(Bowmanville, ON) – The chase for the 2013 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup headed into the second half of the season Saturday night at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway. For the drivers in attendance, it would be their final outing on the track, which his scheduled for demolition at the end of the month, and many of them felt it would be special to win the track’s final major event.
The evening started with qualifying, and Amanda Connolly (#16) of Aurora, set the fast time early, before Jake ‘The Juicebox’ Ott climbed to the top of the speed chart halfway through the session. Those times held up until the last four qualifiers hit the track. Josh Wood (#66) of London, laid down a lap of 23.05, before Johnathan Schwemler (#45) of Montreal, stopped the clock at 23.09 seconds to move to second. Defending series champion Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, was up next and ripped off a lap of 22.88 seconds to extend his point lead over Wood heading into the feature.
During the Lucas Oil Fast Five draw Ott pulled the pole position with Wood on the outside of the front row. The pair ran the first lap side-by-side for the lead, with Josh showing the way on lap one, but the second lap Ott was able to move to the front and take command. During an early race restart, Schmemler was able to lead a lap, before Ott passed him back. One restart later it was Wood who was on the charge, take the lead from ‘The Juicebox’ on lap 13
McGlynn had patiently picked his way through a couple of cars and went on the attack, passing Wood on lap 19 to take the lead. The race saw a number of yellow flags, and on each restart, McGlynn was able to pull away, stretching his advantage out to as much as a half straightaway during one green flag run.
Meanwhile, behind him, it was Connolly and Wood who were waging a tremendous race for second on every restart, swapping the position a number of times throughout the night.
Connolly had one last chance on a lap 96 restart, but was unable to mount a rally against the point leader. Ironically, it was the same 1-2 finishing order as the 2012 event. Wood finished a close third. Ott rallied back from a mid-race pit stop to finish fourth, while Schwemler posted his second career top-five finish, both coming in the last pair of events.
McGlynn spoke about his second win of the season, “We just had a great car all night, and I figured out one thing that has been wrong on the car for the past year and a half, and I don’t think I’m going to have to drive the car so hard anymore. We were really able to come off the bottom tonight, and were strong on restarts, but on the second last yellow, if felt like we might have a tire going down and the car was going to go away, but I guess you worry about everything when you’re leading. We were a little worried about Amanda because she has so much experience here. She almost beat us here last year, and I figured that if we could get her, we had them covered. Josh was strong as well, and they both raced us clean.”
Connolly spoke about her final event at one of two tracks where she racked an extensive amount of experience on her way through the ranks to the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup, “We really wanted to win the last big race here at Mosport, but we’re super pleased with our finish. Shawn was fast, and on the restarts he was able to get away. During the one long green-flag run after a few laps, I’m not sure that he was pulling away, but at least staying even. We had our work cut out racing for second, and we battled Josh all night long and I’ve said this before, he’s one of my favorite guys to race because he races you hard and clean.”
With the third-place finish, Wood was able to take a stranglehold on second in the standings, but finds himself 27 points behind McGlynn. He spoke about his podium finish, “All those yellows were starting to wear on me, but we probably had a third-place car in the end. We ran clean and had a solid finish, and we can do some working on getting the car fast for Peterborough as opposed to fixing it. We lost a little to McGlynn in points, but gained on Prudhomme.”
Standings after 2 of 8 events – 1. McGlynn (521 points), 2. Wood (494), 3. Ott (479), 4. Prudhomme (472), 5. Schwemler (458).
The series will have a number of weeks off before heading to Peterborough for their annual trip around ‘Canada’s Fastest 1/3rd-mile’ on August 10th. It will be the series first visit to the facility since 2011, as last year’s event was cancelled because of weather. Among the favorites will be former event winners McGlynn and Dan Prudhomme (#96), as well as Wood who has been strong at the oval in the past, and a contender every time out in 2013. Connolly and ‘Bad’ Brad Martin (#54) of Coburg, who both cut their teeth at the track, and will have a home track advantage. Ott could be the wildcard, as he makes his first appearance at track in the series, and was able to pass Prudhomme for third in points last race.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway, or Peterborough Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com, www.peterboroughspeedway.com, or contact Series Director Dave Alexander at email@example.com.
Release and Photos by Jamie Maudsley and www.maudsleymotorsports.com.