Night races draw rave reviews

Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2006


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  Kevin Huntley and John McDonald hang tight in a curve Friday night at Twin Cities Raceway. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Kevin Huntley and John McDonald hang tight in a curve Friday night at Twin Cities Raceway.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

With plenty of roaring, rolling and racing, Friday’s sprint and stock car races at Twin Cities Raceway had everything you’d expect from a day at the track — only at night.

“I love it,” Kenai’s Cameron McGahan said of Friday’s run under the lights. “At night it almost sucks the moisture up out of the dirt and the track is just fast.”

McGahan survived a wild final race that featured two big crashes to take home the sprint car Main Event, the final race of the evening.

Shortly into the final race, Anchorage’s John McDonald provided fans with the biggest spill of the evening, when he got tangled up in traffic around turn four and flipped down the home stretch.

McDonald went on to finish the race in fifth place. Kenai’s Pete Ischi wasn’t as lucky. Only two laps after the restart, Ischi and Doug Fisher got tangled up, resulting in Ischi’s car being towed off the track.


Ken Carlock leaves a cloud of dust as he leads a race at Twin Cities Raceway Friday night.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The second wreck opened the door for McGahan, who seized first place off the second restart and never looked back.

“It was pretty wild out there,” he said. “People were running all over the place, getting on top of each other.”

McGahan said he just tried to stay focused on his line and let his car do the work.

“You have to stay steady,” he said.

McGahan said he was proud of Friday’s win in light of the fact that he was able to hold off Bloomington, Ind., driver Kevin Huntley.

“He’s a real good driver,” McGahan said of the Indiana racer, who came to Alaska to race in Kenai and at the Alaska State Fair. “Probably about 20 more laps, I don’t know, I heard he was gaining on me.”


Debbie Yancy, left, gets a hug from her boyfriend, Marty Monsaas, after she won a race Friday.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Other main event winners Friday night included Brian VanKason in the A-Stock, Joey Essex in B-Stock and Frank Soares in the Late Models.

Rain threatened to shut things down as the late afternoon wore on, but track conditions were good as racing got under way in front of a nearly full grandstand. Families with children made up much of the crowd, something stock car driver Debbie Yancy said is one of her favorite things about the track.

“It’s really family-oriented, pretty much everybody likes everybody out here,” Yancy said.

Yancy, of Kasilof, was among the most successful racers of the day, taking home top honors in the B-Stock Trophy Dash as well as two heat races. But after a hard night’s racing, she said winning really isn’t what keeps her coming back after seven years of stock car racing.

“It’s just so darn much fun,” she said.


At Twin Cities Raceway



Trophy Dash: 1. Robert Thomas; 2. Brian VanKason.

Heat I: 1. Thomas; 2. Mitchell Soares; 3. VanKason.

Heat II: 1. Thomas; 2. VanKason; 3. Soares.

Main: 1. VanKason; 2. Thomas; 3. Soares.


Trophy Dash: 1. Debbie Yancy; 2. Ken Carlock; 3. Joey Essex.

Heat I: 1. Yancy; 2. Carlock; 3. Charley Michel.

Heat II: 1. Yancy; 2. Michel; 3. No. 9.

Main: 1. Essex; 2. Michel; 3. Yancy.


Trophy Dash: 1. Joey Essex; 2. Keith Anders; 3. No. 2

Heat I: 1. Anders; 2. Frank Soares; 3. No. 2

Heat II: 1. Essex; 2. Soares; 3. Anders

Main: 1. Soares; 2. Essex; 3. Anders


Trophy Dash: 1. John McDonald

Heat I: 1. Kevin Huntley

Heat II: 1. Cameron McGahan

Main: 1. Cameron McGahan; 2. Kevin Huntley; 3. Leroy Perfect; 4. Cliff Barney; 5. John McDonald.

* — Complete results for Friday and Saturday races will be available in the Clarion later this week.

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