In the 6th Annual Bob St. Amand Senior Memorial what wasn't familiar was that his #6 was powered by his Lernerville Speedway Big Block Engine where he races Friday Nights. Willamson's first run with the 454 c.i. powerplant at his Saturday Night home resulted in the a visit to Victory Lane at the conclusion of the 100 lap Super DIRTcar Series Main Event.
The Civic Holiday Spectacular presented by L. St. Amand Enterprises and St. Amand Auto and Truck Repair also had Justin Sharp also of St. Cathairnes win his first feature of the season in the Rick's Delivery Sportsman Division while Jim Lampman took home his 2nd Hoosier Stock Win of 2015.
Benjamin Hage was also a two time winner in the final Ballhockey Enduro Qualifer accelerated by Niagara College.
"I feel phenomenal. To win it at home and get the monkey off my back, this is awesome," said Williamson following the race. "Those big block guys were running on the top against the cushion and I just had to wait for that to go away. We had one hell of a racecar today."
Sheppard took the lead on the opening lap with an impressive crossover move down the backstretch to pass pole sitter Stewart Friesen.
Friesen went backwards in the opening 15 laps, falling to fifth as both Brett Hearn and Mat Williamson drove to second and third, respectively. Sheppard hit lapped traffic on lap 12 and navigated without error until a caution on lap 15 for Tyler McPherson who spun to a stop at the top of turn one.
On the ensuing restart, Sheppard was under heavy pressure from Hearn for the point. Meanwhile, Friesen worked the top lane in a battle for third with Williamson. The momentum was stopped two laps later with 22 complete when Billy Dunn spun at the top of turn four.
Sheppard elected to use the top lane on the restart and pulled away from Hearn by five car lengths within the next two laps. It didn't matter, however, as Tommy Flannigan spun at the top of turn three to bring out the third yellow.
Hearn was not able to challenge Sheppard on the restart while Williamson continued to hold off Friesen for fourth.
When the Lucas Oil Live Leaderboard showed 30 laps complete – in honor of Bob St. Amand Senior's car numbers, L. St. Amand Enterprises and St. Amand Auto & Truck Repair each provided $150 to the top Big Block and 358 Modified across the line. Sheppard and Bill Bleich would take home the bonus money.
Through friends, family and business associates, the St. Amand Family were able to raise an additional $12,000 approximately that was shared amongst Big Block Modified, Sportsman and Hoosier Stock Drivers.
At lap 37, Danny Johnson challenged Billy Decker for fifth with Larry Wight waiting patiently. The three cars raced nose-to-tail for two laps before Johnson took the spot.
Jimmy Phelps got in on the action as well as the four drivers battled for fifth, but separated by two car lengths total.
Sheppard continued to lead at the halfway mark ahead of Williamson, who took second from Hearn who was forced to slow around a slower car one lap earlier.
As Sheppard was slowed by a swarm of lapped cars, Williamson was within three car lengths. On lap 54, Williamson pulled to the back bumper of Sheppard's No.9h. Williamson took the top lane to lead lap 56 and cleared Sheppard down the backstretch.
The momentum continue to fade for Sheppard with 35 to go as Hearn drove right past in to turn two. Williamson drove to a 4.5-second advantage at lap 70 one a very wide track that had taken rubber.
Williamson was reeled in by a caution on lap 77, ending a 47-lap green flag run, when Phelps spun and stopped in turn one. On the ensuing single-file restart, Hearn took to the middle lane while Williamson was glued to the very bottom lane.
"As the track gets slipperier and slipperier, the small blocks are easy to shut them down and keep them on the bottom. The big blocks don't like to be shut down like that," said Hearn of the increasingly slick track.
Hearn appeared to build momentum exiting turn two each lap, but Williamson maintained the lead with 20 laps to go. Mike Bowman joined the top-five on lap 82 with a pass to the outside of Pat Ward exiting turn four.
Over the final 15 laps, Hearn did his best to stay with the 25 year-old Williamson, but the No.6 pulled to a 1.2-second lead with 10 to go. The lead couldn't be erased as Williamson cruised over the final five laps with Hearn, Sheppard, Friesen, and Bowman as the top 5.
"We had to be there at the end tonight and we were," said Williamson. "Doing it at home, it's an awesome feeling. It doesn't feel real right now. I'm at a loss for words."
When Willaimson - the defending Pinty's Delicious Foods 358 Modified Champion won his first 2015 Feature Win back on April 25th's Seaway Mall Spring Sizzler – the celebration included his grandfather Bob Windeatt winning the St. Catharines CYO 50-50.
While Hearn was looking for his 125th Series and Sheppard his 35th – Willaimson's 1st Big Block Super DIRTcar Series Win had more celebration as August 3rd – Bob turned 85 – Happy Birthday indeed!
"I was trying to be careful around the lap cars ... I didn't know Paul (Gaboury) was so close," said first time 2015 Winner Justin Sharp, "it's great to finally get a win here."
The Rick's Delivery DIRTcar Sportsman 25 lap Feature was led to the green flag by Jordan Cosco and Austin Wood and it was Wood leading the opening circuits.
Justin Sharp would pass Cosco for second on the outside of turn four and would begin to challenge Wood for the lead. Sharp would complete the pass on lap five to take over over top spot.
As the race would hit its halfway point, Sharp would lead Wood with Paul Gaboury, Jordan Cosco and Cody McPherson running in the top five. The leaders would hit lap traffic and Gaboury was right behind Sharp but Sharp would beat Gaboury by .046 seconds.
Austin Wood, Cody McPherson and Jordan Cosco would complete the top five.
"I'll tell you what ... that was one heck of a race with Jason (Fontaine) – we got a little close at times," said Jim Lampman in Hoosier Stock Victory Lane 24 hours after having his #28 torn up at Humberstone, "this is my Ohsweken car and it's not really geared for here but it just loved the top tonight. It's 15 years old ... the former Kevin Knapp car. Both of my cars have won here ... the metric cars can still get it done."
Brad Sheehan and Kyle Pelrine set the front row for the Hoosier Stock 20 lap main event with Sheehan showing the way as Jim Lampman moved quickly into second and Jason Fontaine moving into third.
Fontaine would take over the lead from Lampman off an early race restart as Lampman was leading the battle for third between Sheehan and Rob Murray.
Justin Ramsay, a regular at the Brighton Speedway worked his way into the top five by the races mid-way point. Lampman went to the outside to reel in Fontaine and would battle "The Fonz" for the lead for several circuits.
Lampman would take over the lead from Fontaine with seven laps remaining. Fontaine would then challenge Lampman to try to regain the lead. With the lead duo battling, Murray, Ramsay and Sheehan put on a three car battle for third place.
Lampman would clear Fontaine with three laps remaining and would drive on to the victory.
Fontaine would finish in second with Murray, Ramsay and Sheehan would complete the top five.
About two weeks ago Benjamin Hage won the Ballhockey.com Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College on Congential Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Night. The St. Ann's driver took the lead from initial leader James Mercer about halfway through the 25 lap event.
Two laps later, Tyler den Hallander had his Welland Timber Mart # 12 facing sideways on the front stretch with the race put under red for driver safety.
Jack Myers would take second spot from Mercer on lap 16 while Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder competitor Jason Coutu would drop off the pace from the top 5 on lap 21.
At the finish, Hage was followed by Mercer who will now start the 100 lap Ballhockey Enduro accelerated by Niagara College on Sunday September 13th from third spot. Myers, Nick Masi and Bill Smith closed out the top 5.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
The Niagara Employment Help Centre will present a full Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Program Saturday August 8th featuring the finale of the Triple Crown Series for the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder Division.
Help a Child Smile Night also includes Kid's Box Car Races.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway's 64th Consecutive Season in 2015 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Become a fan of Merrittville Speedway on Face Book at www.facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Merrittville
Rick's Delivery DIRTcar Sportsman: JUSTIN SHARP, Paul Gaboury, Austin Wood, Cody McPherson, Jordan Cosco, Chad Chevalier, Gary Lindberg, Brad Rouse, Brent Begolo, James Michael Friesen, Jay Mallory, Rob Knapp, Jason Moore, Joey Mastrioanni, Gord McIntosh, Gord Moreau, Chris Storm, Charlie Lynch, Paul Williamson, Robert Baker, Adam Leslie Did Not Start: John Babion
Qualifying Winners: Austin Wood, Jason Moore, Jordan Cosco
Hoosier Stocks: JIM LAMPMAN, Jason Fontaine, Rob Murray, Justin Ramsay, Brad Sheehan, Bill Bleich Jr, Dale Jyokery, Dave Bailey, James Thompson, Mark Fawcett, Kyle Pelrine, Kevin Knapp, Vince Fargnoli, Brandon Murrell
Qualifying Winners: Jim Lampman, Bill Bleich Jr
Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series (100 laps): MAT WILLIAMSON, Brett Hearn, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Mike Bowman, Pat Ward, Pete Bicknell, Chad Brachmann, Tommy Flannigan, Danny Johnson, Bill Bleich Sr, Jimmy Phelps, Larry Wight, Billy Decker, Mark D'llario, Fred Carleton, Tim Fuller, Pete Britten, Scott Wood, Boyd MacTavish, Rich Scagliotta, Keith Flach, Todd Gordon, Erick Rudolph, Billy Dunn, Tim Jones, Gary Tomkins, Randy Chrysler, Tyler McPherson, Jeremiah Shingledecker.
Time Trials Group 1: 1. 42 Pete Bicknell 15.769, 2. 3rs Billy Dunn 15.771, 3. 6m Mat Williamson 15.817, 4. 19 Tim Fuller 15.898, 5. 108 Bill Bleich Sr. 15.966, 6. 37 Tommy Flannigan 15.988, 7. 19c Erick Rudolph 15.898, 8. 08 Mark D'Ilario 16.010, 9. 18r Brad Rouse 16.068, 10. 22 Travis Miller 16.428.
Time Trials Group 2: 1. 99L Larry Wight 15.520, 2. 71 Mike Bowman 15.583, 3. 91D Billy Decker 15.624, 4. 43 Keith Flach 15.908 , 5. 21A Peter Britten 15.928, 6. 19W Justin Wright 16.010, 7. 21K Randy Chrysler, 8. 15J Tim Jones 16.166, 9. 88 Shayne Pierce 16.226, 10. 63 Adam Roberts 16.727.
Time Trials Group 3: 1. 98H Jimmy Phelps 15.604, 2. 7z Stewart Friesen 15.637, 3. 9H Matt Sheppard 15.875, 4. 41 Boyd MacTavish 15.889, 5. 38 Scott Wood 15.937, 6. 37MD Jeramiah Shingledecker 16.189, 7. 777 Tyler McPherson 16.535, 8. 8 Rich Scagliotta 16.322, 9. 19J Brett Clarke 16.428.
Time Trials Group 4: 1. 27J Danny Johnson 15.768, 2. 42P Pat Ward 15.891, 3. 20 Brett Hearn 16.011, 4. 93 Gary Tomkins 16.024, 5. 3 Chad Brachmann 16.267, 6. 28 Todd Gordon 16.512, 7. 74 Dave Flannigan Jr. 16.454, 8. 96 Fred Carleton 16.369, 9. 88B Chris Bellamy No Time.
Heat 1 Results (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer – Top 3 Redraw): 1. 42 Pete Bicknell, 2. 6m Mat Williamson, 3. 108 Bill Bleich Sr., 4. 19 Tim Fuller, 5. 3rs Billy Dunn, 6. 19c Eric Rudolph, 7. 37 Tommy Flannigan, 8. 08 Mark D'Ilario, 9. 18r Brad Rouse, 10. 22 Travis Miller.
Heat 2 Results (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer – Top 3 Redraw): 1. 99L Larry Wight, 2. 91D Billy Decker, 3. 71 Mike Bowman, 4. 21A Peter Britten, 5. 21K Randy Chrysler, 6. 15J Tim Jones, 7. 43 Keith Flach, 8. 19W Justin Wright, 9. 88 Shayne Pierce, 10. 63 Adam Roberts.
Heat 3 Results (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer – Top 3 Redraw): 1. 7z Stewart Friesen, 2. 98h Jimmy Phelps, 3. 9h Matt Sheppard, 4. 41 Boyd MacTavish, 5. 38 Scott Wood, 6. 777 Tyler McPherson, 7. 37md Jeremiah Shingledecker, 8. 8 Rich Scagliotta, 9. 19J Brett Clarke.
Heat 4 Results (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer – Top 3 Redraw): 1. 27J Danny Johnson, 2. 42P Pat Ward, 3. 20 Brett Hearn, 4. 96 Fred Carleton, 5. 28 Todd Gordon, 6. 3 Chad Brachmann, 7. 74 Dave Flannigan Jr. 8. 88b Chris Bellamy, 9. 93 Gary Tomkins.
Last Chance Qualifier 1 (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer): 1. 19c Erick Rudolph, 2. 37 Tommy Flannigan, 3. 43 Keith Flach, 4. 15J Tim Jones, 5. 08 Mark D'Ilario, 6. 19W Justin Wright, 7. 88 Shayne Pierce, 8. 22 Travis Miller, 9. 18R Brad Rouse.
Last Chance Qualifier 2 (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer): 1. 3 Chad Brachmann, 2. 37md Jeremiah Shingledecker, 3. 777Tyler McPherson, 4. 93 Gary Tomkins, 5. 8 Rich Scagliotta, 6. 74 Dave Flannigan Jr., 7. 63 Adam Roberts, 8. 19J Brett Clarke, 9. 88b Chris Bellamy.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2015 64th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway's 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty's Delicious Foods, Rick's Delivery, Rev's Full Throttle Powersports, Hoosier Tire Canada and Van Raine Construction and Contingency Partners http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/contingency.html in addition to many marketing partners. Visit them athttp://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htmand visit them when you require their products and/or services.
Lucas Oil Products is one of 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.
Race fans can look for Lucas Oil Products at their favourite automotive retailer or maintenance center including KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage.
From: Jim Irvine/Assistant General Manager- Merrittville Speedway
905-685-7223 Winter Office