PABLO — Polson resident Kyle Basler had to bide his time to make a move in order to capture first place in Saturday night’s feature at the Mission Valley Speedway.
For the majority of the first half of the race, Basler trailed Jed Shoe until he saw his opportunity to make his move to capture the $8,000 purse. twenty-five percent of the earnings went to help Dustin and Courtney Mitchell rebuild their Bandoleros.
“I just kept trying to gain on him and couldn’t get a big enough run,” Basler said.
Shoe, the then leader, experienced technical malfunction and Basler seized his opportunity to take advantage and would never relinquish first place again.
“I saw sparks coming off the front of his bumper and I thought he was going to have trouble,” Basler admitted. “I didn’t want to pass him on the outside because when we came into the first eighth, his front router was blowing. I didn’t think he was going to make it through the next 50 and I was just trying to stick with him.”
Basler and the other racers had to endure several caution flags in the 100-lap race. Basler admits caution flags make it difficult for racers to establish a rhythm.
“It’s really tough on the restart and it’s important to get a good start on a couple of the cars,” Basler said. “I allowed them to go underneath me and I didn’t get a good jump on the restart.”
An $8,000 purse attracted racers from all over the region including racers from Canada, Washington, and Idaho.
Basler, who is in his ninth year of racing, began racing with the hornet classes in Kalispell, won two track championships and won the track championship at Mission Valley Speedway last year.
“I was really surprised to get into that kind of position,” Basler said. “It was an excellent show and these racers are really good. I was surprised I was able to make it through.”
Rookie works on his lap time
Rookie racer Canyon Murrin, a Polson resident, is trying to make an impact in his first year.
“I really try to push it as hard as I can,” Murrin said. “I push it a bit harder in the trophy dash but I also want to save my car for the heat and the main. I try to push it hard every race.”
Murrin, who won five trophy dashes and one main event in Kalispell, has finished in the top-3 at the Mission Valley Speedway every single time except one.
“Racing gets more intense when there are more of us because it is twice as much potential for something to happen,” Murrin said.
Murrin said he used to watch his girlfriend race and filled in for her when she couldn’t race because of an injury.
“Last year, I watched my girlfriend race, move in class and run hobby stock,” Murrin said. “No one was going to be running it and I proved I could do it when they let me run it.”
Murrin expressed his aspirations to continue racing and possibly chase a career in racing.
“Yes, I am addicted to racing and I have invested so much time in it I’ll go wherever it takes me,” Murrin said.
Burland takes back-to-back checkers
Wade Burland took his second consecutive checkered flag racing the hornets.
Burland, a social work major at Salish Kootenai College, said he is starting to “get into racing.”
“(When I first began racing), I was hesitant to race and then I started liking it,” Burland said. “When I first started racing, I would get nervous prior to a race and not want to eat because I would get those butterfly feelings.”
Burland said once the race starts, he “doesn’t feel a thing.”
“When you are on the track you don’t feel (being nervous),” Burland said. “The nervous feeling just goes away immediately when you are on the track.”
Burland said he was “glad” that 25-percent of the proceeds went to helping Dustin and Courtney Mitchell get back on the race track and echoed the race track’s sentiment of the Mission Valley Speedway being a “racing family.”
Burland continues to have success on the track driving his Ford Focus Hornet Classic. Burland attributes being able to learn so much about the technical aspects of racing because of the family-friendly atmosphere the racers and the track has created. Burland now has two career wins to his very young racing career.
“Everyone here is friendly,” Burland said. “If you are looking for a part or need a part for your car, everyone is more than willing to get on it. (After last week’s race), I blew a serpentine belt and everyone helped me. That is the kind of vibe I get here. Everyone is willing to help out.”