FRASERVILLE, ON – The curtain is about to close on Kawartha Speedway’s 2012 campaign, but before it does fans are in store for some of the most exciting action in the Fraserville, Ontario oval’s history. Friday, August 24th drivers in each of the track’s regular divisions took a step toward securing their first ever track championships and everyone looked to gain as many positions as possible to move-up in the standings.
On the second last night of the schedule, the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model qualifying heats were shared by Ryan Kimball and Linc Brown. Howie Crowe and 2006 track champion Donny Beatty took the opening round
of Thunder Car action, with point leader Daryl Fice and Brad Martin claiming victories in the Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock preliminaries. Brown, Chad Strawn and Martin picked-up the respective Late Model, Thunder Car and Mini Stock semi features. Mike Wallace and Ross Evans secured their feature race starting positions with wins in the Late Model and Thunder Car consolation events.
15 Thunder Car teams came to the line for their final 50 lap feature of the year, with the heads-up start landing heat race winners Crowe and Beatty on the front row. The first green flag segment of the race was short-lived when Ross Evans spun to bring out the yellow flag. Another caution reduced the race pace when Steve Mayhew and Anthony DiBello came together on the front stretch. Mayhew continued under his own power, while DiBello’s night was finished after some heavy contact with the wall.
After the second slow-down, the race took on a green flag run for the final laps. Kyle Donaldson, the 2009 Thunder Car track champion was making another late season start in a car from the Crowe Brothers’ stable and picked-up his first win of the season. His car owner Howie Crowe was second followed by Beatty and current point Matt Spence. Dan Price grabbed 5th place after a spirited battle for the position with Chad Strawn.
Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock racers took to the 3/8th miler for their 20 lap feature with Alex Lees and Fice bringing the pack to the line. Although Kawartha’s entry level division has been famous for their caution free events, the yellow flag came out early when youngsters Brandt Graham and Cole McFadden made contact on the backstretch before there was even one lap complete. Just a few laps later, Kyle McCabe erupted an engine in his #28 Honda as the field was coming through the 3rd and 4th turns.
As the Thunder Cars had done in their feature, the Mini Stockers quickly put the early yellow flags in the past and ran the rest of the event caution-free. After a couple of rough weeks that knocked him back in the point chase, Brad Martin has been looking to make up for lost time. Although he started last on the grid, the driver of the #53 mounted his best charge to the front. Unfortunately, the Plainville, Ontario racer ran out of laps in his quest to snatch the win from Daryl Fice. Alex Lees, Michael Batchelor and Rob Flindall completed the top 5.
The battle for this year’s NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model crown saw 3 drivers just 38 points apart coming into a night where every position paid double track points. Ryan Kimball, who entered the show 3rd in the standings and Linc Brown rolled from the 4th turn staging area for the start of the 25 lap ‘A’ main. After running the full race distance without a yellow flag, it still took 2 scorers, a race director and the starter to call Ryan Kimball the race winner. The Norwood, Ontario racer – the 2002 Thunder Car track champion – fought tooth and nail with Dan McHattie for his first career Late Model win. Linc Brown, Bryan Mercer and Dwight Brown claimed the remaining top 5 spots.
Kawartha klips: Matt Haufe (with a pair), Kevin Foisy and Brian Saunders won the Ontario Legends’ qualifying heats. Foisy captured his 2nd feature in 2 Kawartha starts…Delaware Speedway regular Darrell Lake and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park runner Anthony DiBello joined the Thunder Car field for their 50 lap feature…For the 3rd time in as many weeks, engine troubles kept Orono, Ontario’s Danny Benedict out of the Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock starting line-up…NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model drivers Dan McHattie, Bryan Mercer and Ryan Kimball will spend Wednesday, August 29th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. The trio has been selected to represent Kawartha Speedway at a test session for the 2012 edition of the American-Canadian Tour Invitational, taking place September 22nd.
After another week off, the final point night for the season is Friday, September 7th. In addition to the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Models, Thunder Cars and Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stocks, the show will also feature the 75 lap Don Biederman Memorial Event for OSCAAR Super Late Models, the OSCAAR Modifieds and the Ontario Legends.
Gates will open at 3:00, with practice sessions beginning a half-hour later. Racing will start at 6:00. For complete details and the latest track news, see www.kawarthaspeedway.com.
By Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications