Saturday, August 18, 2012
Strong Field Expected for this Weekend’s Daffodil Cup in B.C.
VICTORIA, B.C. -- The burgeoning Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcars Series becomes part of one of the oldest traditions in Canadian motorsports this weekend.
Western Speedway in Victoria, British Columbia plays host to the 52nd running of the Daffodil Cup presented by P&R Western Star, track promoter George Wade expects between 15 and 20 racers from throughout western Canada and the northwest United States to take part.
There’s added incentive this year, too. P&R Western Star general manager Pete McConnell has put up $500 for the first driver who is able to snap Western Speedway’s qualifying record of 13.62 seconds, which was set by Randy Price.
On Thursday, Meridian, Idaho’s Johnny Giesler, the WWS points leader, was among the racers who practiced on the flat, 4/10th-mile oval nestled between evergreens in the this Canadian provincial capital.
He’s out to accumulate the most points over the two-day show, which is capped each night with a 50-lap main event. The driver with the highest point total wins the Daffodil Cup.
The race has grown in prestige since it was first run in 1961 when Edmonton, Alberta driver Eldon Rassmussen. Former Indianapolis 500 competitors have turned laps during the Daffodil Cup, including the late Billy Foster, who called Victoria home, and American Jim Malloy and Davey Hamilton.
This weekend, Giesler looks to extend his series points lead, but one of his chief rivals, Middleton, Idaho’s Sierra Jackson, also is in town. Jackson is third in the standings, 65 points behind Giesler. Second-place Bryan Warf wasn’t expected to make the trip north from Meridian, Idaho.
Driving a racecar owned by Adrian, Ore.’s Darren Spiers for the second time this weekend, Giesler has won six features in 2012, including a local show on his home track, ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway, in his first go-round in Spiers’ No. 24 racer.
The young driver also has won a WWS race on his home track – the Naylor Classic in June – and has a series wins at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City and Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho.
Giesler and Sierra Jackson, the 2011 Diamond Cup co-champion, were in town a day early to take advantage of Thursday’s practice.
They’ll have their hands full as reigning Daffodil Cup champion Scott Aumen of Duncan, British Columbia is entered in the field to defend his title. Aumen has won a record four Daffodil Cups.
Hometown drivers Matt Mansell and Guy Barrett, both of Victoria, also turned some laps Thursday in preparation for Friday’s opening 50-lap main event, which is called the Denny Rand Memorial.
Wade said he expected another man who calls Western Speedway home – Langford, British Columbia’s Jeff Montgomery – on the track this weekend. Montgomery has won the Daffodil Cup three times.
Todd Coleman from Lynnwood, Wash., and Poulsboro, Wash., driver Randy DuBois were expected to pop over the border to take their turns this weekend.
Other Canadians slated to run included Ron Larson from Quesnel, British Columbia, and Darren Yates, who hails from Duncan, British Columbia.
Utah drivers Jimmy Waters and Ryan Burdett also were possibly heading to Victoria to race, and there were rumblings that Andy Alberding would make the tow from Roseburg, Ore.
For more information about the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcars Series, visit www.wingedsprintcars.com.
More information on Western Speedway is available at www.westernspeedway.net.