Stroud, ON – Gary McLean (No.8 McLean Industrial Design) claimed his 10th career Rick Woolner Memorial win on Sunday afternoon, but the first at Sunset Speedway.
The event, which honours the late Rick Woolner who passed away in 1999 from lung cancer, is traditionally held at Varney Speedway Motorplex, but after the event was rained out on September 15, it was moved to Sunset.
McLean earned the pole for the race by winning Klotz Canada heat race number one on Saturday afternoon and would see sophomore driver Davey Terry (No.14 Wasteco) start to his outside after Terry claimed the in heat two.
The 40-lap feature got off to a clean start with a series-record 25 cars taking the green flag. McLean jumped out to the early lead but had Terry in tow as he sought his first career win with the series. The top-five cars were ultra-competitive as McLean and Terry were trailed by Brent McLean (No.7 Bowmanville Home Building Centre), Justin Jones (No.92), and Shane Stickel (No.39 MSD Machine Tool).
Contact between Stickel and Justin Demelo (No.82 EMCO Waterworks) on lap eight shuffled Stickel back five positions to the middle of the pack. At lap 14, rookie driver Mike Westwood (No.91 Stryker Chassis) spun on the backstretch. 13 year-old Dustin Jackson (No.61), who was making his OSCAAR debut, was the beneficiary of the yellow as he received the lucky dog award.
Stickel bounced back from the contact and began to move back towards the top-five when the caution flew on lap 19 as Brad Pearsall (No.1B Performance Signs) rolled to a stop in turn four. Originally thought to be a flat tire, Pearsall’s problems proved worse as the team would pull behind the wall to end the race.
One lap after the field got up to speed, contact was made in turn two between a pair of drivers, resulting in a flat left-front tire to Brent McLean. After Brent spun in turn two, Branden Bullen (No.67jr Alliston Transmission) spun on the backstretch in the midst of the incident, collecting Matt Barton (No.2 MDB Racecars) who had nowhere to go. Fortunately, all cars returned to the track.
The following restart would see Stickel fall off the pace, despite restarting just outside the top-five. Stickel would remain on track for the final half of the race, but clearly underpowered.
Another caution flew at lap 29 when Brian McLean (No.47 Bowmanville Home Building Centre) and Bobby Tolton spun in turn two, and again at lap 32 when Dave Osborne (No.11 O’Neil’s Farm Equipment) spun alone in the same spot.
The pair of cautions benefitted Max Beyore (No.91N) well as he had raced his way in to the top-ten and was given the opportunity to strike for the top-five. Beyore did just that, getting the better of Jones on the lap 29 restart.
With five laps to go, it was clear the race was for second as Gary McLean had checked out from the rest of the field.
The yellow was on display again at lap 36 when Brian McLean rolled to a stop with a flat left-front tire.
One lap following the restart, near contact between Terry and Beyore forced the field to check-up down the backstretch. Monty Kelly (No.96k At A Glance Printing) got the worst of the backlog as he was sent hard in to the outside wall. The impact resulted in heavy damage to the right-front suspension of Kelly’s car, who had been running eighth at the time. Kelly had bounced back from a wreck in to the frontstretch wall on Saturday to run in the top-ten before ending his night.
The final restart yielded a green-white-checkered finish and Gary McLean sealed the victory.
Beyore completed the pass by Terry on the final restart to earn the second spot, while Terry finished third for his first podium finish of the year.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native Justin Jones held on to the fourth spot in his second start with the tour this year.
Tonawanda, NY native Andy Jankowiak (No.57x) made series history as the first American driver to start with the OSCAAR Modified tour and earned a fifth-place finish after starting 24th.
Matt Barton battled back from his spin to finish sixth while Brent McLean, Darryn Wright (No.62 Future Pro Goalie School), Branden Bullen, and Bobby Tolton complete the top-ten.
The OSCAAR Modified tour is back in action next Saturday for their second and final trip to Flamboro Speedway as part of the track’s Oktoberfest event. For more information, visit www.flamborospeedway.ca.
Results: Rick Woolner Memorial (40 Laps) – Sunset Speedway (Starting Position in Parentheses)
1. 8 Gary McLean (1); 2. 91N Max Beyore (21); 3. 14 Davey Terry (2); 4. 92 Justin Jones (5); 5. 57x Andy Jankowiak (24); 6. 2 Matt Barton (15); 7. 7 Brent McLean (3); 8. 62 Darryn Wright (13); 9. 67 Branden Bullen (6); 10. 13 Bobby Tolton (22); 11. 91 Mike Westwood (10); 12. 34 Billy Zardo III (9); 13. 88 Ryan Dick (18); 14. 47 Brian McLean (12); 15. 61 Dustin Jackson (20); 16. 19 Dean Scott (25); 17. 11 Dave Osborne (17); 18. 39 Shane Stickel (4); 19. 96k Monty Kelly (23) (DNF); 20. 77 Chad Strawn (11) (DNF); 21. 82 Justin Demelo (8) (DNF); 22. 38 Rod Sauder (14) (DNF); 23. 1B Brad Pearsall (7) (DNF); 24. 79 John Harper (16) (DNF); 25. 48 Ted Patterson (19) (DNF).
Specialty Award Winners
Prelude to the Memorial Winner’s Bonus: Jim Brown Trucking ($250) (Sept. 14) – Gary McLean
Memorial Winner’s Bonus: Mike Allen ($250) – Gary McLean
Top Qualifier: Wasteco ($150) – Gary McLean
Most Laps Led (Both Races): Wasteco ($100) – Gary McLean (70 Laps)
Halfway Leader: Engines From Hal ($100) – Gary McLean
Highest Finishing Rookie (Both Races): Sheila Eccles of Craig McDonald Reddon Insurance ($50) – Sept. 14: Shane Stickel. Sept. 29: Branden Bullen.
Hard Luck Award: Bentinck Motors ($250) – Monty Kelly
Best Appearing Car: Knightworks Design ($100) – Davey Terry
Long-Haul Award: McLean Industrial Design Ltd. ($50) – Justin Jones
The OSCAAR Modified tour is presented by a number of dedicated sponsors throughout Ontario, including: Knightworks Design, Hoosier Racing Tire, Klotz Synthetics Canada, Race2way.ca, Dave Franks Photos, Dickson Printing, Finishline Fabrication, McColl Racing Enterprises, McGunegill Engine Performance, Stefko Racing Engines, VP Racing Fuels, OntarioOval.com, RaceTime Radio, Inside Track Motorsport News, Jenco Equipment, Midas of Orangeville, Reinhart Trailer Sales, North Toronto Auctions, and South Shore Services.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia) – OSCAAR Media and Public Relations