(Bowmanville, ON – July 24, 2013) With the staff and guests of Bowmanville’s James Printing and Signs on hand as presenting sponsors of the evening’s racing activities, Round 8 of the 2013 schedule played out July 20 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway. With the sounds of the American Le Mans Series providing background noise from the CTMP road course, the Lucas Oil Pure Stocks, the Late Models and the Techtonix Open-Wheel Modifieds offered a full night of stock car racing for the gathered Speedway faithful.
Lucas Oil Pure Stock:
For the penultimate race on this year’s racings schedule, the Pure Stock competitors had an extra length feature race.
A handful of out-of-town drivers, including Peterborough Speedway regular Danny Benedict (#54), who quickly came to terms with the track, scoring a race win in one of the night’s qualifying dashes, showed up for the special.
As the top point earner from the heat races, Benedict drew for the 25-lap feature inversion order. Benedict chose the Number 1 pill, and he would take the green flag from the front row, starting alongside of current Pure Stock point leader Willy Howells.
“The car felt fast, and when we drew the pole, I knew we’d be in good shape to the race,” remarked Benedict.
Taking advantage of his pole position in the feature event, Benedict launched into the race lead at the drop of the green, with Howells (#19 Durham Corporate Centre/Auto Accessory World Prelude) and the #18 Algonquin Property Services Honda of previous race winner Matt Boyce firmly affixed to his back bumper.
Over the course of the opening 17 laps, Benedict and Howells managed to open a sizable gap on the field, only to see their advantage disappear when the yellow flag flew for a single car, Turn 3 spin.
With a hungry gang of rivals now in close contact, Benedict and Howells brought the pack to the ensuing green flag in a heated sprint to the line.
A slight bobble by Benedict (“I missed a shift on the restart”) gave Howells an unexpected shot at the lead, but the Peterborough driver maintained his position, and with Howells and a hard charging Stuart ‘Hatchback’ Hinds (#57 PS Auto Wreckers) tucked in closely behind him, the trio formed a breakaway pack, eventually taking the checkered flag in a nose-to-tail finish.
“I was pushing as hard as I could, and I spent those last laps watching my mirrors pretty carefully. I knew my car was good, but Willy’s was just as strong,” stated Benedict.
Admitted Howells, “I tried every trick I knew but Danny just had a little edge on me. I think I melted the tires, towards the end, I really had nothing left to make a late race charge.”
Behind the leading threesome, Matt Boyce survived a race long scrap with the #34 of Kevin Strutt, with Peterborough’s Dan Demers (#67) rounding out the top half-dozen finishers.
Kyle ‘Wheely’ Donaldson appears determined to secure his sixth track championship and took another step in that direction last Saturday as he swept to victory in all three of his Late Model appearances.
Starting the 25-lap feature from the outside of the second row, Donaldson let the race order settle into a steady rhythm before making his charge towards the front.
“There’s no sense crashing your way to the front, you’ll never make the checkered flag if you’re going to race foolishly,” commented the driver of the #53 Downtown Rug/Custom Steering Chevy.
On the sixth lap Donaldson was finally able to squeeze his way past early race leader Mark Gordon (#52 Boston Pizza) to grab the point, and once clear of the pack, the Queensville-based driver pulled away, cruising to a six car length advantage at the conclusion of the ‘Clean and Green’ feature run.
“It’s never easy when you’re out front, you have too much time to worry, said Donaldson. “It’s true when they say that you can hear every little noise, every rattle when you’re in the lead. There are so many things that can go wrong, you never get comfortable.”
Behind Donaldson, a four car train consisting of Gordon, Linc Brown (#99 Kawartha Metals/Clarke Motorsports Communications), Darren Kearnan (#55 Harrington Mobile/Nick Oram Autobody) and Dan Kimmerly (#01) were involved in a spirited battle, with Brown emerging with the runner-up position following a Lap 8 exchange of positions, Kearnan slipping into third spot, moving around Gordon one lap later.
Ultimately the top three finishers, Donaldson, Brown and Kearnan took the checkered flag separated by a half dozen car lengths, with Scott Harrison and Kimmerly also getting past the fading Chevy of Mark Gordon to complete the top five.
Techtonix Open Wheel Modified:
Dwight Brown scored his fourth consecutive victory of the Techtonix Modified season on July 20, but for the multi-time champion this race was far from a Saturday night cruise.
Wrestling the race lead from stepfather Bill Pickford (#61) on the fourth lap, Brown pulled away from the 12-car Modified field, but soon became aware that his longtime rival Darren Kearnan (#46 TTR Transport) was in second place and on a charge.
Cutting into Brown’s lead, Kearnan drew within three car lengths of the #2 Bourque Transmission Mod, but then began to fade as his car became increasingly loose.
“The oil cap on the motor had worked loose and was spraying oil all over the side of the car and onto the back tire,” explained Kearnan.
Always the sportsman, Brown was sorry to see his challenger suffer misfortune, but at the same time, was grateful that the pressure had been reduced.
“I was coming up to a tight pack of cars and I couldn’t figure out where I was going to go,” laughed Brown. “If Darren had gotten much closer, somebody might have been moved to give me a line.”
Following a race long scrap for the final step on the podium, Rob Warnes, (#95) edged past the #09 of Nick Lees with eight laps remaining to secure the position. Father Rick Warnes moved into the top five with two-to-go, relegating Pickford to a sixth place result.
For further information: Ryan Chalmers/ Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
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