@CanAmMidgets •@Sunset_Speedway • Stroud, ON (September 26, 2016)- Veteran racer Rob Neely took the win Saturday night as a previously rained out feature race on July 9 was run as the first race on the card for the Velocity Weekend at Sunset Speedway. Taking the lead from Jeff Blackburn on lap six Neely cruised to the win.
Thanking car owner Ken Lorenz, Neely said “We broke a torsion bar in practice and after the fix the car was great. This is my 10th year driving for Ken and we have forged a friendship that will last a lifetime. I want to thank Lucas Oil for all their support of this Club and my daughter Kaitlin for being my good luck charm here tonight.”
Blackburn took the lead from his pole starting spot as the field went green for the 25 lap feature race. James Marche was second followed by Barry Dunn and Adam Racine. Neely rounded out the top five. Neely passed Racine and Dunn one lap later. DeMan motored around Racine for fifth place. Neely passed Marche for second and set his sites on Blackburn.
With five laps in and Blackburn in the lead, the first caution came out as Ryan Fraser spun in turn one. At the restart Neely took over the lead as Dunn battled with DeMan. Darren McLennan was now in 5th place. Neely opened up a sizable lead over the field with Blackburn holding onto second. A strong running Dunn held off DeMan. McLennan now had Dryden on his tail fighting for the fifth spot.
With 10 laps in Neely held his lead over Blackburn. Dunn and DeMan now had Dryden in the mix. Dunn began to fall back and DeMan took over third. Dryden made one quick move and passed DeMan for third place. Neely continued his lead over Blackburn while Dryden and DeMan continued to fight for third place. Stahle was now in the top five. One lap later Stahle passed DeMan for 4th. A caution came out on lap 18 as James Marche spun in turn 2. Neely continued his command at the restart with Dryden now in second. DeMan was third with Blackburn 4th and Darren McLennan rounding the top five.
With five laps to go Neely held a strong lead over Dryden as Blackburn battled with McLennan and DeMan. As the checkered flag waved, Neely took the win with Dryden, Blackburn, McLennan and DeMan in the top five.
Final finish for the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets at Sunset Speedway (rained out race from July 9th) is…1. ROB NEELY, 2. Darren Dryden, 3, Jeff Blackburn, 4. Darren McLennan, 5. Mack DeMan, 6. Adrian Stahle, 7. Ryan Fraser, 8. Barry Dunn, 9. Adam Racine, 10. Todd Cresswell. 11. James Marche, 12. Steven Murdock.
Facing two features races with the points chase very close, Mack DeMan sealed the deal with a win on Saturday night as the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets ran the Fall Velocity Show at Sunset Speedway. The first race of the night was a rained out feature from July 9 and Rob Neely took home the checkered flag. DeMan finished fifth and had the final feature race of the season to go to win his fourth consecutive Championship. With 21 points now separating DeMan and Darren McLennan, it would come down to a good finish and some good luck to bring home the winners trophy. Car owner Andy Mackereth was on hand to aid in the setup and also jumped into the backup car to run the race. Taking his fourth Championship in a row he tied Keith Dempster’s run of wins from 1992-95. Dempster won three more championships, setting the bar very high for future racers.
DeMan was awarded the annual ‘Harry Macy Memorial Race Trophy’ along with the winner’s trophy in Victory Lane.
‘I want to thank my parents, Andy Mackereth and Lucas Oil for all their help and support, said DeMan. This championship is a team effort all season long. I also want to thank McColl Racing Enterprises for sponsoring this race tonight. And to all the fans here tonight, thanks for coming out. I hope you enjoyed the show.”
Steven Murdock was on pole for the start with Ryan Fraser on the outside. DeMan was starting third and McLennan was right behind Adrian Stahle for 5th. As the field headed into turn one at the start, Neely and McLennan made contact and Jeff Blackburn and Paul Rhodes were involved. Neely went out with a broken torsion bar and McLennan, Blackburn and Rhodes went to the back of the field for the restart.
As the green flag was thrown for the restart, Fraser grabbed the lead with Murdock second and DeMan in third. Stahle remained in fourth place as Adam Racine, driving for Cliff Walsh was in the top five. Stahle powered around Murdock and DeMan for second as Fraser was strong at the point. DeMan wasted no time getting around Murdock and the top three were now in a bunch. Lap after lap Fraser managed to keep out front as Stahle and DeMan tried the inside line or outside to get the edge. Murdock was in fourth with James Marche hanging onto fifth. Darren Dryden, starting 13th, was quickly coming thru the field, now up to sixth place.
With ten laps in Fraser remained at the top with Stahle and DeMan surrounding him. Murdock was just behind the leaders and Dryden was now in the top five. At the halfway point DeMan broke free from Stahle and took over second place as Fraser stayed in front. Stahle, now had Dryden knocking on his door as Murdock saw McLennan closing in for fifth place.
A caution came out on lap 17 for a spin in turn 2 by James Marche. Fraser again took the lead at the restart but DeMan was right by his side. Two laps later DeMan took over the lead from Fraser and set his sites on the championship. Stahle had a battle with Dryden for third as McLennan was on Dryden’s tail. With two to go, Blackburn spun in turn 3 bringing out the caution. With one last restart DeMan shot to the front as Fraser stayed close behind. DeMan saw the checkered flag ahead and took the win and the 2016 Lucas Oil Can-Am Midget Championship. Fraser was second followed by Stahle, Dryden and McLennan. Heats were won by McLennan and Fraser.
Final finish of the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity Weekend is…1. MACK DEMAN, 2. Ryan Fraser, 3. Adrian Stahle, 4. Darren Dryden, 5. Darren McLennan, 6. Barry Dunn, 7. Steven Murdock, 8. James Marche, 9. Adam Racine, 10. Andy Mackereth, 11. Todd Cresswell, 12. Paul Rhodes (R), 13. Jeff Blackburn, 14. Rob Neely, DNS..Cory Whittam (R).
Top Ten in Final Driver Points for the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets as of September 24, 2016 are...1.MACK DEMAN…2344, 2. Darren McLennan…2299, 3. Darren Dryden…2259, 4. Adrian Stahle…2235, 5. Ryan Fraser…2225, 6. Rob Neely…2213, 7. Steven Murdock…2073, 8. Barry Dunn…1979, 9. James Marche…1708 10. Jeff Blackburn…1615.
Congratulations to the 2016 Lucas Oil Can-Am Midget Champion Mack DeMan and to all the other drivers and car owners for a successful 51st year!