THOROLD, ON – With CAA Niagara’s all electric Mitsubishi Vehicle joining the CMH Sales & Leasing Merrittville Speedway Pace Vehicle in parade laps, race fans at the Thorold facility enjoyed an electric night of action through all 5 Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Divisions May 26th.
The 2012 Edition of the Turn 4 Collision Triple Crown Series kicked off with Rocco Conte taking home the win in the 20 lap special with Mike Bowman, Cody McPherson, Peter Reid & Josh Sliter visiting Victory Lane in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified, Original Pizza Logs Sportsman, Hoosier Stock and J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Divisions respectively.
“A drier track suits me better … so when I saw the Water Truck out there it had me a little worried,” said a relieved Rocco Conte in Victory Lane, “having the Street Stocks before us made it perfect … as my dad told me – I had 20 laps to get it done!”
Just before a caution at the halfway point Conte took control of top spot from Tony Kelly who had set the pace from the start.
With Conte out front the race to watch was the one for the runner up spot between defending Turn 4 Collision Triple Crown Champion Rob Overholt and former overall champion Trevor Goulding. The two went side by side for a couple laps with the laps winding down until Overholt found the advantage and opening up a couple car length lead.
Overholt could not catch the leader Conte however who went on to his second win of the season. Trevor Goulding would finish third behind them with Kyle Pelrine and Brandon Iudicianni rounding out the top 5.
The Turn 4 Collision Triple Crown Series for the 4 Cylinders returns as part of Saturday July 21st’s Semenuk’s Esso Archer Truck Centres Night.
“He ran me clean … it was touch and go a few times,” described Mike Bowman of the late race battle with Rick Richner for top spot, “ I’m just glad to put the 71 in Victory Lane … I’ve been struggling so far this year – there’s so many to thank for keeping me focused and digging!”
You had to have been in your seat or maybe just on the edge of it to have enjoyed the thrilling race between Richner and Bowman.
Richner took control of the event early from initial leader Kenny Winnfield with Travis Braun and Tim Jones landing in the top 3.
Richner led the field into lap traffic by lap 15 with both Braun and Jones closing in on the leader as was Mike Bowman from fourth. Bowman would make some moves to get by Jones before dropping Braun o third.
Down the backstretch of lap 24 Bowman would then move into the lead. Richner stormed back into top spot quickly with the two side by side and back and forth putting slide jobs on each other.
The battle for top spot allowed Braun and Jones to stay within striking distance with 5 to go. Soon it was three wide for second before Braun would fall back a few spots with a couple laps to go. Jones made a late race charge to take the runner up spot from Richner.
At the finish Bowman came home a couple car lengths ahead of Jones with Richner third. Braun and Tommy Flannigan would close out the top 5.
“This car’s working great,” relayed Cody McPherson in Victory Lane for the third time of 2012, “but sometimes it gets tighter and tighter … thank god it’s only a 25 lap race!”
McPherson didn’t appear to have any troubles after taking top spot following a lap 13 caution. By lap 20 the second generation driver was into lap traffic but the slower cars didn’t seem to affect the leader.
McPherson took top spot from Adam Leslie on the restart around the halfway point. Leslie became the new leader after getting by initial leader shortly after a lap 4 caution. Miller – the second generation 13 year old rookie driver was the initial leader.
Leslie settled for second ahead of Brandon Easey with Brad Rouse and BJ Willard closing out the top 5.
“We built a brand new car for this year,” revealed Peter Reid in Victory Lane, “ I saw Sargent sitting backwards so I kinda figured something was going on … they can battle all they want – I was just glad to be able to drive away from it all.”
Reid took control of top spot on a lap 4 restart and never looked back. If he did he would have seen quite a battle for the runner up spot with Ken Sargent, Jeff Dayman and Rob Murray early on as the trio would take on Billy Hogue.
Around the halfway point Sargent and Murray would come together in Turn 2 with Sargent falling victim to a flat tire with no caution however.
Eventually Kevin Knapp who started at the rear of the field would also join the front runners – taking second at the finish from Billy Hogue who settled for third. Murray and Dayman would close the top 5.
Rookie Evan Curtis took the field to the initial green flag before Vince Fargnoli became the new leader prior to a lap 2 caution.
Dillan Sliter set the pace on the start of the 20 lap J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Feature before Kory Howe took control the first time down the backstretch. On the move early on was Josh Sliter who had caught Randy Hollingshead who had taken the lead from Howe leading up to the halfway point.
Sliter eventually overtook Hollingshead just prior to a lap 11 caution that slowed the field.
With Sliter again out front, back in the pack a three wide battle for second found Derek Wagner landing in the runner up spot but about a quarter lap behind the leader.
A margin of victory Sliter maintained to the finish “ I’ve been waiting for this car to work up top since I got it,” confessed Josh Sliter in Victory Lane for the second time of the season, “I love running the outside … tonight’s the first time I have been able to get it to work up there!”
Sliter & Wagner were followed by Kory Howe, Shawn Sliter and Hollingshead.
INSIDE TRACK MOTORSPORT NEWS PIT NOTES
Rookie Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Driver Tyler Lafantaisie was named the B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week after his initial feature win as part of Saturday May 19th’s Seaway Mall Night.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Action in June kicks off Saturday June 2nd with Archer Truck Services and Semenuk’s Esso Night featuring a 5 Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Program with action in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds, Original Pizza Logs Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites and the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinders.
The Grandstands will open at 5:30 PM. Showtime is 7 PM.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER TRIPLE CROWN FEATURE (20 laps) Rocco Conte, Rob Overholt, Trevor Goulding, Kyle Pelrine, Brandon Iudicianni, Tony Kelly, Jeff Hill, Greg Wilson, Mike Giberson, Jeff Larmet, Kourtney Kocarik, Chris Laskey, Jason Coutu, Mike Sadusek, Rick Beales, Tyler Lafantaisie, Brandon Boychuck, Chris Sheppard.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Mike Bowman, Tim Jones, Rick Richner, Travis Braun, Tommy Flannigan, Ken Cosgrove, Mat Williamson, Scott Wood, Larry Lampman, Pete Bicknell, Mark D’Ilario, Chris Steele, Bill Bleich, Kenny Winnfield, Shayne Pierce, Todd Gordon, Chad Chevalier, Fred Carleton, Dave Small, Steven Schumacher, Dennis Giancola, Rob Pietz, Rick Hoctor.
ORIGINAL PIZZA LOGS DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) Cody McPherson, Adam Leslie, Brandon Easey, Brad Rouse, BJ Willard, Greg Panunte, Gary Lindberg, Brent Begolo, Justin Sharp, Rob Knapp, Larry Czinege, Robert Baker, Paul Gaboury, Mark Chiddy, Jason Moore, David Flannigan, Jesse Penner, Travis Miller, Paul Jorgensen, Joey Mastroianni, Paul Williamson, Ron MacAulay, Chris Bellamy, Jim Johnstone, Austin Wood, Jason Farraway.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Pete Reid, Kevin Knapp, Billy Hogue, Rob Murray, Jeff Dayman, Billly Bleich, Brad Sheehan, Chris Crawford, James Thompson, Cory Turner, Mark Fawcett, Vince Fargnoli, Charlie Lynch, Jason Fontaine, Aaron Wiley, Chris Schneider, Kameron Kocarik, Terry Ronning, Jim Lampman, Ken Sargent, Evan Curtis, Bryce Richardson, Terry Larmet, Chuck Martin.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (20 laps) Josh Sliter, Derek Wagner, Dillan Sliter, Kory Howe, Shawn Sliter, Randy Hollingshead, Jeffrey May, Rob Goulding, Derek Bredin, Jason Corless, Ray Sliter, Dan Kviring, Blair Young, Greg Mills, Rick Koabel, Philip Watson.
From Jim Irvine / Merrittville Speedway