Arnie Kunka of Williams Lake took first place in the main event at the Tri City Race Series final Saturday at the Gold Pan Speedway in Quesnel. (Ronan O’Doherty photos)

Kunka saves best for last at Tri City Series final

Lakecity auto racer Arnie Kunka saved his best for last at the the Tri City Racing Series.

Lakecity auto racer Arnie Kunka saved his best for last at the final leg of the Tri City Racing Series.

Arnie won the main event in the street stock class Saturday at the Gold Pan Speedway in Quesnel of the three race series — a combined circuit between Thunder Mountain Speedway in Williams Lake, the Quesnel Auto Racing Association and the Prince George Auto Racing Association.

“[It feels] pretty good,” Arnie, the president of the race series, said following the race, admitting he and his team ran into a few mechanical hiccups throughout the year. “We’ve had a terrible season, actually. We’ve only finished three races all year.”

Arnie battled extensively with the No. 9 car, Lyall McComber of Prince George, during the main event and managed to fend him off long enough to nab the checkered flag.

READ MORE: Thunder Mountain Speedway closes season with season championship

“Lyall’s a really good driver and I have full confidence and full trust around that man,” Arnie said. “He’s a quality racer, so no problems there.

“I made my way up through the field and when I got to him I could see he was having some handling issues. I hung out behind him until he burned his right front tire off, picked my spot and away I went.”

Adding to the hectic pace of the evening, Arnie’s son, Donny, was busy racing two cars — one in the WESCAR Late Model Touring Series and one in the street stock division.

“Every single car including my own is broken today,”Arnie said. “It’s been total chaos.”

Donny, meanwhile, had a solid weekend and managed to clinch second place in the WESCAR main event.

“We had a pretty decent car in the street stock class, managed a good finish in the main, but just got caught up behind some other cars we couldn’t get around,” Donny said.

“The WESCAR race went really well where we clinched second, which was awesome being in our rookie season.”

Donny noted he was happy with how the weekend played out.

“All in all it was a good weekend for us being able to drive both cars back on the trailers looking the same as when we unloaded them.”

Arnie added he’s quite proud of his son for how well he’s adapted in the WESCAR series for his first year.

“Not tooting my own horn but in 2005 I won a championship at that level of racing and I raced there for about five years,” Arnie said. “With my experience in that series and being a racer myself, and being on the radio with him — he doesn’t make too many mistakes but when he does I coach him along through those races and as team together, him and I, we seem to click well and it’s showing right off the bat.”

The street stock main event featured a wide array of Williams Lake talent with lakecity drivers occupying the top five finishing positions.

READ MORE: Fans appreciated at Thunder Mountain Speedway

Of them, Williams Lake racer Tim Westwick — Thunder Mountain’s street stock champion for the year — took second.

Taking third was Darren Lemky, fourth was Donny and fifth was Garnet Grimard.

Speaking on the three-race Tri City Series overall, Westwick said it was an awesome season.

“At the first race in Williams Lake we had about 20 cars and it was great racing Stampede weekend,” Westwick said. “Then in Prince George we had a couple guys from down south who didn’t make it because of the fires, but it was really good racing where Lyle won the main, and then last weekend — we’d been rained out Saturday and Sunday before, but everybody made it back and it was just beautiful up there.”

With the final Tri Series street stock points standings race out of the way, overall results were tabulated Monday evening where Prince George’s Darrell Horwath was first, Williams Lake’s Lemky was second, McComber was third, Arnie was fourth and Westwick was fifth.

“Overall it was just a wicked season,” Westwick said, noting Thunder Mountain Speedway and the Tri City Racing Series will combine for their awards dinner and dance Oct. 13 at the Ramada Inn.

Tickets are $50 a person and are available at the Hobbit House, or by contacting Lynn Dunford on Facebook.

The event is family friendly, and is open to the public. Doors open at 3 p.m. with a Tri-City Series meeting, followed by the Thunder Mountain AGM at 5 p.m. Cocktails are at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and awards get underway at 8 p.m.



sports@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Williams Lake’s Arnie Kunka makes his rounds of the Gold Pan Speedway in Quesnel in his No. 27 car at the Tri City Race Series final.

Arnie Kunka’s son Donny Kunka, finished first in his heat and second in the WESCAR Late Model Touring Series main event Saturday at the Gold Pan Speedway in Quesnel.

Just Posted

Snow is in the forecast for Williams Lake Friday, Oct. 23, which has already been falling in areas of the Chilcotin as seen here at Nimpo Lake. (Harriet Hird photo)
Ice, snow, chilly temperatures in forecast for Williams Lake area

Temperatures will dip down to -11C on Friday evening

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Motorist pulls into B.C. RCMP detachment after roadkill eagle comes back to life in minivan

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Most Read