Milgrove, Ontario (May 26, 2018): The newly formed Ontario Super Late Models series made their debut at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway and what was thought to perhaps be a battle of the Watson’s turned out to be a one man show.
With some summer like weather finally making its appearance at Flamboro, it was a welcome sight for racers and fans alike. Racing got underway shortly after 630pm with the McClurkin Properties Pure Stocks up first. Fourteen cars were signed in and out to do their best to make sure Dale Lucas wasn’t holding the checkered flag at the end of twenty laps. Lucas had a perfect start to the season winning both features in the first race event back on May 12th.
Courtney Scott and Dylan Sharpe were pole for this one and Sharpe got out to an early lead. He would lead until almost half way when the 5 car of Jared Bodner was neck and neck down the back stretch. Bodner would lead one lap but Lucas made his way from the rear of the field to be the new leader at the half way mark. Bodnar tagged the 88 of Mark Dennis late and he hit the pits Lucas would make it 3 for 3 taking the checkered flag.
GALLERY: MAY 26, 2018 • COURTESY OF DEREK SMITH • WWW.RACEPULSE.COM
The Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks were next and twenty cars were signed in ready for battle for their first race night of the season. The birthday boy Erik Dalla Riva lined up along side Kyle Istead to take the green. Istead led one but soon would have a couple young guns on his tail. Jake Watson and Jake Gilbert were set for a battle. Wendy Adams started third in the field but was around after contact with Mike Hooper on lap two. On the restart, Istead continued to lead but Watson would get past down the back on lap four to be the new leader. He would continue to hold off the field but a caution as the 3 car of Kyle DaSilva slowed to a stop out of two bringing the field back to even. Watson would be fazed however and continued out front and picked up his first checkered flag of the season.
The Pro Four Modifieds were next for their 15 lap feature. A notable car missing in action was the 2017 champion Dan Nanticoke. Dan Petit and Dave Hodgkinson led the pack of none cars to green. Petit led one but Hodkinson was the new leader next time past the line. Four cars would battle for the lead and got involved through one and two and eventually Hodgkinson’s car came to a stop at the start finish line as he one upset at a call. He was subsequently disqualified. Another caution on lap ten gave Brian Nanticoke the chance he was looking for and he was the new leader and would come across the line first to pick up the win.
Nine cars were signed in for the first race for the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks. Brad Collison and Carson Nagy lined up out front for this one and Collison led lap one. A couple of newcomers took the green. Actually not really newcomers, a couple of guys that really dominated the oval here over the years made their return. Randy ‘the Rocket’ Rusnell was back after several seasons racing at Sunset Speedway and a dominant Mini Stock pilot moved to a Super Stock racing for the London Recreational team. Andy Kamrath, a winner of many races at Flamboro was behind the wheel of the 89 car. Rusnell was having some issues, he took the green and then retired to the pits. Collison and Nagy battled early. Kevin Gallant and Nagy got into it and a caution was out with two laps to go. Collison led on the restart and held off team mate Kamrath for the win.
Eleven Super Late Models were ready to go for time trials and three cars took to the track at a time to see who could set the fast lap. Todd Campbell turned a fast lap in the first threesome with a 15.075. Brandon Watson who always does well at Flamboro set the new fast time with a 14.751. Glenn Watson however wouldn’t be out done and the veteran Super Late driver was just a bit quicker with a 14.739 to take the pole. After the dice roll, an inversion of three would take place. They would hit the pits for some adjustments to ready for their inaugural 75 lap main event to close the night.
After a brief intermission, the Pure Stocks were back. There wasn’t an official bounty on the head of the 30 car of Dale Lucas but you know everyone wanted to knock Lucas off the top perch. Lucas would once again have to start at the rear of the field and Blake Near and Ryan Hillar were pole. Near led lap one. A caution flew the next lap as the 42 of Leo Labarbera was off with some damage to the front end. On lap five Near was leader but as the field was heading through 1-2, the 17 car of Blair Mayhew did a bump and run and he was past and the new leader. He would slowly build the lead and managed to hold off Lucas and was the winner. Great to see Mayhew back in victory lane. Double Trouble Racing is racing for mental health, in memory of their cousin Shawn who passed away in February. Blair said, “This ones for you”. Congratulations!
Mini Stocks were back out and you know this year is going to be an exciting one for this group. Their first of two big races is coming up on June 10th as the Flamboro Stock Car Nationals takes place. So they are all getting ready to take home some serious cash. Nice to see Melissa Bullen out from Peterborough Speedway. That track cancelled earlier in the day due to some rain and she and her team made the trek down to try her luck here. Tyler Lewis and Mike Hooper were pole. A couple of early cautions slowed the race but when it got back up and running it was a great race and none greater than for the 77 of Mike Hooper who got the monkey off his back picking up his first Mini Stock feature win. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy and that team is so deserving, congratulations!
The Pro Fours were out and Larry Westwood and Cliff Hodgkinson were pole. The 0 car of Shannon Morris led one while Mark Lucas made his way to the front next time past and that’s where he would stay the rest of the way and was the winner followed by Hodgkinson and Rodney Rutherford.
The Super Stocks were next with Carson Nagy and Kevin Gallant leading the field to green. Randy Rusnell’s problems continued and after one lap was off and wouldn’t finish. Nagy, Gallant and Andy Kamrath were nose to tail early and Kamrath used the bump and run on Gallant and was the leader on lap 11. A caution with 3 laps remaining as Bobby Mercer had a flat tire. Kamrath led on the restart with Nagy on his tail. Brad Collison would battle Gallant as the checkers flew and Kamrath was the winner.
The final race of the night was the 75 lap main event for the Ontario Super Late Models. As the cars hit the track and were getting into line, the 9 car of Brandon Watson slowed to a stop out of two. He would need a push and his night was done as he had some drive line issues. John Cadman would line up along side Glenn Watson and Watson led lap one. He would settle in but a caution on lap 19 as Jordan Howe and Cadman made contact and were around. On lap 35 the two met again and Cadman went up over Howse’s wheel and a catastrophe was averted and both cars continued. A caution on lap 52 as the 64 car of Chris Burrows was around. We continued green the rest of the way and Glenn Watson really never was tested and picked up the feature win followed by Howse and Todd Campbell.
That brought to a close another exciting night of racing at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway. Make plans to join us Saturday, June 2nd for round two in the APC United Late Model series as we present the Interstate Batteries 100. Last race was an exciting event as J.R. Fitzpatrick led most of the way only to see Brandon Watson win once again. After racing was over in tech, four out of the top five cars were DQ’d and Fitzpatrick was the winner. This one will be a very exciting one that you don’t want to miss!!
Pits open at 2pm, front grandstands at 4pm with racing getting underway at 6pm. The McClurkin Properties Pure Stocks and the Klotz Auto Reair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks are also on hand. Check all the details at www.flamboospeedway.ca