HAMILTON, ON (Augsut 5, 2017)- Kids were the big winners as we celebrated the annual Kids Ride Night Saturday at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway. Always a favorite night for young fans and racers alike, it was once again a huge success. BIG thanks to all the drivers that donated their time to make the dreams come true for so many young race fans. Also to all those that donated bikes, sixteen in all were given away and to all the others that donated prizes. This night wouldn’t be the huge success it is every year without your help. Also nice to see so many great fans, a big group from B.C and California as well as a couple all the way from the Netherlands at their first race in Canada. It was a great night for racing after the cloud and rain cleared mid afternoon.
Six different race divisions were on hand and we got started at 7pm with the Pure Stocks. Going into the night, Doug Moir held a slim one point advantage over Mark Thorne. This is going to likely go down to the last race of the season. And to make it more interesting, they both lined up side by side on the pole as they led the field to green. They battled back and forth and traded the lead early but as the checkers flew Moir came across first followed by Thorne and Leo Labarbera.
The Ontario Modifieds had nine cars signed in and they would run two heats. The first one was very exciting. Randy Hollingsworth led early but the No. 4 of Connor James made a great move to take the lead out of two on lap six. But that would be short lived as James and Hollingsworth got mixed up in the next corner bringing out the caution and a green, white, checkered finish. Brad Stevenson was the leader on the restart and picked up the win. The second heat didn’t have the same intensity but still a great race and Duane Cinnamon was the winner.
Super Stocks were next and this division has grown as the season has progressed and there were 13 cars signed in tonight. And if you thought the points race was close in Pure Stocks with a one point gap, well this one is tied. The 31 team of Brandon McFerran and Kevin Gallant are tied at 824 points with Chris Howse. Nick Troback has 821 so it’s easy to see why it’s been such an exciting year and drivers doing whatever they can to get an advantage. Young Carson Nagy was pole with Troback on his outside. Troback led lap one and would lead until the pack was back to even when A.J. Miller brought out a caution on lap four. Troback continued to lead but another caution on lap 13 as the No. 8 of R.J. Croteau was smoking and missed the black flag so the caution flew. On the restart, a determined Troback continued to lead followed very closely by Gallant, Shawn Arnott and Howse. Arnott and Howse were battling for position and they came together down the front stretch into one and Howse went around bringing out the caution. Arnott and Howse joined the back of the pack for the restart and Troback once again was the leader and he would lead flag to flag to pick up the win. A great race by Joe Trafford got him a second place finish followed by Gallant, Nagy and Arnott.
Pro Four Modifieds hit the track for their first fifteen lap feature. Larry Westwood and Mark Lucas led the cars to green and Lucas was the early leader. He was real fast on the night but Dan Nanticoke would be on his bumper. A caution on lap three as Vic Devries was around and Gillian Hils had no where to go and was into Devries and she was off on the hook. On the restart, Lucas and Nanticoke were battling and as they came across the line it was even. Lucas fell off the pace however and soon retired to the infield. Nanticoke was the leader and was checked out and gone and would win the feature followed by brother Brian and Dan Petit.
The Canadian Vintage Modifieds were here once again and after a crash last week that left some major damage to the Steve Trendell 57 car, he was all set to go. Lucky thirteen cars were signed in and ready for battle. Jeremy Barton and Bill Stoner sat on the pole. Some bad feelings off the start as the cars entered turn one and the 00 of Jason Bowden made contact with Stoner and sent the 88 into the wall in turns one and two. Stoner exited his car and was pointing at Bowden’s car letting him know his displeasure on what had just occurred. Stoner unfortunately was finished for the night with too much damage to fix. On the complete restart it was Mike Podd leading early followed closely by Bob Gilbert. Podd continued to lead but it was a close tight race as he led Gilbert, Jason Keen, Steve Trendell and T.J. Marshall in a nose to tail freight train the entire race. Each was waiting for Podd to falter but that wouldn’t occur and nice to see Podd get the monkey off his back and take the checkers.
The Mini Stocks were the last race before intermission and the bike giveaways. Rodney Rutherford and Matt Young were out front. Rutherford led early and points leader Russ Aicken was right there on his bumper after starting third in the field. They were door to door down the back stretch on lap five and Aicken would assume the lead. On lap ten, the bad luck continued for the 07 of Michael Kenny. His season has been a whole lot of bad luck but they continue to make it out every week. A rear tire came lose and off it went rolling down the track around one and two and came to rest almost where Kenny came to a stop. He won’t battle for the points championship this season but should surely compete for the best looking car and easily win the hard luck award. On the restart the engine on the 76 car of ShawnTaylor car let go. He had such bad luck last season and early on this year but turned it around and was having a good season and is running third in points with 876 behind Aicken (937) and Allie Ditner (889). A smoke show and fluid trail would follow and a red flag came out as the track crew would put down speedy dry and it was cleaned rather quick and ready to resume. Aicken continued to lead followed closely by the 86 of Erik Dalla Riva. He would make a good effort but couldn’t over take the 71 car of Aicken who would pick up the checkers. Dalla Riva was second followed by Rutherford. Shame to see so many torn up race cars. They say Rubbin’ is Racin’ but several cars looked a mess. The 84 of David Gallinger had a lot of damage to the body of his car but always comes out with a great looking car the next week. Lots of drivers will be spending time making repairs this week.
An extended intermission as lots of young fans won bicycles. On restarting the Pure Stocks were first off. John Ditner and Ross Winters Jr. were on the pole. Ditner led lap one and Matt Fraser was first the leader next time by. He would lead a few laps and would have Jeff Bean and Gary Slama on his tail. Before long Eric Crow found the lead pack and was on Fraser’s bumper and was the leader on lap six as Fraser went high in four and Crow took to the bottom to get by. Slama would take over second out of four on lap ten followed by the 23 of Doug Moir. As the checkers flew it was Crow followed by Slam and Moir. That will give Moir a slight lead over Thorne who finish seventh in this one.
Super Stocks hit the track and Shawn Arnott didn’t make the call. That would put Carson Nagy and Kevin Gallant on the pole. Nagy led early but Nick Troback was on rails and he soon found the leader and by lap four was the new leader. He dominated and as the checkers flew it was Troback sweeping the night. Gallant was second followed by Nagy, Joe Trafford and Chris Howse.
Pro Fours were up and Dan Petit and Mark Lucas led them to green. As in the first race Lucas was in a rocket ship and seemed to be the only car that had anything for Dan Nanticoke on the night. He was dominating and a few cautions wouldn’t faze Lucas as he continued to lead. But out of four on lap ten as in the first race, the car slowed out of four and retired to the infield and that gave Nanticoke the lead and he would dominate again and sweep the night. Dan Petit was second followed by Brian Nanticoke. A scary incident as Nanticoke was leaving victory circle. The next race for the CVM were coming onto the track. I didn’t see it, just heard the crowd gasp as Nanticoke and the 11 car of Rob Clarke collided as Nanticoke left the infield. The car sustained some severe rear end damage and Nanticoke exited the car in some distress. He was treated by ambulance and Hamilton EMS transported him to hospital for further observation. I hear he is ok, was released after getting quite a few staple stitches and his wrist and hand are pretty sore. The car will be fixed, hope Dan makes a speedy recovery and gets back soon.
The Canadian Vintage Modifieds were next and after a short delay with the accident clean up. Ten cars instead of eleven made the green after Rob Clarke had too much damage to continue. Patrick Reulens and Jason Bowden were out front and Reulens led early but T.J. Marshall would get past with a slick move heading into three on lap three. Steve Trendell followed Marshall through and they battled for several laps. Jason Keen was on Trendell’s bumper for most of that time and he finally got by in three on lap 14. Marshall continued to lead with Keen knocking on his back door but Marshall held him off and took the win. Keen was second, Trendell third followed by Reulens and Mike Podd had a good night overall with a fifth and a win in the first race.
Ontario Modifieds hit the track and a caution on lap two as Chris Burrows and Duane Cinnamon were involved in turn two bringing a caution as both cars were off on the hook. The decision was made due to time restraints and just six cars left, the race would be 15 laps instead of 20. Some miscommunication may have been a benefit on the restart as some cars didn’t appear ready for the restart and that allowed the 4 of Connor James to shoot out to the lead and it was growing even though the 77 Brad Stevenson did all he could to close it. But he ran out of laps and it was James coming across first followed by Stevenson and Rick Warnes.
Last race of the night was for the Mini Stocks. Kaitlyn Wallace and Mike Hooper were pole. Hooper led lap one but Rodney Rutherford was the new leader second time past. He would dominate although Erik Dalla Riva who started behind Rutherford on the original green never let the 38 far from his sights. The real show was a bit further back as Bob Gilbert was battling Russ Aicken for every inch. Tried as he may, Aicken just couldn’t get by the elder Gilbert. The checkers would fly as Rutherford was first followed by Dalla Riva, Jake Gilbert, Bob Gilbert, Matt Young and Aicken.
That brought to a close a great night of racing at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway. Thanks again to all the drivers and to the great fans for making it a fun night. Please join us next Saturday, August 12th for lots of racing. First off, it’s the Memorial Night for the Pro Four Modifieds when they pay tribute to all those associated with the club that have passed on before us. Also joined by the Grisdale Late Models, the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks, the Budget Tire Pure Stocks and the Klotz Auto Repair and Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks. We will also be running the second set of features from the rain out on July 22nd. So each division will run three features!! Any fans in the grandstands that night will be able to use their ticket (from July 22nd) to save $5.00 off for August 12th only. Pits gates open at 4pm, front gates at 5pm and racing starts at 630pm. Check the website for all the details and too keep up on news and the tight points standings, www.flamborospeedway.ca.
Thanks to Derek Smith, www.racepulse.com for the great pictures. He took thousands of pictures Saturday’s action and does every week. If you want to see your child’s picture in the race car, check his website so you can purchase the memories.