By BZ ZELLER
Victoria, CANADA – Andy Alberding recorded his best career Canada performance last weekend, which resulted in the Roseburg driver claiming the American Speed Association/Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association’s season points lead.
Alberding placed fourth of 26 cars in the Main Friday night and second place in the Main Saturday. The 2-day event was part of the 50th annual Daffodil Cup at Victoria Island’s Western Speedway. Scott Aumen, Duncan, B.C., Canada edged Alberding to claim the Cup.
Aumen started the 24-car, 50-lap feature from the eighth position, but made a bold move after the green flag and quickly darted to fourth on the first lap. ASA/NSRA defending champion Matt Hein assumed the race lead on Lap 5 and appeared to be the car to beat. Aumen moved into second on Lap 13 and shadowed Hein until Lap 24 when a caution flag paused the action.
As Hein led the yellow flag parade he noticed his temperature gauge read 260 degrees. The Roseburg, Ore., driver opted to turn into his pit stall, but his crew quickly sent him back to the track, although minus a diagnosis. With Hein now at the tail end of the lead lap, Aumen found himself, not only as the fast qualifier, but in charge of the field. Andy Alberding, who ironically scored the exact time in qualifying as Aumen (13.739 seconds), drove the final 36 circuits behind Aumen en route to a second place finish. With every single-file restart, Aumen was able to pull away from Alberding before cruising to the checkered.
“Our car was awesome,” Aumen said. “The setup was perfect. A great racecar can make a decent driver look really good. The crew did a great job.”
Jeff Montgomery finished third, Jeff Bird was fourth and Cory Lockwood placed fifth. Racing legend Ken Hamilton, 69, had an impressive run in his ‘Pink Lady’, finishing ninth.
There were seven yellow flags and one red that allowed teams to refuel and make on-track adjustments. Unofficially, the cars circled the track more than 200 times.
Alberding was second fastest in qualifying both days. Hein finished second in Heat Saturday and fourth Friday. In Alberding’s Heats, he placed third and fifth. Hein finished third in Friday’s Main, but suffered technical issues Saturday and placed 13th.
Saturday night’s victory vaulted Aumen to the Cup after he trailed on Alberding following Friday night’s action. Alberding was second in points and Hein, Guy Barrett and Lockwood finished third, fourth and fifth.
Lockwood was the highlight of Day 1. The Idaho teen sensation started the 40-lap feature on the pole and led wire-to-wire. Randy Du Bois and Hein finished second and third respectively. Alberding was fourth.
Alberding, who parlayed his best career outing in Canada, moved to the top of the NSRA standing. The 2007 champ and Roseburg rival to Hein, now leads the two-time defender by nine points. Lockwood advanced to third, trailing Alberding by 44 points. Idaho’s Sierra Jackson had a dismal trip north of the border, suffering mechanical failure Friday night before rebounding in Matt Mansell’s backup car for an impressive sixth place finish in the Main. Jackson slipped a spot to fourth in the standings and Du Bois is currently in fifth.
The ASA/NSRA tour will make its final stop this season Sept. 11 in Monroe, Wash. Mathematically, any of the top four drivers can still claim the 2010 title.
Montgomery, Randy Vincent and Aumen all won Heats Friday night. Chase Larson, Vincent and Bird won Heats on Saturday. Barrett and Montgomery won Trophy Dashes.