Rac­ing sea­son to end on a high note at Swift Cur­rent dirt track

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG— mlieben­[email protected]­t.com

The fi­nal race week­end at the Liv­ing Sky Casino Speed­way in Swift Cur­rent is set to be ac­tion packed with rac­ers from Al­berta, Man­i­toba and Saskatchew­an com­pet­ing for points and cash at the Wild Throt­tle Fun (WTF) Swift Cur­rent In­vi­ta­tional and RP Au­to­mo­tive Cana­dian Mini Cir­cuit races.

The Swift Cur­rent Stock Car As­so­ci­a­tion (SCSCA) is host­ing the two­day event, start­ing with an evening of rac­ing on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. The rac­ers will be back on the track on Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. for an af­ter­noon of fun.

SCSCA Di­rec­tor Richard Crowe is ex­pect­ing 50 or more race cars at the event, in­clud­ing 20 or more out of town cars.

“This will def­i­nitely be our big­gest and most ex­cit­ing week­end of rac­ing this sum­mer,” he said. “We ex­pect a lot of cars in all classes and a lot of out of town cars that people haven't seen be­fore and with the points struc­ture that we got go­ing it will cre­ate a lot of ex­cite­ment for the driv­ers them­selves. There will be some very hard rac­ing, very fast rac­ing, and ev­ery­body will be com­pet­i­tive.”

There will be a lot at stake for rac­ing driv­ers dur­ing the week­end. Ev­ery­body will be rac­ing to win cash in the WTF In­vi­ta­tional while reg­u­lar driv­ers at the Liv­ing Sky Casino Speed­way will be com­pet­ing for points that will de­ter­mine the fi­nal stand­ings in the SCSCA cham­pi­onship.

This week­end's rac­ing in Swift Cur­rent is also the third stop on the RP Au­to­mo­tive Cana­dian Mini Cir­cuit and points earned here will count to­wards the re­sults of this four-race mini series.

The pre­vi­ous two races took place at Swan River, Man­i­toba, and York­ton. The fi­nal leg in this series will take place at Tis­dale

This is the first time that SCSCA will be host­ing a leg of this series at the speed­way in Swift Cur­rent, and it is there­fore an im­por­tant week­end for the club.

“It's the sec­ond year for the tour, but it's the first year we've been in­cluded in it,” he said. “It's been very pop­u­lar, the first two week­ends of this tour in Swan River and York­ton, and so we're ex­pect­ing that to carry through be­cause it's a bit of a points race in­side the club's points race. So it draws more people to make the ac­tual whole tour.”

It is all part of an ef­fort by the SCSCA to draw more spec­ta­tors to the races and to attract more in­ter­est to the sport.

“We're mak­ing it all one big week­end just be­cause we want to get as many cars here as we can,” he said. “The big thing we're try­ing to do is to get more in­volve­ment in all of Saskatchew­an's stock car rac­ing and try­ing to tie ev­ery­body to­gether to get it more pop­u­lar as a sport.”

The SCSCA has been ac­tive for 25 years and it has been us­ing the race track at Ki­netic Ex­hi­bi­tion Park since 2000.

“It's a premier class fa­cil­ity in Saskatchew­an,” he said. “It prob­a­bly ranks in the top two dirt tracks in Saskatchew­an for fa­cil­i­ties and it's very im­por­tant to our club and we're very proud of it. We like work­ing with the City to keep it the premium fa­cil­ity that it is, and I think com­bined we do a very good job of that with the City.”

Crowe noted that the track has higher banked cor­ners and it has a rep­u­ta­tion as a smooth and con­sis­tent track with high speeds.

“[It's] what they call a ham­mer down, fast track, very well known for that,” he said. “So the track prep guys have a good han­dle on what needs to be done, depend­ing on the weather, and we cre­ate a very con­sis­tent track on ev­ery race day.”

Vet­eran lo­cal race driver Dave Koeth­ler said it is a very good track to race on. He has been rac­ing for 25 years and has no in­ten­tion to re­tire.

“As long as I can get my­self into the car, I'll be there,” he said.

He builds his own race cars, which makes it even more in­ter­est­ing to com­pete. He has raced in the hobby stock race class for most of his rac­ing ca­reer, but lo­cally there were not enough rac­ers in this class for this sea­son. He there­fore had to build a new car to com­pete in the more pow­er­ful street stock class.

“The car that I'm driv­ing this year ac­tu­ally is my 20th car that I've built,” he said.

It is based on the body of a 1986 Chevro­let Monte Carlo and fit­ted with a 350 cu­bic inch en­gine that makes up­wards of 350 horse­power, which can be hand­ful on a dirt track.

“You haven't got much time to think from one cor­ner to the next,” he said. “You're mak­ing that com­plete lap in roughly about 19 to 20 sec­onds. So that doesn't give you much time to think of what you're go­ing to do.”

His move into the street stock class means he is now again com­pet­ing against his son Mur­ray, who has been rac­ing for about 14 years.

“It's ac­tu­ally a lot of fun and if I can beat him, all the bet­ter,” Dave said. “I used to have a daugh­ter that raced too. I built her a car years ago. Ba­si­cally all my kids have been in­volved, and now my grand­kids are start­ing to come into the pits be­cause they're old enough. So they can come in and they want to help too. It's kind of a fam­ily ori­ented thing for us.”

He also en­joys the ca­ma­raderie with other lo­cal rac­ers who are mem­bers of the SCSCA and ev­ery­body gets along well.

“If you're hav­ing a prob­lem in the pits, ev­ery­body tries to help ev­ery­body else out to get you out on the track again,” he said.

He is look­ing for­ward to this rac­ing week­end, which he an­tic­i­pates will be a lot of fun be­cause there will be more cars on the track.

“It's more ex­cit­ing, but it also makes you ner­vous be­cause you don't know what the out of town cars drive like,” he said.

“So you're kind of on guard, be­cause you don't want to smash the car up too bad. ... I al­ways hang back a lit­tle bit, watch what they do in the cor­ners, and then I know where I can play with them in the cor­ner. It's go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing week­end.”

Swift Cur­rent rac­ing driver Dave Koeth­ler hands out candy to a young rac­ing fan dur­ing in­ter­mis­sion at the Aug. 25 race night.

Pho­tos by Matthew Lieben­berg

Dave Koeth­ler (#96D) fights for po­si­tion on the track dur­ing a street stock race at the Liv­ing Sky Casino Speed­way in Swift Cur­rent.

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