Seibert, Kunka, blaze up track at Summer Sizzler

The lakecity was well represented during the weekend at the Penticton Speedway

The lakecity was well represented during the weekend at the Penticton Speedway for its Summer Sizzler Showdown.

Ryley Seibert and Donny Kunka both competed in the fast Late Model Sportsman class both Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8, and both finished among the top of the 13-car field.

Seibert, after finishing second in the 75-lap main event on Saturday, then third Sunday in the main, brought home a second-place overall finish.

“I’d never been racing at that track before,” Seibert said. “We showed up Saturday morning, I unloaded everything and went through the day, tweaked the car a little here and there, then qualified sixth.”

That put Seibert in the second row, outside starting position to start the main event.

“I think it was about lap eight and I took the lead,” he said. “I led the entire race up until about 12 laps remaining, then the second place driver, the local track champion Tim Graham, caught me and kind of used his bumper to get me loose out of turn two and was able to take the position from there.”

Upon lifting the hood after the race Seibert discovered his car’s A-arm was falling off, causing his car to handle less efficiently during the late stages of the race.

“I guess that was the reason he caught me,” Seibert said. “I had pulled about a five-car-length lead over him when he reeled me in.”

Back on the track Sunday, Seibert said it was a fairly uneventful race, with Mike Sproule in first, Graham in second and Seibert in third.

“I’m very happy with the finish,” he said, and thanked his sponsor, Superseal for their support in getting him on the track. “To go to a speedway I’ve never driven and to challenge for the win, I think it’s a successful weekend, and I hadn’t sat in a late model since the Wescar finale of 2016, so we pulled it out of the shop where it’d been collecting dust and threw a setup on it and changed the oil and the motor, so to kind of just come out of the box and have fun and challenge for the win is a success story in my books.”

Kunka, 22, who competes in the local street stock class at Thunder Mountain Speedway, was driving in his very first late model race.

“I’m hooked now,” he said. “I think I did a lot better than expected.”

Kunka, who started racing when he was 14 years old, finished fifth in the Saturday night main event, then fourth on Sunday.

“I found the late model easier to drive and nicer to adjust, and just the speed difference, and the horsepower, is phenomenal compared to what I’m used to,” he said, adding he received many compliments from fellow racers on his driving.

“Everybody that has raced at that level has always told me I’d do well at that level just because of the way I drive. Everybody seems to tell me I drive really smoothly, and that’s the biggest thing with those race cars.

“I have a pretty nice street stock and I’ve been getting a little frustrated with all the crashing and smashing. I don’t know if it’s because these cars are worth a lot more, but everybody seems to have a lot of respect for each other out there and it makes for some pretty clean racing.”

Kunka was driving the No. 3 car owned by Rob Zimmer of Zimmer Wheaton in Kamloops.

Asked how the transition was into the faster late model car, Kunka said he’s had a good teacher all his life, so he’s prepared.

“My old man (Arnie Kunka) taught me everything I know,” he said. “He won a championship in the Wescar series in one of those late models back in 2005. The game’s changed a lot but he still has a good idea what’s going on and what needs to be done.”

Kunka said he plans to race again on July 21 in Quesnel during Billy Barker Days.

“I just want to thank Rob (Zimmer) for what he’s doing and the sponsors,” Kunka said, adding Zimmer Auto Group, Lordco Racing, A&W and UnderWraps Advertising Solutions have all been tremendous helping him out.

Seibert, meanwhile, said it was nice to see a fellow Williams Lake auto racer on the track in Penticton.

“It’s always good to see more lakecity racers out there, and it was great to be back out,” he said.

“Bag thanks to my crew, my family and friends, and it was great to see the Kunkas down there. He (Donny) drove really well.”


Just Posted

Tour de Cariboo road ride and fundraiser going out in style on 25th anniversary

This year’s Tour de Cariboo fundraiser will celebrate 25 years of memories.

ZONE 8: Gabby Knox is a 2nd-generation BC Summer Games competitor

Both parents competed in softball, but Knox of Williams Lake is making waves in the pool

Tl’etinqox community strengthed by 2017 wildfires, says chief

Residents denied evacuation order to help themselves

West Fraser continues burned timber salvage in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Two cutting permits will allow the company to harvest 227,000 cubic metres of burnt timber

2017 fire babies pose for photo one year later

23 babies and their moms gathered for a photo shoot at the Williams Lake Fire Department

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Sunken duck boat to be raised after deadly Missouri accident

17 people died over the weekend in a deadly boat incident

Man extradited to Canada in B.C. killing, following arrest in South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Canada beats Triple Crown for Canada Cup softball title

National team’s championship is first at B.C. tournament since 1996

Record high in Japan as heat wave grips the region

The temperature in a city north of Tokyo reached 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday, the highest ever recorded in Japan.

Feds looking at ways to tackle wave of gun violence in Toronto: Minister

Toronto mayor John Tory spoke to the press following a mass casualty event in Toronto.

Inquest set in death of RCMP’s spokesperson for Robert Dziekanski case

Former Mountie Pierre Lemaitre died of self-inflicted injuries in Abbotsford in 2013

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences.

Most Read