@Merrittville • (August 23, 2015) THOROLD, ONTARIO – Ridgeway’s Gary Lindberg began his night carrying a sign on his race car that had Amanda Leard proposing to Corey Von Ryan. It ended with the Ridgeway driver carrying home his second Gabe Bellante Memorial Trophy after winning the David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Finale and the Mini-Series Title for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division.
The Pen Centre Night’s Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also had Jason Coutu of St. Catharines, Dave Bailey of Hagersville, Jeff May of Mount Hope and Billy Dunn of Watertown NY visit Victory Lane in the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder, Hoosier Stocks, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Modified Lites and Pinty’s 358 Modified Divisions.
“We’ve had a good season – none of it wouldn’t be possible without my crew and sponsors,” said Gary Lindberg in Victory Lane for the eighth time of the season, “we won this race last year … it’s cool to win it again for Rick (Bellante) in memory of his dad Gabe!”
Austin Wood set the pace at the start of the 40 lap Gabe Bellante Memorial before the field was slowed right away without one lap complete. Back to the original start it was Wood back in control with the race for second three wide with another caution as Rob Knapp slowed off the backstretch. With Wood back out front, the race for second was between Brad Rouse and Gary Lindberg.
Crossing the start finish line to start Lap 6 Lindberg edged ahead of Wood for the lead with caution slowing the pace on Lap 8. Wood was back out fromt when racing resumed until Lindberg took control with caution once again on Lap 11.
Just before the caution, Cody McPherson took over second with Lindberg out front when the race went back to green. Down the front stretch of Lap 16, contact between Wood and Chad Chevalier sent the field scurrying to avoid the slowing cars with Chevalier spinning into to the infield.
Lindberg resumed the lead on the restart and just as he was about to come into lap traffic – caution would again slow the field on Lap 24. Out front once again Lindberg opened up almost a quarter lap lead on the field.
Despite increasing lap traffic in the closing laps, Lindberg would maintain that advantage over McPherson with Brad Rouse, Jay Mallory and Brent Begolo as the top five.
The answer to Leard’s question earlier in the night – Corey said YES! Lindberg had one last job to do at the close of the night – pick four drivers that finished from sixth on back who would each receive a right rear Hoosier Tire provided by Wood & Company Property Maintenance.
The four drivers picked via a draw of finishing positions – Chris Storm, (9th), Ray Hockridge (19th). Zach Sam (20th) and Tom Richau (24th).
On behalf of the starting field, Merrittville Speedway would like to thank Rick Bellante for adding $1,200 to the purse and Chris Wood for the tires.
The three- race David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Point Standings ended up in a tie for top spot between Lindberg and Brad Rouse and was decided following DIRTcar Rules.
“I knew the points leaders would be giving their all,” said Jason Coutu after winning his fourth Feature of the Season, “I’m just out for some fun but I knew I had to make my move.”
Jay Moulton was first to lead the 15 lap 4 Cylinder Feature with Sam Iftody challenging right away with Kyle Rothwell joining in making it three wide. Rothwell would slow off Turn 4 on Lap 4 slowing the field.
Iftody would become the new leader on the restart with Jason Coutu joining the front-runners and taking the lead down the back stretch of Lap 5.
Once out front, Coutu would drive away to a comfortable lead ahead of Tyler Lafantaisie and Rob Goulding who had landed in second and third.
At the Checkered flag Coutu would enjoy a lead of some 10 car lengths ahead of Lafantaisie and Goulding with Mike Sadusek and Kyle Haynes as the top five.
“You know you’re doing something right when you beat Mark (Fawcett),” said three time Hoosier Stock Feature Winner Dave Bailey, “I’d like to pass him someday … we’ve won here three times but can’t go back to back.”
Kyle Pelrine was first to lead the 20 lap Feature with the battle for top spot quickly seeing Dave Bailey and Mark Fawcett joining in. Bailey would take over top spot with Fawcett following into second.
By lLap 5, Billy Bleich was in third spot with the three holding a comfortable lead over Kevin Knapp and Jim Lampman battling to close out the top five.
By lap 15, Fawcett closed in on the leader through lap traffic with the point leader coming up on the race leader’s rear bumper.
One final chance came for Fawcett on the final lap but at the checkered flag – it was Bailey by a few feet ahead of Fawcett. Bleich would finish third with Lampman and Pelrine closing out the top five.
“Dylan was running really good – I didn’t know if I had anything for him,” said Jeff May in Modified Lite Victory Lane for the second time, “I’ve had some issues the last few weeks but it looks like I have them sorted out.”
Dean Pronovost and Dylan Davidson led the field to the initial green flag with Davidson in control the first time down the backstretch.
Davidson’s pace would be slowed for the first time on Lap 2 after Kellie Mason came to a stop in Turn 2.
Davidson set the pace on the restart with Jeff May taking second spot from Steven Beckett. Around the halfway point May would close in on the leader with Josh Sliter sitting in third.
Down the backstretch of Lap 12, May would drive under Davidson taking over top spot with Sliter following to take second. At the finish, May, Sliter and Davidson were followed by Rob Misener and Jamie Gilbert.
“In hot laps … I wasn’t very good,” relayed Billy Dunn after winning his third Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Feature of the season, “me made some changes and the car really came to life in the first 10 or 15 laps. Towards the end though I wasn’t any better than lap traffic.”
Todd Gordon was first to lead the 35 lap Modified Feature with the pace slowed before everyone was through Turn 1 after Fred Cade got his car out of shape but was avoided by the field with Chris Bellamy stalled in Turn 1.
Gordon resumed control when racing resumed before Tyler McPherson became the new leader on Lap 2. Carleton made some unfortunate contact with the guardrail between Turns 3 and 4 slowing the field once again on Lap 4. McPherson set the pace on the restart with Billy Dunn as the new challenger.
Dunn would take over top spot on Lap 5 and would pull away from the race for second with McPherson being challenged by Scott Wood.
By Lap 12 Dunn would open up a lead of a straightaway ahead of Wood and the field. By halfway – the slower cars weren’t slowing the leader down as he was stretching his lead.
At the finish, Dunn’s margin of victory was some 4.5 seconds ahead of Wood with Tim Jones making a late race charge to finish third. McPherson settled for fourth spot with Mike Bowman fifth.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Meridian Credit Union will present a five Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event with the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division in the spotlight once again in the Sterling Sliver Feature presented by former racer Ken Walsh that honors Bill Willard Senior.
The Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office opens at 5:30 and Show Time is 7:00.
To reach Merrittville Speedway call 905-892-8266 or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold Ontario.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 64th Consecutive Season in 2015 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Become a fan of Merrittville Speedway on Face Book at www.facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Merrittville
David Chevrolet King of the Crate Series Finale – Gabe Bellante Memorial for the RICK’S DELIVERY SPORTSMAN FEATURE (40 laps) Gary Lindberg, Cody McPherson, Brad Rouse, Jay Mallory, Brent Begolo, Paul Gaboury, James Friesen, Austin Wood, Joey Mastroianni, Jason Moore, Jordan Cosco, Justin Sharp, Chris Storm, Gord McIntosh, Ryan Hunsinger, Paul Williamson, Derick Hodge, Charlie Lynch, Ray Hockridge, Zach Sam, Chad Chevalier, John Babion, Mike Beyore, Tom Richau, Rob Knapp.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Dave Bailey, Mark Fawcett, Billy Bleich, Jim Lampman, Kyle Petrine, Kevin Knapp, Chris Schneider, Lane Zardo, Ed McLean, James Marr.
VAN RAINE CONSTRUCTION 4 CYLINDER FEATURE (15 laps) Jason Coutu, Tyler Lafantaisie, Rob Goulding, Mike Sadusek, Kyle Haynes, Evan Curtis, Sam Iftody, Jay Moulton, Brian Teeple, Gary Hodasun, Jeremy Smith, Kourtney Kocarik, Mike Giberson, Trevor Young, Alex Riley, Jeffrey Larmet, Kyle Rothwell, Adam Hallett, Vincent Pagnotta.
REV’s FULL THROTTLE POWERSPORTS TUSA MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Jeff May, Josh Sliter, Dylan Davidson, Rob Misener, Jamie Gilbert, Steven Beckett, Shawn Sliter, RJ Pietz, Dean Pronovost, Ray Sliter Jr., Kellie Mason.
PINTY’S DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Billy Dunn, Scott Wood, Tim Jones, Tyler McPherson, Mike Bowman, Erick Rudolph, Mat Williamson, Bill Bleich, Pete Bicknell, Tommy Flannigan, Chad Brachmann, Fred Carleton, Todd Gordon, Boyd MacTavish, Mark D’Ilario, Dave Flannigan Jr., Dennis Giancola, Travis Miller, Chris Bellamy, Rick Hoctor, Randy Chrysler.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2015 64th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Rick’s Delivery, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports, Hoosier Tire Canada and Van Raine Construction and Contingency Partners http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/contingency.html in addition to many marketing partners. Visit them at http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services.
Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry featuring a premium line of oils, greases and problem-solving additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top selling additive in the industry. Race fans can look for Lucas Oil Products at their favourite automotive retailer or maintenance center including KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage.
From: Jim Irvine/ Assistant General Manager- Merrittville Speedway