Tim Hortons Night serves up first wins
for Bleich &
Overholt – Willard takes
Round Two of the the David
King of the Crates Series
With Tim the Duelling Donuts Contest about to start August 5th at timhortons.com – 5 Drivers at Merrittville Speedway could have been doing donuts of their own with wins in Tim Hortons Night August 3rd.
Bill Bleich won his first ever 35 lap Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Feature and Rob Overholt winning his first Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Feature of the season while BJ Willard took home the 40 lap second round of the David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Kevin Knapp and Josh Sliter in Victory Lane in the Hoosier Stock and J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Divisions. “I’ve been doing this now for 5 years,” relayed the veteran Bill Bleich of this stageof his career in the 358 Modifieds, “I couldn’t do any of it without my crew and Terry Vince. I don’t know what to say … it’s been a long time coming!”
Chris Steele was first to lead the 35 lap Feature for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds with Bill Bleich taking over the top spot right away. A lap 6 caution had Bleich resuming the lead on the restart and by the halfway point had come up on slower cars with a comfortable lead on Steele. Caution would again slow the field on lap 19 with Steele out front on the restart. With just one lap completed, a number of cars came together in Turn 4. Steele unfortunately was put back two spots on the restart with Bleich back out front but not until the backstretch after charging past Scott Wood. The next lap a number of top runners including Wood, Mike Bowman, Mat Williamson Fred Carleton and Pete Bicknell came together in Turn 4. All were able to continue but at the back of the pack. Bleich and Steele were side by side through two cautions. For the 6th restart it was Bleich back out front once again and by lap 30 had driven away to almost a ¼ lap lead. Steele would hold the same margin over Robbie Krull who was being challenged by Erick Rudolph. The third generation driver had raced back to the front after being involved in an early incident. Tim Jones closed out the Top 5.
“It’s been a long time,” said Rob Overholt in 4 Cylinder Victory Lane for the first time of the season, “July 28th last season was the last time I was here … I finally have this car working – I love it!” Sam Iftody first to lead the 15 lap Feature for the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinders and ran away to a good lead on the field before being slowed on lap 3. Iftody resumed control on the restart and right away faced a challenge from Rob Overholt who quickly took control of top spot. Overholt would pull away to a comfortable lead on Iftody with 6 drivers battling to round out the top 5. The battle to watch as the laps wound down was the one between Evan Curtis, Kyle Pelrine and Kyle Rothwell. The trio were able to catch up to Iftody but fell short at the finish. Overholt & Iftody were followed by Curtis, Pelrine and Rothwell.
Greg Panunte first to lead the 40 lap David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Main Event for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division until caution on lap 6 saw the field stopped with a red flag after Robert Baker made heavy contact with the Turn 1 Guardrail. The restart was delayed for an incident in Turn 1 with Panunte back out front once again until caution on lap 11 slowed the pace. A lap 12 caution had Panunte in control of top spot once again with Paul Gaboury and BJ Willard as the Top 3. Lap 22 saw another caution with Panunte now having BJ Willard in the runner up spot on the restart. The battle for top spot allowed Gary Lindberg to close in on the two with Willard taking the lead on lap 25. Lindberg would take over second on lap 31 catching Willard but by the finish fell a car length short. Willard and Lindberg were followed by Panunte, Brad Rouse and Gaboury. “I knew the car was really good right from the start – I could run anywhere,” revealed BJ Willard in Victory Lane, “I saw Lindberg’s shadow and went back to the top – it was good up there for us tonight. I like these longer races … we seem to do good.”
The race for the 2013 Hoosier Stock Points Title between leader Kevin Knapp and Rob Murray is about as close as the race the two had to kick off the month of August. “He races me real nice,” shared Kevin Knapp in Hoosier Stock Victory Lane, “We were door to door and clean. I got lucky early on making up a lot of spots after a wreck – thanks to everyone especially Mike Granton!” By the halfway point Knapp was in the runner up spot after getting by Brad Sheehan began to work on the leader Murray. Quite a battle between Murray and Knapp would develop throughout the last half with neither driver holding a clear advantage. The biggest lead for either came for Knapp who beat Murray across the finish line by at most half a hood. Bryce Richardson and Paul Wichert led the field to the initial green flag with the two side by side until Brad Sheehan joined the fray – taking over top spot with caution slowing things down with just one lap complete. Prior to the caution, Rob Murray fell in behind his stepson and on the return to action, it was Sheehan out front. Sheehan and Murray were running side by side until caution slowed the pace on lap 5 when Richardson slowed in Turn 4. Again side by side on the restart - caution would slow the return to action with the family feud picking up once again. At the finish, Knapp, Murray and Sheehan were followed by Jason Fontaine and Ryan Turner.
“I missed a restart,” revealed Josh Sliter, “it was a lot of work to get here tonight … but it was a fast track out there.” Kory Howe was first to lead the 15 lap Feature for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites and with just one lap in the books caution slowed the field. While under caution Howe was put back 2 spots for jumping the start with Evan Leonard the new leader. By Turn 1 on the restart Josh Sliter was in control of top spot and by lap 5 had opened up quite a lead until caution on lap 7. Rick Koabel was the new leader on the restart before Sliter battled back on lap 8. Koabel would spin on Turn 10 slowing the event. Sliter was back out front with Randy Hollingshead now in the runner up spot but couldn’t catch the leader. Sliter and Hollingshead were followed by Howe, Rob Misener and Leonard.
PIT NOTES Austin Wood was named the latest B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week after his first career Merrittville Sportsman Feature Win back on July 20th. BJ Willard’s David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Round 2 Win was probably the best medicine after suffering the effects of a virus the last few days.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Action quickly returns Monday August 5th when L. St. Amand Enterprises and St. Amand Auto & Truck Repair present the 4th Annual Bob St. Amand Senior Memorial Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series Main Event.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also includes another Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt Big 6 Series Home Track Event and the final Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College and a Sportsman Non-winners Race..
The Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office and Pit Gates open at 4 with Show Time at 7 PM. Race Fans and Teams alike looking for further event information and how to order Pasta Dinner Tickets can call 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com.For directions to Merrittville Speedway click on www.merrittvillespeedway.com/track_map
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Bill Bleich, Chris Steele, Robbie Krull, Erick Rudolph, Tim Jones, Mat Williamson, Mike Bowman, Tyler McPherson, Pete Bicknell, Scott Wood, Tommy Flannigan, Todd Gordon, Fred Carleton, Rick Hoctor, Brett Clarke, Ken Winnfield, Brandon Easey, Mark D’Ilario, Steven Schumacher, Chad Chevalier.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER (15 laps) Rob Overholt, Sam Iftody, Evan Curtis, Kyle Pelrine, Kyle Rothwell, Mike Sadusek, Tyler Lafantaisie, Nathan Monahan, Chris Laskey, Garnet Wilson, Tony Kelly, Chris Shepherd, Leroy Buscumb, Greg Wilson, John Janssens, Brandon Boychuck, Mike Giberson, Dillan Sliter, Dave Small, Bob Gill, Jeff Larmet, Jeff Hill, Brandon Janssens.
DAVID CHEVROLET KING OF THE CRATES SERIES - RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN – (40 laps) BJ Willard, Gary Lindberg, Greg Panunte, Brad Rouse, Paul Gaboury, James Friesen, Cody McPherson, Justin Sharp, Brent Begolo, Austin Wood, Jason Moore, Rob Knapp, Robbie Rounce, Travis Miller, Bob Davidson, Boyd MacTavish, Paul Williamson, Charlie Lynch, Adam Leslie, Nick Cupolo, Jason Farraway, Jordan Cosco, Robert Baker, Joey Mastroianni. DNQ – Derick Hodge, Ron MacAulay, Gord McIntosh, Chris Bellamy, Paul Cunningham.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Kevin Knapp, Rob Murray, Brad Sheehan, Jason Fontaine, Ryan Turner,James Thompson, Pete Reid, Mark Fawcett, Mike Green, Jim Lampman, Paul Wichert, Billy Hogue, Billy Bleich Jr., Bryce Richardson. J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Josh Sliter, Randy Hollingshead, Kory Howe, Rob Misener, Evan Leonard, Kellie Mason, Dylan Davidson, Rick Koabel, Ray Sliter Jr., Marty deMoel.