@Merrittville •September 12, 2016 THOROLD, ONTARIO – It seemed only fitting that former Street Stock Racer Neil Martens of closed out Merrittville Speedway’s 65th Anniversary Season in winning the 100 lap Ballhockey.com Enduro accelerated by Niagara College Sunday September 11th.
“No back flip for me,” said Martens after jumping off the roof of his #19 Enduro Car of a move NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Carl Edwards is known for when putting his own #19 in Victory Lane, “if anyone in the stands is thinking you can’t do this … anyone can – and it is so much fun … and look at my car … hardly a scratch on it … it’s still got the bumper covers even – I haven’t won anything here since a Demo Derby back in the day!”
With Saturday Night’s 50 lap event rained out for the Hoosier Stocks … current Duel on the Dirt Point Leader Pete Reid would get his home track Duel on the Dirt, taking the initial lead at the start of the 73 car 100 lap Event.
It also seemed only fitting that a name from Merrittville’s history would play a part in the finale as Curtis Friesen , (grandson of former track co-owner and L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Famer Stan Friesen) would take over top spot on lap two.
With Friesen and Reid battling for top spot – the two would almost put Martens a lap down and just as Reid regained top spot – Martens was saved by the first red flag.
Reid would the pace on the restart but would make contact with several slower cars but would maintain top spot over Friesen. After another red flag however, Reid would be sitting behind the honorary Pace Truck with a flat left front tire.
Once Theo Curvin – who drivers the regular Thorold Auto Parts Pace Truck during Saturday Night’s Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Events took the field back to green, Reid was forced to pit for a new tire.
Once racing resumed it appeared that the battle for top spot was between two of the summer’s Enduro Quailifier Winners.
Nick Masi who won May 21st’s Pen Centre and Premier Equipment Qualifier and Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder regular Jason Coutu who won Saturday Jume 25th’s Cotton Inc Canada Day Qualifier were in P! and P2.
Coutu would take over top spot with action through the field four and five wide. Masi would take to the extreme outside of the widened race track trying to avoid slower cars. A move that would see him take back top spot until Mark West who started 12th appeared to become the new leader.
Another red would stop the event after former racer Norm Mark’s # 9 developed a small fire between Turns 3 and 4. The driver was ok but unfortunately the car was done for the afternnon.
After the restart, Friesen the former leader got involved in a multi-car incident in front of the Turn 1 Insta-Insulation Lap Counter but was able to continue. Qucikly the race was stopped once again after another group of cars came together in almost the same location.
The restart found West and Martens as the two front-runners racing through debris and slower cars for top spot. West was forced to come to a dead stop in front of the Pepsi Billboard to avoid a stranded car.
With West losing several spots – the new leaders unofficially were Masi and Martens once again.
With Masi out front with less than twenty laps to go – would he become the first Qualifier Winner to go on to win the 100 and take home a $500 Bonus from Niagara College?
That question would be answered on lap 86 after Masi made heavy contact with a stranded car in Turn 1 bringing out the final red flag.
On a Saturday Night, race fans can look to the Lucas Oil Live Leaderboard for the Top 5 but once timing and scoring confirmed the results – Martens was followed by West, Tim Zack, former Merrittville Pit Steward Rick Agnew and Shawn Feder.
With no $500 Winner – the early registered drivers that won back their $50 Registrations were Reid, Martens, Lorenzo Mazzuca, Syme den Hollander, Greg Hendricks, Jake den Hollander, Greg Murre, Kenny Hair, Braydon Gordon and Billy Smith.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
The Ballhockey.com Enduro by Niagara College brings the 2016 Season to a close.
Race Teams and fans alike wishing to purchase Tickets for either the Stock Car or Kart Awards Banquets at Club Castropignano, November 26th and 27th should contact the Speedway Office at 905-892-8266 or via e mail – email@example.com. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold Ontario.
For all the news leading up to Merrittville Speedway’s 66th Consecutive Season in 2017 – 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
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2016 65th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions was 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.
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