It’s only two weeks into the young 2012 season at the Varney Speedway Motorplex however, two trends are developing that, so far this year, don’t show any signs of letting up. Another beautiful night greeted race fans this past Saturday at Varney Speedway where, no less than five of its regular racing divisions were to see action on the high banked oval at dusk. Week two had race fans chomping at the bit after an action packed opening long weekend.
The Domtel Networks Stock 4 class continued this year where it left off last season with enviable car counts and plenty of front runners. Yet, despite the parity amongst these cars, only one had yet to taste victory. Last weekend, #51 Clark Hartman’s two nights of domination had left the competition puzzled. This past Saturday night was an opportunity for redemption but, after five straight checkered flags, would Hartman be willing to relinguish the throne. After the first heat, it appeared not. Hartman charged to the win from the 10th starting spot in convincing fashion marking his sixth straight checkered flag of the year.
The win streak would come to an end next time out as; fittingly; #35 Tim Tolton would hang on for his first heat race win of the year edging Hartman at the line. Come feature race time, Hartman who was now focused on his third straight feature race win of the year, started from outside the front row. This time, it would be defending Stock 4 Champion #14 Brian Wilson who would provide the pressure. Wilson, starting from the back of the pack in the ninth position, steadily picked cars off on his march to the front; often turning the fastest laps in the field en route.
Wilson was able to reach the second position after the midway point of the race and set his sights on Hartman. To many people’s surprise, the comfortable buffer that Hartman had built up, was starting to disappear. There was no question that Wilson was coming. With two to go, Wilson had closed to within a car length. Two straight feature race wins and four out of five heat race wins under his belt this year, Hartman was not going to let this one get away. Under the white flag and, with clear track out front, Hartman would keep his car in command for the final circuit and claim his third straight feature race win of the year.
Not to be out done or over looked by any means, the 94.5 THE BULL Late Models were building their own story line for this young race season. Last week, #89 Tommy Robb picked up the opening night feature race win along with one of two heat race wins. A great single night achievement for any racer but, the plot was about to thicken. In the first heat race, Robb would race to what appeared to be a third place finish however, after the first and second place cars mistakenly neglected to pass through tech after the race, ensuing disqualifications moved Robb to the top of the running order.
Next time out, and proving that wins don’t just come as a result of fluke circumstances, Robb battled his way to the front; after racing #11 Cole Weber and pole-sitter #51 Justin McLellan; and pull away in the closing laps for his second straight heat race win on the night and, his third of four heat race wins on the season. The stage was set for the finale in the Late Model Feature race. Robb, starting from the pole, would be challenged for the first two thirds of the race by #76 Tyler Williams who; impressively worked his way to the front from the seventh starting spot.
Depending on how you look at things, Williams either began to fade in the closing laps or, Robb was able to rocket away from the pack but, no matter how you slice it, Tommy Robb would speed away to claim his second straight feature race win of the year thus starting an undefeated streak of his own.
So, while 2012 is still only two weeks young, Hartman in the Stock 4’s and, Robb in the Late Models have unofficially challenged the competition to knock them off their pedestals as they remain the only two drivers this year to go undefeated in Feature Race action within their respective divisions.
Not to be overlooked on this night that saw three other divisions take to the high banks, winner of one of two feature race wins in the ‘4 For Fun’ division, #09 Britton Lundy would sweep his class picking up two heat race wins and his second feature race win of the year. In the Chalmers Fuels Street Stocks, sophomore young-gun #18 Billy Alderson Jr. picked up his first feature race win of the year as the Street Stocks remain the only class to see a different driver carry the checkers in the first three features this season. The All Pro Modifieds kicked off their season last week at Sunset Speedway in Innisfill, Ontario and, in the season opener for Varney. It was #8 Gary McLean picking up his second straight Modified win of the year.
For complete results, race fans can visit www.varneymotorspeedway.com. Racing continues this Saturday night as the Ontario Pro Challenge return to the high banks along with regular racing from the Chalmers Fuels Street Stocks, the All Pro Modieds and the fan-favourite Trains! The 94.5 The Bull Late Models, the Domtel Networks Stock 4’s and the ‘4 For Fun’ all earn a well deserved weekend off.
From Jody Buschlen – Track Announcer