This past weekend a contingent of Billings amateur drivers made their annual trek to Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes to compete at Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday, (Sept 7) and at Summerside Raceway on Sunday. Two races were afforded the visitors at both venues.
At Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday (Sept. 7), “Joltin’ Joe” Pennacchio and Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford emerged victorious and the following day at Summerside Raceway, Kelly “Sky” Walker and “Racin’ Jason” Sgrignouli finished in a dead heat for win in their split while Sherwin ”Smiley” Edwards scored a victory in the other Billings contest.
Pennacchio, fresh off a driving victory Friday at Monticello Raceway on All Amateur Day, wasted little time sending his pacer, Caughtfoolinaround , to the lead from the five hole and they had command after a :29.1 first quarter.
Pennacchio kept the medal to the metal and in doing so no one got close to his pacer. At the third stanza in 1:29.1 they still had two lengths on the field and they cruised home an easy winner over Miramonttogo and “Tiny Todd” Walsh in a 1:58.4 clocking. “Big Thane” Arsenault was third best with PH Littlecam.
Sent off the favorite Caughtfoolinaround, owned by Maggie McCarthy, paid $5.10 for win.
In the second event Steve Oldford’s Dreaming got caught on the limb but it didn’t seem to matter, when Oldford pulled the pacer three- deep on the final turn they finally cleared and drew off the a two length triumph in 1:59.2.
Sherwin “Smiley” Edwards, cut the mile with Muzzy Mud Puddle but had to settle for second when Oldford and his charge blew by them in the lane. “Racin’ Jason” Sgrignuoli, who was parked with Fitelle, which gave Oldford’s pacer cover while on the limb, tired and finished third.
Owned by Norman Meyers and Jason Dreaming paid $10.30 for win
The next day at Summerside Raceway, the same eight drivers competed but with different results.
The first split saw “Sky” Walker and Smart Barney rally late to finish simultaneously with Carsimir Lucian with Jason Sgrignuoli at the controls. The dead-heat victory marked the first one this season in Billings competition. Third place went to Ultimate Success driven by “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello.
After Steve Oldford led his peers to the top of the lane with Woodmere Rose ,” Smiley” Edwards, whop had been biding his time, made a move on the final turn and rallied OK Chivas to a length victory over Oldford’s pacer. Third place went to Elm Grove Future with Joe Pennacchio aboard.
In spite of driving pacers, which really doesn’t matter to the Battlin’ Billings Boys, the PEI trip is always a big favorite with them.
“We love coming here not only because they to go out of their way to make us comfortable but they treat us like royalty,” said Steve Oldford. “When we’re here it seems like they can’t do enough for us.”
by John Manzi