@SouthBuxton • South Buxton Raceway, Merlin, ON- Father’s Day came a month early for the Glassfords.
Dale and Nick Glassford won feature races in Saturday’s season opening night at South Buxton Raceway, making them the first father-son duo to win feature races on the same night in track history.
Dale Glassford, 45, picked up where he left off at the end of his 2014 championship season by taking the Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Model feature. Nick Glassford, 15, set the tone earlier in the night by winning his first career feature in the Auto Tech Bombers.
“It feels pretty good, especially because I had to work hard for it,” the younger Glassford said.
Glassford, who won six heat races as a rookie in 2014, said he was confident he would get his first feature checkered sometime this year.
“I didn’t know if I was going to do it (tonight),” he admitted. “When I started third row, I knew there were some fast guys ahead of me.”
Glassford took advantage of a restart following a lap-two caution to go from third to the lead, getting by Chatham’s Chris Ellerbeck and Merlin’s Cale Johns. He never looked back, leading the final 13 laps and celebrated by jumping on his roof in victory lane.
“It’s the only dent I got all night,” he said, laughing.
Kingsville’s Jason Kelly, Johns, Blenheim’s Austin Pickering and Ellerbeck rounded out the top five.
Later in the night, the elder Glassford, coming off of an eight-win season en route to his third championship, led all 20 laps of the Late Model feature. But all Dale Glassford want to talk about was his son.
“I’m way more excited for his win,” he said. “I was nervous for him, but it felt pretty good seeing him on top of his car like that.
“This was the kind of race where you can’t beat yourself,” he described his green-to-checkered run. “I knew I had to be nice and smooth and consistent, and I knew if I didn’t screw up, I ‘d have a chance,” he said.
Chatham’s Jim Jones finished second while Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis, Chatham’s Gregg Haskell and Mike Dale rounded out the top five.
Dale’s older brother Mark, 48, almost made it a Glassford family sweep but finished second to Port Lambton’s Drew Smith in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified feature.
“Oh definitely I was thinking that,” Mark Glassford of a family tri-fecta. “These guys set the bar pretty high,” he laughed, pointing at his brother and nephew.
Mark Glassford did win his heat race, “but he didn’t win the last one, like Nick and me,” Dale laughed.
Smith’s feature win was the first of his career.
“We finally got it, and to do it the first night out is awesome,” Smith said .
Smith started in the third row and moved into third on lap six of the 25-lap race. After a restart on lap 12, Smith dove to the bottom going into turn three to get by both the leader Jeff Daniels, of Chatham, and Brian Speelman, of Blenheim.
“I was fast on the bottom and Daniels was wiggling up, I saw an opening and decided to go for it,” he said of his pass for the lead. “I didn’t know who was behind me, I didn’t know how close they were, I just kept looking for that white flag … it couldn’t come fast enough,” Smith said.
Speelman finished third, while Belle River’s Mario Toniolo and Tilbury’s James Beaulieu rounded out the top five.
Blenheim’s Andrew Reaume, a veteran Late Model driver, rode a second Tyler Lozon car to victory lane in the Tirecraft Sport Stocks feature. Kingsville’s Rob Young was second, followed by four-time reigning champion Eren Vanderiviere of Chatham, Essex’s Doris Lajeunesse and Windsor’s West Bertozzi.
Kingsville’s Larry Hart led all 20 laps for his first career Tirecraft Mini-Mod feature.
Dresden’s Matt Sorrell finished third, followed by Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr., Blenheim’s Kyle Hope and Chatham’s Rick Balasin
This Saturday will feature the second Hall of Fame inductions before the racing program as the Vintage Modifieds join the five regular classes. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.
From: Michael Bennett // South Buxton Raceway