The Steve Slaughter Classic marked the opening weekend for Sunset Speedway’s 2024 season. The bill included Junior Late Models, Mini Stocks, Pro Late Models and the popular Hot Rod division. In addition to their appearance on the opening night the Hot Rods would compete eight times at Sunset.

  • Sunday, May 19 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, June 8 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, June 22 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, July 6 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, July 20 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, August 24 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, September 14 - Sunset Speedway
  • Saturday, September 21 - Sunset Speedway

The cars competing in the Sunset 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 1984. No convertibles or front-wheel-drive vehicles can participate in this series. Changes to the rules in the off-season included the addition of pick-up trucks and an increase in the eligible year range from 1974 to 1984. 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 results from two heat races on the 0.333-mile asphalt oval would determine the starting order for the thirty-lap feature event.

A field of sixteen Hot Rod competitors rounds Sunset Speedway’s turn three and four in anticipation of receiving the Starter’s green flag for their thirty-lap contest. On the pole is Sunset regular Dan Archibald in the No. 07 1968 Chevrolet Nova. On the outside of Archibald is another driver who calls Sunset her home track, Amanda Balson, driving the No. 16 1974 Chevrolet Camaro. Row two is occupied by the 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo of Tyler Hawn and Herb Walters in a 1965 Rambler Ambassador.
Herb Walters usually drives the No. 74 Dodge Dart, which Drew Robertson piloted this weekend. Walters was playing musical chairs with his cousin Tom Walters. The pair jumped between the No. 74W 1965 Rambler Ambassador and the newly constructed No. 64 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle. Come race time, Herb was behind the wheel of the Ambassador. He started the finale in fourth and battled with Amanda Balson and Tom Walters before taking the victory.
Amanda Balson is a Sunset Speedway fan favourite. She drives the No. 16 1974 Chevrolet Camaro with support from London Recreational Racing. She was the runner-up in last season’s LUDUH Hot Rod championship. Balson finished third in heat race one and was gridded on the outside of the front row for the finale. She battled with cousins Herb and Tom Walters, and despite some damage, she passed Tom with two laps to go and finished second.
The Walters cousins entered the Steve Slaughter event with a new build still sporting bare metal and a single makeshift number on the roof. In the feature, Tom Walters drove the No. 64 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle. The Canadian Motorsport Hall of Famer was gridded seventh for the finale but wasted little time moving up the lap chart. Late in the race, Walters was running second but could not hold off Amanda Balson, so he finished third.
For the last couple of years, Paul Bogensburger Sr. has competed in a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle. At the Steve Slaughter, Bogensburger debuted the No. 8 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle. There were some teething problems during practice, but they were sorted for the races. He qualified seventh for heat two and finished in fourth position. Bogensburger started the feature in the eighth spot and steadily progressed to finish fourth.
Former CASCAR and NASCAR Canadian Tire series competitor John Gaunt returned to racing in 2022 with the No. 96 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II. Gaunt was immediately on the pace, demonstrating that he hadn’t lost any of his talent.  He qualified second in heat race two and grabbed the win. Gaunt started the feature in fifth place. He was in contention until he suffered a flat tire on the left front. Gaunt pitted for a fresh tire and began a charge through the field, which saw him finish sixth.
Tyler Hawn retired his 1966 Pontiac Beaumont and replaced it with the No. 2 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The Hot Rod rules were changed to accommodate 1975 to 1984 vehicles. The three-time OSCAAR Hot Rod Champion started heat race two in the fifth spot and finished second. Hawn lined up third for the last contest. He maintained contact with the leaders until he christened the Monte Carlo on Sunset Speedway’s front straight wall. Hawn stopped for repairs and was able to continue for a seventh-place result.
The 2024 Steve Slaughter Classic Hot Rod race winner, Herb Walters, is interviewed by Sunset Speedway’s track announcer, Brendan Doherty. Walters drove the No. 47W 1965 Rambler Ambassador that his cousin Tom Walters used to win last season’s LUDUH Hot Rod championship at Sunset. Herb passed Tom for the lead with six laps remaining and kept a hard-charging Amanda Balson behind him for a narrow victory.

14Herb Walters1965 Rambler Ambassador30-
22Amanda Balson1974 Chevrolet Camaro30-
37Tom Walters1969 Chevrolet Chevelle30-
48Paul Bogensberer Sr1966 Chevrolet Chevelle30-
56Rob Bromley1972 Dodge Challenger30-
65John Gaunt1966 Chevrolet Chevy II30-
73Tyler Hawn1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo30-
811Tyler Sagan1962 Ford Thunderbird30-
913Steve Book1960 Studebaker Hawk30-
1012Drew Robertson1974 Dodge Dart30-
1115Tyler Ecker1968 Chevrolet Camaro29-
1214Brian Ferroni1966 Ford Mustang29-
139Thomas Dunn1964 Ford Galaxie 50029-
141Dan Archibald1968 Chevrolet Nova28-
1510Jamie Cairns1969 Chevrolet Camaro27-
1616Dan Rothwell1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo10Did Not Finish

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