Four drivers had no problems finding their way to the Winner’s Circle on NAPA Auto Parts Night Saturday at South Buxton Raceway.
The fifth winner needed a GPS just to find the race track.
Justin Barger, an Empire Super Sprints driver from Montrose, N.Y., led all 25 laps to win the Northern Summer Nationals Sprint Series feature in his first visit to South Buxton in front of close to 3,000 race fans.
Barger, who lives about 50 miles north of New York City, took advantage of his front row starting position and drove away from the pack.
The 24-car ‘A’ Main was slowed by three cautions, which benefited Barger as they fell just as he was catching the tail end of the field.
Dustin Daggett, an ASCS Sprints On Dirt regular from Portland, Mich., was the biggest mover as he started seventh and finished second. Daggett was stripped of his win in last June’s NSS race at South Buxton because of an illegal wing.
Travis Cunningham of Grimsby (Corr-Pak Sprint Series), Alain Bergeron (Empire Sprints) of St. Pie, Que., and Dain Naida (Corr-Pak/SOD) of Tecumseh Mich., rounded out the top five.
Jared Zimbardi, a Patriot Sprint Tour driver from Salamanca, N.Y, finished sixth after winning Friday’s series opener at Ohsweken Speedway.
Barger was fourth at Ohsweken.
The $65,000 NSS concludes August 17 at Ohsweken and August 18 at South Buxton.
Meanwhile, it was déjà vu for all four feature winners from the previous Saturday night in South Buxton’s regular classes.
Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr. won his third straight and fifth feature win of the season in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.
He took the lead on lap nine when Maidstone’s Scott Mackenzie spun out between turns three and four on lap nine.
Dale Jr. fretted for a few seconds, hoping that officials didn’t think he had spun the leader.
“I was worried about the angle we were on (to the tower),” Dale Jr. said. “I was hoping they didn’t think that I got into him, because I didn’t touch him.”
Officials agreed as Dale Jr. inherited the lead and led the final 11 circuits.
A late caution allowed rival Joel Dick of Leamington, who has the other three feature wins in the class, to restart beside Dale Jr., who chose the top lane.
“I figured he’d get some bite off the bottom, and he did coming out two, but I just kept my high line and he wasn’t there when we got to three,” Dale Jr. said.
Louisville’s Jim Fletcher rebounded from earlier contact to take second away from Dick on the final lap while Chatham’s Brian Speelman and Essex’s Gerald Martin rounded out the top five.
Blenheim’s Shawn Jones duplicated Dale Jr. with his third straight feature win and fifth of the season in the Tirecraft Comp 4s.
Jones, who survived a first-lap three wide battle, lost the lead briefly when Cottam’s Rob Quick took the lead. But two laps later, Quick gave the lead right back to Jones when he spun between turns three and four.
Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano, who was involved in an early race accident, rebounded to take second. Tilbury’s Gerry Rivait was third, followed by Blenheim’s Brett Hope and Tilbury’s Ryan Beaulieu.
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere had only one bump in the road en route to his second straight and fourth Windride Transportation Sport Stocks feature win.
Vanderiviere, who started on the inside pole, battled fellow Merlin driver Steve Shaw for the first three laps before getting turned coming out of turn two.
Shaw was penalized for the incident and restarted at the back while Vanderiviere was given his spot back.
“I guess the old buck couldn’t get by the young buck and thought he had to drive in to me to get it done,” Vanderiviere said with a smile about the incident.
Vanderiviere led the final 17 laps for his sixth career feature win.
The Lajeunesse brothers from Essex – Doris and Patrick – finished second and third, followed by Windsor’s West Bertozzi and Chatham’s Randy McKinlay.
Chatham’s Brad Authier threw a curve ball at his fellow Glencoe Auto Recyclers UMP Late Models to win his second straight and third feature of the year.
Authier, a notorious bottom-feeder in his career, rode the high line to the Winner’s Circle.
“You get into a routine, and everyone knows where you’re going to run,” Authier said after outfoxing the field.
“Tonight was the best time to do the opposite. I think we threw them off guard taking the high side and staying there,” he said. “We never went to the bottom, not even once.”
Chatham’s Jim Jones led twice for four laps and finished second.
“There were a few times he got through (turns) three and four better than I did, but I just kept the momentum and I’d get back by him in the ‘D,’” Authier said of Jones.
Points leader Gregg Haskell of Chatham was third, followed by Don Gordon, also of Chatham, and Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford.
The Stars Mod Lites International Tour will be at South Buxton this Saturday.
From Mike Bennett at South Buxton Raceway