FREELTON, ON – Andrew Gresel Hits The Jackpot At Gold Rush 100. The night everyone was waiting for all season has finally arrived at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway.
The Gold Rush 100 was the main attraction with lots of money on the line. This was the fourth Gold Rush and in the previous three attempts, the pole sitters took the challenge and went to the rear of the field to see if they could make their way to the front to pickup an additional $5000 on top of the first prize money of $5000 for winning. In the first three races, the Casale brothers managed to hold onto that cash. You could be sure that twenty one combatants would be ready and willing to be the first.
PHOTO GALLERY COURTESY OF DEREK SMITH / RACEPULSE.COM
The Pure Stocks were also on hand for a 30 lap invitational with a first prize of $500 on the line. That is a good pay day for this division. Time trials would get under way at 630 with Pure Stocks up first. We would have mutli car qualifying with 3 to 4 cars on at once running for both divisions. In Pure Stocks, Rodney Rutherford would set the fast time with Gary Slama next followed by Clinton Kerkhof, Nick Clarke and Mark Thorne rounding out the top five. Twenty six cars were signed in but just twenty four would take the green. The two bubble cars were ready and waiting in case someone couldn’t make it but that wouldn’t be the case.
The cars lined up behind the Bennett Chevrolet pace truck and the had a wave lap as fans rose to their feet to salute the Pure Stock drivers. Rodney Rutherford would lead lap one. As the field jockeyed for position, Rutherford continued to lead and by lap eight, lapped traffic was starting to become an issue. Rutherford had moved away from the field slightly but Slama used the traffic to gain on the leader. Rutherford too used the lapped traffic to his advantage and had his biggest advantage of the race at this point. Rutherford and Slama began to break from the field and had at least a twenty five car over the third place car of Kerkhof. A few laps later Slama was once again closing the gap.
With ten laps to go a pack of seven lapped cars seemed like they may play into the outcome of the race. With five to go Slama was right on Rutherford’s bumper looking for a way around. Slama did the same thing last year at the Gold Rush for Pure Stocks, he started form the back and was their looking for the lead. Rutherford used the track and did what he needed to do to hold the lead. As the cars would exit four with checkers in site, Rutherford held off Slama to win by about two car lengths. Rutherford led flag to flag and would pick up the $500 first prize as well as the $250 as leader at the half, thanks to Freedom Village. The 49 car of Scott Brooks also got a $250 prize for being the last running car, also from Freedom Village.
In between races, the twenty Super Late Models lined up on the front stretch. In their multi car qualifying session, twenty one cars took to the track and the top five qualifiers were Tyler Roahrig of Indiana was the fast car turning a lap of 14.242. Next was Pete Shepherd III, Glenn Watson, Andrew Gresel and Brandon Watson. Drivers were introduced and each were asked if they would take the $5000 challenge and most agreed they would take it and head to the rear of the field. But that all really didn’t matter unless the top dog Tyler Roahrig didn’t take the challenge. Well he did and would head to the rear. Keara Gallant from Freedom Village was track side prior to the race to offer the invocation and the anthems of the United States and Canada were played. We then heard to those famous words, Gentlemen Start Your Engines. The roar of the ground pounders was deafening as the cars took off to take place behind the pace truck.
The Super Lates also had a wave lap and fireworks set off as the cars prepared to take the green. Pete Shepherd and Glenn Watson would be pole after Tyler Roahrig took the challenge and was back to the final spot, number twenty one of the field. The green flag flew and Watson was the leader the first time past. As the cars were exiting two after the first lap the 07 car of Todd Campbell slowed and the lack of power caused some problems for Shawn Chenoweth and Derrick Tiemersma who were running right behind. Campbell retired to the infield as the rest of the pack continued on. By lap five Watson was still leading followed close by Shepherd, Gresel and Matt Pritiki. Two laps later lapped traffic was starting to be creep into the field. The top three would continue for several laps bumper to bumper as they settled in for a long race.
The race lead would change on lap seventeen due to the lapped traffic as Shepherd used it to his advantage to make it by Watson. Watson would then battle Gresel for second/third place. On lap twenty Gresel made his move and was up to second. The first caution of the race came the next time by as the 52 of Gary Passer was smoking and the field would slow and get back to even. On the restart, Gresel would get off the mark quicker and was the new leader with Sheherd back to second. Another caution a few laps later and a pre-determined fuel stop would take place as the cars would all stop in turns one and two to fill their tanks.
Gresel would continue to be the leader and the cars took the green.
Tyler Roahrig who of course took the $5000 challenge was up to sixth. Shawn Chenoweth who got nixed up with Campbell on lap one had made his way up to ninth. Another caution a lap later as the X car was around in one. Gresel was the leader again and by lap thirty he led Shepherd and Watson with Roahrig up another spot to fifth. He would move to fourth as lapped traffic helped him out by lap fourty. A caution as Tyler Hawn, Terry Baker and Paul Pelletier got involved in turn three and the cars were lose and around in the grass. At the half way mark, Gresel continued to lead and picked up a cool $1000 thanks to Freedom Village. Gresel and Shepherd started to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. On lap 57 after some handling issues, the 10 of Chenoweth was around out of two with a suspected broken rear shock or something in the back causing a wheel hop and he came to a stop in the infield where he sat for several laps until he pulled it off to the middle.
With about thirty laps to got Gresel had built almost a full straight away lead. Lapped traffic on lap 75 but Gresel made it through unscathed. Lap 86 saw Tiemersma and Shepherd come together resulting in a flat right front tire and a big spark show for Shepherd. On the restart, Gresel was over anxious and the start was called back. Second try was better and Gresel continued out front. Brandon Watson was next followed ny Glenn Watson and Roahrig. Brandon Watson and Gresel banged and battled off the restart. the next time by it was a family affair as the two Watsons lined up side by side and traded a lot of paint. Brandon cleared Glenn with Roahrig right there waiting for his opportunity to get past. But Gresel wouldn’t be denied and with five to go he had a full straight lead once again. By this point just seven cars remained from the original twenty one that started. Gresel would exit four and headed for the checkers making it back to back Gold Rush wins. Brandon Watson was second with Roahrig, Glenn Watson and Tyler Hawn rounding out the top five.
Congratulations to Gresel on the win and winning a cool $5000. He also picked up the $1000 prize from Freedom Village as half way leader. Tyler Roahrig picked up and extra $500 from Freedom Village as the highest finishing U.S. driver finishing third. The top three came to victory lane where they all received a trophy with Gresel getting a wreath of flowers and a bottle of milk like they do at the Indianapolis 500. Thanks to Frank Casale for the great looking trophies and wreath of flowers for both race winners, Gresel and Rutherford. They also were greeted with a bottle of champagne sprayed to celebrate their victories. Thanks to Mike Kiers for the bottle of milk and for taking care of getting them all to victory lane.
Thanks to everyone involved for making it a great race and thanks to all for your help and the cash prizes. Nice to have Freedom Village back as a supporter at Flamboro Speedway.
Make plans to join us this Saturday for our regular race night and then make your way down to Jukasa Speedway reopening on the Cayuga Speedway site. All these cars will be on hand and Jukasa as teamed up with Gallanger Ford of Milton for the Gallinger Ford Super Double. All racers who raced here Monday and race Jukasa Sunday will be eligible for additional cash prizes. The overall winner will get a extra $1200, second overall gets $500 while third overall gets and extra $300. Thanks to David Gallinger and everyone at Gallinger Ford of Milton for their support in these events!!
This Saturday at Flamboro, it’s $10.00 front grandstand admission!! Join us for Budget Tire Pure Stocks, Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks, Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks, Pro Four Modifieds and the Lucas Oil Can Am Midgets. Also at intermission the always exciting King of the Hill spectator races. It’s the last one for 2017, grab your car and a helmet and hit the track to see if you can be King of the Hill and take home $100 and some bragging rights. Register in the pits prior to racing begins.
Pits open at 4pm, front gates at 5pm and racing gets underway at 630pm. I believe we start the night with make up features for Super Stocks and Pro Fours rained out from July 22nd. Check the website for all the details as well as the tight point races!! www.flamborospeedway.ca