Hundreds of racing fans at Williams Lake’s Thunder Mountain Speedway were in for a treat Saturday as the ARCA West OK Tire Challenge Series cars lit up the track.
The second stop on the ARCA West OK Tire Challenge Series (AWOTCS), the lakecity played host to drivers from around the province, including two Williams Lake racers — Ryley Seibert and Garnet Grimard.
The event, which also featured local classes including bone stocks, Heartland Toyota pro minis, thunders and street stocks, climaxed with a 100-lap main event featuring 14 AWOTCS drivers.
That field, by the end of the race, had dwindled to a mere nine drivers, as several misfortunate racers were taken out of action throughout the night.
On lap two Fort St. John’s Lee Thomas collided with a wall, sending him to the pits for the night. By lap six the series’ only female driver, Summerland’s Sarah Cornett-Ching, was knocked out of contention. On lap 47 Penticton’s Steven Lengert suffered the same fate after colliding with Quesnel’s Darren Swaan just before coming across the finish line on the back straightaway.
Meanwhile, Quesnel’s Dave Olson appeared to be in the driver’s seat, leading throughout the majority of the race. Following closely behind were Harrison Hot Springs’ Ian Graham in second and Seibert in third.
A yellow flag late in the race, and a brief mistake by Olson coming out of the second corner, however, allowed Graham and Seibert to climb into the one and two spot, respectively.
When the checkered flag was dropped it was Graham finishing first, Seibert nabbing second and Olson taking third.
“It was crazy out there,” Graham said. “We had an awesome car from the beginning of the night and it was a total team effort.
“I just tried to keep it cool and be patient. Just do what Kyle Busch does.”
Seibert showed no hesitation when asked about his thoughts on the race and his second-place finish.
“I thought this was going to be a great race,” Seibert said.
“These guys all put on a hell of a show tonight. We kept it clean and that’s the way to properly race.
“We love driving these cars and I just want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us. It was a great time.”
Grimard, who missed Vernon’s first AWOTCS race of the season, crossed the finish line in ninth spot; however, he did post the fastest lap of the night at 16.105 seconds.
Prince George’s Bob Williams, racer and president of the series, missed Saturday’s race after his car was put out of commission during the first series stop in Vernon.
The next stop on the AWOTCS is Prince George’s PGARA Speedway on Saturday, June 18.
A complete listing of results for local points classes and the Heartland Toyota Pro Mini Invitational are posted online at www.thundermountainspeedway.ca.