VICTORIA, BC – Brandon Carlson held off late race charges from several seasoned drivers Saturday night to claim victory in the Arbutus RV Western 150. This was the first Super Late Model race at Westshore Motorsports Park (formerly Western Speedway) since 2004. “We had a good car all weekend,” exclaims Carlson, “never really made too many changes. With little Daryl (Crocker), Ted (Zerbin) and Chuck Caruthers all helping me out, we just put a really good race car together.” Twenty cars took the green flag. “We had a strategy to run a (consistent) lap time and pace ourselves to keep the rear tires on it. If we could maintain this, we would have a good chance at winning the race.” Carlson found himself leading the field on eight separate occasions in the 150-lap race. “You would see guys drive to the inside of me and we would just let them go. A few laps later we would just reel them back in and pass them back.” Carlson admits that running Super Late Model races in the Team NPP #81C Super Late Model at Tucson Speedway the past several seasons has helped him on his home track. “Seat time is always a good thing. Tucson is very comparable to here (Westshore Motorsports Park) in that its very low grip. So it’s a lot about throttle control and running a pace that can get you to the end of the race.” Rory Smith and Dave Hemrich were the biggest challengers to Carlson throughout the 150-lap race. “We tend to struggle in the shorter races but when the chips are down for the big money races, it seems we are able to contend.”
The last time Super Late Models competed at Westshore Motorsports Park (formerly Western Speedway) was back in 2004. “I was not driving a race car,” exclaims Brandon Carlson, “I was a teenager helping Darrell Midgley in the original #81 car in the Canada 200. I believe we finished fourth that year.” Carlson’s car featured a throwback paint scheme that Team NPP owner Dwight Kennedy used in his early pavement and dirt racing days. Carlson first saw the car in 2001. “We lettered it up as a thank-you to Dwight (Kennedy) for all he’s done around here. “My cars are always red so it was as simple as switching the numbers (#14 to #81C). I even had the wheels powder coated white.” Kennedy, the owner of Edson, Alberta’s Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd. was in attendance to watch Carlson drive to victory. The victory adds fuel to the fire for the rest of Carlson’s 2022 race season. “It’s got me motivated to go try and win that last Canada 200 (in September).” Carlson won the Canada 200 in 2020. Westshore Motorsports Park is scheduled to close its doors at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
#81 DARRELL MIDGLEY – Ran as high a third early in the race. The clutch began giving Midgley problems near the end of the race. This slowed his exit speed coming out of the corners. The Sidney, BC driver was running 4th at Lap 100. Midgley crossed the finish line in 7th.
#81F JASON FROST – The Victoria, BC driver lead for 6 laps early in the 150-lap Feature. Frost suffered engine problems just past the halfway point in the race and retired at Lap 103. Frost was credited with a 15th place finish.
#18 HERSHELL McGRIFF JR. – McGriff Jr. was special guest driver of the Team NPP #18 Dodge. The veteran racer from Vail Arizona, ran as high as 8th in the 150-lap race and finished 11th. His father, Hershell McGriff was the grand marshal for the race and gave the official command to start engines. McGriff was just inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame back in May.
RESULTS – SATURDAY, JULY 23rd
1. #81C Brandon Carlson – Victoria, BC
2. #16 Rory Smith – Metchosin, BC
3. #33 Dave Hemrich – Delta, BC
4. #51 Jarret Bonn – Quesnel, BC
5. #41 Spencer Carlson – Victoria, BC
6. #10 Wes Mader – Pitt Meadows, BC
7. #81 Darrell Midgley – Sidney, BC
8. # 4 Kyle Cottam – Langford, BC
9. #5S Dave Smith – North Saanich, BC
10.#74 Rhett Smith – BC
11.#18 Hershel McGriff Jr. – Vail, Arizona
12.#23 Terry Leerholm – BC
13.#15 Kevin Knight – BC
14.#12 Trevor Bowers -BC
15.#81F Jason Frost – Victoria, BC
16.#72R Geoff Robinson – BC
17.#17 Sean Whitley – BC
18.#49 Randy Price – BC
19.#22 Mike Haslam – Nanaimo, BC
20.#77 Bud Hobbs – Victoria, BC