Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Scott Wood, Cody McPherson, Josh Sliter and Dillan Sliter take home wins in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified, Rick's Delivery Sportsman, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions,
"Every time off the corners I would see him on the inside," relayed Kevin Knapp in Victory Lane after taking his 2nd Duel on the Dirt Home Track Win of the 2013 Mini-Series with the Brighton Speedway Pro Stocks, "I just figured I would keep doing what I was doing ... I could run the cushion all the way around and it let me stay clear of all the mayhem."
From starting tail on the field in the 20 lap Event, Knapp had charged to third place behind front-runners Pete Reid and Rob Murray – powering around the two down the back stretch of lap 4. Through to the halfway point, Reid would battle back and regained the lead before Knapp edged ahead with 5 laps to go. Lap after lap the two ran side by side.
The start saw Brad Sheehan and Reid on the front row but before there was a clear leader, the point leader Sheehan slowed into Turn 2 after losing his left rear tire and axle.
Reid set the pace through a couple of early cautions that involved a number of cars until losing top spot to Knapp.
With two laps to go Knapp would lead the field into slower cars and through to the finish would maintain about a half car length over Reid. Murray would settle for third with Cory Turner and Bryce Richardson rounding out the top 5. Richardson was involved in one of the early cautions and was one of few cars that was able to continue.
"The car was just awesome tonight ... we have been struggling a little so far this year but thanks to my my crew ... it's a big team effort to get this car on the track every week," said Scott Wood in Victory Lane for the first time of 2013, " thanks as well to Merrittville – this track was so fast!"
Wood took the lead from Bill Bleich after a lap 9 restart and in green flag runs – the second generation driver was able to open up healthy leads on the field. Caution would slow the pace on lap 17 after Mat Williamson slowed and then again at lap 25 after initial leader Shayne Pierce made heavy contact with the barrier off Turn 4.
Pierce set the pace on the initial start until Bleich was able to take control on lap 2. Bleich ran away in the early stages until slowed on lap 9.
Prior to the final caution Wood had stretched his lead to about a ¼ of a lap. After the restart over the final 10 laps – the margin of victory was some 10 car lengths over Bleich who at one point faced quite a challenge from Pete Bicknell.
Tommy Flannigan made a late race charge to edge Bicknell with Chris Steele rounding out the top 5.
"This car is running great ... we finally have it figured out," revealed Cody McPherson in Victory Lane for the second straight time, "I got stuck on the bottom on the restarts – but once I got to the top ... it was great ."
Right from the start of the 25 lap Feature for the Rick's Delivery Sportsman Division, third generation driver Brent Begolo set the pace.
Unfortunately for the leader, a rash of early cautions would slow the field but by lap 10 he was able to pull away to almost a straightaway lead. Before another caution on lap 16, Begolo had stretched his advantage.
The caution may have been what McPherson needed though as two laps later he would take the lead. In the final stages of the event Begolo would face a challenge from Paul Gaboury and at the finish, Gaboury was able to take over second with Begolo settling for third.
Gary Lindberg and Robert Baker rounded out the top 5.
The start of the 15 lap Feature for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites had Kory Howe and Dylan Davidson on the front row. It wasn't until heading into Turn 2 for the first time that Howe was the clear leader over the 12 year old rookie that started his night being named the B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week.
Quickly however, Randy Hollingshead and Rick Koabel would settle into second and third respectively.
Hollingshead would challenge the leader but by lap 5, Howe would open up a couple car length lead. With 10 laps complete – the gap was about the same.
In the final third of the event, Hollingshead would close in as would Koabel and Josh Sliter in his unfamiliar # 91 Team Car.
With two laps to go, Hollingshead would exit Turn 4 too high allowing Koabel to take over the runner up spot. Unfortunately for Koabel, the same Turn 4 would find him sitting the wrong way and slowing the field for the first time.
With a green-checker one lap dash ahead of him, Howe led the field to speed but into Turn 2, Sliter was able to drive around Howe to take the win.
"We went to Cornwall last Sunday and after a head gasket leak on my car ... jumped in the 91," explained Sliter in Victory Lane, "I flipped the 91 so it was back to the 17 for the feature. Someone flipped in front of me and a result we tore up the front and rear of my car pretty good."
Nathan Monahan was the initial leader until the first caution early slowed the 15 lap Feature for the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinders early with the leader put back two spots for jumping on the start. Tony Kelly was the new leader on the restart until Leroy Buscumb took control down the backstretch a couple laps later.
Kelly would quickly retake top spot until Dillan Sliter would take control out of Turn 4 just before half way.
"If it wasn't for Evan (Curtis) I think I would have been on my roof," revealed Dillan Sliter in Victory Lane, "He's always right there and we can race clean every week ... he's awesome to race against."
The last half of the event saw quite a battle between Curtis and Sliter.
Down the backstretch the final time, Curtis made a one last move and almost got by the leader but it was Sliter that held the top spot through to the checkered flag.
Sliter and Curtis were followed by Tyler Lafantaisie, Rocco Conte and Rob Overholt.
The big winner on SMS Machine KIDS RACE Night however was the Canadian National Autism Foundation. Merrittville Speedway would like to thank all the race fans and businesses that supported the 2013 Fundraiser.
The flags were at half mast in memory of Jason Leffler.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Meridian Credit Union Night at Merrittville Speedway Saturday June 22nd will Blast Off into Summer with a 5 Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event.
When the Grandstands open at 5:30 – All Students 18 years old and younger will be admitted FREE with I.D. Show Time is 7:00. At intermission, Race Fans of all ages will be invited onto the front stretch to participate in a Gangnam Style Dance Mob.
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 DUEL ON THE DIRT BIG 6 SERIES HOME TRACK EVENT # 2 (20 laps) Kevin Knapp, Pete Reid, Rob Murray, Cory Turner, Bryce Richardson, Robert Disher, Paul Wichert, Mike Green, Mark Fawcett, Marcel Michaud, Jim Lampman, Ryan Turner, James Thompson, Jason Fontaine, Brad Sheehan.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Scott Wood, Bill Bleich, Tommy Flannigan, Pete Bicknell, Chris Steele, Robbie Krull, Erick Rudolph, Tim Jones, Mike Bowman, Todd Gordon, Mark D'Ilario, Fred Carleton, Shayne Pierce, Ken Winnfield, Tyler McPherson, Mat Williamson, Rick Hoctor, Chad Chevalier.
RICK'S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) Cody McPherson, Paul Gaboury, Brent Begolo, Gary Lindberg, Robert Baker, Brad Rouse, David Flannigan, Jason Farraway, Rob Knapp, Charlie Lynch, Greg Panunte, Austin Wood, Dan Miller, Travis Miller, Jason Moore, Adam Leslie, Justin Sharp, Ron MacAulay, Gord McIntosh, Boyd MacTavish, Paul Williamson, Robbie Rounce, Chris Bellamy, BJ Willard, Joey Mastroianni, Jordan Cosco, Rob Clark, Paul Cunningham.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (20 laps) (20 laps) Josh Sliter, Kory Howe, Randy Hollingshead, Paul Klager, Jason Corless, Jeffrey May, Rick Koabel, Dylan Davidson, Ray Sliter, Jr., Evan Leonard.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER FEATURE (15 laps) Dillan Sliter, Evan Curtis, Tyler Lafantaisie, Rocco Conte, Rob Overholt, Tony Kelly. Nathan Monahan, Sam Iftody, Lery Buscumb, Mike Sadusek, Chris Laskey, Kyle Rothwell, Kyle Haynes, Jeff Larmet, Greg Wilson, Kourtney Kocarik, Brandon Boychuck, Mike Giberson, Kyle.Pelrine, Gabriel Attallah, Jason Coutu, Bob Gill, Garnet Wilson.
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 Lucas Oil Nostalgia Night at Your Local Dirt Track is where it's at and the countdown to Boltworks Canada Day Celebration featuring the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints ... $1 Piller's Hot Dogs ... the 2nd Ironman Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College and FIREWORKS has begun at Merrittville Speedway - the Best Family Entertainment in Niagara!
Merrittville Speedway Saturday July 13th 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