Sprint cars ready to roar
Sponsored Content - May 24, 2023 - Think Local

Photo: Wildlight Motorsports Photography

The Arbutus RV Northwest Sprint Tour had so much fun ripping around Penticton Speedway last year that it decided to come back for another weekend of high-speed, heart-pounding fun.

The second-year tour, which bills itself as the northwest’s premier touring winged sprint car series, will be burning rubber June 9 and 10 at Penticton Speedway, where last year the racers turned some of the fastest laps ever recorded on the high-banked, newly paved surface.

How fast?

How does less than 10 seconds sound? The sound of the engines, the blur of the cars and the thrill of the speed will be unlike anything you’ve seen before at Penticton Speedway—unless you were there last year, of course.

“I think there will be somebody in the nine seconds,” NST race director George Wade says. “The sheer speed and how quick they can move in and out of traffic is amazing. These cars can go over 160 miles an hour on a big track. It’s impressive.”

And one of the hottest winged sprint drivers on the West Coast will be in Penticton for the big event. Langley’s Aaron Willison, who races out of Agassiz Speedway, has been lightning it up south of the border in recent weeks. He won a $10,000 race in Eureka, Calif., last week, a feature event in Monroe, Wash., two weeks ago and this weekend will be competing in the 75th annual Little 500 in Anderson, Ind., where the purse will be US$136,000. Willison is also the defending Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association’s Winged Sprintcars champion.

Photo: Contributed

There will be between 12 and 16 winged sprint cars at Penticton Speedway, and they will hail from Prince George, Kamloops, Victoria, Courtenay, Agassiz and Washington state.

The Can Am Vintage Sprints, along with the Focus Midgets, will also be part of the all-open-wheel extravaganza and will feature several local drivers, including Bob Wills of Kamloops and Bill Lawrence of Kelowna in the vintage sprint class.

Other confirmed participants in the big race include last year’s NST champion, Brad Aumen of Duncan. Aumen won in Penticton in 2022 and finished the season with a whopping seven other top five finishes. That impressive resume included three seconds, three thirds and one top-five finish. Aumen had a bad wreck at the Pink Lady Classic in Idaho in September, but crew chief Kenny Haskell has been busy rebuilding the car and Aumen will be ready to go June 9.

Other winged sprint car drivers scheduled to fly around Penticton Speedway are Jim White of Kamloops, who finished 10th in last year’s NST standings, and Mike Meeres of Courtenay, who ended up in second place during the inaugural campaign. White has a brand new ride in 2023 after he purchased the No. 92 Lejeune Chassis from Dean Warmerdam that is powered by a Willison engine.

White’s father, Marty, is also scheduled to race on June 9 and 10, but he will be in the Can Am Vintage Sprint division. Marty White captured the 1983 Canadian American Modified Racing Association super modified championship.

Speaking of family affairs, the Larson family from the Prince George region will be in Penticton as well. Ron and Richie are brothers who followed in the footsteps of their racing legend father, Doug, and third generation driver Chase Larson, the son of Richie, will show off his family genes at the speedway as well.

Each event will pay $3,000 to the winner and $700 to start.

Penticton’s race weekend will kick off a three-event schedule for the Northwest Sprint Tour this year. Its final two events will be held at Saratoga Motorsports Park in Black Creek, B.C., July 7-8 and Aug. 18-19. Last year’s closure of Westshore Motorsports Park in Langford means Northwest Sprint Tour officials are looking to add another track or two to the series next summer.

Make sure to witness the spectacle of lightning-fast machines battling for supremacy on the unforgiving asphalt of Penticton Speedway on June 9 and 10. Tickets for Day 1 can be purchased here, and Day 2 tickets are for sale here.

More information about Arbutus RV Northwest Sprint Tour can be found on its Facebook page here.

Photo: Wildlight Motorsports Photography

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.

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