Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Tyler Lafantaisie, and Mark D'Ilario rebound from last week's finishes in the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder and Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Features. Derek Wagner and BJ Willard would also take Feature Wins in the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Rick's Delivery Sportsman Divisions respectively.
"I wasn't going to let anyone pass me tonight," said Pete Reid in Victory Lane for the first time of 2013 trying to hold back the tears, "it's been weighing on me since Thursday ... thanks to everyone for the support."
Reid appeared to have it won – expecting to see the Checkered Flag after exiting Turn 4 for the final time but instead saw Starter Steve DeVos' yellow flag after Vince Fargnoli spun his car right in the groove.
"I really didn't know there was a caution," admitted Reid, "I saw the car turned around and then heard it announced."
Jason Fontaine had led much of the 20 lap Feature and in the closing laps was pressuring Reid but even in the one lap dash to the finish could'nt catch Reid who charged into the lead on lap 12.
Fontaine was pressured by Brad Sheehan leading up to lap 9 with Reid joining in for a three wide battle for top spot out of Turn 4 that had Reid land in second.
Bryce Richardson was first to lead before Jim Lampman took control to complete the first lap. Fontaine would soon overtake Lampman – setting the pace until the event's first caution on lap 5.
At the finish, Reid was followed by Fontaine, Cory Turner, Sheehan and Rob Murray.
"Dad would have been proud of this one tonight for sure," prided Reid after a Victory Lap in his honor.
"I didn't know how far back they where," said Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Feature Winner Tyler Lafantaisie who suffered a flat tire last week, "I kept running as hard as I could and was able to hold on to it.
Lafantaisie, who took the lead of the 15 lap Event on lap 5 in his Hwy Farms Nissan did not let lap traffic on lap 11 slow him down – settling in to a comfortable lead on the field.
Late in the race, two drivers on the move however were Rob Overholt and two time 2013 Winner Kyle Pelrine who closed to third and fourth spots.
Evan Curtis would follow Lafantaisie past initial leader Nathan Monahan but could not catch the leader.
Lafantaisie, Curtis, Overholt, Pelrine and Mike Sadusek would round out the Top 5.
"It got black right across the track," informed Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Feature Winner Mark D'Ilarion after winning the final event of the night, "there wasn't much to lean on ... you had to kind of take it easy in the corners."
D'Ilario, who battled broken shock mounts last week had opened up almost a full straightaway lead on the field by lap 25 – a margin he would maintain until the conclusion at 35 laps.
D'Ilario had taken over top spot from initial leader Todd Gordon after a lap 15 restart. Gordon had set the pace from the start until the first caution on lap 13.
With D'Ilario comfortably out front, the race to watch was the one to close out the Top 5. With Gordon settling for second, Robbie Krull, Tommy Flannigan and Mike Bowman all made late race charges to finish in that order.
Jeff May outraced rookie Dylan Davidson to the initial green flag at the start of the 15 lap J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Feature with the teenager holding his own in front of a three wide battle involving several veterans. Unfortunate contact between Kory Howe and Davidson slowed the field for the first time on lap 5.
May resumed control on the restart with Randy Hollingshead now in the runner up spot before Wagner took it away and taking the lead out of Turn 4 to complete lap 7. A Turn 4 incident involving Jason Corless, Klager and May again slowed the event before Wagner resumed control of top spot.
On the restart, Josh Sliter now in the runner up spot - settled 5 car lengths behind the leader and a late race charge stalled the checkered flag as well. A caution after Sliter near spun his car in Turn 4 in making a last ditch effort to pass Wagner.
Wagner would be followed by Tim Anderson, Randy Hollingshead, Rick Koabel and Paul Klager.
"We're backing down a little this year," revealed Wagner, the 2012 B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Year, "I want to be racing more but we're trying to buy a house ... sometimes priorities change – I'd like to thank my girlfriend and everyone who helped me get here ... we threw a new set up at it tonight and it's close."
"We changed the car around from last week," said Rick's Delivery Sportsman Feature Winner BJ Willard, "we went back to where we were when we won to start the season."
Just after a lap 9 restart, Willard vaulted into second from third spot. With initial leader Austin Wood resuming control of the 25 lap Event on the restart. Almost as quickly as Willard took control of thtop spot, the 4th generation driver and the field would be slowed once again on lap 13.
Prior to Willard's challenge of Wood, the third generation driver Wood was able to hold off Boyd MacTavish and Dan Miller.
An incident that shuffled back through the pack would slow the return to racing right away but when it did return Willard resumed control opening up a lead of some 10 car lengths by lap 20.
A lap 22 caution slowed the action through the top 5 amongst Wood, Cody McPherson, Gary Lindberg and Greg Panunte..
Willard once again led the field to the three laps to the checkered flag with MacTavish, McPherson, Panunte and Lindberg closing out the top 5.
PIT NOTES: Erick Rudolph was announced just prior to race time as the latest B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week after his first running to his first Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Feature Win on Lococo Wholesale Night.
The Flags were lowered in memory of George Reid and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Dick Trickle –many Merrittville fans would remember from the days when ASA Events frequented the former Cayuga Speedway.
Grandsons Dylan Davidson and Jordan Cosco both carried Happy Birthday Wishes on their cars for Pete Cosco. Brent Begolo would return to racing to celebrate his birthday and Timing and Scoring Official Britney DeVos will turn 21 on May 19th, The night's celebrations also included the 16th Wedding Anniversary of Shawn and Lenie Sliter.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY: The Victoria Day Double Header concludes Monday May 20th when Zavitz Financial Services and Employee Benefits presents the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds in a 100 lap Super DIRTcar Series Event plus Hoosier Stocks and the first Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College.
The Grandstand Gates open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway's 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Pete Reid, Jason Fontaine, Cory Turner, Brad Sheehan, Rob Murray, Kevin Knapp, James Thompson, Jim Lampman, Paul Wichert, Bryce Richardson, Ryan Turner, Mark Fawcett, Vince Fargnoli, Mike Green, Marcel Michaud.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER FEATURE (15 laps) Tyler Lafantaisie, Evan Curtis, Rob Overholt, Kyle Pelrine, Mike Sadusek, Kyle Rothwell, Tony Kelly, Jason Coutu, Nathan Monahan, Dillan Sliter, Leroy Buscumb, Kevin Conley, Sam Iftody, Garnet Wilson, Kyle Haynes, Greg Wilson, Bob Gill, Kourtney Kocarik, Gabriel Attallah, Mike Giberson, Brandon Boychuck, Jeff Larmet.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Mark D'Ilario, Todd Gordon, Robbie Krull, Tommy Flannigan, Mike Bowman, Fred Carleton, Chris Steele, Pete Bicknell, Bill Bleich, Erick Rudolph, Sc ott Wood, Mat Williamson, Randy Chrysler, Chad Chevalier, Shayne Pierce, Roger Chrysler, Ken Winnfield, Tyler McPherson, Billy Bleich, Jr.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Derek Wagner, Tim Anderson, Randy Hollingshead, Rick Koabel, Paul Klager, Josh Sliter, Dean Pronovost, Jeffrey May, Evan Leonard, Dylan Davidson, Ray Sliter, Jr., Kory Howe.
RICK'S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) BJ Willard, Boyd MacTavish, Cody McPherson, Greg Panunte, Gary Lindberg, Brad Rouse, Austin Wood, Justin Sharp, Dan Miller, Adam Leslie, Brent Begolo, Robert Baker, David Flannigan, Jr., Robbie Rounce, Paul Gaboury, Ron MacAulay, Charlie Lynch, Rob Clark, Jason Moore, Gord McIntosh, Jordan Cosco, Jason Farraway, Shawn Sliter, Rob Knapp. DNQ – Joey Mastroianni, Paul Williamson, Travis Miller, Derek Hodge, Chris Bellamy.
Join us this season on a Saturday Night for a LUCAS OIL WEEKLY RACING SERIES EVENT featuring FIVE Divisions with local heroes and up and coming new stars. Make your plans ... call your friends and enjoy a staycation at the speedway with plenty of free parking and camping spots – a night at the races is so much fun and so close to home!
Your Local Dirt Track is where it's at and the countdown to the Monday May 20th Zavitz Financial Strategies and Employee 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series 100 has begun at Merrittville Speedway has begun – the Best Family Entertainment in Niagara!
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2013 62nd Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway's 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Bobcat of Hamilton, Rick's Delivery, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning, Hoosier Tire Canada and Turn 4 Collision 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.
Lucas Oil Products is one the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry featuring a premium line of oils, greases and problem solving additives. Through innovative product research and development along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top selling additive in the industry.
Look for Lucas Oil Products at your favorite automotive retailer or maintenance centre including B&C Truck Centre, Drummond Home Hardware, KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage
From: Jim Irvine/ Assistant General Manager- Merrittville Speedway