FREELTON, ON – After three weeks away the Grisdale Late Models made their return to Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway.
They were joined by the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks, the Pro Four Modifieds and Budget Tire Pure Stocks. Also in town was the Ontario Pro Challenge series, making their second appearance of 2017. I would like to welcome Budget Tire located at 646 Parkdale Ave in Hamilton as the new sponsor of the Pure Stock division.
GALLERY: JULY 8 BY DEREK SMITH / WWW.RACEPULSE.COM
The Pro Challenge were up first for the first of two, ten lap heat races. All twelve cars lined up for the first green of the night with Larry Majeury and Tim Shanahan on the pole. Majeury would lead lap one and with in a few laps the 8 of Peter Hattin was the new leader. He would build a nice lead but Tim Norris who has made a habit of being in victory lane over the years at Flamboro soon closed the gap. A caution on lap seven as Steve Garrey and Kyle Batty spun in two. Hattin got off to a quick start as the green flew and would hold off Norris to take the first checkered flag of the night.
The Pure Stocks were next. One of the tightest points races this year is in this division. Dog Moir is first with 844, Mark Thorne is next with 842 and Courtney Scott is third with 821. Chris Pendlebury and Courtney Scott were out front. Scott led lap one. An early caution as Matt Fraser and Leo Labarbera got involved in turn three. Labarbera had some damage to the right front wheel and his night was done. Scott continued to lead and the 78 of Clinton Kerkhof was gaining. He made a race of it, was right on the bumper of the 10 car but Courtney managed to hold Kerkhof and points leader Doug Moir.
The Pro Four Modifieds hit the track next and it looked like a game of musical chairs. Some new faces and a couple new ones and they were in different cars. David Owen was in the 9, Jen Westwood in the 91, Larry Westwood in the 93 and Brian Nanticoke in the 68. Gillian Hils and Dan Nanticoke led the field to green. Nanticoke got out to a nice lead with Mark Lucas and Brian Nanticoke battling hard for second and third. Lucas got by Nanticoke on lap six but couldn’t catch Dan and he would pick up the win.
The Super Stocks hit the track next. Anticipation was building for this one as a heated exchange in the pits after the race last week was sure to carry over. Nice to see Brad Collison back in the 13. Shawn Arnott and Chris Howse were on the pole. Arnott led lap one. Although drivers were told to show some respect on the track cars traded paint early. Arnott and Howse made contact through 1-2 on lap two. A caution on lap two flew as Arnott was spilling fuel. On the restart Howse was the leader. A few lap later through 3-4 Brandon McFerran took the lead. It was short lived as Nick Troback was the leader the next time by. As the cars took the checkers it was Troback followed by McFerran and Howse.
The Late Models were next with twelve cars set to take the green. Andy Kamrath was lined up beside Billy Schwartzenberg. Kamrath was the early leader as he Schwartzenberg and Chad Corcoran broke away from the field. Shawn Chenoweth started ninth and he was like a cork in a bottle. He was boxed in and when he finally got by he made his way and caught the lead pack. Kamrath continued to lead and the battle was for second and third. With four laps to go Corcoran got by Schwartzenberg and as the checkers flew it was Kamrath first followed by Corcoran and Schwartzenberg.
The last race before intermission was the second heat for the Ontario Pro Challenge. Dean Pronovost and Steve Garrey were on the pole. Garrey led early on and was battling Ken Lillycrop. Tim Norris moved to second and was doing his best to catch Garrey but he couldn’t make the pass and Garrey was the winner.
After intermission the Pure Stocks were first for their second feature of the night. Paul Ditner and Chris Pendlebury led the field to green. Mark Thorne started outside of row two but he was the leader the first time by. Doug Moir was on Thorne’s bumper and the two started to break from the pack. On lap four heading down the back stretch Moir made his way past Thorne to take the lead. But Thorne wouldn’t let it go that easy and he took the lead back down the front stretch. The two would trade the lead back and forth for a few laps. Thorne, Moir, Ross Winters, Eric Crow and Clinton Kerkhof would all be in the mix and ran nose to tail. On lap 17, Kerkhof made his move and was the new leader through 3-4 with Moir back to second and Thorne third. At the checkers that’s the way they would finish.
The Pro Fours were next with Gillian Hils and David Owen on the pole. Hils led lap one. She would hold the lead until lap seven when Dan Naticoke made the pass through 3-4 and was the new leader. He was checked out and gone and won by a big margin.
The Super Stocks were next with Brad Collison and Chris Howse out front. Howse was the leader on lap one. Collison would be the leader the next time by and Howse was quickly back to fifth. Brandon McFerran got by Collison as the cars crossed the start finish line heading into one on lap seven. The next time by Collison and Howse were into each other. These two had an incident back at the start of the season and once again came together. Collison bounced off Howse and was unable to stop before hitting the right front into the wall just past the line. The remainder of the race was caution free as McFerran held off Arnott and Troback to take the win.
The Late Models hit the track for their second thirty lap feature of the night. Jeff Ruddy and Bill Pearsall led the cars to green. Ruddy led lap one and stretched the lead early. Shawn Chenoweth started sixth but was soon up to second and would challenge Ruddy for the lead. A caution for debris on the back stretch but the cars back to even and on the restart Chenoweth shot out to the lead. A caution a few laps later heading into turn one as Ruddy was around. A few cars spun to avoid and in doing so the 63 of Hudson Nagy had something break in the rear end and his axel broke. On the restart it was Chenoweth leading once again and as the checkers flew he made it a clean sweep for London Recreational Racing in Late Model features on this night.
The last race of the night was the thirty lap feature for the Ontario Pro Challenge. Tim Shanahan and Tim Batty were pole. Batty led lap one and would lead for several laps. Tim Norris started eleventh but by lap 11 was up on the leaders bumper. Rick Seeley blew an engine heading down the front stretch and oil was spilled right around to the exit. One car the 4 of Steve Garrey hit the oil and spun but managed to avoid hitting the wall. That brought a caution and eventually the red as track clean up staff cleaned up the mess. On the restart it was Norris to the front and he built a nice lead over Peter Hattin and Dean Pronovost and as the final checkers of the night flew it was Norris followed by Hattin and Pronovost.
That brought to a close a very entertaining evening of racing. Thanks to all the fans for coming out tonight and to the group down in our turn one “Chalet”, The Micro Pro Sienna Treated Wood group, one of the sponsors of the Ontario Pro Challenge series. Please make plans to join us next week, Saturday, July 15th for the London Recreational Racing 100 with the APC United Late Model series race as the headline attraction. They will be joined by the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks, the Klotz Auto Repair and Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks and the Budget Tire Pure Stocks. Pits open at 2pm, Front Grandstands at 5pm with racing starting at 6pm. Check the website for all the details, points standings, stories and so much more, www.flamborospeedway.ca.