CHATHAM, ON – Gregg Haskell almost called it a night after taking a rock to his face. Good thing he decided to stay on the track because he would have missed one fantastic finish.
The Chatham driver rebounded from the incident, passing the veteran Brad Authier for the lead with three laps to go and went on to win his second Glencoe Auto Recyclers UMP Late Model feature race of the season in front of a large Family Night crowd on Saturday at South Buxton Raceway.
“I’m gonna have a pretty good black eye tomorrow, but I’ll take it,” Haskell smiled. “I accidently pulled off all the tear-offs in one shot and raced a couple of laps with the shield open. “I got hit in the eye with a rock … and I almost went off because I couldn’t see.”
Fortunately, a caution came out with seven laps to go, allowing Haskell to wipe the dirt off his shield so he could see. He passed the Glassford brothers – Dale and Mark – on the next lap to move into second. Haskell quickly gained ground on Authier and rode the high side coming out of turn four to take the lead on lap 17.
“It feels amazing to pass Brad and Dale (Glassford) like that on the high side.” Haskell said he watched Jim Dale Jr. use the top line to move into the lead in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified feature earlier in the night. “The high side was really working,” Haskell said. “I saw Jim run up there and figured that’s where I had to go, it was the only place where you could really stand on it without it bouncing around.” Haskell won his first career feature race on May 19.
Authier, of Chatham, hung on for second followed by the Glassfords – Dale of Ridgetown and Mark of Goderich – with Jeff Jardine of Dover Centre rounding out the top five. Leamington’s Joel Dick admitted he was the most surprised person in the track to be in the Winner’s Circle in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.
“I didn’t think we had much in the middle of the race, but all in all, I’m kind of shocked to see myself up there because typically my car doesn’t work on a track like this,” said Dick, who survived a rough track to win his third feature of the season.
The stage appeared to be set for another showdown between Dick and Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr., who won the class’s other three features on the season. But after taking the lead on a restart with five to go, Dale Jr. quickly faded and pitted with a broken wheel.
Chatham’s Louis Clements and Darryl Hoekstra finished second and third, with Louisville’s Jim Fletcher and Rodney’s Brad Simpson rounding out the top five.
Blenheim’s Shawn Jones picked up his third feature checkered in six weeks in the Tirecraft Comp 4s. Jones took the lead from Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano with three to go and went on to post the win, one day before his 20th birthday. DeSerrano, who was riding a three-feature win streak, stayed with Jones before breaking the drive shaft on the white flag lap and finished 11th. DeSerrano had three wins and two seconds in the first five features.
Cottam’s Rob Quick finished second, with 14-year-old Trevor Jones – Shawn’s brother – finishing a season-best third in just his sixth week of racing. Tilbury’s Ryan Beaulieu and Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr. rounded out the top five.
Merlin’s Steve Shaw won his second straight Windride Transportation Sport Stocks feature, leading the final 16 laps and holding off points leader Eren Vanderiviere, also from Merlin, in the waning laps. It was Shaw’s second night of racing after serving a four-week suspension to start the season. Wallaceburg rookie Willy Vyse was third, with Chatham’s Randy McKinlay and Wheatley’s Steve Clements rounding out the top five.
By Mike Bennett / South Buxton Raceway