Race fans were treated to a weekend of thrills and spills to cap off another successful season at Thunder Mountain Speedway.
“I’m sad a little bit that it’s over,” TMS president Bob Lowen said. “But the weekend was awesome.”
The points final championship racing lit up the track Saturday where drivers in the bone stock, pro mini and street stock divisions faced off to declare the season winners.
In the street stock class it was Byron Hesselgrave of Quesnel taking the championship after he won the main event to finish the season with 131 points — 31 up on the second-place father, son duo of Arnie and Donny Kunka.
Third place in the division went to the team of Corey Price and Donny Kunka.
Hesselgrave, who started racing karts in 2001 when he was 12 and graduated to the oval track at the age of 16 in 2005, said it will be an honour to hold the title for the year. He’s been competing in the street stock class for the past four seasons.
“I looked up to guys like Arnie Kunka and Bob Lowen,” Hesselgrave said. “I don’t think anything separates me from any of the other drivers.
“Williams Lake has a very competitive street stock class. I was just lucky to have some great sponsors backing me this year.”
Hesselgrave also credited his dad, Chuck Hesselgrave, for helping him with the accomplishment.
“It’s just the two of us that work on the car,” he said. “He puts an endless amount of hours in at the shop to keep it consistent.”
He also thanked the TMS executive and all of the volunteers who help keep racing going in Williams Lake.
“[Thanks to] the TMS and the volunteers for all that they do and for always making it enjoyable to race in Williams Lake,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the pro mini division it was Allen Roberts separating himself from second-place Marius Dunford in the main event to bring home the championship. Roberts ended his season with 128 points, while Dunford amassed 104.
Third place in the pro mini class was earned by Tim Roberts.
And lastly, in the bone stock division, Gordan Bettles cashed in the checkered flag in the main event and picked up the points championship.
Gordan defeated his dad, Brian Bettles, in the class, who took second place.
Third place in the division was won by the brother, sister team of Tim and Annaka Westwick.
Sunday afternoon was billed as a Day of Destruction, and the event certainly didn’t disappoint. Drivers treated fans to a hit to pass, a smoke show, king of the hill and trailer and boat races where drivers towed old boats behind them and an old camper was placed on the track as an obstacle.
Several crashes later, it was No. 77 Mitch Siniac of 100 Mile House who took home first place in the trailer and boat races.
Crowd favourite No. 187 Robert Rosette of Toosey captured second place while Riske Creek driver No. 22 Ken Wasen took home third.
Fourth place went to No. 5 Brian Bettles, fifth went to No. 35 Harley Astleford and sixth went to No. 18 Jason Howlett who had to abandon his car when a fire broke out after he hit a camper.
Lowen is now inviting everyone in the community to TMS’s annual awards banquet coming up Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Ramada Convention Centre.
“You don’t have to be a racer,” he said. “Get a hold of any executive member and they can sell you a ticket.”
This weekend in Quesnel will officially end the racing season as several lakecity drivers will head north to compete in the Tri-City Race Series Championship and the WESCAR Late Model Touring Series championship, featuring Williams Lake driver Ryley Seibert.