Tim Westwick is a two-time, back-to-back champion at Thunder Mountain Speedway.
Westwick defended his title in the competitive street stock division Saturday night during the local speedway’s last racing event of the season — the Season Points Championship and Day of Destruction — which also featured a smoke show, king of the hill and hit to pass to the delight of the large crowd in attendance.
Westwick finished ahead of Tyler Yuille in second overall, and veteran Arnie Kunka in third, to claim the title, despite some unfortunate luck in the main event that saw Westwick crash into a wall while leading the main event while battling a rain storm.
“After the success of the 2018 season and our first championship I was worried that my good luck might run out in 2019,” Westwick told the Tribune. “We did have some issues with a blown transmission one race but still managed to snag the main event win, the dash and fast time.”
He said he had a lot of fun racing with a fellow teammate in Yuille this season, and noted he wanted to thank him for all the good, hard, clean racing this season.
“It was a very good season,” he said. “We got faster at every race and got lucky enough to win a lot of fast time awards and a couple of main events. I feel very fortunate to have been supported by a lot of close friends, family and business sponsors this year. I think we won every local race fast time award, and even managed to get fast time in Prince George at race two in the Tri-City Series — probably the highlight of my racing career beating out great veteran racers like Arnie Kunka and Lyall McComber for fast time really meant a lot to me.”
At Saturday’s points final, Westwick was thrilled to cap off his season with a new personal best qualifying time: narrowly missing the track record by about 0.012 of a second.
“I’m very proud to have gotten faster at every race and feel extremely fortunate to have defended the championship,” he said.
Now, Westwick is looking forward to finishing out the year in Quesnel during the WESCAR Championship and Street Stock Invitational on Sept. 14.
Westwick’s teammate, Donny Kunka, is leading the points standings in the WESCAR Series and is looking to become the first rookie to win that title while his dad, Arnie, has a solid lead in the Tri-City Series going into its finale on Sept. 21 in Quesnel.
“It’s been a lot of fun and I’m already thinking about how to get faster for next year,” Westwick said.
Westwick also thanked his “awesome” pit crew: Cory Sales and three of his former students at Lake City Secondary School — Brett Melville, Sam Ratko and Trey Howarth — and thanked volunteers Lynn and Marius Dunford, TMS president Bob Lowen, Tim Taylor, George Giesbrecht and all the TMS executives and volunteers for all their hard work.
Also wrapping up their seasons with points championships were Mitch Rollo of Quesnel in the bone stock division.
Lowen, meanwhile, has announced he will be stepping down as TMS president after an enjoyable, productive run at the helm, but said “he likes to go fast, too.”
“Arnie and Tim, and all those guys need a little competition,” he joked, as he plans to get back into racing again next season. “I enjoyed it a lot. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t enjoy it, but it takes a lot of time, it’s a big commitment and we’ve got the next generations coming up and it’s time for some new blood to get more involved.”
Thunder Mountain Speedway will be hosting one final event this season: its Annual General meeting, Season Roundup and Awards Banquet, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 19 at the Ramada Convention Centre.
Lowen said fans are more than welcome to attend, and tickets are available from any executive member, or by contacting an executive member on the Thunder Mountain Speedway Facebook page.