A handful enter Saturday's event as 'first-timers' at Delaware, while a number of others are chiselled veterans. Among the veterans is former Delaware regular and part-owner of the facility Justin Demelo. The London, ON pilot has made three starts on the OSCAAR tour this season and has yet to finish outside the top-five. Demelo's best finish is a second place result at the Chase for the Colours in Peterborough on Canada Day. A heavy favourite entering the event, Demelo is among the drivers vying to become the fourth winner on the tour this season.
Brent McLean was the latest victor on the OSCAAR tour after taking the checkers at his former home, Varney Speedway. The Conn, ON native finally shook some bad luck to get in the winner's circle and celebrated in ecstatic fashion. Powered by a GM Crate Motor, the Home Building Centre Chevrolet will have to make its time through the corners against some of the more powerful built motors in the field. But the #7 can never be counted from the challengers for a win as he possesses one of the most immaculately prepared cars anywhere in the province.
Davey Terry's Troyer chassis has had two impressive races in a row at the Sauble and Varney Speedway's, finishing fourth in each event. Terry's ability to get his Wasteco Toyota headed in the right direction has moved him to within three points of the Rookie-of-the-Year points lead behind Brandon Crumbie. The Erin, ON driver also sits sixth in the overall championship standings and is aiming to get in to the top-five Saturday. However, Terry faces a formidable task as he has yet to turn a lap at Delaware.
Josh Gruntz will look to get back in the groove that led him to a podium finish earlier this year. After missing an event at Sauble, Gruntz has fallen to eighth in the championship standings. The modified rookie will make his Delaware debut tonight, but his car is one of the most experienced at the London, ON ½-mile oval. Gruntz now pilots the former #38 Tyler Hendricks chassis that was a regular at Delaware and is in good position to continue the success exhibited by Hendricks in seasons past. The Peterborough, ON pilot is equally in search of another podium finish.
The #99x Lynval Contracting Chevrolet of former OSS Late Model driver Tim Burke is in need of a solid top-five finish. Burke has battled the proverbial racing Gods since opening night, and has not been able to better his sixth place result on May 20 to break in to the top-five. The modified rookie from Bancroft, ON has run at Delaware Speedway as a late model in the same chassis that will compete as a modified Saturday night. Burke is growing hungrier with each passing race and will eventually be determined to crack the top-five. Still within striking distance of the Rookie-of-the-Year title, Burke's night to shake the demons may be within sight.
Ted Patterson has shown flashes of brilliance so far behind the wheel of the #48, but has yet to have his hard work pay dividends. The Mount Forest, ON driver started on the pole three weeks ago at Varney Speedway, but was spun on the opening lap which later caused a flat tire and a DNF. Patterson has shown his ability to pace the field already this year and is presented with a prime opportunity to use his veteran skill set and experience at Delaware.
Wiarton, ON's Adam Adams makes his sixth start at Delaware and will look to turn his luck around after two consecutive disappointing efforts that followed a string of top-ten finishes. Adams patience will be key in the 25-lap feature tonight if he wishes to finish in the top-ten and to close the gap on Terry for the sixth spot in the overall championship standings.
Saturday is a historical night for OSCAAR, as its two divisions will race at separate tracks on the same night for the first time ever. The Super Late Models take to the track at Peterborough Speedway at 6:00pm Saturday as well, dividing the dedicated OSCAAR crew in half for the first time.
Saturday night marks a huge night of racing at Delaware Speedway as the OSCAAR Modifieds join the World's Fastest Short Track Cars, the ISMA Super Modifieds. The 75-lap ISMA feature will also be accompanied by a 35-lap feature for Delaware's Coca-Cola Super Stocks. The OSCAAR Mods feature will run 25 laps. The pit gate opens at 2:30pm for OSCAAR and Super Stock teams, followed by the spectator gate at 4:00pm. An ISMA driver autograph session will last approximately 45 minutes, beginning at 6:00pm on the front straightway. The first green flag is scheduled to drop at 7:00pm.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)