FRASERVILLE, ON – Bright, flashing lights beckon risk takers to the neighbouring casino, but the real gamblers run the 3/8th mile blacktop just a stone’s throw away. The point battles in each of Kawartha Speedway’s 3 regular divisions will be decided by one driver’s good luck, while another competitor’s fortunes take a turn for the worse.
Friday, August 17th the Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock, Thunder Car and NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model teams did their best to solidify their spot in the standings and take the next step toward a season title.
Howie Crowe and Willie Reyns – in one of his few 2012 starts – split the Thunder Car qualifying heats. Daryl Fice and Brad Martin shared the opening round of Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock action, while Linc Brown and Dave Morgan won the first rounds of NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model battle and earned the front row starting spots in the night’s 100 lap main event. Kyle Donaldson, Martin and invader Stephane DaCoste picked-up their respective Thunder Car, Mini Stock and Late Model semi features, with Dan Price and Daniel DaCoste taking the Thunder Car and Late Model consolation wins.
Chad Strawn and division point leader Matt Spence paced the field to the stripe for the 20 lap feature on a night where Thunder Car drivers earned double race points for every position. With just 5 laps complete, action was slowed for a multi-car incident in the second turn that sidelined Strawn, Reyns and Brad Lavalle to name a few. With the carnage cleared, things settled-down and the remaining runners turned their attention to some solid racing. Kyle Donaldson took control after the caution, but Matt Spence – who ran most of the semi feature with
flat left front tire – couldn’t be denied his second win of the year. Donaldson followed the #53 across the line, with his car owner Howie Crowe a strong 3rd. Jamie Wagar and Dan Price completed the top 5.
20 laps of Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock feature race action took to the track next, with youngsters Brandt Graham and Stuart ‘Stuie Hatchback’ Hinds leading the way. Kawartha’s entry level division has made headlines for a number of reasons during the current campaign, mostly because of the young drivers in the pack. The combined age of front row starters Graham and Hinds barely reached 29. Add 3rd place Cole McFadden to the mix and the number still wouldn’t total 45.
The top 7 runners in the 4 cylinder class were just 102 points apart heading into the most recent show and despite some terrible racing luck over the last couple of events, Brad Martin did everything he could to close that gap. After winning his heat race and the semi feature earlier in the evening, the Plainville, Ontario speedster claimed the checkered flag in a caution-free ‘A’ main. Point leader Daryl Fice was 2nd, while Ryan Oosterholt, Alex Lees and Michael Batchelor took positions 3rd, 4th and 5th.
With 100 laps of action on the agenda, the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Models broke from the blocks nearly 20 strong for their feature tilt. Linc Brown took off early and led the show’s first 25 laps, while his front row counterpart Dave Morgan – whose ride sustained sheet metal damage during contact in the semi feature – drifted back through the pack. The show’s first yellow flag for a spin by Mike Wallace brought 7 time track champion Dan McHattie – who had started 6th – to Brown’s passenger side door for the restart.
The Colborne runner held his friendly rival at bay for a few laps, before McHattie took control of the field. Brown continued – turning in his best run of the season – in second spot and used slower traffic to keep some distance between himself and 3rd pace runner Bryan Mercer. Wally Janzen brought out another caution flag with 40 laps complete, but the race stayed green from that point forward. Mercer would close on Brown, but still couldn’t get around. With less than 10 laps remaining, the #99 Dodge slowed on the backstretch, giving-up what was easily a top effort to a problem with the fuel system. Mercer chased McHattie across the line for the runner-up spot, with Stephane DaCoste, Ryan Kimball and Dwight Brown finishing out the fast 5.
Kawartha klips: ACT Castrol Series runners Stephane and Daniel DaCoste from Quebec, along with North Gower, Ontario’s Ken Baird and Gord Shepherd from Oro, Ontario joined the Late Model field. Heath MacDonald of Ajax, Ontario made his first start in the Thunder Car ranks…Incidental contact between Tim Cole and Dan McHattie during the second Late Model qualifying heat sent the entire pack scrambling as the field entered the 3rd turn. All drivers were able to continue…
The next action on the schedule is Friday, August 24th. A 50 lap Thunder Car invitational – the first race in the Kawartha/Capital City Speedway challenge – will be the featured attraction. The show will also include the 3rd of 4 appearances by the Ontario Legends and the Pro Challenge teams. The Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stocks and the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Models will also be in competition; with the Late Model teams earning double points for their efforts…The OSCAAR Super Late Model Don Biederman Memorial – postponed from August 10th – will be run Friday, September 7th. Racing will start at 6:00…Fans can find the latest track news and the full schedule at www.kawarthaspeedway.com.
From Jim Clarke- Clarke Motorsports Communications