Terrific Tri-City finals at Quesnel’s Gold Pan Speedway

Quesnel’s Dustin Brown accepts a trophy for his performance in the mini-stock races at the Gold Pan Speedway Saturday (Sept. 21) Ronan O’Doherty photos Quesnel’s Dustin Brown accepts a trophy for his performance in the mini-stock races at the Gold Pan Speedway Saturday (Sept. 21) . Ronan O’Doherty photos
Mini-stock cars rip around the Quesnel track at the last race of the season. Mini-stock cars rip around the Quesnel track at the last race of the season.
Arnie Kunkel (centre) from Williams Lake was the overall winner of the 2019 Tri-City Series. He poses with flag man Jason Shapansky from Kamloops and Hannah Brown. Ronan O’Doherty photos Arnie Kunkel (centre) from Williams Lake was the overall winner of the 2019 Tri-City Series. He poses with flag man, Jason Shapansky from Kamloops and Hannah Brown.
Kolten Appler won the mini-A dash. Prince George’s Kolten Appler won the mini-A dash.
Prince George’s Jeremy Floer won the pro-mini dash. Prince George’s Jeremy Floer won the pro-mini dash.
Quesnel’s Travis Moody won the mini-B dash. Quesnel’s Travis Moody won the mini-B dash.
Tim Westwick placed second in the Tri-City main. Williams Lake’s Tim Westwick placed second in the Tri-City main.
Jeremy Smith from Okanagan Falls, BC won the Tri-City main Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Gold Pan Speedway. Jeremy Smith from Okanagan Falls, BC won the Tri-City main.
Arnie Kunkel’s Tri-City series winning Mom’s Pension Plan car came in third on Saturday night. Kunkel’s Tri-City series winning Mom’s Pension Plan car came in third on Saturday night.
The day’s youngest competitor was 13-year-old Quinten Bonn from Quesnel. The day’s youngest competitor was 13-year-old Quinten Bonn.

An overcast night resulted in more people in the pits than in the stands for the Tri-City finals at Goldpan Speedway on Saturday (Sept. 21).

The lack of support did not stop the drivers from putting on some terrific races, however.

Jeremy Smith from Okanagan Falls won the main event in the third and final Tri-City event of the year.

“The car was going really great today,” he said. “This is our first time here, and we worked on it last night and were able to practise and got it going fast.”

He had to overcome a series of caution flags, thanks to cars spinning out on the track.

“It was tough,” he said. “You get a few cautions and you start thinking you’re going to get a bad break after a while, but everything just lined up.”

While he was only able to take third place in the main, Williams Lake’s Arnie Kunkel had enough of a lead to take first place overall for the series, which also had races in Williams Lake and Prince George.

“We worked pretty hard at it,” Kunkel said of the season. “We managed to qualify well. We never broke any track records, but we were in the top three all year and won two of the three Tri-City races for the season.”

Quesnel’s Dustin Brown ran away with the mini-stock main, never trailing from start to finish and lapping most of his competitors in the process.

The 69 car driven by Prince George’s Kolten Appler was on his tail for much of the race but was never able to pose much of a threat.

“I think we won more than our fair share,” he said after the race. “I won the championship and won everything except for a couple dashes.

“I’ve either got too much experience or my competitors don’t have enough.”

One such competitor who is gaining some experience was 13-year-old Quesnel racer Quinten Bonn.

This was his first year racing mini-stock after three years of tearing up local go-kart tracks.

“It was a lot of fun racing side-by-side with everybody. I just enjoy the atmosphere of the whole thing,” he said.

“My dad bought me my first go-kart when I was 11, and I learned a lot from there. At some point, I was thinking of taking up motocross, but then we bought a car, so I’ve been having a lot of fun for the past three or four months driving it.”

Bonn says he has competed three times in Prince George and four times at the Gold Pan Speedway.

Asked when he thought he would beat Dustin Brown, he said, “Oh, we’ll get him one day here.”

READ MORE: Quesnel driver wins Wescar main event



sports@quesnelobserver.com

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