THOROLD, ON – Chris Steele made short work of an abbreviated field of Modifieds to capture the 35 lap Modified Feature on a chilly night at Merrrittville Speedway on Saturday, May 25th. The versatile Steele, from Fenwick, who came up through the Mod Lite ranks and is the defending sprint car champion at Ohsweken Speedway, started sixth in the 15 car field, which has been decimated recently by blown engines and other mechanical woes, but still featured the top runners in the division.
Driving the Pete Cosco owned No. 17C, the always fast Steele, bolted into second in three laps before the only caution of the race flew. On the restart, he stalked leader Chad Chevalier for two laps before steaming into the lead. He never looked back, immediately putting distance between himself and Chevalier, a lead that would grow to almost a straightaway at the checkered flag.
Chevalier finished second, followed by Robbie Krull, driving the Harry Sittler-owned No. 37S, who went off eighth, previous week’s winner Mark D’Ilario, and Pete Bicknell, who got caught up in a jingle in his heat and had to go to his backup car, which put him 15th on the grid.
Steele observed, “The carburetor has been acting up for a little bit, but with only fifteen cars I didn’t have to deal with lap traffic. The car was pretty much spot-on, and hammer down. It was a good track. Three and four were a bit slippery, but one and two were pretty much wide open. It was racy.”
Sportsman driver Gary Lindberg, from Ridgeway, continued his hot streak, taking the 25 lap feature in dominating fashion, coming from eleventh starting spot to do it, after being victorious the night before at Oshewken. He has also won the last two Sportsman Features at Humberstone. Thirteen year-old second generation driver Travis Miller finished a distant second.
In other racing, third generation driver, Ryan Turner, from Caistor Centre, drove to his first ever Hoosier Stock win, while defending Mod Lite champion, Josh Sliter, from Ridgeway, edged previous week’s winner Derek Wagner to score the win. Finally, Dillan Sliter, from Pt. Colborne, won the caution-free 4 Cylinder event.
MODIFIED: (35 laps) 1. Chris Steele, 2. Chad Chevalier, 3. Robbie Krull, 4. Mark D’Ilario, 5. Pete Bicknell, 6. Todd Gordon, 7. Mat Williamson, 8. Scott Wood, 9. Tyler McPherson, 10. Bill Bleich, 11. Brandon Easey, 12. Ken Winfield, 13. Mike Bowman, 14. Tommy Flannigan, and 15. Shayne Pierce. Heat winners were Flannigan and Steele.
SPORTSMAN: (25 laps)- 1. Gary Lindberg, 2. Travis Miller, 3. Rob Knapp, 4. Brad Rouse, 5. Jason Moore, 6. Adam Leslie, 7. Cody McPherson, 8. Austin Wood, 9. Justin Sharp, 10. BJ Willard, 11. Boyd MacTavish, 12. Dan Miller, 13. Greg Panunte, 14. David Flannigan, Jr., 15. Jason Farraway, 16. Paul Gaboury, 17. Jim Johnstone, 18. Shawn Sliter, 19. Robbie Rounce, 20. Jordan Cosco, 21. Paul Williamson, 22. Charlie Lynch, 23. Robert Baker, 24. Rob Clark. DNQ – Brent Begolo, Derick Hodge, Ron MacAulay, Gord McIntosh, and Chris Bellamy. Heat winners were Travis Miller, Williamson, Lynch, and Rouse. Consi winner was Johnstone.
HOOSIER STOCK: (20 laps) – 1. Ryan Turner, 2. Jim Lampman, 3. Jason Fontaine, 4. Bryce Richardson, 5. Brad Sheehan, 6. James Thompson, 7. Kevin Knapp, 8. Paul Wichert, 9. Cory Turner, 10. Rob Murray, 11. Vince Fargnoli, 12. Mike Green, 13. Mark Fawcett, 14. Marcel Michaud, 15. Pete Reid, and 16.Rick Moreash. Heat winners were Murray and Cory Turner.
Mod Lites: (20 laps)- 1. Josh Sliter, 2. Derek Wagner, 3. Jason Corless, 4. Paul Klager, Rick Koabel, 5. Randy Hollingshead, 6. Jeffrey May, 7. Tim Anderson, 8. Dean Pronovost, 9. Evan Leonard, 10. Ray Sliter, 11. Dylan Davidson, 12. Dan Reif, 13. Timothy Reid, 14. Brad Reif, 15. Kellie Mason, 16. Kory Howe, and 17. Dan Kviring. Heat winners were Wagner and Anderson.
4 CYLINDER: (15 laps) – 1. Dillan Sliter, 2. Evan Curtis, 3. Rocco Conte, 4. Kyle Rothwell, 5. Leroy Buscumb, 6. Tyler Lafantaisie, 7. Rob Overholt, 8. Jason Coutu, 9. Nathan Monahan, 10. Sam Iftody, 11. Mike Sadusek, 12. Tony Kelly, 13. Kevin Conley, 14. Chris Laskey, 15. Kyle Haynes, 16. Jeff Larmet, 17. Kyle Pelrine, 18. Garnet Wilson, 19. Greg Wilson, 20. Kourtney Kocarik, 21. Gabriel Attallah, 22. Brandon Boychuck, and 23. Mike Giberson. Heat winners were Overholt, Monahan, and Curtis.
From: Dave Scully