Last weekend’s Summer Smash provided a learning opportunity for organizer Scott Medlock.
“We’ve got a bit of practice at it now,” said Medlock. “How we’ve done things in the past is we’ve run just 4×4 races on Saturday and then we ran our demolition derby and mini stocks on Sunday. This year we tried to combine all the different race classes over the course of both days.
“And I think that was pretty unique and a lot of people liked that because they got to see all the different types of racing.”
Going forward, Medlock said he would follow the new format. Medlock will also use his experience here to plan the motorsports events of Brigade Days.
“This year, all the motorsports are taking place on the Sunday, to accommodate the enduro cross and the concert on Saturday night. So we wanted to see how it worked, how we could lay it out.
“But it definitely worked.”
Medlock admits that he met up with one hitch.
“We started late on Saturday. We learned from that. We tried moving the whole day forward. Normally we used to start in the afternoon, so we’re probably going to start to a later start time from now on.”
The Hope Motorsports Group sold 304 wristbands at the event, but children attended free, leading Medlock to estimate a total attendance of 350-370.
Seven demolition derby, 9 mini-stock cars and 29 4×4 race vehicles participated in the race.
Medlock said while most participants came from the Fraser Valley, some came from as far as Vancouver Island and Burlington, Wash.
“It’s been pretty good so far, we had to run the very first run of the day, so we had a fresh course, so it was a little rough, but working out a few kinks with the truck and go out, and do it again,” said Hope’s Collin Dekerf, who participated in both the 4×4 race and mini stocks.
“It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s a blast.”
Dekerf raced a 1996 Honda Civic in the mini stocks and drove a green Ford Explorer in the 4×4 race. Dekerf said his passion in dirt racing comes from growing up with it.
This year’s mini stocks ran in a figure-of-eight, where cars would intersect at the centre of the course.
“Instinct kicks in. You throw the clutch in, just miss ’em, get as tight to them as you can so you don’t lose any time and stay as hard on it as you can,” he said.
Former Hope resident Scott Meloshinsky raced hard and triumphed.
“That was a lot of fun. That was tons of fun,” said Meloshinsky, of competing with demolition derby veteran George Dover. “That was fun just playing cat and mouse with him. That was tons of fun just going back-and-forth, hitting here and there, chasing, running.”
Meloshinsky had a huge setback on the first heat. Close to winning, he found himself stuck, and Dover came in with a heavy hit, forcing him to raise his white flag.
However, Meloshinsky fought back and won first during the finals.
As for Dekerf, he won second in the short box category of the 4×4 race and third in the mini stock category.