Traditionally the Labor Day Weekend signals the final point races, at the tracks in the north east, but this year with the calendar fragmented due to the Pandemic, everything is a bit different.
After a slow start most of the dirt tracks have been running a few shows, albeit with a restricted amount of spectators and strict safety procedures.
Many big events are planned for the region, going into the fall, long after the season would normally be over.
My week started once again on Tuesday 1st of September, at the Cornwall Kart track.
My buddy, Don Simpson was there too, with his camera .
It was the last scheduled races of the year and I stayed all night and took a lot of pictures.
One racer I met from the Dirt Demon class, was Trent Wallace from the Kemptville, Ontario area , who was making his final race on the small track, before stepping up in to the Sportsman division on the Speedway.
I would bump into him again on Saturday night at Brockville.
Another young driver set to move up , is Alex Quenville # 16 , who is the son of Kevin Lobb, the former crew chief of Gage Morin, and now the J.F Corriveau modified team. He will soon be starting in the Mini Stocks division.
I took most of my shots from the control booth, where I found Jennifer Godard doing the scoring. It was only a few years ago she was one of the competitors.
It was during the week I learned the sad news that Dany Bilodeau had passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was from Victoriaville , Quebec and was a regular Modified racer in our area for many years. He will be missed by all of us in the racing community. My Sympathies to Chantal and the rest of the family
On Friday (4th Sept) , Don and I traveled up to Granby once again in my Impala.
This year I have been to Granby a lot more times than normal, because my local Friday night track, the Mohawk International Raceway (Hogansburg NY) has been unable to open due to the Pandemic and border restrictions.
I’ve been visiting Granby for over 24 years, and after all this time, we found a quicker way to get to the track, via some backroads .
On arrival , one of the first things we saw was the former C.d Beauchamp Pro Stock , with Yves Hamel # 194 as the new owner.
While saying hello to Josee Fortier and a few other officials , Steve Chaput walked over
Steve is another Pro Stock driver, and introduced us to his son Justin who was making his debut in the # 33J.
Justin with his cool mask. I then went off for another pit walk about and found another good friend.
Luke Whitteker was once again at driving the # 125 Pierre Dagenais Modified.
It was getting close to start time when I felt a few spots of rain, so David Hebert offered some shelter in the back of his hauler,
We must have chatted in there for at least 20 minutes until the rain had stopped.
It was then time for the packers to come out and dry the track.
Eventually the track was good enough for the Sport Compact cars to come out for Hot Laps, but alas these were short lived.
The rain returned and once again I sought shelter.
The Dagenais/Whitteker hauler was handy, so that’s where I stayed, until the inevitable ‘rain-out’ call was made.
So it was an early night for me, and I was back home in Cornwall, by 10-30 pm.
It was the Brockville Ontario Speedway on Saturday, so I made a slight detour over to Merrickville to trade some diecasts.
I picked up a nice 1/43 scale , 1956 Lincoln Continental.
I arrived at the track in plenty of time for a snooze in the car while I waited for the pit gate to open.
There were plenty of divisions on the program and extra money up for grabs for all of them.
The big purse for the Modifieds had tempted Matt Williamson and Mike Bowman to travel up from the Niagara region. I caught up with both of them in the pits during my pre-race wander.
I also met up again with young Trent Wallace, with his Sportsman, who I’d met a few days earlier at the Cornwall Kart Track.
Once the racing got underway , I stationed myself in my usual spot , on turn one and two.
It was a gloomy night with lots of clouds, so it was a challenge to get any good early evening pictures. It got easier as the night set in.
Just as the heats for the Vintage Modifieds were ending, a few light spots of rain were felt.
The Modifieds were quickly lined up for their feature, but to no avail.
Before they even got out on to the track the rain came down heavy. Shortly after that, I added another ‘Rain Out’ to my weekend tally.
Sunday I was at the Cornwall Motor Speedway, and was hoping for third time lucky, and no weather issues.
I met up with my friend Chanty, early at the track, and hung out with our friends and the Lebrun Pro Stock team until things got started.
One of the first arrivals was David Hebert in his big race hauler the one where I’d sheltered Friday night at Granby.
When things got under way I wanted to try something different for Hot Lap pictures.
I went to the top of the bleachers to catch the cars going round turn one and two.
I managed to get a shot of , Pro Stock rookie, Justin Chaput 38J, who I’d met at Granby.
I then returned to my usual spot on the middle.
The first of the Feature races was for the Lightening Sprints, and this was won by Yanick Poirier.
A short intermission followed , and before too long, the Modifieds were lining up for their feature, The 50 lap Canadian Nationals.
Early pace setter was Brian McDonald but by the half way stage Corey Wheeler and Kyle Dingwall had taken over.
Corey held on to the lead to claim his second victory of the year, with Dingwall and Chris Raabe completing the podium.
Next up were the Sportsman, where two long -time buddies, Johnathan Fergusson and Jarrett Herbison fought it out for the win.
At the checkers , it was Fergy from Herby.
The Ministocks race followed this, and it was Cornwall regular, Mike Gaucher getting his first win of the year.
The Final race of the night was won by Pascal Payeur in the Pro Stock feature.
The show was all over by 11-00 and it was great to get the show in the books without a spot of rain.