Sunday June 23, 2013 THOROLD, ONTARIO – Rick Koabel, Evan Curtis and Pete Bicknell blasted off into Summer June 22nd in the Meridian Credit Union Event at Merrittville Speedway with their first Feature Wins in the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Divisions.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Rob Murray and BJ Willard return to Victory Lane in the Hoosier Stock and Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Divisions respectively.
“Last year I was a rookie and so far I’ve done fairly well but it’s great to win a feature,” relayed Rick Koabel in Victory Lane for the first time in the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division, “I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without Josh Sliter … his family and friends … so thanks to everyone!”
Randy Hollingshead was first to lead the 15 lap Feature but by Turn 2 it was fellow front row starter Rick Koabel that had control. Right away Koabel ran away to a healthy lead before caution slowed the field on lap 5 after a number of cars came together in Turn 4.
Koabel resumed control of top spot on the restart with Josh Sliter now in the runner-up spot. Past halfway Koabel had a couple car length advantage – increasing his lead through the final third of the event.
Koabel & Josh Sliter were followed by Jason Corless, Jeffrey May and first timer Dan Ferguson rounding out the top 5.
“If it wasn’t for the lap car … I probably wouldn’t be here,” relayed Evan Curtis in Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Victory Lane for the first time of 2013, “we ran pretty hard … it was a good battle!”
In the last half of the 15 lap Feature, Curtis made up a lot of ground – pulling even with leader Kyle Pelrine as the field got the white flag. The next time out of Turn 4, with a lap car high – Curtis squeezed his car close to the guardrail and came out on top stealing the win.
Pelrine took control of top spot on lap 8 from Mike Sadusek. Sadusek and fellow front row starter Garnet Wilson led the field to the initial green flag and ran side by side until Sadusek had top spot all his own the first time through Turn 3.
At the finish, Curtis, Kyle Pelrine & Sadusek were followed by Tyler Lafantaisie and Jason Coutu.
“That was a great race … we were running three wide and back and forth,” commented Pete Bicknell in Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Victory Lane, “this is the best car I’ve had in awhile … Teddy and the boys made some changes … I could run anywhere I wanted and tonight … that’s what you needed!”
Shayne Pierce was the initial leader until Todd Gordon took control at the start of the 35 lap Main Event with Pierce quickly loosing the spot to Chad Chevalier.
Caution on lap 4 would slow the field for the first time after Brandon Easey was left sitting the wrong way in Turn 2.
Gordon resumed control on the restart and the battle for second saw Chevalier, Pete Bicknell and Pierce challenging each other three wide. Pierce and Bicknell would settle into second and third and setting their sights on Gordon.
The battle for the lead soon became three wide with the front runners eventually coming up on lap traffic. On lap 23, Pierce jumped the cushion down the back stretch allowing Bicknell to take over second with Tommy Flannigan soon to take on Pierce.
With 7 laps to go Bicknell took the lead from Gordon and went on to become the 9th different Divisional Winner in 9 events in the books for 2013.
Bicknell and Gordon were followed by Pierce with Mat Williamson and Mike Bowman closing out the top 5.
“We lost our way a little lately and it’s been tough out here,” revealed Rob Murray in Hoosier Stock Victory Lane for the second time of the season, “everybody’s gotten faster and we’ve got a lot of different winners … I’d like to dedicate this one to Rukkus!”
One thing missing in the traditional Race Team Photo was the family dog who was put down this week.
One driver that has gotten faster is Mark Fawcett who took top spot from initial leader Cor y Turner at the start of the 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature.
Quickly Jason Fontaine took control of second but with just 1 lap showing on the Lucas Oil Live Leaderboard, Fontaine made heavy contact with the barrier in Turn 3 slowing the field for the first time.
Turner would set the pace on the restart with Mark Fawcett battling back around the outside in is first start in the former Chris Crawford Camaro. Brad Sheehan would soon challenge Fawcett as would Rob Murray.
Fawcett would take control of top spot at the start finish line of lap 9 with Murray now the challenger.
Fawcett would drift a little high in turn 3 losing top spot to Murray who in the closing stages would pull away to a lead of a couple car length lead at the finish. Sheehan would make a late race charge to take second from Fawcett.
Turner settled for fourth but unfortunately was later disqualified in Post Race Technical Inspection for a Transmission infraction. Jim Lampman and Pete Reid would round out the Top 5.
“At first I was trying too hard but would get too close he was running such a good line,” informed BJ Willard in Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division Victory Lane for the third time, “I realized I wasn’t going to get by him on the bottom … he wasn’t making any mistakes. I threw in it 1 at the top and got such a good run … I think I surprised him (Dan Miller).”
Willard’s race winning move came on lap 20 – besting Dan Miller through to the checkered flag.
Robert Baker first to lead the 25 lap Feature but back in the pack a multi-car incident the first time in Turn 2 slowed the pace right away.
With an original start ahead for the restart – Baker and Dan Miller were in a drag race for top spot until Miller took control. Baker would soon be challenged by BJ Willard who was into the runner up spot by lap 4. Willard closed to within a car length racing towards half way with third place runner Dave Flannigan Jr. about 15 car lengths behind.
With lap traffic ahead of them on lap 19, Miller continued to set the pace until Willard took control on lap 20.
Making late race charges were Gary Lindberg who took over third spot about the same time Willard took the lead and Austin Wood was able to get by Flannigan to close out the top 5.
Bill Bleich was the B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week – edging Scott Wood by just 2 votes.
As part of their night, Meridian Credit Union gave away a 46″ TV and the winner was Adrianne Knapp.
Merrittville Speedway would like to thank all those that participated in the Gangnam Style Contest.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (20 laps) Rick Koabel, Josh Sliter, Jason Corless, Jeffrey May, Dan Ferguson, Paul Klager, Ray Sliter, Kory Howe, Randy Hollingshead, Derek Wagner, Dylan Davidson.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER FEATURE (15 laps) Evan Curtis, Kyle Pelrine, Mike Sadusek, Tyler Lafantaisie, Jason Coutu, Garnet Wilson, Kyle Rothwell, Chris Laskey, Tony Kelly, Nathan Monahan, Dillan Sliter, Sam Iftody, Greg Wilson, Leroy Buscumb, Kyle Haynes, Kevin Conley, Rob Overholt, Bob Gill, Kourtney Kocarik, Mike Giberson, Brandon Boychuck.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Pete Bicknell, Todd Gordon, Shayne Pierce, Mat Williamson, Mike Bowman, Chad Chevalier, Bill Bleich, Tim Jones, Chris Steele, Scott Wood, Fred Carleton, Ken Winnfield, Brandon Easey, Tommy Flannigan, Billy Bleich, Jr., Rick Hoctor, Bill Willard, Robbie Krull.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Rob Murray, Brad Sheehan, Mark Fawcett, Cory Turner, Jim Lampman, Pete Reid, James Thompson, Kevin Knapp, Ryan Turner, Paul Reichel, Bryce Richardson, Paul Wichert, Mike Green, Marcel Michaud, Jason Fontaine.
RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) BJ Wiilard, Dan Miller, Gary Lindberg, Austin Wood, David Flannigan, Brad Rouse, Jason Moore, Cody McPherson, Travis Miller, Greg Panunte, Boyd MacTavish, Jason Farraway, Justin Sharp, Adam Leslie, Joey Mastroianni, Rob Knapp, Paul Gaboury, Robert Baker, Jordan Cosco, Paul Williamson, Ron MacAulay, Derick Hodge, Charlie Lynch, Gord McIntosh. DNQ – Chris Bellamy.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Boltworks will celebrate Canada Day at Merrittville Speedway June 29th when the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are featured in addition to the 358 Modifieds … a Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt Big 6 Series Home Track Event and the 2nd Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College and FIREWORKS.
When the Grandstands open at 5:30 – Piller’s Hot Dogs will be just $1.00 all night.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)
Join us this season on a Saturday Night for a LUCAS OIL WEEKLY RACING SERIES EVENT featuring FIVE Divisions with local heroes and up and coming new stars. Make your plans … call your friends and enjoy a staycation at the speedway with plenty of free parking and camping spots – a night at the races is so much fun and so close to home!
Your Local Dirt Track is where it’s at and the countdown to Lucas Oil Nostalgia Night at Merrittville Speedway Saturday July 13th has begun – the Best Family Entertainment in Niagara!
Hosted by the Reunion Committee – the 62nd Season Celebration features the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 50 for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds … the TUSA Hoosier Mr. Dirt Racing Series Tour for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites … Vintage Race Cars and the 2013 L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame Inductions.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2013 62nd Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Bobcat of Hamilton, Rick’s Delivery, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning, Hoosier Tire Canada and Turn 4 Collision in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at . http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services.
Lucas Oil Products is one the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry featuring a premium line of oils, greases and problem solving additives. Through innovative product research and development along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top selling additive in the industry.
Look for Lucas Oil Products at your favorite automotive retailer or maintenance centre including B&C Truck Centre, Drummond Home Hardware, KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage
From: Jim Irvine/ Assistant General Manager- Merrittville Speedway