Merlin, ON/ May 25, 2013- Five new feature winners visited the Winner’s Circle on Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway.
Merlin’s Jody Mason captured his first feature checkered flag since 2000 in the Tirecraft Mini-Mods, leading the final 15 of the 20-lap feature. Another Merlin driver also parked his car in the Winner’s Circle as Eren Vanderiviere, the two-time defending series champion, took the lead on lap three and led the final 17 circuits of the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks feature. Charing Cross’s Chris Ross took the lead midway through the UMP Late Model feature to earn the victory in his second South Buxton appearance of the season. Leamington’s Joel Dick survived a caution-plague Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified feature, taking the lead on lap 12 when Merlin’s Joe Brosseau and Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra crashed while battling for the lead. Blenheim’s Jeff Schives won his first Bomber feature.
Meanwhile, race fans and drivers helped raise $2,615.50 in two weekend fund-raisers to help offset the cost of repairs from last weekend’s vandalism spree. Funds remaining after repairs are covered will go to enhancing and expanding the track’s security camera system.
Race fans donated $688.84 in the pass-the-helmet offering during intermission, while the 50-50 winner Amy Finn donated half of her winnings ($300). On Sunday, $866.66 was raised at the car wash and barbecue, $340 in the raffle draw and another $420 was collected in cash donations.
Amy Dale and Doug Leonard, who are overseeing the fund-raising campaign, thank all of the drivers who took part in the ‘pass-the-helmet’ and all of the volunteers at the car wash and barbecue – and most of all, they thank everyone who made a donation.
This Saturday, there will be a pre-race pig roast at the track beginning at 3 p.m. UMP Late Model driver Justin Coulter is donating the pig and will do the cooking. The cost is $5 per person, which includes a pork dinner and fixings. All proceeds will again go to the repairs and security system.
Mason wins first Mini-Mod feature in 13 years:
Jody Mason knew Denis DeSerrano’s feature win streak would come to an end sooner or later. But the Merlin driver didn’t think he would be the one in the Winner’s Circle the night it ended.
Mason took the lead from fellow Merlin driver Steve Shaw Jr. on lap five and led the final 15 laps to win the Tirecraft Mini-Mod feature, his first in 13 years.
“No, I didn’t think I was going to be the one to stop him, but I’m glad,” said the 38-year-old Mason about ending DeSerrano’s feature win streak at three.
“Me and Dessy have always have been good friends through the years, and he was the first one to come down here and congratulate me,” Mason said.
DeSerrano started in the fourth row and moved up to second place on the first lap when he suddenly shot to the top of the track and slowed dramatically. He fell back to as low as 12th at one point but managed a sixth-place finish, thanks to the attrition rate in the late laps.
“We were running on three cylinders, so not too bad to come out with a sixth,” smiled DeSerrano, who won the heat and crack-the-whip earlier in the night for nine checkered flags in 12 races through the first four weeks of the season.
Mason, meanwhile, started in the second row but dropped back as low as seventh on the first lap before passing five cars on lap three to move into second behind Shaw. He took the lead for good two laps later.
With DeSerrano out of the picture, Mason concentrated on holding off Shaw and Blenheim’s Kyle Hope for the final 15 laps.
Hope passed Shaw with two to go to finish third while Kingsville’s Norm DeSerrano and Chatham’s Rick Balasin rounded out the top five.
Vanderiviere regains championship form:
Eren Vanderiviere admitted he hardly looked like a two-time defending champion the first three weeks of the season. But the Merlin native returned to championship form on Saturday night, winning his first Windride Sport Stocks feature of the season.
Vanderiviere survived an early battle with Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon and Merlin’s Steve Shaw to take the lead on lap three and led the rest of the way.
“We were off on set up,” Vanderiviere described his troubles in the first three weeks. “We had a bad push, but we finally got it out of the car this week.”
“We were on set up all day today,” he continued. “We didn’t get it done until 4:30 and the hard work by the team really paid off.”
With Shaw in the pits with a flat tire, Vanderiviere was busy holding off Lozon for second when something broke on the challenger’s car on the halfway lap.
“I don’t now what happened to him, I just saw him on the infield when we came around (under caution),” Vanderiviere said of his battle with Lozon. “It was good, clean racing, we didn’t touch … that’s the way I like it, bringing it home in one piece,”
Windsor’s West Bertozzi hung on for a career-high second-place finish, with Wheatley’s Steve Clements, Essex’s Doris Lajeunesse and Chatham’s Jason Fox rounding out the top five. Shaw finished ninth.
Patience pays off with Modified feature win for Dick:
When he got to the Winner’s Circle, Joel Dick took a quick look but barely found a scratch on his winning car. The Leamington driver was about the only one of the 18 starters in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified feature race who could make that claim.
Dick was running third when he inherited the lead on lap 12 after Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra and Merlin’s Joe Brosseau crashed hard into the turn four wall while battling for the lead.
“I saw them going door-to-door and making contact about two laps before, so I kind of sat there waiting it out,” said Dick, who started eighth and moved into third on lap eight. “Those guys were battling pretty hard and I got a break when they hit the wall.”
Saturday was a 180-degree turn for the Leamington driver from the first three weeks of the season.
Dick did not start the May 4 feature and had a DNF 12th-place finish last week. He was fifth in his heat on May 11 when the feature was rained out.
“It’s a new car and we didn’t get a chance to go testing anywhere before the season,” said Dick. “We’ve had issues with the motor and chassis, so we’re trying a lot of new stuff but it’s getting closer every week.”
Dick said the car still wasn’t very good in the heat but they made several changes that worked for the feature.
“It took awhile for the tires to come in, but the more green flags we ran, the better the car was.”
It was Dick’s first checkered flag of the season and his 14th feature win since moving up to the Modified class in 2010.
Brosseau recovered from the mid-race accident to finish second, followed by Wallaceburg’s Drew Smith, Windsor’s Dan McIntyre and Chatham’s Brian Speelman.
Ross wins Late Model feature:
For the second week in a row, the UMP Late Models had a small field, but again, the small field put on a fast and exciting feature.
This week, it was former track champion and Canadian Fall Shootout winner Chris Ross making the left turn into the Winner’s Circle.
Ross started third and passed Chatham’s Brad Authier for second on lap four and patiently ran down Chatham’s Gregg Haskell before taking the lead on lap eight.
Authier got by Haskell with four to go to finish third while Chatham’s Jim Jones was fourth. Merlin’s Clinton Emery completed two laps to finish fifth, one spot ahead of last week’s feature winner Dale Glassford, who lost a drive shaft on the second lap.
Last week, five cars started and three finished. But with added bonuses and the possibility of a bigger purse for this Saturday’s Gord DeWael memorial race, hopefully more Late Models will be on hand.
“It’s not as much fun … it’s kind of boring,” Ross said about winning against such a small field.
“It’s nice to race here because it’s close to home and these guys are all my friends, but it’s hard when you’re use to racing against 20 other guys all the time,” the Charing Cross native said. “It’d be nice to get 15 Late Models out here again.”
Ross won the heat and dash earlier in the night in races that had the same top four finishes as the feature.
From: Mike Bennett/ South Buxton Raceway