean, caution free, race. Early on, Darrell Britton held the overall lead, as well as the Experimental class lead. Soon, Victoria Hawley came knocking and grabbed the position. Before she could lead a lap, though, Ray Keskamaki grabbed the lead from her.
Before long, Ross Olsen Sr. was right on Keskamaki’s tail. By the race’s halfway point, Olsen had clawed his way up to battle for the lead on the outside of Keskamaki, a move he makes often but wouldn’t use to pass Keskamaki for the win.
“I usually pass him on the outside, because his car turns pretty good,” Olsen said post-race, “Today it didn’t turn too good, which left me room to sneak underneath.”
Sneak under Keskamaki he did. Olsen would make the move out of turn two and by the completion of the lap, had the pass completed.
“He (Keskamki) said I won’t have to worry about racing him next week,” Olsen chuckled when talking of the battle for the win, “he’ll just get the hell out of my way.”
Olsen would hold the lead to the end of the race while Ray Keskamaki followed in second. Gary Stanaway rounded out the top three in both the Super Stock division and overall standings.
Victoria Hawley took the win in the Experimental Division in fourth overall, while Darrell Britton was second in Experimental and fifth overall.
The Late Model feature looked much like last week’s feature. The cars were the same, but one of the drivers was not. Last week, Charlie Bell and Rob Goodwin tussled for the top spot in a photo finish, this week it was Bob Goodwin replacing an out of town Rob.
There were no cautions in the Late Model feature. Derek Gauthier, though, did make an incredible save (Pictured Below) during the races mid stages. Exiting turn four Gauthier’s car pitched sideways toward the infield grass. Somehow, Gauthier held onto the car and straightened back out after a quick trip into the grass.
In the closing laps, Charlie Bell looked to pass Bob Goodwin on the outside. It was the outside line in which Rob Goodwin was able to grab the lead from Bell last week, could Bell use it to his advantage this week? The answer, unfortunately for Bell, was no.
While he was able to make up some ground on the high line, Bell just couldn’t get the car to stick off the corners to pull off the pass. In a last ditch effort, Bell pushed hard out of turn four in the last lap drag to the finish line. The back of the car swung out, almost grabbing the wall in the process. Ell held on for second with a hard charging Doug Larson in third. Ahead of them, though, was Bob Goodwin who won his first race of the year in his first appearance of the year.
Sands Speedway’s next event is next Sunday with Qualifying at 1 p.m. EST and Racing at 2 p.m. EST.
By Todd Rose