Canadian Sweep at Malta (Weekly BLOG 28th Sept 2023)

Canadian Sweep at Malta  (Weekly BLOG 28th Sept 2023)

This past weekend, I had a difficult decision to make.

One option I had, was to attend the traditional Apple Fest taking place at the Brighton Speedway in Ontario that I rarely miss . 

The other option was a little bit further away from my home, where a big weekend of racing was going on at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway , entitled the Malta Massive.

Friday night they had a DirtCar Series races for 358 Modifieds and Sportsman as well  as  $1000.500 to win Pro Stock race.

Saturday they had a big block SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES, which was honoring the retiring great Kenny Tremont. 

On Sunday , just  few hours south of Malta, there was a Short Track Super Series taking place at the Bridgeport Speedway, NJ , which  incorporated the annual Doug Hoffman Memorial.

With the chance of three top quality events in three days , I chose the second option and headed to Malta for the weekend.

I booked for two nights accommodation at the Roosevelt Inn and Sweets at nearby , Ballston Spa.

My buddy Don Simpson , had no plans to attend the Bridgeport race so we traveled in separate cars and met there to share the room. 

Big events at Malta are renowned for being packed,  and this was no exception.

We arrived at 4-00 pm and already the pits were almost full.

As start time got closer race haulers were being parked in the already busy spectator parking. Every available place was being used to get the race teams in. 

As well as the three big races taking place for the main divisions, the domestic street and mini stocks were on the program.

The big race for the Pro Stock division tempted my old friend Rob Yetman to take part . We met up in the pits for a chat and a catch up.

Rob , who was one of the men to beat a few years back, only races occasionally these days.

There were a few of my local drivers in attendance to take part in their respective Series races.

Chris Raabe and Jarrett Herbison in the Modifieds.

Cedric Gauvreau and Jessica Power were there in their Sportsman.

All four that I’ve mentioned were only there for one night and had long haul journeys planned for Saturdays racing.

Raabe, Herbison and Power were off to Brighton and Gauvreau was going to Autodrome Drummond.

Kevin Fetterly Jr from Massena NY was also there in his Pro Stock

With so many cars in the pits, it meant extra races for  consis, and it soon became obvious we were in for a late night.

The first feature was the ‘big money’ race for Pro-Stocks.

This was won by Chad Jesseo.

The 358 Series race was next up.

This provided fans with a great battle up front between Mike Mahaney and Mat Williamson.

Williamson managed to get past Mahaney, and stayed there to the checkers.

Completing the podium, was Marc Johnson in third.

The Sportsman Series was up next.

This was dominated by the Buff brothers, Andrew and Zach.

Andrew was first, and Zach the younger of the brothers came second. Cedric Gauvreau was third.

It was after 1-15 am by the time Victory Lane pictures were done, and I’m glad to say the Hotel was only ten minute drive away.

A long lay in and sleep was needed .

The weather for Saturday was a bit ‘iffy’ with a big coastal storm hitting places to the south .

It was touch and go, if it would miss us or not.

We got to the track around 4-00 pm  while it was dry but still very overcast.

The program for the second night, consisted of the Super DirtCar Series for Big Block Modifieds, a Pro Stock DirtCar series plus  the domestic Limited Sportsman.

It wasn’t long before the Hot Laps were in the books, and soon after,  Tim Baltz did a front stretch interview  with the retiring Kenny Tremont, who the show was honoring.

As the Limited Sportsman heat races got under way, a few spots of rain began to fall.

Not much at first but as the drops got heavier, the cars were brought off the track.

Things didn’t look good, as me , Don and our Tog buddies Chris Marks and Mark Kane sat out the rain delay.

I must admit , I feared the worst and thought the show would be cancelled .

While we were sitting there , my friend Chanty, who was at the Brighton Speedway was texting me up dates on the ‘Apple Fest Shoot Out’ . Chris Raabe who made the long haul from the previous night at Malta got the Victory there.

It was also at this point, I learned via social media, that my Sunday night plans had  come to an end. The Doug Hoffman Memorial race had succumbed to the coastal storm. An early cancelation notice had been posted.

After about an hour the rain stopped and the job of track packing got under way.

The Limited Sportsman helped pack the track before resuming their heats.

As a reward for their packing efforts, their feature took place first.

Once the show resumed , the program moved along quite quickly with no major delays, but a lot of time had been lost, and we were set for another late night.

The big race of the night , for the 115 lapper ‘Tribute to Tremont’ Super DirtCar Series , was quickly brought to the grid,  following the Limited Sportsman feature.

Stewart Friesen led all 115 Laps but it was local local driver James Meehan and young Felix Roy from Quebec that people were watching.

For many laps they dueled side by side and traded places for second place, until Roy got in front and stayed there.

With a few late cautions it put Stewart and Felix side by side for a couple of restarts. From the green it was always Friesen who came off better, but the young Quebecer got every ones attention as he harassed him all the way to the checkers.

So it was a first and second for Canada. 

Meehan stayed in third place to complete the podium.

I guess you could say the Massive Malta Weekend was a Canadian Sweep after Mat Williamson had also got the win in Fridays 358 race.

As for Felix Roy, He’s going places and I’m pretty sure he’ll be a big name in years to come.

The Pro  Stock Dirt Car Series race ended the night.

This gave Luke Horning a win.

The final Victory Lane pictures were done just after mid night, and slightly earlier than the ones we had the night before.

So, with Bridgeport Speedway canceled , on Sunday morning I was heading back home instead of New Jersey.

I had a nice relaxing drive , and had plenty of time for a good lunch in the Twin Leaf diner in Akwesasne before crossing the border back to Cornwall.

Things were looking like a nice relaxing week , but it didn’t turn out that way.

I learned that on Tuesday night the Cornwall Olde Car Club were planning on attending a cruise in Norwood , New York , that was a fund raiser for Breast Cancer.

With opportunities such as this getting fewer as the cruise season winds down, I decided to take my Thunderbird for a run. I joined up with the club in Cornwall and we followed each other to Norwood, which is about a 20 minute drive , once through customs.

It was being held at the Home Town Cafe and about 75 cool looking cars turned up.

It was a great night and the food at the cafe was excellent.

On Wednesday, my local Cornwall Motor Speedway had an open practice night that was free of charge to the racers. It was a good way to test the recent work put in to improve the track surface.

Once word got around it was free, over 30 cars from various divisions turned up.

One of the drivers there was my friend  Jamy Begor who hauled his Sportsman over from Moers Forks, near Plattsburgh NY.

It was his first visit to the Cornwall track and he wanted to get some laps in the book before attending the big three day show coming up, the  following week.

The track was in great shape and everyone seemed quite happy,

The hard work by my buddy Ron Morin and the rest of the track prep crew had paid off.