(Varney, ON) – The Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series arrived at Varney Speedway Motorplex on Sunday, June 30th for round four of the eight-race championship, as the headline show of the Canada Day weekend festival of speed at Canada’s fastest ¼-mile speedway.
Time trials were the first order of the day and defending series champion, and current point leader Shawn McGlynn (#81) of Kitchener, turned the track with a lap of 13.50 seconds to take the fast qualifying award, as well as setting a new track record. Rookie Johnathan Schwemler (#45) of Montreal, posted his second consecutive top-five qualifying effort with a lap of 13.59 seconds, while another freshman, 16-year old Matthew Scannell (#56) of Milton, was third, with Tim ‘The Intimidator’ Tolten (#3) of Guelph, and Dan Prudhomme (#96) of Thamesford, rounding out the top-five. The entire field was separated by a mere 9/10ths of a second.
The Lucas Oil ‘Fast Five’ draw was next as the drivers pulled for their starting positions. Scannell was the luckiest of the bunch, drawing the pole, with Prudhomme starting alongside him, while Schwemler and Tolten occupied row two. McGlynn and Josh Wood (#66) of London rolled off from the third row.
Prudhomme took the early lead as the field went green until a lap 15 yellow when Schwemler’s car died on the backstretch. Tolten restarted alongside Prudhomme and led one lap, but Prudhomme was able to recapture control on lap 17. Tolten hounded Prudhomme, and was finally able to get past on lap 27, but it was Jake ‘The Juicebox’ Ott (#60) of Ayr, who was on the charge. After starting eighth, Ott picked his way through the field and passed Prudhomme for second on lap 35 before taking off after Tolten. The field would be slowed by the second yellow of the night on lap 52, and shortly after the restart, Ott was able to get past Tolten to take the point.
During the next 26 laps, Ott stretched his lead out to almost a half a track over Prudhomme, while Tolten experienced issues and faded. The race was slowed by a lap 81 yellow, setting up a 19-lap dash to the finish. Prudhomme took the lead from Ott on the outside during the restart, while Ott went on the attack, with McGlynn grabbing third, Wood running fourth, and Schwemler rallying to fifth position.
They were still running in those spots when the leaders came upon lapped traffic into turn one after taking the white flag. Prudhomme went to the outside of the lappers out of turn two, while Ott piled his car to the inside, splitting the lapped car on the backstretch heading into turn three. Contact ensued with Ott and the lapped car, and Ott ended up wrecked in the infield. Wood was partially collected in the melee, while McGlynn and Schwemler avoided contact to finish second and third in a thrilling conclusion. Wood finished fourth while Doug Cathcart (#48) of Ottawa rounded out the top-five.
For Prudhomme, it was his first trip to victory lane since Flamboro late in 2011, and he said, “We’ve won at least one race every year for 20 years, and last season was the first time we were ever shutout, and sometimes you wonder if you’re ever going to get a win again. We’ve had a lot of seconds since we were in victory lane last time. There were a bunch of fast cars – Tolten might have had the car to beat, and Ott was fast. He and I had a great race for the last 20 laps. It was a good points night for us, and we just need to get a little better at qualifying, but we’ve been improving.”
McGlynn came home second, despite a car that was damaged earlier in the night when he suffered some hard contact racing for position.
He said, “We broke the sway bar off and the thing was a handful the last part of the race. I saw everything breaking out in front of me and just tried to get through it without hitting anything. We had another strong night, being the fastest qualifier, and extended our points lead.”
Schwemler was making just his 11th start in a stock car and was thrilled with his third-place finish, and spoke about his night,
“The car unloaded fast, but I didn’t like it, so we made a lot of adjustments. I made a mistake early in the race and shut the car down when I hit the wrong switch, but after that I was able to pick them off one at a time. We were faster than a bunch of the cars, and I had to use a little bumper to get past one of them. I saw with two laps to go that lapped traffic was going to be an issue, and with three to go, I thought that I was going to be able to get the #66 [Josh Wood]. I saw the white and saw the 60 go to the inside down the backstretch and when everything broke loose I stayed high, and the #66 took the wrong line through the wreck and I was able to get him on the outside. I would’ve been happy with a top-five with three laps to go, and I’m thrilled that we were able to capture the first trophy for the Canadian Heros Racing program.”
Race #4 Results – Varney Speedway Motorplex – 1. Prudhomme, 2. S. McGlynn, 3. Schwemler, 4. Wood, 5. Cathcart.
Standings after 4 of 8 events – 1. McGlynn (415 points), 2. Wood (393), 3. Prudhomme (391), 4. Ott (382), 5. Cathcart (366).
Following a weekend off, the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup teams will be back in action on July 13th at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway. It will be the final major event at the historic half-mile and throughout the years has produced some incredible finishes for the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series. The track is scheduled to be closed at the end of July, and all the drivers will be looking to become a part of history during the event. Last season it was Shawn McGlynn that captured the win, but less than a car length over Amanda Connolly (#16) of Aurora.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series, Varney Speedway Motorplex, or Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway, please visit www.lucasoilsportsmancup.com, www.varneyspeedwaymotorplex.com, www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com, or contact Series Director Dave Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Release by Jamie Maudsley and www.maudsleymotorsports.com.