Edmonton International Raceway hosting “Super Late Model Series” Aug. 12

Top drivers, teams from across North America will be racing in County of Wetaskiwin

More adrenalin-pumping action is coming to Edmonton International Raceway Aug. 12 with the only other Alberta stop for the new Super Late Model Series, the Blackjacks 200.

Located in the County of Wetaskiwin, EIR has been hosting top series racing all summer, including the recent NASCAR Pinty’s Series Luxxor 300. But the Super Late Model Series is special: these cars don’t have to follow NASCAR regulations and are more dynamic.

“These are real race cars,” said Herm Hordal, business development, EIR, at the Pipestone Flyer office Aug. 4.

“They are the next thing to the Canadian pro series, without a doubt.”

Hordal said 2017 is the inaugural season for the Super Late Model Series, with four races planned for the Saskatoon track and two for EIR. Sadly, the June 10 race was rained out but organizers had a great turnout.

“It’s just great to see that they’ve all come back in a big way,” said Hordal. He noted the event is shaping up for the largest Super Late Model Race to be hosted in Western Canada in the last 10 years, with top drivers from Washington, Montana, BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

He noted fans can expect to see fast-paced action, as 200 laps on EIR goes quickly when a lap is only 13 seconds.

He said drivers need to stay out of trouble, keep their equipment under them and know whom you’re racing against. “You’re going to have to have some strategy if you want to be in the game,” said Hordal.

Plus, there will be 24 cars on the track. “Because it’s a smaller track, you need to be very, very patient,” he added.

The evening before the race, Aug. 11, Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku will be hosting a show and shine, plus a “fantasy draft” type auction, where fans can bid to pit tours Aug. 12.

Super Late Model series racers Admiraal Racing from Sherwood Park have been performing very well in the series’ inaugural season, as brothers Kelly and Ian are in second and sixth place in the standings as of Aug. 4.

Contacted by The Pipestone Flyer Aug. 4, Ian said more powerful engines are a factor in the Super Late Model Series, but not necessarily the deciding factor, especially in the only 200-lap race this season. “I think there’s a lot of things that set this series apart,” said Ian.

He said engine power is one factor, but Ian said he feels that the biggest deciding factor is the lightness of the car. He noted the series allows vehicle tuning in ways that regular NASCAR regulations wouldn’t allow.

By reducing weight on the car but keeping horsepower the same, the car has the potential to perform better in every aspect. He said the driver doesn’t have to carry as much weight into the corners, allowing faster exit. This increased quickness is a huge factor, noted Ian, on a track like Edmonton International Raceway, which is a quarter mile oval, considered by drivers to be a smaller track.

Horsepower on a small track isn’t as important because the short straight-aways don’t really allow it to come into play. Ian said a more important factor is positioning, and that’s where a very good qualifying run comes into play.

Ian said 200 laps on a smaller track means plenty of cars and not much space. He said this race will be more of an endurance run where wise rubber management, a close eye on the fuel gauge and skilled driving in the corners will decide who raises the cup.

Ian said he and his brother would love to win the local race, and are even poised to win the series. “My brother and I are number 2 and number 6 in points,” he said, noting their cars are running well. “We’ve been running quite well.”

EIR is easy to find. From Hwy#2A, turn east onto Twp Rd #464; EIR is a few kilometers past the golf course. EIR is fully licensed with full concession, but remember to dress for the weather and bring your bug spray.

Ticket information is available online at www.edmontonraceway.com.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca