In 2023 Sunset Speedway introduced a new division for Hot Rods with backing from Let US Drive U Home (LUDUH).
The cars competing in the Let US Drive U Home championship are constructed to specifications and rules common to most stock car series. What makes the Hot Rod division unique are the makes and models that compete in the division. The cars must be North American, have a steel body and have been produced between 1949 and 1974. No pickup trucks, convertibles or front-wheel-drive vehicles can participate in this series. The Hot Rods must have a stock roof, grill, and tail, while the rest of the body panels can be fabricated from 22-gauge sheet steel but must retain a stock appearance. Many other rules governing this class are for safety and to keep the costs down.
The points season begins on the Victoria Day weekend and ends September 16th at the Fall Velocity.
Round one of the Let US Drive U Home series was held on day one of Sunset Speedway’s Spring Velocity Weekend. Drivers would compete in a thirty-five-lap event around the 0.333-mile banked asphalt oval.
|The pace lap for round one of the Let US Drive U Home series. Twelve competitors line up on Sunset Speedways back straight for the thirty-five-lap race. On the pole is the No. 2 1966 Pontiac Beaumont of Tyler Hawn. Beside Hawn is Paul Bogensberer Sr. driving the No. 8sr 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle. The second row is occupied by the No. 6 1972 AMC Javelin of Rob Bromley and Amanda Balson in the No. 16 1974 Chevrolet Camaro.|
|Tyler Hawn went flag-to-flag to win the first feature race of the new Let US Drive U Home series. However, it wasn’t easy. The 2017 and 2018 OSCAAR Hot Rod title holder finished third in both heat races. After race two, the crew discovered that a sway bar link broke and wasn’t confident it could be repaired for the finale. A fix was implemented and despite pressure from Tom Walters, Hawn grabbed the victory.|
|Finishing in the runner-up position was Tom Walters. Walters’ No. 47 Rambler Ambassador scored a victory at the Big Z Memorial Hot Rods Race with Dwayne Baker behind the wheel. Walters collected a win in his first heat race and a runner-up result in the second. The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame member started the feature in fifth. After the final caution, he trailed the leader, Tyler Hawn, but could not pass.|
|The opening round of the Let US Drive U Home series was an opportunity for Amanda Balson and her team to redeem themselves. At the Big Z Memorial Hot Rods Race, Balson’s car failed the post-race technical inspection and was disqualified. With the issue resolved, Balson earned first and second-place finishes in her heats. The No. 16 1974 Chevrolet Camaro was in contention during the feature and finished third.|
|Herb Walters driving the No. 88 1974 Dodge Dart was the fastest qualifier at the Big Z Memorial Hot Rods Race. However, a flat tire would end Walters’ day leaving him credited with a twelfth-place finish. At the Let US Drive U Home season opener, Walters finished fourth in both his head races. He was gridded eighth for the finale and advanced four positions to finish in the fourth spot.|
|Tyler Hawn, the winner of the first Let US Drive U Home feature race, celebrates with his crew chief. When the team discovered the sway bar issue after heat two, it was questionable whether Hawn would start the finale. With the problem resolved, Hawn captured his thirteenth Hot Rod feature victory, allowing him to remain the winningest driver in the Hot Rod category.|
|1||1||Tyler Hawn||1966 Pontiac Beaumont||35||-|
|2||5||Tom Walters||1965 Rambler Ambassador||35||-|
|3||4||Amanda Balson||1974 Chevrolet Camaro||35||-|
|4||8||Herb Walters||1974 Dodge Dart||35||-|
|5||7||Luke Gignac||1964 Dodge Polara||35||-|
|6||3||Rob Bromley||1972 AMC Javelin||35||-|
|7||6||Jamie Carins||1969 Chevrolet Camaro||35||-|
|8||10||Thomas Dunn||1964 Ford Galaxie 500||35||-|
|9||9||Matt Spry||1969 Chevrolet Chevelle||35||-|
|10||12||Dan Rothwell||1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo||34||-|
|11||2||Paul Bogensberer Sr||1969 Chevrolet Chevelle||26||Did Not Finish|
|12||11||Keenan Belzile||1957 Ford Fairlane||13||Did Not Finish|
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