July 12th, 2024

Stovka striving for top of standings

By Ryan McCracken on August 14, 2017.


rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNMcCracken

With just two race days left on the calendar, Mitch Stovka knows he has to make every heat count.

The Medicine Hat product saw his lead on the Medicine Hat Speedway’s elite street stock slip in mid-July after winning his first three events to start the summer. While he did enough to work his way back into a tie with Alf Hieb in the first half of this weekend’s Darryl Adams Memorial, Hieb put himself back on top of the leaderboard with a win in Sunday’s main event.

“It’s a big rivalry. We’ve raced together for years,” said Stovka of his battle in the standings with Hieb. “It’s fun, he’s a good racer. The guy can run door-to-door, but it’s nice to beat him once in a while and give him a hard time.”

Stovka entered the weekend trailing Hieb by five points and took Saturday’s checkered flag ahead of runner-up Shawn Lowe and third place Will Voth, though he says that likely wasn’t enough to gain a clear cut lead on Hieb. While Stovka took Sunday’s first heat by a good margin, Hieb came back to take the main event with Stovka and tow and Lowe following up in third.

Despite opening the season on a torrid pace, Stovka’s season took a turn when he opted to put someone else behind the wheel for a weekend in July. The disqualification cost Stovka 15 points in the race for the elite street stock championship.

“We had another who drove and he got DQ’d so we lost a bunch of points and fell behind,” he said. “But Saturday we did good enough to get back to tied with first place.”

Hieb and Stovka will continue their battle for the top of the standings on Aug. 19 at the Medicine Hat Speedway before closing out the season on Sept. 9.

The Darryl Adams Memorial weekend also featured brothers Jason and Jareme Koska sharing victories in the hobby stock. Jason took the checkered flag in Saturday’s main event to extend his lead on the class. While Jareme finished third behind Brett Hanna on Saturday, he came back to win Sunday’s main event ahead of Trevor Stratton and his brother Jason.

Kaylee Wilkie took back-to-back victories in the Evolution Cup class — helping her narrow the 19-point gap deficit to season leader Faith Luther — while Emma Fitzpatrick took second on both races days and Owen Harbour finished third on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Baby Grands also featured a repeat performance out of Dale Edwards, who took the checkered flag ahead of Rick Jondreau and Robyn Abel on both Saturday and Sunday to pad his lead in the standings.

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