Sands Speedway continues to celebrate its 50th year of racing with yet another week of great competition. In addition to the weekly divisions that Sands plays host to, a few Vintage Modifieds made the trip up from Wisconsin to run an exhibition to help celebrate the track’s 50th year.
Darrin and Jeff Allard made the trip to Sands to join Allan Yelle in their Vintage Modifieds. The three drivers took to the track for a quick exhibition. Yelle, who finished in fourth at the Upper Peninsula International Raceway in Escanaba Saturday night, took off in the exhibition, racing as hard today as he did decades ago. The trio of cars lapped the track 10 times before pulling back into the pit area. The crowd showered the drivers with applause and cheers, thanking them for making the journey to the Upper Peninsula.
Modified Four Cylinders
The first of four feature races, the Modified Four Cylinder feature, ran first. In fact, all four of the day’s features ran caution free.
In the opening laps of the Mod Four feature, it was Todd Maki and Reece Cavin, both heat winners earlier in the day, battling for the race lead. Soon, Ryan Proctor would join the battle for the top spot. Eventually, Todd Maki took sole possession of the top spot while Cavin and Proctor continued to battle for second through the rest of the race.
Todd Maki held on to the lead to take the win in the Mod Four feature. In the battle for second it was Reece Cavin edging out Ryan Proctor.
That wasn’t the only close battle on the track, though. Carter Adams and Jeremy Yelle had quite the tussle for the fourth spot throughout the 20 lap feature. When the dust settled between the pair, it was Yelle taking the spot with Adams in fifth.
Stock Four Cylinder
It seems that a common theme at the Sands Speedway is photo finishes, this week that theme was seen in the Stock Four feature.
Michael Goldsworthy took off from the pole position to grab the race lead on lap one, pulling away with each completed circuit. At the halfway point, Goldsworthy’s advantage over the rest of the pack began to fade.
Anthony Karnack, with Bill Hammond in tow, started clawing away at Goldsworthy’s lead, gaining ground lap by lap. While Karnack’s car was glued to the racetrack, Hammond’s car slid through the corners. Several times throughout the race it looked like Hammond would lose the control completely, but he never did. In control or out of control, it didn’t matter. Karnack and Hammond were closing on Goldsworthy.
It took all the way to the final lap, but Karnack made it to Goldsworthy to challenge for the lead. Exiting the fourth turn, Karnack tried his luck on the inside of Goldsworthy, but it wasn’t enough to pass him before the start/finish line.
Michael Goldsworthy claimed the feature win while Karnack followed inches behind in second. Third place was Bill Hammond just behind the leaders.
Auto Value Super Stock & Experimental Division
In multi-class racing action, battles were seen all around the track in both the Auto Value Super Stocks and Experimental Divisions
In the Street Stocks, the battle for the lead hit its breaking point at halfway. Gary Stanaway held off Ray Keskamaki in the first 10 laps, but soon the challenger would change. By the 10th lap, Ross Olsen had worked his way around Keskamaki for second and set his sites on Stanaway.
Stanaway wouldn’t give up the lead without a fight. For a handful of laps, he would hold off the always quick Olsen. Before too long, though, the familiar sight of Ross Olsen leading would be seen again.
Olsen would add yet another class and overall victory under his belt this year at Sands Speedway. Behind him in class and overall in second and third were Gary Stanaway and Ray Keskamaki in that order.
Meanwhile, the racing in the Experimental division was just as good as Victoria Hawley and Darrell Britton fought for the division lead, all while battling for the fourth position overall with Brett Wittler. At the checkered flag it was Victoria Hawley grabbing the Experimental win, with Darrell Britton following in second. They finished fourth and fifth in the overall standings.
The furious four pack of Late Models were joined by a special guest in their feature race to cap off the day’s racing. Apparently, racing Friday at the Norway Speedway, racing Saturday on the dirt in Escanaba, as well as running in the Vintage Modified exhibition earlier in the day weren’t enough for Allan Yelle.
Yelle ran several laps in the feature, watching the four car pack battle it out in front of him. One thing is for sure, nobody had a better seat for the Late Model feature than Allan Yelle. As the field began to spread out ahead of him, Allan called it a day. He waved to the crowd down the front straightaway then pulled into the pits.
Meanwhile, the rest of the field went about their own business in the feature. Charlie Bell and Rob Goodwin had a good battle for a few laps before Goodwin began to pull away.
The relatively tame Late Model feature would belong to Rob Goodwin at the end of the day. Charlie Bell followed in second with Doug Larson in third. Derek Gauthier rounded out the field in fourth with a wicked loose racecar.
Sands Speedway’s next event is the Sixth Annual Jim Meske Memorial Race, which benefits Cancer Care of Marquette County. Drivers won’t be the only winners come Sunday, though, as there will be numerous items to be drawn for in a number of bucket raffles. Racing starts at 2 p.m. EST with time trials at 1 p.m. EST.
By Todd Rose