KINNEY TAKES HOME CUNNINGHAM MEMORIAL LUCAS OIL EMPIRE SUPER
SPRINT FEATURE AT MERRITTVILLE – RUDOLPH TAKES 2ND MODIFIED
FEATURE OF SEASON
Jim Irvine Merrittville Speedway Public Relations 905-892-8266 … firstname.lastname@example.org or www.twitter.com/merrittville
Canastota NY’s Paul Kinney won the Gary Cunningham Memorial Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint Feature in Boltworks Canada Day Celebration at Merrittville Saturday June 29th.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Erick Rudolph of Ransomville NY become the first driver to win 2 Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Features in 2013 while Jason Fontaine won the Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt Big 6 Series Home Track Event.
Lee Hils closed out the night in winning the Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College.
"My dad was everything to me in my racing career," said Gary Cunningham’s son Travis who would go on to finish twelfth in the 3rd Event honoring his dad, " tonight’s a great event … thanks to everyone for coming and to Merrittville for hosting it!” Cunningham, who passed away in 2010 was a former drag racer and was one of the best engine-builders around, and when it came to camshafts, Gary was the best around.
In celebration of their 30th Anniversary Season, 30 Sprint Cars had signed in for action attempting to qualify for the A Main. Merrittville Speedway first played host to the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints in 1984 and since then – Kinney’s first win of the season came in the 39th sanctioned event at the Thorold d-shaped oval. Kinney went into the event in 5th spot in the Le Groupe Ultra Tour of Canada Sprint Car Series and was followed by Glenn Styres, Le Groupe Ultra Tour of Canada Point Leader Kevin Ward, Jr., regular Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Competitor Chris Steele and Jamie Collard. For the complete story on the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints at Merrittville Speedway – click on http://www.empiresupersprints.com/2013Tour/Results/Merrittville.html
“It was a little different track with the Sprint Cars here,” revealed Erick Rudolph in Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Victory Lane, “it was hard to read the track … but it looks like we guessed right.” With a possible 10 different winners in 10 events to date in 2013, Chad Chevalier out-raced Robbie Krull to the initial green flag in the 35 lap Feature before Krull found the advantage down the backstretch of lap 2. Caution would slow the field for the first time on lap 4 after a couple cars came together. Krull resumed control on the restart with Chevalier keeping pace until Erick Rudolph took over second on lap 7. Rudolph’s momentum would take him into the lead just before caution again slowed the field on lap 8. Rudolph pulled away on the restart to a huge lead stretching his advantage to about a quarter lap right away. The driver on the move was Scott Wood who quickly landed in third spot. With the leader about to come up on lap traffic around the halfway point, Wood began to close in on Krull. A lap 18 caution slowed the pace for the third time after Chad Brachmann slowed down the front stretch with a flat tire. Rudolph chose the outside lane for the restart and resumed control once more with Wood moving into second while Mike Bowman would challenge Krull. Bowman would take third on lap 23 but was about 5 car lengths behind Wood who was about a ¼ lap behind Rudolph. Caution would slow things again on lap 26 for Bill Bleich, Jr. It wasn’t a good night for the father and son team who had both been involved in most of the cautions falling victims to flat tires. Rudolph would hold off Wood on the restart with Bowman trailing as the front-runners pulled away slightly from Pete Bicknell and Chris Steele who sat in fourth and fifth spots. Caution on lap 32 set up a three lap dash after Fred Carleton slowed down the front stretch collecting Todd Gordon in the process. Through to the finish, Rudolph, Wood, Bowman and Pete Bicknell were all separated by a couple car lengths with Chris Steele rounding out the top 5. Rudolph’s win was the second of the season at Merrittville for the third generation driver.
Jason Fontaine and Mark Fawcett led the field to the initial green flag of the 3rd Duel on the Dirt Home Track Event for the Hoosier Stocks with neither driver having a clear advantage until Fontaine pulled ahead down the front stretch of lap 3. Brad Sheehan soon would pressure Fawcett with Fawcett holding the spot through 7 laps. The battle to watch to the halfway point of the 20 lap Event was the one for fourth between Rob Murray and Kevin Knapp with the first caution on lap 11 slowing the pace for the first time. Fontaine resumed control on the return to racing with Fawcett challenging around the outside with Fontaine about a half car ahead. With 4 laps to go Knapp, Murray and Sheehan were three wide until they settled into rounding out the top 5. Through to the finish, Fontaine pulled away to a car length lead over Fawcett with Knapp, Murray and Sheehan as the top 5. “I’m just happy to be here tonight,” revealed Jason Fontaine in Hoosier Stock Victory Lane for the first time of 2013 after heavy contact with the barrier in Turn 3 last week, “to take home a win is just awesome … this car has been so fast all year. Thanks to Todd Gordon and Bret Stratford for all their help in getting this car back together.”
Bob Whiteman was first to lead the 2nd Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College before Lee Hils took control just as the first lap was complete. A couple laps later the race was stopped after a multi-car incident with Hils in control when action resumed. Eventually the leaders would find themselves in heavy lap traffic with Whiteman taking advantage and regaining top spot. Almost as quickly as Whiteman took spot though – he would lose it after slowing out of Turn 4. With 10 laps to go, Hils back in control almost met with disaster but the leader was able to avoid contact with a slower car. At the finish, Hils was followed by Brian Hardy, Steve Desmaris, James Mercer and Rich Ferri.
PIT NOTES The night began with Shayne Pierce announced as the latest B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week. In June 22nd’s Event, it was reported that Mark Fawcett was in the former Chris Crawford Camaro when in fact the new #32 is a car built from scratch by Fawcett and his race team.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Modern Corporation will kick off the new month Saturday July 6th with a 5 Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event in addition to their Annual Big Rig Truck Show & Shine. When the Grandstand Gates open at 5:30 – Race Fans will have another chance to enter the Grand Marshall Contest for Monday August 5th’s Bob St. Amand Senior Memorial Big Block Super DIRTcar Series 100. Showtime is 7:00. 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)
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint Feature (25 Laps) Top Five: Paul Kinney, Glenn Styres, Kevin Ward Jr., Chris Steele, Jamie Collard.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Erick Rudolph, Scott Wood, Mike Bowman, Pete Bicknell, Chris Steele, Chad Chevalier, Robbie Krull, Tim Jones, Mat Williamson, Brandon Easey, Bill Bleich, Shayne Pierce, Tommy Flannigan, Brett Clarke, Ken Winnfield, Fred Carleton, Todd Gordon, Billy Bleich Jr., Chad Brachmann, Rick Hoctor.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Jason Fontaine, Mark Fawcett, Kevin Knapp, Rob Murray, Brad Sheehan, James Thompson, Jim Lampman, Pete Reid, Cory Turner, Bryce Richardson, Ryan Turner, Paul Wichert, Rob Disher, Mike Green, Jake Brown, Dale Gyokery.
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)
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