@PtboSpeedway • Peterborough, ON (October 12, 2015)- All the hype. All the preliminary action and attention to detail came down to a one-day shootout for all the marbles and the bragging rights that come with earning an Autumn Colours Classic title. Drivers in seven divisions put it all on the line – Sunday, October 11 – at Canada’s Toughest 1/3-Mile Paved Oval.
The Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car teams were the first to take to the Peterborough Speedway stage. 26 starters took the initial Great Canadian RV green flag. After following pole-sitter Cayden Lapcevich for nearly half the race, Matt Bentley took the lead as the field worked through back markers with 18 circuits on the scoreboard. The fireworks started a lap later when Fedele DiBello and Dan Archibald came together in the second turn. Both drivers were finished for the day. Lapcevich – who made a number of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series starts in 2015 – regained the lead on lap 39 and never gave it up. Bentley, Randy Rusnell, Ken McNicol and Todd Davenport finished out the top five.
With a number of runners from the new APC Tour in the starting field, Pro Late Model teams had a 115 lap affair on the agenda. There was a scary moment with 24 laps complete, when a fire near the fuel cell produced a red flag and ended the day for last year’s winner Gord Shepherd, but as he had done during the July event, Shawn Chenoweth dominated the affair and led all 115 laps for the win. Hometown favourite Dan McHattie of nearby Cavan, Ontario was second, with Andrew Gresel, Dwayne Baker and former Kawartha Speedway Thunder Car champion Willie Reyns rounding out the top five.
40 laps would settle the score for the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun teams, with Andy Wheller, Phil Givens, Derek Jackson, Jeremy Kelly and Kenny Ohno Jr. the top five finishers. The event was delayed for nearly an hour after a lap 35 crash in the third turn that saw Peterborough’s Jordan DesRoches taken to local hospital by ambulance. The driver was treated and released, returning to the track before racing concluded for the day.
With 50 laps on the table, the OSCAAR Super Late Model teams would not only crown an Autumn Colours Classic champion, but also clinch their 2015 series title. Pole sitter Kevin Cornelius would earn the latter by merely taking the green flag in a season that saw him win all but two main events. The 14 starters ran an exciting event, but everyone was following former NASCAR Canadian Tire Series standout J.R. Fitzpatrick. Shawn Chenoweth, Charlie Gallant, Kelly Balson and Gord Shepherd wrapped-up the top five finishers.
By virtue of his ‘Chase for the Colours’ win, Tyler Junkin was guaranteed a front row start for the 50 lap Mini Stock ‘A’ main. The Peterborough resident didn’t even bring his car to the track until Sunday morning. In the early stages of the event, it looked like that move may have backfired as a number of different drivers took a turn at the front of the pack. In a finish that came right down to the wire, Junkin clinched the win. Andy Kamrath, Danny Benedict, who came from a 19th place starting spot, Brandon McFerran and Ryan Oosterholt completed the top five.
The Limited Late Model tilt got off to a rocky start with a red flag for a crash on the front stretch as the field was logging the first completed lap. Luckily, no one was injured and all drivers – with the exception of Taylor Holdaway – were able to continue. Travis Hallyburton would grab the lead on the third lap and although he would surrender the top spot to Nick Goetz a third of the way into the show, he reclaimed the point with just two laps remaining and scored the win. Lane Zardo, Tom Walters, Jason Parker and Rick Walt rounded-out the top five. Bryan Sudsbury was the top Peterborough Speedway regular, in sixth.
This year’s edition of the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing closed-out with the OSCAAR Modified division running a 50 lap feature. Gary McLean was looking to add another Autumn Colours win to a very impressive resume. He had a very impressive race come to an end when his #8 machine made contact with the third turn wall on lap 30. Instead of leaving the track with a pair of championships, the racer from Conn, Ontario settled for the 2015 series title. Former Peterborough Speedway Thunder Car runner John Baker Jr. took the checkered flag over Cory Horner, Brent McLean, A.J. Emms and John Harper.
Bullring Bullet Points: Over the three-day weekend, close to 225 cars took to Canada’s Toughest 1/3-Mile Paved Oval during Autumn Colours Classic action…A lucky fan walked away with a 50/50 payout of more than $ 2,000 in the Sunday afternoon draw.
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Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media