Quesnel’s Jason Howlett (right) T-bones Jason Luscombe during Thunder Mountain Speedway’s Hit to Pass Friday night where a record-breaking crowd of more than 1

Quesnel’s Jason Howlett (right) T-bones Jason Luscombe during Thunder Mountain Speedway’s Hit to Pass Friday night where a record-breaking crowd of more than 1

Speedway sees record attendance for Stampede

It was a record-breaking weekend at Thunder Mountain Speedway for the Stampede Hit to Pass Friday.

It was a record-breaking weekend at Thunder Mountain Speedway for the Stampede Hit to Pass Friday and the opener of the Tri-City Race Series and All Class Invitational Saturday.

More than 1,000 race fans crammed the spectating area at the track Friday, before 26 of B.C.’s fastest street stock drivers, 16 bone stock minis and 10 pro minis took centre stage Saturday for the All Class Invitational.

Agassiz’s Bob Kuhn claimed back to back season opener championships at the TMS Tri-City Race Series Saturday where TMS celebrated its 59th annual Stampede Weekend Invitational Race.

“Race No.1 of the FBB Tri-City Series is officially in the books,” said TMS director and Tri-City Race Series president Tim Westwick.

Kuhn, in his RKS Motorsports No. 58 Camaro, took the checkered flag in the 75-lap main event after setting a new track record in qualifying.

Kuhn was followed closely by Kamloops’ Rob Zimmer in the No. 3 Zimmer-Wheaton Chevrolet and Princeton’s Tim Graham took the final podium spot in his RGR No. 29 Toyota pickup.

Fourth place went to Prince George veteran Lyall McComber. Rounding out the top five was Quesnel’s Jason Howlett, while Cory Price was the top finishing local driver in the sixth position.

In the ‘A’ heat the top five were as follows: 1.) Arnie Kunka (Williams Lake); 2.) Brian Clutchey (Victoria); 3.) Johnny Bears (Ladner); 4.) Jason Shapansky (Kamloops); 5.) Tim Westwick (Williams Lake).

In the ‘B’ heat the top five were: 1.) Cole Byrd (Williams Lake); 2.) Lyall McComber (Prince George); 3.) Keith Rosin (Vernon); 4.) Shane Murphy (Prince George); 5.) Grant Powers (Prince George).

At the All Class Invitational it was Stephen Woods taking the checkered flag in the main event for the bone stocks, followed by Justin Hall and Dave Best.

In the pro mini main event it was Ryan Patterson beating the field, followed by Allen Roberts and Terry Braman, respectively.

The previous night a packed speedway saw fans take in the always popular hit to pass, king of the hill — where fans can take their own cars on the track for one-on-one elimination-style races — and smoke show competitions.

“We would like to send out a tremendous thank you to all the fans, volunteers, sponsors, executives and drivers who did a great job beating mother nature, as well as the race track,” Westwick said. “Special thanks to Fred Ball from Blocks R Us and Ben Judd for professionally fixing a hole that developed on the track in corner three due to the weekend rain showers.”

For their efforts, drivers were presented with unique invitational dash board plaques donated by TMS president Bob Lowen.

The next Tri-City Race is on Aug. 13 in Prince George, while TMS will host its next regular races on July 23 with its annual Christmas in July Food and Toy Driver where all proceeds go to the Salvation Army.

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