Merlin, ON- Four drivers rode hot streaks to the Winner’s Circle on Mid-Season Championship night Saturday at South Buxton Raceway.
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere won his fourth straight feature and fifth of the season in the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks’ mid-season championship race.
Two drivers won their third straight and fourth features of the season – Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford in the Lube Tech/Great Canadian Oil Change UMP Late Models and Leamington’s Joel Dick in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.
Cottam’s Rob Quick won the Tirecraft Mini-Mods mid-season title, his third feature win in the last four weeks.
Vanderiviere and Dick did not appear to have the fastest cars in their classes early in their features but they had the best cars when the checkered flag waved.
Vanderiviere started in the fifth row in the Sport Stocks’ feature and moved into second behind Merlin’s Steve Shaw on lap six.
“I don’t think I really had too much for him, he was getting a good jump on the restarts,” Vanderiviere said of Shaw.
But as the leaders were coming through turns three and four on lap eight, Shaw’s car suddenly slowed dramatically and Vanderiviere shot by underneath to take the lead for good.
“I don’t know what happened to him, I just saw him wash up between three and four … but I was pretty happy,” Vanderiviere admitted.
Shaw said he broke a rear gear.
The scheduled 25-lap race was reduced to 15 laps because of numerous cautions, the second time Vanderiviere has won a shortened feature.
“It’s too bad we had too many cautions from the get-go because it’s hard to get any momentum going with caution after caution, but once we got going for a few laps, the car was all right,” Vanderiviere said.
The two-time reigning division champion credited his crew for making repairs following a heat-race crash.
“I didn’t know how the car was going to be (in the feature) but the guys did a great job putting it back together,” he said.
Harrow’s Patrick Lajeunesse finished second and Wallaceburg’s Willy Vyse was third.
Vanderiviere has opened a 58-point lead over Shaw in his bid for a third straight points title.
Merlin’s Joe Brosseau led the first 24 laps of the Modified mid-season championship before a caution with six to go changed everything.
On the restart, Brosseau washed up the track coming out of turn two and dropped back to fourth place.
Two laps later, he was knocked out of the race after a crash with Wallaceburg’s Drew Smith and was credited with a 17th-place finish.
“I don’t know if I had anything for him,” Dick said about chasing Brosseau for almost 20 laps.
“He had a really fast car and was getting a good drive off the corner,” Dick said. “I was trying to go where he was running but I couldn’t get the same drive.
“I was going to let it all out the last eight laps but the caution came out and that’s the way the race played out,” Dick said.
Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra held off Clayton Smith, of Taylor, Mich., in a photo finish for second.
Hoekstra has also taken over the division lead by eight points over Chatham’s Brian Speelman, who finished eighth in the feature.
Glassford took the lead on the second lap and led the final 18 circuits for his second Late Model mid-season victory in three years.
“Things are going our way right now,” said Glassford, explaining his hot streak.
“Some of it’s luck, some of it is being in the right spot at the right time and taking advantage of other people’s problems.
“We went through our bad luck the first of the season and now we’ve got some good luck going,” Glassford said.
Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis, who won the heat and dash preliminary races earlier in the night, got loose between turns three and four on the second lap, surrendering the lead to Glassford.
Lewis held off Chatham’s Jim Jones in the waning laps to finish second.
Quick took the lead in the Mini-Mod feature from Dresden’s Matt Sorrell on lap seven and led the final 18 laps, including the final 15 caution-free, in a dominating.
“That’s what I like to see, no cautions,” Quick said.
“That way, I don’t lose any of the ground that I gained, I can just keep my rhythm going.”
Quick weaved his way through the lapped traffic, building almost a half-track lead over Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr. and Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano, who badly needed a caution to have any shot at a win but settled for second and third-place finishes.
Blenheim’s Dylan Bonner won the Bombers’ feature.
The Late Models will compete in the Don Hendricks memorial feature this Saturday.
From: Mike Bennett/ South Buxton Raceway