HAMILTON, ON – After experiencing such great weather all season long, the good luck finally came to and end this past weekend as Mother Nature won out out over racing and the program was postponed until Sunday afternoon at Flamboro Speedway.
The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup series presented by Meinike Car Care Centers were on hand for the second of their four 100 lap race events this season. Also on the schedule, Round Three of the Flamboro/Delaware Six Pack Challenge for Thunder Cars. The Mini Stocks were on hand as well Sunday but due to scheduling conflicts the Ontario Pro Challenge and Canadian Vintage Modifieds were unable to make the Sunday program.
The afternoon got underway with Time Trials after showers from the early afternoon had passed and the track was dry.
A field of twenty one Thunder Cars were first to qualify. Dave Bailey, Shae Gemmell, Branden Verhoeven and Brad Collison all took turns setting the fast time but Shawn Chenoweth would prove to be the fastest on this day with a time of 16.967. Chenoweth would be the only Thunder Car to get below 17 seconds and he would go into the afternoon leading Shae Gemmell of Delaware Speedway by just four points, 391 to 387.
The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup series followed the Thunder Cars with fourteen cars ready to see who could crack into the ‘Fast Five’ draw.
Tim Tolton set the fast time early at 17.040 but several cars would crack the 16 second mark including Josh Wood, Brennan Didero and current points leader Kevin Allen. The final two cars would show that the best was saved until last as Jake Ott set the fast time to that point at 16.716. Last car on the track was Shawn McGlynn. His first lap set the fast time but he went a bit faster on lap two and set the fast time of the day at 16.538 to complete qualifying and head right into a short session of heat races, just two for the Mini Stocks.
Ken Stenhouse and Russ Aicken took the checkered flags in the ten lap qualifiers and we would head directly into the first 25 lap Thunder Car feature.
The top two times in qualifying went to a couple of Flamboro regulars, Shawn Chenoweth of Plattsville and Brad Collison of Cambridge, sponsored by London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas. Collison led lap one but his teammate Chenoweth took over and wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the the next 25 laps. As Chenoweth increased his lead, the real battle was for second through fourth as “The Ice Man’ Brad Collison battled hard the entire race with Verhoeven and “The Flying Farmer” Kevin Gallant. The top five at the checkered flag were, Chenoweth, Collison, Verhoeven, Gallant and Kevin Albers.
The Mini Stocks made a quick turnaround and took to the track for their 25 lap main event.
Last week’s feature winner Darren Dryden was missing from this week’s lineup. Nice to see Scott Simmons, Rich Schwartzenburg and Billy Schwartzenberg back for the afternoon. Billy has been tearing up tracks around the province in his #86 Spira Mustang but on this day would take out the #2 of Mark Dennis. A couple of young guns were on the point as Jake Gilbert and Hudson Nagy led the field to green. Nagy has been having a strong rookie season, led for the first 11 laps. The two cars most people are watching these days because of their weekly battles, Mike Holmes in the #13 and Russ Aicken in the #71 made their way to the front quick. Holmes started sixth and Aicken started at the back in 14th place. On lap 12, Holmes who resides in London, Ontario, made it past the young Nagy and would hold off the field to pick up another feature win. Aicken made his way through the field and ended up finishing third behind Scott Simmons.
It was intermission time and the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup cars lined up on the front straight.
The ‘Fast Five’ drivers were paired with a young fan and would make the draw to see where they would start the 100 lap feature. The top five qualifiers were Shawn McGlynn, Jake “The Juice Box” Ott, Josh Wood, Brennan Didero and Kevin Allen. The draw would shake things up and after the draw the front five went, Josh Wood, Brennan Didero, Jake Ott, Shawn McGlynn and Kevin Allen.
The green flag flew and early on it appeared the Ott would be in some trouble. He got mixed up with another car and fell back to almost mid pack. He would battle his way back all night however as the race continued. After that early near mishap, the race ran clean and we had 70 laps of continuous green flag racing. That streak was broken as the #70 of Ben Charbonneau went around in turn four.
By this time McGlynn had built up a healthy lead, losing some of his closest competitors in lapped traffic. As McGlynn was distancing himself, the real battle was for second through fourth as Didero, Allen and Ott made it interesting.
Another caution on lap 95 as the #18 of Chad McGlynn spun in turn four. Cautions seemed to breed cautions as on the restart the yellow cam out once again as a chain reaction incident heading into turn three collected several cars including points leader Kevin Allen. The car that seemed to benefit most was the #60 of Jake Ott as he avoided the mess and moved into second place. Two laps later another caution would set up a green-white-checker race to the finish.
As the cars took the checkered flag, Shawn McGlynn of Kitchener, Ontario came home first followed by Ott, Didero, Dave Connelly and Mike Nelson.
The final feature of the night was the second 25 lap race for the Thunder Car Challenge. All lead lap cars from the first feature were inverted so that meant Steve Perry and Dave Bailey would start on the point for this one.
The race went clean for the first 18 laps but on the 19th trip around the front two cars of Perry and Shawn Arnott got a bit squirrely and the field piled up behind them. Nine cars were involved in this mess bringing out an extended caution. Seven of the top eight cars were now at or near the back. Jordan Lawrence of Delaware Speedway found himself in the top spot as he managed to avoid the wreck. Lawrence wasn’t so lucky the last trip in to Flamboro as a similar crash in turn two saw Lawrence go off on the back of a tow truck.
As the cars took the green with five laps to go Lawrence, in enemy territory had to hold off former Flamboro Thunder Car champion “Killer” Kevin Albers. Albers battled Lawrence hard but wasn’t able to complete the pass and Lawrence came across first. It was the first ever Thunder Car/Super Stock feature event win for the 18 year old London resident.
Albers came home second followed by Steve Cashmore, Shawn Chenoweth and Dave Bailey completed the top five. As the numbers were tallied for the two 25 lap features on the night, Shawn Chenoweth was the overall winner, holding onto his points lead in the series.
By Randy Spencer / Flamboro Speedway