BOWMANVILLE, ON – After a weekend off, the action was electric on the half-mile oval this past weekend, which was fitting since Roy Nichols Chevrolet had a brand new 2012 Chevy Volt on display. As well, the night of action on the oval fit in well with sponsor Roka TIM-BR Mart as many of the speedway’s drivers were looking to build on their championship hopes as the 2012 season winds to a close at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Ontario Legends returned to the oval, running aside a full card of Late Models, the Bob’s Towing Thunder Cars and the Lucas Oil Pure Stocks.
Lucas Oil Pure Stock: The first of the evening’s features saw Willy Howells looking to claim his second straight feature win as the Lucas Oil Pure Stocks roared around the half-mile oval for 15-fast paced laps.
Early on, it was Jeff Vanderbelt (#33 Attention to Detail Integra) outdueling Henk Mulders (#45 Vos’ Independent Port Perry/Link Greenhouses Integra) for the lead. On Lap Three, however, Howells would work his way around Mulders into the runner-up position and began stalking the leader.
There was little room to separate the top four drivers as the race reached its half way mark. Howells continued to look low, but Vanderbelt was there at every opportunity to slam the door shut.
Finally, on Lap 11, Howells was able to make his move, and he surged past Vanderbelt into the lead. It was a battle right down to the wire as Howells claimed the fourth feature win of his rookie campaign at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway by two car-lengths in his #19 Sandford Racing Engines/Durham Corporate Place/Snap-On Tools Prelude.
Earlier in the evening, Mulders claimed the checkered flag in the first qualifying race of the night, while Kevin Vande Beek of Aurora piloted the #54 to victory lane in the second heat.
Bob’s Towing Thunder Car: John Baker Jr. continued his march towards a fifth track championship, but mechanical issues forced him to work a little harder this past weekend. After wrapping up his 13th heat win of the season, a mechanical issue led the #63 John Baker’s Auto/Marksmen Club of Oshawa/Fotheringham Bookkeeping Impala finishing second to Dale Wood’s Monte Carlo in the second qualifying race of the evening.
Baker quickly got to work chasing down Wood in the 15-Lap Feature, finally making his move on Lap 8 and sliding into the top spot coming out of Turn Two.
While Baker and Wood battled it out at the front of the field, Tom Cormier (#2 Cormier Transport/Cormier Auto Recycling Monte Carlo) and John Bryan (#88 Signarama) were locked in a tight battle for third place, with Uxbridge’s Ken Huntington (#7 Camaro) not far behind.
It was a familiar result up front as ‘JBJ’ cruised to his ninth feature win of the season, with Wood finishing five cars lengths behind in the runner-up spot. Cormier, Huntington and Heath MacDonald (#71) rounded out the top five.
“Everything was working tonight; it was awesome,” ‘JBJ’ said after the race. “We had some mechanical issues in the second heat, so I had to give that one to Dale. But, my crew set it back up during the intermission and it was a rocket ship for the feature.”
Late Model: Kyle Donaldson continued his hot streak in the Late Model division, piloting his #53 Custom Steering/Downtown Rug Impala to a sweep of the evening’s races. After taking the checkered flag in both his heat races, Donaldson quickly got to work in the 25-Lap Feature which saw 12 Late Models take the green flag.
In the early portion of the race, Donaldson was locked in a hotly contested battle with Richard Boake (#90 Steelcase Tire and Mags) and Dwight Brown (#12b) for second place.
After the caution flag waved on Lap 4, Donaldson powered past pole sitter Bill Northam (#85), with Darren Kearnan (#55 ProTech Exhaust/ Harringtons Mobile Mechanics) in hot pursuit.
Despite moving near the back of the field after contact with the #90, Brown charged his way back through the field, needing only three laps to move from tenth place into fourth. Halfway through the race, Brown overtook third place when he maneuvered past Northam with Dan Kimmerly (#01 Matco Tools/Graphic Lettering) lurking close behind.
Out front, Donaldson effortlessly worked his way through lapped traffic to widen his gap on Kearnan. Donaldson would wrap up his fifth feature win of the season under the caution flag after a Turn Two spin by Northam, who had been tangling with Kimmerly. Brown rounded out the podium finishers in third place.
Earlier in the evening, Kearnan also claimed a pair of victories in the Late Model qualifying races and currently holds a one-point edge in the championship standings with three nights to go.
Ontario Legends: The Ontario Legends made their third appearance of the 2012 season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway, and points leader Adam Cuthbertson of Uxbridge provided plenty of thrills for those in attendance, cruising to a hat trick. After two wild qualifying races, 13 Legends cars took the green flag for the 20-Lap Feature.
Cuthbertson (#79) showed why he is a three-time series champion early as he started on the pole and survived an early push from Andy Warbutton (#24), younger brother Wes Cuthbertson (#12) and Nicholas Ledson (#15L) to take an early lead.
After Jeff McGibbon (#58) brought out the caution on Lap 5 with a spin in Turn Four, Cuthbertson was once again able to get the jump on the field in a spectacular restart.
Throughout most of the first half of the Feature, Wes Cuthbertson and Bill Mason (#4) were locked in a heated battle for the fourth position, until Wes finally appeared to take control at the midway point of the race. On Lap 13, Fred Jordan (#70) was able to slip past Mason into fifth place after a tight battle through Turn Four. Meanwhile, Adam was able to widen his gap atop the field as he roared around the half-mile oval.
Disaster would strike Ledson on Lap 16 when he spun in Turn Two and once more brought out the yellow flag. The restart would set up a fast and furious end to the evening’s racing action. Once more, Adam got the better of the pack and sailed into victory lane, followed by Wes, Jordan, Paul Pierik (#33) and Mason.
“We knew the car was good in practice and it was good all night for us, and we were able to win all three races,” an ecstatic Cuthbertson said post-race. “Every restart is tense, but when it came down to the wire, I just did what I always do and it worked. The Canrack/DBD Custom Paint machine was really running well tonight.”
From Ryan Chalmers, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park