PETERBOROUGH, ON (August 25, 2022)- The provincial motorsports community said goodbye to a cherished friend when Bill Pickford passed away in September of 2019 but his impact on the sport lived on when the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series, presented by GEN-3 Electrical held the inaugural running of the Bill Pickford Memorial event, consisting of a twin feature format on Saturday, August 20 at Peterborough Speedway.
Coming to the line a baker’s dozen strong, the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series teams were led to the green flag by Rick Warnes and Alex Cuzzilla for the opening round feature of 30 laps for the Bill Pickford Memorial. After an early yellow flag, Cuzzilla took control of the pack with Strawn, John Baker Jr. and Brad Stevenson close behind. The quartet started working through the backmarkers with a dozen laps complete, but Cuzzilla managed to lead every lap. Strawn, JBJ, Stevenson and Rob Richards completed the top five.
Action wrapped-up with the second feature – this time for 31 laps, with the combined total to equal Bill Pickford’s car number with John Baker Jr. and Chad Strawn leading the way to the green flag. JBJ took control early, but his quest for victory was far from a walk in the park. Strawn mounted several attacks during the race distance with Alex Cuzzilla and Shane Pollock not far behind, as a trio of yellow flags worked to heighten the excitement. Still, the popular runner was able to score the win, with Strawn, Cuzzilla, Pollock and Bob Franks finishing second through fifth.
Even though they celebrated with the checkered flag and posed for victory photos after winning their respective feature events, Alex Cuzzilla and John Baker Jr. shared the honour of the inaugural Bill Pickford Memorial win with Chad Strawn. Once the final points were tallied, it showed that all three drivers were tied for the overall win with 96 points. Ironically, Brad Stevenson and Shane Pollock were also deadlocked at 84 points apiece. Bob Franks, Robert Maebrae, Randy Hollingsworth, Rob Richards, Ben Gruntz, Tyler Bouillon, Willow Barberstock and Rick Warnes completed the overall running order.
Thanks to the generous contributions of event backers, along with lap sponsors, the Bill Pickford Memorial was the biggest purse in OMRS series history. Competitors and officials alike are very grateful for everyone’s support and look forward to this event in 2023.
Ontario Modifieds Racing Series Bill Pickford Memorial notes: Many members of the immediate and extended Pickford family were on hand for the special tribute event and participated in victory lane celebrations…Several teams experienced mechanical issues during the first feature event but all 13 cars were able to answer the call for the second round…Brad Stevenson once again took over the driving duties in the No. 95 Mod…OMRS officials would like to thank the Peterborough Speedway team for hosting this event…The final event on the 2022 Ontario Modifieds Racing Series schedule is the Championship Clash on Saturday, September 3 at Peterborough Speedway.
Learn more about the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series by liking the OMRS Ontario Modifieds Racing Series Facebook group.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media