Race News

Off To A Quick Start

Jump ahead early and hold on for the win the rest of the way.

That proved to be the theme on the opening day of the Medicine Hat Auto Racing Association season on Saturday at the Medicine Hat Speedway as far as the main event races went.

Drivers who were able to vault into the lead on the first couple of laps stayed there.

Shawn Lowe was the first to pull off the trick in the IMCA stock class. After a first lap accident that didn't involve Lowe's 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, he zipped to the front of the pack.

Lowe was contested for top spot. Ron McConkey driving his 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was on Lowe's bumper for most of the race.

On the last straightaway, McConkey was able to get along the right side of Lowe's car, but Lowe still comfortably held on for first. Alf Hieb, who was involved in the opening lap accident and moved to the back of the seven car pack, worked his way up to third place and was just behind the race leaders on the final lap in his 1981 Pontiac Grand Prix.

"It was tough to start on the outside pole, because obviously in the main event, we line up on points," said Lowe. "I wasn't at the best day in points, but the car was running good."

Lowe said he focused on just running good laps, and that he wasn't aware of where McConkey and Hieb were until the race ended.

"We hung on to it," said Lowe. "I heard at the end there that a few guys were all bumper to bumper, and we were running in a tight row.

"I can't control that. I have to focus on my marks and what is in front of me and that is hitting the marks, running good, fast consistent laps, and being there at the end."

While Lowe was contested in his wire-to-wire win, Matt Campbell won the hobby stock main in convincing fashion. The eight-year veteran lapped everyone in his 1979 Oldsmobile Cutless 442 except second place finisher Jonathan Rissling and third place finisher Brett Hanna.

"The track was excellent, (and) the car was hooking up perfect," said Campbell. "I got the fastest qualifying, which was nice too for points.

"All in all, it was pretty decent day. There were a few cautions and mishaps that probably could have been avoided, but that is inevitable."

Campbell hopes this will be the year he finally wins a class championship.

Jason Hardy went pretty much wire-to-wire as well to claim the main event race in the renegade trucks class. Curtis Bigelow was second, while Steven Roode was third.

In the legends class, Calgary's Ira Laughy claimed the caution filled overall race and top spot in the masters division. Kyle Stevens of Edmonton topped the pro division, while local product Larry Medhurst claimed the semipro division.

The MHARA season continues on June 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Medicine Hat Speedway.