North Pole Speedway opens season with a close Legends main event

NORTH POLE, AK-Last night the quarter mile paved North Pole Speedway had it's season opener. The Bandos and Legends classes had their qualifying and main event races.

For the Bandos it was all about Justin Sammons who drive the 25 car and it was the car to beat in the four car Bando field. Sammons won the 10 lap qualifier and the main event 15 lap race netting 100 points and Steven Hunter in the two car would get 97 points for second place.

There were a few rookies in the Legends class so there would be a few cautions as all the drivers tried to get their bearings. There was a wreck to start of the Legends qualifying race. Not even a full lap in when Gary Childers in the 45 car gets hit by Al Trettel and Bobby Workman gets involved. Coming out of the qualifier in first was Dave Behling who made his return to the track after taking some time off.

In the main event 25 lap race in the Legends class Kevin O'Hara spins out on the grass after a collision from rookie Austin Cote about halfway throught the race. There was also a smoker. AL Trettel driving number 43 goes into the grass in a ball of smoke. All the drivers were thankfully ok.

The main event came down to Behling and Sean O'Hara. Both went back and forth for the lead throughout but O'Hara was able to hold off Behling who was right on his bumper that last two and half laps and gets the first checkered flag of the season. O'Hara describes what was going through his head in the last contentious laps.

"Don't screw up. Don't screw up. Don't screw up. Oh no don't do that. Oh ok. I'm good," O'Hara recalls. With the first victory of the season already under his belt the former champ feels that improvements will need to be made so he can do other manuevers on the track. "I got to tighten up the front end to see if I can get some grip up there so I can pass people on the inside."

Sammons made a change to his car and to see if his number 25 could make through the Bando races.

"This is the first time this car has been on the track since I put the new axle and everything in so I wasn't sure how it was going to and then it ran pretty good since then. It was all on me to lose. If I would've slipped up once it would've been the two car's race," Sammons said.

Behling was relieved that his return to the track ended with him and his car leaving the track in one piece.

"Stress reliever. This first one is a tought one to get out of the way but uh after we get that one out of the way everything is good from here. I don't think things have changed a whole lot but it feels good to be back in the seat again," Behling said.

Legend rookies Austin Cote and Jessica Eldridge who is coming up from the Bandos class reflect on their first race in the Legends series.

"I feel more confident. I had to make a couple of passes to day so I'm not as nervous about that anymore," Cote said.

"I feel good about it. As long as I keep my pace up with them and not get lapped. It was fun. A lot of fun," Eldridge concluded.

For your points winners in Bandos

Justin Sammons-100

Steven Hunter-97

Destiney Todd-94

Whitney Parzick 91

Legends

Sean O'Hara-100

Dave Behling-97

Daniel Slayden-94

Ryan Cote-91

Rod Harker-88

Bill Slayden-86

John Beck-84

Jessica Eldridge-82

Austin Cote-80

Races are scheduled for Thursdays and Saturdays this season at the North Pole Speedway off of 9 Badger Road in North Pole and there will be Mud Bogging tomorrow at 2 pm right beside the North Pole Speedway.