THOROLD, ON – Semenuk’s Esso and Archer Truck Services teamed up to present Merrittville Speedway’s event on July 21 and with the support of a number of local businesses, added $ 2,000.00 to the posted purse. All five of the Thorold speed plant’s Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Divisions were winners!
Also winning was Rocco Conte in the second Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Triple Crown 20 lap special event. Just one week after Lucas Oil’s Nostalgia Night, three second-generation drivers won their first events of 2012 with James Thompson, Gary Lindberg and Scott Wood all taking checkered flags in the Hoosier Stock, Original Pizza Logs Sportsman and Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Divisions respectively.
Josh Sliter rounded out the Feature Winners after coming home first in the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without sponsors like Semenuk’s Esso,” said Rocco Conte in Victory Lane, “Rob Goulding got me into racing and has helped me so much with these Volkswagens … so a big thanks to him as well!”
Conte took control right from the start and after an initial challenge from Kyle Pelrine – opened up a couple car length lead. By lap 5 the gap had stretched until a caution slowed the field after Brandon Iuducianni slowed with a flat tire.
Prior to the caution, the battle for the runner up spot was quite a race between Pelrine, Garnet Wilson and Jay Pietz. On the ensuing restart however – Jason Coutu quickly landed in the runner up spot but unfortunately fell off the pace a couple laps later – another victim of a flat tire.
Past the halfway point, Conte opened up almost a straightaway lead on Pelrine and the field. Pietz would challenge Pelrine for second with 5 to go- taking the spot the next lap.
At the checkered flag – Conte, Pietz and Pelrine were followed by Garnet Wilson and Tony Kelly.
Jason Fontaine beat Kameron Kocarik at drop of the green flag in the 20-lap Hoosier Stock Feature. Just as James Thompson began to challenge the leader a red flag stopped the event on lap 2. Back in the pack a number of cars came together out of Turn 4 with a flare up in Charlie Lynch’s car the reason after contact with Kocarik and Rob Murray. Fontaine and Thompson were side by side on the restart until Fontaine took control one lap later.
Three and four wide racing behind the leaders for cars trying to sort out the top five with the youngster Thompson keeping pace with the veteran Fontaine. Thompson took control in Turn 2 of lap 8 with a yellow flag slowing the 17 year old one lap later.
Once again Thompson and Fontaine were side by side with Thompson eventually holding the advantage – driving away to a comfortable lead. Thompson would be slowed a for cautions with the Lucas Oil Live Leaderboard stuck on lap 18 after two incidents back to back delayed the action.
On the final restart, Thompson would have Ken Sargent behind him but in the two laps to the checkered – there was no denying the youngster from his first feature win.
“It’s great to be in Victory Lane and actually holding the checkered flag and not just being in the picture,” revealed Thompson in Victory Lane, “thanks to my Mom and Dad … the Murray Family and the fans!”
Thompson was followed by Sargent, Jeff Dayman, Murray and Fontaine.
Gary Lindberg was quick to thank the Fort Erie Bar & Grill that had joined his team in 2012. “I was following the leaders – they went high and I ducked low – from there … I don’t know what happened.”
Lindberg was referring to a late race incident involving then leader Brandon Easey and runner up BJ Willard. Just about to get the white flag, Easey cut in front of Willard with the cousins eventually coming together in Turn 4 – eventually getting hooked together. Once apart, Easey would stop in Turn 4 but Willard was only slowed and was able to fall back into the field with Lindberg as the leader.
On the restart, Willard fell off the pace – setting off a chain reaction incident involving a number of cars.
When the final lap was completed – Lindberg held off brothers Tyler and Cody McPherson, Greg Panunte and Dave Flannigan Jr.
Larry Czinege Jr. was the initial leader of the 25 lap event – setting the pace through 5 restarts in the early going until team mate Brandon Easey took control just before the 6th caution with just 8 laps completed.
Easey quickly ran away from the field with Willard eventually landing in the runner up spot. With about 10 laps to go, Willard began to close in and by lap 20 had narrowed the gap to a couple car lengths with Lindberg closing in on Willard as well.
With two to go Willard pulled alongside Easey with Easey regaining the advantage until the unfortunate Turn 4 incident.
Just prior to the start of the event, Brian Staff provided a $100 Cash Bonus to the driver that finished 20th. Travis Miller received the extra money.
“The competition here is about the best there is,” commented Scott Wood, “ I was away for a few days this week – the guys worked on the car without me … so maybe they do a better job than me!”
Chad Chevalier first to lead the 35 lap Feature and by lap 5 opened up a ¼ lap lead on Chris Steele and Wood. By lap 10 Steele had closed slightly while facing a challenge from Wood for the runner up spot.
Caution on lap 14 would find Chevalier back out front with Wood eventually overtaking Steele. With about 5 laps to go, the leaders would come up on slower cars allowing Wood would to close on Chevalier – taking the lead just before caution on lap 32.
With Wood in front on the restart – Mike Bowman was now challenging Chevalier for second. Bowman had the spot once but jumped the cushion and lost it but in the final lap was able to regain it. Chevalier and Steele would have to settle for 3rd and 4th with Tommy Flannigan rounding out the top 5.
“I lost the brakes on lap 2,” informed Josh Sliter after making his 6th stop in Victory Lane,” it was a fun drive!”
The only thing that slowed Sliter was a yellow flag on lap 15. Prior to the caution, Sliter had opened up a huge lead after taking top spot from Jason Corless to start lap 8.
Corless had taken the lead from Dillan Sliter to start lap 4 after the two had swapped top spot before that. Just as Corless had become the new leader – Dillan Sliter and Derek Wagner came together.
In the final 5 laps, Josh Sliter immediately ran away to a comfortable lead on Jason Corless who had Wagner to contend with. Wagner made quite a rebound from the earlier incident to edge Corless for the runner up spot with Corless followed by Ray Sliter Jr. and Rick Koabel.
INSIDE TRACK MOTORSPORT NEWS PIT NOTES
The night began with Larry Lampman Jr. receiving two honors – his 4th Jerry Winger Memorial Trophy after winning July 14th’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 50 358 Modified Feature from the Merrittville Speedway Reunion Committee and the B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week Award. Semenuk’s Esso Archer Truck Services Night provided Merrittville Speedway’s Drivers with $2,000 in extra purse money. For a complete listing of how the money was distributed and the businesses that supported the efforts of the Semenuk Family – visit http://merrittville.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=3516 Merrittville Speedway would like to thank all those that supported the event and remember to think of those companies if you require their products or services.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Hingston Metal Fabricators will present the 3rd MT Bellies BIG Food BIG Fun Night at Merrittville Speedway Saturday July 28th featuring an action-packed 5 Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event..
The Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Program will feature the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds, Original Pizza Logs Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks and J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Divisions.
The Grandstands will open at 5:30 PM with MT Bellies BIG Food BIG Fun Family Packs allowing 2 Adults and 2 Children Admission, 4 Pepsi and 4 Popcorn for $40 and the chance to win Dinner for 4 at the Welland Hot Spot. Showtime is 7 PM.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER TRIPLE CROWN SERIES EVENT # 2 (20 laps) Rocco Conte, Jason Pietz, Kyle Pelrine, Garnet Wilson, Tony Kelly, Mike Sadusek, Kyle Rothwell, Tyler Lafantaisie, Evan Curtis, Greg Wilson, Chris Sheppard, Chris Laskey, Kourtney Kocarik, Mike Giberson, Jeff Larmet, Jason Coutu, Brandon Iudicianni, Rob Overholt, Gabriel Attallah.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (20 laps) Josh Sliter, Derek Wagner, Jason Corless, Ray Sliter, Rick Koabel, Randy Hollingshead, Kory Howe, Dillan Sliter, Derek Moore.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) James Thompson, Ken Sargent, Jeff Dayman, Rob Murray, Jason Fontaine, Cory Turner, Chris Crawford, Billy Hogue, Aaron Wiley, Brad Sheehan, Bob Mc Namara, Tyler Anderson, Mark Fawcett, Chris Schneider, Ryan Turner, Kevin Knapp, Jim Lampman, Doug Crawford, Pete Reid, Bryce Richardson, Kameron Kocarik, Charlie Lynch, Vince Fargnoli.
ORIGINAL PIZZA LOGS DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) Gary Lindberg, Tyler McPherson, Cody McPherson, Greg Panunte, David Flannigan, Larry Czinege, BJ Willard, Jesse Penner, Rob Knapp, Austin Wood, Robert Baker, Paul Gaboury, Mark Chiddy, Joey Mastroianni, Brent Begolo, Brad Rouse, Brandon Easey, Jim Johnstone, Adam Leslie, Travis Miller, Ron MacAulay, Jason Moore.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Scott Wood, Mike Bowman, Chad Chevalier, Chris Steele, Tommy Flannigan, Mat Williamson, Pete Bicknell, Larry Lampman, Travis Braun, Rick Richner, Tim Jones, Fred Carleton, Bill Bleich, Ken Cosgrove, Boyd MacTavish, Shayne Pierce, Paul Ashton, Dave Small, Kenny Winnfield, Rick Hoctor, Todd Gordon, Ryan Susice, Steve Schumacher, Rob Pietz.
From Jim Irvine / Merrittville PR