Lafantaisie takes Round 2 of the
Triple Crown Series at
Wood wins first Sportsman Feature
Semenuk’s Esso and Archer Truck Services presented Round 2 of the 2013 Turn 4 Collision Triple Crown Series for the 4 Cylinders at Merrittville July 20th. Tyler Lafantaisie took home the Victory in the Main Event.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw third generation driver Austin Wood win his first Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Feature. Another first time winner was Paul Klager in the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division while Mat Williamson and Jason Fontaine both won their second Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified and Hoosier Stock Features of the season respectively.
Last on the schedule but certainly not least, the second round of the Turn 4 Collision Triple Crown Series for the 4 Cylinders proved to be entertaining right down to the wire. “Lap 16 or so I saw someone’s nose but I didn’t know who it was,” revealed Tyler Fantaisie in Victory Lane of the 20 lap Main event, “this Nissan was handling perfect … with the power steering it has – it was great to drive tonight.” The nose he saw was that of Kyle Pelrine who made one last challenge in the closing laps after the two started from the front row. A drag race between the two at the drop of the green eventually had Lafantaisie in control down the backstretch the first time. Pelrine would battle back with the two back and forth for several laps with Pelrine edging ahead. While the two leaders had pulled away from the rest of the field, Evan Curtis was closing in third by lap 9 before caution slowed his charge to the front. Pelrine resumed control of top spot with Lafantaisie keeping pace. The battle for third was now between Dillan Sliter and Rob Overholt. Lap 12 would see Lafantaisie back out front. With two and three wide action behind him – the battle to fill out the top 5 was the one to watch. Tyler Lafantaisie who also won the Series’ Opener June 8th on Baron Roofing & Siding Night was followed by Kyle Pelrine, Sliter, Overholt and Curtis. The Semenuk’s Esso #34 of defending Triple Crown and overall champion Rocco Conte was 6th.
“It would have been nice to get it last week,” revealed first time Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Feature Winner Austin Wood who was part of the pre-race Generations Display with his Grandfather and L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Famer Lyndon, uncle Scott and karter Tucker Wood, adding, “but it’s been so long coming here at Merrittville – thanks to everyone that helps … I couldn’t ask for a better car … it was perfect.” The only miscue the third generation driver had was in trying to do a celebratory donut out of Turn 4 after his checkered flag lap. Wood stalled his car on the banking around the infield Tuesday Night Kart Track. Charlie Lynch and former karter Travis Miller were side by side at the start of the 25 lap Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Feature before Miller took control the first time down the front stretch with caution slowing the pace on lap 5. Miller was back in the lead on the restart and by lap 8 Austin Wood would take the runner up spot from Paul Gaboury just before the 2nd caution would slow the field once again. Wood pulled alongside Miller right away and by lap 12 was the new leader. Wood drove away to a comfortable lead and with 10 laps to go – Gary Lindberg took over second spot from Miller. To Lap 20, Miller would be challenged by Brad Rouse and James Friesen with Rouse taking the spot in the closing laps. Friesen would fall back several spots in the closing laps with Cody McPherson making a late race charge to take 5th spot.
Another driver that was on display during Lucas Oil Reunion Night in the Generations Display was Dylan Davidson with the fourth generation driver setting the pace at the start of the 15 lap Feature for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division. The 13 year old held top spot over veterans Kory Howe and Jeff May with the two swapping the runner-up spot. By lap 4 it was Howe in second with May now challenged by Paul Klager. By lap 7, Klager had landed in second spot and took chase after the leader Davidson. Klager would close in on the leader with the two running side by side back and forth before Klager took control down the front stretch of lap 12. A last lap caution set up a one lap dash to the checkered flag with Klager driving to about a 5 car length lead over Davidson. Josh Sliter, Jason Corless and May would round out the top 5. “I hated to pass him,” confessed Paul Klager, “isn’t he amazing … he’s got lots of raw talent – he’s going to get one real soon. I’ve been struggling here at Merrittville but I think I found something last week at Humberstone. It’s the same set-up and here we are.”
Todd Gordon was first to lead the 35 lap Feature for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds beating fellow front row starter Bill Bleich to the initial green flag. By lap 6, Mat Williamson was in control of the runner up spot but almost a ¼ lap behind the leader. As Gordon was about to put Australian driver Brett Clarke down a lap Williamson had made a lot of ground up on the leader and by lap 20 was right on his rear bumper. Down the front stretch to start lap 21 Williamson took the lead about the start finish line. By lap 25 it was Williamson out front by about the same margin as Gordon had enjoyed earlier. The first caution slowed the field on lap 31 with Williamson back out front while Pete Bicknell took second from Gordon. Williamson would hold about a 2 second lead at the checkered flag over Bicknell with Gordon third. Scott Wood and Brandon Easey closed out the top 5. “It’s great to run with Todd and Pete,” relayed Mat Williamson who won for the first time back on May 4th, “with all these guys it’s such a tough field. With how we’ve been running lately – thanks to my crew for sticking with it here at the track and at the shop during the week. We persevered through it … I’d like to give a shout out to Matt Sheppard and Mike Payne – we talked a lot this week and it helped get me pointed back in the right direction. Hats off to Semenuk’s Esso and Archer Truck Centres as well for the bonus money too.”
With Paul Wichert first to lead the 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature, it didn’t take long for James Thompson to land in top spot. An early battle for the runner up spot between Kevin Knapp, Brad Sheehan, Rob Murray and Jason Fontaine would soon develop allowing Thompson to pull away from the field. Just as Fontaine was closing in on the leader a lap 8 caution would slow the pace with Thompson back in control on the restart. Fontaine would become the new leader at the start finish line to start lap 10 but it wasn’t until the next lap that Fontaine had the clear advantage. Fontaine was able to maintain a couple car length lead on Thompson with the battle for third spot finding Kevin Knapp holding off team-mates Murray and Sheehan to round out the top 5. “The car was running great tonight – I never thought it would stick on the high side but wow,” expressed Jason Fontaine in Victory Lane for the second time of the season, “this one’s for the crew … they work so hard on this thing. I knew he would be there on the bottom – he’s got by me there before so the last few laps I tried to shut him down.”
PIT NOTES The night began with Adam Leslie honored as the latest B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week. With the Bob St. Amand Memorial Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series 100 down to about 2 weeks away – Hannah Baker was picked as the Grand Marshall of the Monday August 5th Extravaganza. The daughter of former Bomber and Sportsman Racer Kevin Baker won a package that includes throwing the green flag to start the main event. Semenuk’s Esso and Archer Truck Services would like to thank the following businesses that helped add $2,500 to the night’s purse - Baron Roofing and Siding, Beatties Home Improvement Warehouse, Bill Avakian, Brian's Tire, Can-View Drive In, Castle Products Niagara, Country Corner Market, Fonthill, D&S Auto, Domenics Diner, Ferrell Builders Supply Ltd., Free Gas Company, Gallaghers's Farm Market, Ideal Plumbing, Mossimo’s Pizza and Subs, Niagara Auto Sales, Paul Davis Systems, Peninsula Construction, Pleasantview Funeral & Reception Centre, Semenuk's Esso and Archer Truck Centre, Sobey's Fonthill, Sullivan, Mahoney Lawyers, Superior Laundry Service, TD Canada Trust, Fonthill, Walk on Dust Control, Young's Canadian Water Systems and Young's Insurance Brokers Ltd in Welland and Port Colborne.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Hingston Metal Fabricators will present a Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event Saturday July 27th featuring all 5 Divisions. The Night will feature action in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds, Rick’s Delivery Sportsman, Hoosier Stock and J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions. The Grandstand Gates open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00. For further information - call the Speedway Office at 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER TRIPLE CROWN SERIES # 2 (20 laps) Tyler Lafantaisie, Kyle Pelrine, Dillan Sliter, Rob Overholt, Evan Curtis, Rocco Conte, Garnet Wilson, Nathan Monahan, Mike Sadusek, Chris Shepherd, Greg Wilson, Kevin Conley, Kyle Haynes, Bob Gill, Mike Giberson, Brandon Boychuk, Kourtney Kocarik, Chris Laskey, Jeff Larmet, Jason Coutu, Terry Larmet, Leroy Buscumb. DNS - Kyle Rothwell, Sam Iftody.
RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) Austin Wood, Gary Lindberg, Brad Rouse, Travis Miller, Cody McPherson, Greg Panunte, Paul Gaboury, James Friesen, Joey Mastroianni, Jason Farraway, Brent Begolo, Adam Leslie, Jason Moore, BJ Willard, Robbie Rounce, Justin Sharp, Boyd MacTavish, Robert Baker, Jordan Cosco, Gord McIntosh, George Bosse, Ron MacAulay, Rob Knapp, Charlie Lynch. DNS - Derick Hodge, Chad Brown, Chris Bellamy.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Paul Klager, Dylan Davidson, Josh Sliter, Jason Corless, Jeffrey May, Randy Hollingshead, Ray Sliter Jr., Dan Kviring, Kory Howe, Evan Leonard, Rick Koabel.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Mat Williamson, Pete Bicknell, Todd Gordon, Scott Wood, Brandon Easey, Chris Steele, Mike Bowman, Fred Carleton, Bill Bleich, Mark D’Ilario, Tommy Flannigan, Tyler McPherson, Shayne Pierce, Tim Jones, Randy Chrysler, Chad Chevalier, Billy Bleich Jr., Ken Winnfield, Rick Hoctor, Brett Clarke, Robbie Krull.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Jason Fontaine, James Thompson, Kevin Knapp, Rob Murray, Brad Sheehan, Pete Reid, Cory Turner, Ryan Turner, Paul Wichert, Richard Champigny, Bryce Richardson, Mark Fawcett, Brett Robins.
For directions to Merrittville Speedway click on www.merrittvillespeedway.com/track_map
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