Sliter takes TUSA Modified Tour
Event – Turner, Steele,
and Sliter visit Victory Lane in
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Josh Sliter came home the winner of the TUSA Modified Lite Hoosier Mr. Dirt Racing Series Tour Event for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning sponsored division in CAA Night at Merrittville May 25th.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Ryan Turner win his first career Hoosier Stock Feature while Chris Steele, Gary Lindberg and Dillan Sliter also took home wins in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified, Rick’s Delivery Sportsman and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions respectively. \
“At the start … I really thought we wouldn’t be here after starting so far back,” said a relieved Josh Sliter in TUSA Modified Lite Tour Victory Lane, “I thought Derek (Wagner) would have been too far gone by the time we got to the front but this track has so much bite .. you could run the top or bottom.”
A caution with two laps remaining in the 20 lap Feature set up a two lap dash to the finish between Sliter and Wagner with the defending J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Champion holding a car length advantage at Starter Steve DeVos’ double checkered flag.
After a lap 15 caution after Kory Howe slowed off the pace, then leader Wagner and Sliter would pull away from the field with Sliter taking over top spot on lap 16. Wagner had taken the lead from Rick Koabel just before a lap 13 caution would slow the field for the first time.
Fourth generation rookie driver Dylan Davidson was first to lead before losing top spot to Koabel.
At the finish, Sliter and Wagner were followed by Jason Corless, Paul Klager and Koabel.
“This is amazing … I can’t believe it,” commented first time Hoosier Stock Feature Winner Ryan Turner, “I’ve been coming to the races ever since I can remember watching my Uncle Joe (Plazek) … my Dad (current Ohsweken Speedway Corr/Pak Sprint Car Driver Jamie Turner) and my Grandpa (1980 Modified Point Champion and Wall of Famer Don Turner).
The third generation driver Turner was first to lead the 20 lap Feature until he would face a challenge from Rob Murray with just a few laps in the books. By lap 8 the leaders Turner, Murray and Jim Lampman were into lap traffic and down the front stretch of lap 9 Murray edged ahead of Turner.
“I saw that Murray was behind me on the Leaderboard,” added Turner,” I knew I had to keep it to the rail to keep him down there too. When he got under me … I was a little worried but was able to throw it to the high side and got back by.”
And that’s what the younger of the racing Turner brothers did - battling back - regaining the lead until a lap 12 caution would slow the field after his older brother Cory lost control of his car in Turn 2.
On the restart, Ryan Turner was back in control and at lap 15 had a car length lead with Murray now being pressured by Lampman and Jason Fontaine. Lampman would take over the runner up spot just ahead of the white flag but settled for second - a car length short at the finish.
Jason Fontaine, Bryce Richardson and Brad Sheehan rounded out the top 5.
“My Carburetor was acting up a little,” revealed Chris Steele in Victory Lane, “despite that … the car was still on rails though … it was actually quite an easy drive tonight.”
Shayne Pierce was first to lead the 35 lap Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Feature before Chad Chevalier took control when completing the first lap. Caution slowed the field on lap 3 after Pierce slowed down the backstretch.
Chevalier resumed control on the restart with Chris Steele the challenger. Steele took over top spot on lap 4. 10 laps later, Steele - another former karter was off to a lead of about a ¼ lap over Chevalier who was in front of Todd Gordon by about the same margin.
By lap 20, Robbie Krull took third spot from Gordon with Gordon facing a late race challenge from Mark D’Ilario and Pete Bicknell. Both drivers were able to get by Gordon with D’Ilario edging Bicknell at the start finish line.
For the second race in a row, Bicknell would have to come from the tail. This time, a run to his race shop was needed after reverting to a backup car after suffering damage in his qualifying heat earlier in the night.
“This car seems to work good when the high groove is good,” informed Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Feature Winner Gary Lindberg, “I don’t know what to say … but I do have to thank my brother, my mom and dad and our sponsors for all their help and support!”
Second generation driver and former Karter Travis Miller set the pace at the start before a caution slowed the field right away after a number of cars came together in Turn 4. Miller was back out front before a number of cars came together along the front stretch slowing the field once again with a full moon rising in the horizon over Turn 3.
By lap 5 Miller had opened up a lead of 5 car lengths over Gary Lindberg who had taken second from Jason Moore. By lap 7, Lindberg was challenging Miller – taking over the lead down the backstretch of lap 9.
By the halfway point, Lindberg would stretch his lead to almost a full straightaway with Rob Knapp closing in on Miller.
Through increasing lap traffic, Lindberg was not slowed as he was able to increase his lead.
At the finish, Lindberg was followed by Miller who ran to his best career finish, Rob Knapp, Brad Rouse, and Jason Moore
Early in the evening, Brian Staff posted a $100 Cash Award that would go to the last driver on the lead lap at the conclusion of the feature. That driver was Robbie Rounce who owund up 19th.
“I’m just ecstatic … it’s awesome to be here,” exclaimed former Karter Dillan Sliter in Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Victory Lane, “I’m just the driver though … thanks to Rob Goulding … my mom and dad and Trevor Clark and to Merrittville … awesome job every week getting this track ready for us to race on.”
Kyle Haynes was first to lead the 15 lap Event but not until Turn 2 after edging ahead of fellow front row starter Leroy Buscumb. Before the first lap was complete however – the new leader was Sliter.
Leading up to the halfway point Sliter was in to slower cars but had managed to open up about a quarter lap lead on Evan Curtis who now had control of the runner up spot. With two laps to go, defending champion Rocco Conte had made it to third spot closing to about a car length on Curtis at the finish.
Sliter, Curtis, and Conte were followed by Kyle Rothwell and Buscumb.
Kevin Knapp was honored as the latest B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week. During Hoosier Stock Qualifying Heats, the CAA Battery Assist Team was put to work – having to boost the Hoosier Stock of Rick Moreash.
Second generation Hoosier Stock Driver James Thompson was invited to be a part of the pre-race Birthday Party of Logan Cook who turned 8.
Intermission featured exhibition races from some of the Tuesday Night Lucas Oil Weekly Karting Series Race Teams. Merrittville Speedway would like to thank Kensey Kruchka, Braeden Kish, Carter Kish. Tucker Wood, Chase Kish, Tyler Davidson, Anthony Kelly, Austyn Werstroh, Donny Lampman, Tyler Winger, Alex Riley, Steven Beckett, Ashley Moore and Chris Long.
Karter Alex Riley raised $412.82 in a bottle drive at the front gate in support of the Relay for Life Racing for a Cure Team that continues with a BBQ Fundraiser Saturday June 1st at Brian’s Tire in St. Catharines.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Archer Truck Services and Semenuk’s Esso will present the Opening Round of the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Triple Crown Series Saturday June 1st.
Rounding out the Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event are the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lights, Hoosier Stocks, Rick’s Delivery Sportsman and the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds.
The Grandstand Gates open at 5:30. 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)
TUSA Modified Lite Hoosier Mr. Dirt Racing Series Tour Event (20 laps) Josh Sliter, Derek Wagner, Jason Corless, Paul Klager, Rick Koabel, Randy Hollingshead, Jeffrey May, Tim Anderson, Dean Pronovost, Evan Leonard, Ray Sliter, Dylan Davidson, Dan Reif, Timothy Reid, Brad Reif, Kellie Mason, Kory Howe, Dan Kviring.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Ryan Turner, Jim Lampman, Jason Fontaine, Bryce Richardson, Brad Sheehan, James Thompson, Kevin Knapp, Paul Wichert, Cory Turner, Rob Murray, Vince Fargnoli, Mike Green, Mark Fawcett, Marcel Michaud, Pete Reid, Rick Moreash.
.BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Chris Steele, Chad Chevalier, Robbie Krull, Mark D’Ilario, Pete Bicknell, Todd Gordon, Mat Williamson, Scott Wood, Tyler McPherson, Bill Bleich, Brandon Easey, Ken Winnfield, Mike Bowman, Tommy Flannigan, Shayne Pierce.
RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) Gary Lindberg, Travis Miller, Rob Knapp, Brad Rouse, Jason Moore, Adam Leslie, Cody McPherson, Austin Wood, Justin Sharp, BJ Willard, Boyd MacTavish, Dan Miller, Greg Panunte, David Flannigan, Jr., Jason Farraway, Paul Gaboury, Jim Johnstone, Shawn Sliter, Robbie Rounce, Jordan Cosco, Paul Williamson, Charlie Lynch, Robert Baker, Rob Clark. DNQ – Brent Begolo, Derick Hodge, Ron MacAulay, Gord McIntosh, Chris Bellamy.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER FEATURE (15 laps) Dillan Sliter, Evan Curtis, Rocco Conte, Kyle Rothwell, Leroy Buscumb, Tyler Lafantaisie, Rob Overholt, Jason Coutu, Nathan Monahan, Sam Iftody, Mike Sadusek, Tony Kelly, Kevin Conley, Chris Laskey, Kyle Haynes, Jeff Larmet, Kyle Pelrine, Garnet Wilson, Greg Wilson, Kourtney Kocarik, Gabriel Attallah, Brandon Boychuck, Mike Giberson.
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