When the track finally dried, four drivers wrapped up season points championships Saturday and Sunday at the Wilkins Memorial Sprint Challenge at Twin Cities Raceway.
The event was put on by the Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions - Circle Track Division and was dedicated to avid race fan Zachary Michael Larry McKenzie, who died in August.
The challenge was originally scheduled to be held on Sept. 3 and 4, giving drivers from all over the state a chance to come experience the unique experience of racing under the lights in Alaska. Mother Nature had other ideas, however, and washed out that entire weekend.
Atigun Equipment and Airport Equipment Rentals let the Racing Lions keep the lights for an event that was to be Friday and Saturday, but again on Friday showers washed out the event. Racers were able to go under the lights on Saturday night and then raced in the afternoon on Sunday in the season finale for double points.
"If we would have been able to have this Labor Day weekend, there would have been a lot of people," said Chet Soares, the president of the Circle Track Division. "We had a lot of drivers come down, but then they couldn't come back."
On Saturday night, Cameron McGahan and his father, Jackie, battled for the season points title in the Sprint Car division. Cameron won the trophy dash and Jackie took heat one before Cameron got into the back of his father in heat two, causing Cameron to roll his car.
Cameron was not injured, but Jackie went on to win heat two and take the season points title by two points.
The battle for the points title in the Late Model division was not nearly as tense. The car owned by Chet Soares and driven by his brother, Frank of Kenai, finished 182 points ahead of Robert Watkins.
"It was Chet's car, but he needed somebody who actually knew how to drive," Frank said within earshot of his brother.
Seriously, Frank gave all the credit to the sponsorship of Glacier Pontiac Buick GMC. According to Frank, the sponsor provided a 350-horsepower Crate engine that practically won the points title by itself.
"We didn't have to turn a wrench on it all year," Frank said. "The only thing we had to worry about was air filter and oil."
Sean Hutchings drove the car to victories in the trophy dash and main event on Saturday and the trophy dash and heat one on Sunday.
Anchorage's Brian Vukasin won the points title in the A Stocks, scoring 826 points to defeat John Clemmons' 758 and TJ Soares' 729.
When asked why he made the trip down from Anchorage to race all summer, Vukasin held a trophy and said, "This is a big reason why I come down here."
Vukasin won the trophy dash, heat one and main event on Saturday and took the trophy dash on Sunday. He finished no worse than third the entire weekend.
"I was back in about fourth place two weeks ago," Vukasin said. "Clemmons had some problems so I got some points back on him. TJ was then out for a while last night."
Vukasin said he plans to come down again next year and defend his title.
Nikiski's Richard McGahan won the B Stock season title again. McGahan finished 89 points ahead of Debbie Yancy.
"I just love getting out here," McGahan said. "I just wish we had 20 or 30 more kids racing out here instead of on the highway."
McGahan said the secret to his success is getting out to the track and picking up points at every opportunity. This year, that was a tall order as McGahan was on his third engine when he raced this weekend at picked up a victory in Saturday's heat one.
McGahan, who always flies two Alaska and two American flags on his car, said teamwork also makes him successful. Metal Magic does his welding and Radiske Air provides him with fuel. His sons, Terry and Rich, drive the car for him when he can't make it to the track and also help him keep the car running.
"One of the big thrills for me out here is seeing my sons driving or my nephews and cousins in the sprint cars," McGahan said.
Next year, McGahan said he will attempt to defend his B Stock title in a pickup truck.
Wilkins Memorial Sprint Challenge
at Twin Cities Raceway
Trophy Dash 1. Cameron McGahan: 2. Jackie McGahan; 3. Pete Ischi; 4. Randy Barnes.
Heat 1 1. Jackie McGahan; 2. Pete Ischi; 3. Cameron McGahan; 4. Randy Barnes.
Heat 2 1. Jackie McGahan; 2. Pete Ischi; 3. Randy Barnes; 4. Cameron McGahan.
Trophy Dash 1. Sean Hutchings; 2. Robert Watkins; 3. Jay Irving; 4. Rex Savely; 5. Ed Elvis.
Heat 1 1. Jay Irving; 2. Sean Hutchings; 3. Robert Watkins; 4. Rex Savely; 5. Ed Elvis.
Heat 2 1. Jay Irving; 2. Robert Watkins; 3. Sean Hutchings; 4. Rex Savely.
Main Event 1. Sean Hutchings; 2. Jay Irving; 3. Robert Watkins; 4. Rex Savely.
Trophy Dash 1. Brian Vukasin; 2. David Myers; 3. Art Anderson; 4. TJ Soares; 5. John Clemmons.
Heat 1 1. Brian Vukasin; 2. Art Anderson; 3. Don Akers; 4. David Myers; 5. Tom Schannrock; 6. John Clemmons.
Heat 2 1. David Myers; 2. Brian Vukasin; 3. Tom Schannrock; 4. John Clemmons; 5. TJ Soares; 6. Don Akers.
Main Event 1. Brian Vukasin; 2. David Myers; 3. John Clemmons; 4. Tom Schannrock; 5. Don Akers; 6. TJ Soares.
Trophy Dash 1. Joe Essex; 2. Richard McGahan; 3. Debbie Yancy; 4. J.C. Herbst.
Heat 1 1. Richard McGahan; 2. Joe Essex; 3. Debbie Yancy; 4. J.C. Herbst.
Heat 2 1. Joe Essex; 2. Richard McGahan; 3. Debbie Yancy; 4. J.C. Herbst.
Main Event 1. Joe Essex; 2. Debbie Yancy; 3. Richard McGahan.
Trophy Dash 1. Sean Hutchings; 2. Robert Watkins.
Heat 1 1. Sean Hutchings; 2. Robert Watkins; 3. Jay Irving.
Main Event 1. Robert Watkins; 2. Jay Irving; 3. Sean Hutchings.
Trophy Dash 1. Brian Vukasin; 2. David Myers; 3. Tom Schannrock; 4. Don Akers; 5. John Clemmons.
Heat 1 1. David Myers; 2. John Clemmons; 3. Brian Vukasin; 4. Don Akers; 5. Tom Schannrock; 6. TJ Soares.
Heat 2 1. David Myers; 2. Brian Vukasin; 3. John Clemmons; 4. Tom Schannrock; 5. TJ Soares; 6. Don Akers.
Main Event 1. David Myers; 2. Brian Vukasin; 3. John Clemmons; 4. Don Akers; 5. TJ Soares; 6. Tom Schannrock.
Trophy Dash 1. J.C. Herbst; 2. Debbie Yancy; 3. Richard McGahan; 4. Joe Essex.
Heat 1 1. Joe Essex; 2. J.C. Herbst; 3. Richard McGahan; 4. Debbie Yancy.
Heat 2 1. Debbie Yancy; 2. J.C. Herbst; 3. Joe Essex; 4. Richard McGahan.
Main Event 1. Joe Essex; 2. Debbie Yancy; 3. J.C. Herbst.
Final season points
Sprints 1. Jackie McGahan, 532; 2. Cameron McGahan, 530; 3. Pete Ischi, 512; 4. Randy Barnes, 296; 5. Ernie Seager, 130; 6. Lance Violett, 98; 7. Ken Elliot, 81; 8. Elton McGahan, 70; 9. Leroy Perfect, 61; 10. Doug Fischer, 45; 11. Bob Erdman, 42.
Late Models 1. Frank/Chet Soares, 975; 2. Robert Watkins, 793; 3. Jay Irving, 780; 4. Mike Young, 490; 5. Marty/Kevin Oberg, 372; 6. Ed Elvis, 229; 7. Brian Vukasin, 108.
A Stocks 1. Brian Vukasin, 826; 2. John Clemmons, 758; 3. TJ Soares, 729; 4. Don Akers, 719; 5. Tom Schannrock, 621; 6. Brian Johnson, 432; 7. David Myers, 283; 8. Adam Tracy, 193; 9. Art Anderson, 98; 10. Shane Reid, 61; 11. Monte Betz, 12.
B Stocks 1. Richard McGahan, 767; 2. Debbie Yancy, 678; 3. Mike Young, 613; 4. J.C. Herbst, 538; 5. Roger Hutto, 388; 6. Joe Essex, 378; 7. Ken Carlock, 274; 8. Raymond Hensley, 264.
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