PETERBOROUGH, ON- Second-generation star Anthony Dibello claimed his first career Thunder Car championship on August 30th, defeating perennial rival Howie Crowe by a single point after a 4th place finish in Peterborough Speedway’s final points paying event of the season.
“I knew this was going to come down to the last race of the season”, said an ecstatic Dibello post-race. “Howie and his entire team are phenomenal competitors. It was an absolute honour to race with them this season. Competing for this championship was every bit as difficult as I thought it would be”
With the points chase deadlocked after heat race qualifying, both Dibello and Crowe entered the 30-lap feature event with an equal mathematical chance at locking up the championship.
Starting alongside one another in Row 3, the championship hopefuls pulled out all of the stops through the first half of the event. The pair battled hard late into the race, with Dibello managing a daring pass that finally cleared Crowe as the ‘laps remaining’ entered single digits.
“I swear I tried everything to try and put him behind me”, reflected Dibello. “He’s such a gamer. I really can’t say enough about Howie. I could tell the race was getting late, and I saw an opening as we were headed towards turn-1. I made it three-wide with Howie and another car and somehow it stuck”
“When I saw him in my rearview, I knew that it was my once chance to hang on to this championship. If I had let him past me, it would have been all over”
Dibello ran 4th for the remainder of the event, despite an engine that threatened to quit on the Woodville, ON up-and-comer through the final 3 circuits.
“I’m not sure how much of this motor is still worth anything”, chuckled Dibello, “the fan blew out on lap-27. I was watching the temp gauge rise out of the corner of my eye, but as long as Howie was behind me there was no chance I was lifting or heading to pit road”
“It was a huge gamble staying on the track, but it paid off in a big way”, continued Dibello.
“This is absolutely incredible. We’ve worked for this all season long. I can’t explain how much this means – to bring this championship home. My guys deserve this, my family deserves this and my sponsors deserve this. I’m both humbled and honoured right now”
As Anthony and team worked to load their Peterborough Speedway championship ride, the second-generation star expressed his appreciation for his legion of supporters that made the 2014 season a success.
“It takes a lot of people to make something like this happen. All of my sponsors have been incredible. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it out of the shop in the Spring. I’m appreciative of every single person that’s been there along the way. My parents have been more supportive than I could have ever asked them to be. I’m grateful for every single one of my friends and family members that took the time to come and turn a wrench on this car. Without every one behind the scenes, this would never have been a reality”
Anthony DiBello’s 2014 championship season has been made possible thanks to the support of DiBello Towing, Langille’s Scrap, Al Wright Auto Service, Dutchies Reno & More, MBH Southern Iron, Giorgio’s Fine Dining, Country 105, Nick Oram Auto Body, HVC Roofing, Extreme Sound & DJ Services and Sheridan Air.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)