A bumper on the track, a tire flying away and loss of steering control are all in a day’s work out at Yellowhead International Speedway.
The track, which is operated by the Parkland Racing Association, brought out 14 drivers from across the province on Sunday, July 29.
It is certainly not a beauty pageant on the raceway, as cars run around the track for 15 laps and in some heats, 25 laps. The cars are built for endurance and the focus for steering is to turn left, as oval stock car tracks around the world involve only left turns.
“We have fairly strict rules to how much our cars have to weigh and how we can build our motors. The intention behind that is to get all the cars equal so that we put on a good show, really is what it is all about,” said Yorkton racer Cortney Matkowski, who drives a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro.
Attendance was strong, with about 120 people passing through the front gates on a windy day that alternated between cloudy and clear skies.
Events like this mean spending a lot of time in the garage for Matkowski, and most of the other drivers.
“I’ve spent basically my summer this year in the garage,” he said. A crash the previous weekend forced him to make quick fixes to be able to drive his car on Sunday.
After over eight years of racing, Matkowski is finally feeling the success of first place. He placed first at Tisdale’s Invitational races the previous weekend and won his first race ever at the Yorkton speedway on Sunday. His father Brian Matkowski also took first in the mechanic’s heat.
Cortney spent a lot of his final race, which he did not win, neck and neck with the competition.
“ When you are door to door with someone out there you can’t drive the preferred line. It’s a little bit of give and take but you still don’t wanna go slow,” he said of his strategy.
He certainly did not go slow in his final lap, where he spun sideways and backwards across the finish line because he “did not want to give up that last position.”
For those who are interested in checking out the races, Yellowhead International Raceway is located west of Yorkton on Highway 16. When leaving Yorkton, it is the first right on the highway past the Harvest Meats plant.
Yorkton Race Days will take place on August 19 and September 16, 29 and 30.