In this week’s Motion Motorsport Report, Dave Mathers raves about last Tuesday’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series race at Ohsweken Speedway, as well as covering many other Canadian and international racing events that took place this past weekend.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Ohsweken Speedway? Grand Slam home run!! No other way to describe it. Everybody was nervous as to what to expect as the NASCAR Pinty’s Series (NPS) cars headed to what is probably the finest 1/3-mile dirt oval on the planet, for the first time.
The race was originally slated for 2020 but was delayed by the pandemic for two years.
They ran Sprint Cars on the Monday night, as well as before Tuesday’s NPS main. The ‘crate motor’ Action Sprint Tour cars and the ‘360′ Knights of Thunder ran their features before the Pinty’s main. And what a show they put on! High, low, in the middle, wherever… on the perfect racing surface. It was probably the finest dirt prep I have ever seen.
Track owner Glenn Styres lit off a bunch of fireworks both before and after the Main and the ‘crowd went wild’!! Three qualifying heats were run with Marc-Antoine Camirand starting from the pole for the 100 lapper.
It didn’t take long for Dexter Stacy to loop it but he recovered and stayed on the lead lap. On lap 47, Wallace Stacey brought out the yellow. Camirand led until the halfway mark but Treyton Lapcevich eventually got around him for the lead.
Lap 61 saw the car of J.P. Bergeron go ‘on the hook,’ that ‘hook’ being mounted on an SUV!! Who knew? His front end was damaged, and he did not return to the race.
On lap 65, the caution came out for what were really two separate incidents. Alex Tagliani initially spun but kept going while three other cars spun to miss him.
The red came out for… wait for it… water on the track!!
On lap 79, Styres spun followed by Michael Goudie spinning on lap 82 and 91. And then, with two to go, Raphael Lessard looped it bringing out the ‘green, white, checker’ that promoters dream about!!
On the final restart. Stewart Friesen – the NASCAR Truck Series star – driving a Scott Steckly car, got around leader Lapcevich and it looked like he was going to pick up the $25,000 winner’s cheque.
But Treyton said, ‘not so fast.’ He dove under Friesen going into 3 making slight contact and came out of 4 in the lead to grab the checker. I don’t think Friesen was overly impressed as he tried to return the favour coming to the flag, cutting a tire in the process. But it was smiles all around in Victory Lane.
Rumours that the ‘bump and run’ would be a big part of the race did not materialize. In fact, other than the 20/22 ‘bump and run’ I only saw one other driver ‘Tag’ another car getting into D.J. Kennington on the back straight.
Lapcevich got the win over Friesen, Jake Sheridan subbing for the MIA NASCAR star Christopher Bell, Camirand and Tagliani.
Points leader Kennington finished sixth with probably the cleanest car on the track (thanks to Castrol Super Clean scheme perhaps??) and retains the lead by 3 over Camirand and by 16 atop Kevin Lacroix.
Ken Schrader ran with the leaders all day but pitted near the end and wound up 8th. Mike McColl, his crew chief, told me a few days later that his tranny was stuck in 3rd!!
The announce team let the cat out of the bag by telling the crowd that Andrew Ranger’s crew had thrown a ‘pail of dirt’ into his trunk for more traction up and off.
When I talked to Rangers’s crew chief, Cayden Lapcevich, Friday night at Delaware he threw Jeff Wilcox under the bus and said it was Jeff’s idea!! LOL And it worked!
In spite of all the yellows, all 23 cars finished on the lead lap with only Bergeron pitside.
I have more comments on the race in ‘My View’ at the bottom.
Their next race is Saturday at Circuit ICAR.
APC SERIES: Their next race is at Sauble Beach, Saturday.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Chad McGlynn started from the pole in last week’s race at Full Throttle Speedway in Varney (I have a funny story about Varney in ‘My View’ at the bottom) and he finished right where he started, picking up the win.
Second place starter Tim Tolton also finished where he started, as did third place Kevin Trevellin. Mark Patrick finished 4th followed by Michael Hryniuk, Jr. in 5th.
Hryniuk has a five-point lead over Trevellin and is seventeen up on McGlynn.
Their next race is at Flamboro Speedway, Saturday, September 10.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: One of the largest crowds of the year showed up Friday for the John Aarts Group night. Fans were greeted by two huge backhoes hooking buckets over the entrance as well as a huge cement pump sticking WAY up in the air. VERY impressive.
Pete Vanderwyst set fast time, an 19.860, for the Super Stock 50 lapper and with the inversion started fifth behind Trevor Collver, Shawn Chenoweth, Branden Verhoeven and Jay Doerr.
Carson Nagy had to start from the rear due to a fuel leak needing repairs, while Chase Pinsonneault started last due to missing the autograph session.
I can’t recall ever seeing more people on track than Friday night for the ‘meet the drivers’ autograph session. My ‘idol,’ Lloyd Rawlings, actually stuffed two of the kid’s suckers into my pocket and told me I had to mention it in my blog!! Here ya go Lloyd!! LOL
There were several ‘encounters of the worst kind,’ but Jay Doerr prevailed for the win over Andrew Ferreira, Chenoweth, Collver and Lane Zardo. Vanderwyst suffered a flat tire and recovered to ninth. He continues to lead the points by 10 over Doerr and 17 on Perreira.
Kyle Steckly set fast time, an 18.254, for the Late Models and started third with the inversion. Jake Sheridan started second behind pole sitter Connor Pritiko, with Ray Morneau fourth and Jason Lidster fifth.
Sheridan grabbed the lead right off the start and never relinquished it. Jake’s father Ron, spotting for his son, was right behind me and was stressed out due to the looseness of their car due to the unavailability of new tires.
Jake and Kyle, both second generation drivers, ran nose-to-tail for most of the race with Kyle getting in better and Jake getting off better. Pritiko finished third followed by Morneau and Ron Beauchamp, Jr. In the points Morneau leads Pritiko by 20 and Steckly by 24.
This Friday, they will run the Super Stocks, the V/8 Stocks, the Bone Stocks and King of the Hill (drive it like ya stole it!!).
Turning to the local drags in the area, here’s what they have coming up next.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: Their next big race is Thunder by the Beach September 3 – 5.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next big race is the ONDR Hot Rod Reunion, September 9 – 11.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: Their next big race is Labour Day Weekend.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: The start of the race at Watkins Glen was delayed two hours by rain and lightning. That was a bit of a trend on the weekend – IndyCar at Gateway and the Jays at Yankee Stadium.
Chase Elliott grabbed another pole with teammate Kyle Larson right behind, both in Chevs, and Michael McDowell 3rd in a Ford. He race started on rain tires but the sun finally came out and the track dried.
The start of the race, going into Corner 1, looked like rush hour on the Gardiner with cars five, six and even seven wide!!
There were some ‘ringers’ in the field including former Formula One champ Kimi Raikkonen starting 27th, EuroNASCAR racers Mike Rockenfeller (33rd) and Loris Hezemans (34th) as well as road racer Joey Hand.
The first two stages went caution free, in spite of several spins, with Chase Briscoe (Ford) winning Stage 1 and Joey Logano (Ford) winning Stage 2.
Business really picked up on lap 45 when Ross Chastain got into Austin Dillon in the Bus Stop and with the cars swerving to miss the spinners Kimi got pushed into the tires bringing out the laundry.
On lap 80, road racer Hand got into the tires after overcooking Corner 1 and the final yellow came out when two-time EuroNASCAR Champion Hezemans buried it in the gravel trap!
At the flag, it was Larson followed by AJ Allmendinger who spun early and came back up through the pack, Logano, Elliott and Suarez.
Elliott continues to dominate the points with 134-point lead over Larson and 143 on Ryan Blaney. There is only Daytona left before the ‘Round of 16′ begins at Darlington.
Their next race, Daytona, is Saturday at 7 P.M. on TSN 5 and NBC.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Well, the fans got their money’s worth and much, much more Saturday at Watkins Glen. William Byron (Chev) got the pole over Ty Gibbs (Toyota) and Kyle Larson (Chev).
The excitement started at the drop of the green with cars five and six wide going into Corner 1. The first of six ‘real’ yellows (stage ends don’t count) came out on lap 5 when out for Justin Allgaier spinning into the wall coming out of 3.
The next yellow was on lap 16 with Patrick Gallagher stalled on track. On lap 27 Canadian Alex Labbe (started 18th) hit the wall hard coming out of five and had to sit on the track to catch his breath.
Four laps later, Kris Wright stopped on track bringing out yellow number 4. Daniel Hemric got into the tires on lap 60 for another yellow. On lap 76 Watermelon Man Ross Chastain ended up in the grave to cause the final caution.
With five to go Byron and Gibbs did their best ‘synchronized spinning’ while both were running 1,2 going through the Bus Stop after Gibbs pushed up and into Byron and they fell to the back.
Larson came through for the win followed by AJ Allmendinger, Sammy Smith Noah Gragson and Kaz Grala. Smith won Stage 1 with Byron winning Stage 2.
Dinger leads Gibbs by 61 and Allgaier by 70 in the points with only four races left before th playoffs begin.
Their next race, Daytona, is Friday at 7.30 P.M.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Their next race, Kansas, is Friday night, September 9 at 7.30 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: After their lengthy ‘summer break,’ F1 returns to action, this coming weekend, in Spa, Belgium. The main event takes place on Sunday.
NHRA: The travelling series dropped into the neat complex in Brainerd, Minnesota right beside a lake on the weekend.
In Top Fuel, Britanny Force qualified ‘number one’ again but lost in the semis to eventual winner Steve Torrence. Tony Schumacher, back after some time off, was runner-up. Force has a 94-point lead on Mike Salinas and 130 on Torrence.
Matt Hagan grabbed the ‘number one’ spot in Funny Car and lost in the second round to Alexis DeJoria. Bob Tasca qualified third and marched through the pack to take out Ron Capps in the final. Robert Hight has a 250-point cushion on Hagan and 306 on Capps.
Only 12 Pro Mods showed up and Kris Throrne topped the qualifying. However, he lost in the first round to Doug Winters. Rickie Smith took out Winters in the final.
Their next race is the U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Labour Day weekend on Fox Sports Racing.
INDYCAR: Will Power continued his strong year at Gateway by grabbing the pole ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Josef Newgarden.
Hard to believe but they ran all the way to lap 145 (of 260) before the first caution occurred, that for Jack Harvey getting into the wall coming out of 4. At lap 215 the yellow came out again, this time for rain and two laps later the red came out.
After a FULL two-hour rain delay (why not call it????) The final 42 laps were run caution free right to the flag with Newgarden winning over imptressive rookie David Malukas, Scott McLaughlin, Pato O’Ward and Takuma Sato.
Will Power continues to lead the points by a slim three points over race winner Newgarden and by 14 on Scott Dixon.
Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco who started a strong 9th and finished a very respectable 12th (tough crowd!!) sits 23rd in the points while fellow Canadian Dalton Kellett started 24th and finished 18th and sits 25th in the points.
Their next race is Portland, September 4 at 3 P.M. on NBC.
IMSA: Their next race is at VIR, Sunday at 2 on Rev TV where we get to hear Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy ad infinitum and ad nauseum!!! So sad for a North American series!!!!
My ‘View’: The NASCAR boys on Volusia Ave. should take the Pinty’s starter (and Race Director?) down south for their big series. This starter wanted nothing to do with those pesky ‘NASCAR yellows’ and let ‘em race. Very few ‘put it out’s’ for cars that kept going!! They quickly learned that they had to restart and get back running. VERY refreshing!!
We did some work in our race car shop on Glenn Styres’ three cars back in 1996 (he was running Flamboro and Cayuga back then) after he talked to us at the CASCAR race at Cayuga (my son Paul got the pole and the race win).
We offered him some advice and the results pleased him enough to send us the cars. He’s come a VERY long way since those days.
At Ohsweken, there had to be more diesel pusher motorhomes, probably in the nine figures worth, in the many campgrounds than at any race in Canadian history. And thanks to Glenn, camping was FREE. Well done! I’m sure this race will extend long past its three-year window.
Also, when was the last time you visited a dirt track and there was zero maintenance needed on the racing surface? No grading, no watering, no maintenance of any kind. Outstanding track prep.
Until next week!!