Wagner takes Opener in
J&S Heating and Air Conditioning
Modified Lite International Championship – Knapp, Pelrine,
Wurster, and Enduro Winners
Derek Wagner won the first event of the two day J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Championship Weekend Friday September 6th.
In other Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Action, Kevin Knapp took home the Victory in the 25 lap Hoosier Stock Feature while Kyle Pelrine won the final Feature of the season for the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinders.. With the Pro 4 Trucks making their only 2013 appearance, Dan Wurster won the 15 lap Feature.
Three Enduro Heats closed the night with Laney Paddock, Fred Korneef and John Burt taking home the wins.
“The track had some pretty awkward spots – you would have to just gather it up and get back to where you were,” revealed Derek Wagner in Victory Lane, “unfortunately for me … racing came second this year but thanks to the Bicknells and Williamsons for having us … Jesse Cotriss’s crew and all my guys and sponsors … my Dad and Mom who is sick and to Bruce Mason and his family for all they have done in the past for this event.”
One year ago, it was Wagner that took home the opener in the two day event as well but in the 2013 edition – he probably made one of ‘the’ moves of the season to take over top spot. Wagner got a great run out of Turn 4 and passed 4 cars out to complete lap 5. The 25 lap Event had some trouble getting underway when initial leader Doug Williams and the field were slowed without a lap in the books. A multicar incident back in the pack resulted in Josh Sliter’s 17 sitting upside down in Turn 3. Once he was righted, Sliter and the others were all able to drive away from the scene with Williams back in control on the restart. With two laps complete the race would be stalled once again with Corless the new leader on the restart. Williams would regain top spot down the back stretch two laps later until caution slowed the field once again. Corless was out front once again on the restart before Williams was back out front quickly until Wagner was the new leader. Wagner immediately drove away to almost a ¼ lap lead on new runner up Rod Jones with Mikey Hay, Paul Klager and Corless as the top 5 to the halfway point. Just past halfway Klager would get by Hay while at the front Wagner was into lap traffic. Klager and Hay began to close in on Jones despite increasing lap traffic with Jeff Teeters holding down 5th spot. At the checkered flag, Wagner stretched his lead to about a half lap over former winner Rod Jones with Klager third. Hay and Teeters would round out the Top 5.
“It seems to me like we’ve had one of those perfect seasons,” relayed Kevin Knapp after winning the Hoosier Stock Feature, “I think we only had one bad night all season. We tore the car up pretty good last Sunday at Brighton and worked every night since then – I can’t thank everyone enough for all they do … it’s good to see that it works as good as it did.” Brad Sheehan and Kevin Knapp would lead the field to the initial green flag with Sheehan edging ahead with the two running side by side in the early stages. Eventually Knapp would surge forward taking the lead with Knapp joined by Sheehan and Pete Reid in the lead pack. Brighton Speedway’s Doug Anderson would sit fourth in front of quite a battle for 5th between Mark Fawcett, Billy Hogue and James Thompson. Just after Reid took over the runner up spot, the races first caution slowed the field on lap 17 after Jason Fontaine slowed in Turn 2 after losing a wheel. Kevin Knapp resumed the lead with Pete Reid being challenged by Brad Sheehan. The three leaders were ahead for the race for 5th between Rob Murray and Anderson. Murray would overtake Sheehan with Hogue now the challenger to Anderson. Knapp, Reid, Murray, Sheehan and Anderson would round out the Top 5.
“This car likes this track all of a sudden,” informed Kyle Pelrine after winning the 15 lap Feature for the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinders, “It’s absolutely a picture perfect track for us – thanks to my crew and sponsors – it’s been an amazing year for us.” Although Sam Iftody was the first to lead at the drop of the green flag - unfortunately the leader would be put back two spots on the first caution for jumping the original start. Rob Overholt quickly took over top spot with Kyle Pelrine following and Kyle Rothwell in the Tyler Lafantaisie ’96 landing in third. Exiting Turn 4 to complete lap 7, Overholt would get a little high allowing Pelrine to become the new leader. The lead trio began to pull away from the rest of the field with Pelrine off to a lead of some three seconds in the final laps. Kyle Pelrine, Rob Overholt and Kyle Rothwell would be followed by Dave Small and Rob Goulding. “
I would have never caught him … he was too smooth,” said Danny Wurster in Pro 4 Truck Victory Lane, “things happen though and I am glad to be here.” Wurster who spent more than 30 years crewing for former Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Champion Brian Stevens before getting behind the wheel himself became the race’s leader after it was determined that Steve Vanderzanden would be put back on the first caution after jumping the original start. With the frontrunners spreading themselves out - the race to watch was the one for 6th between Andy Imbeault and Greg Haegens, Colton Ledingham soon would challenge the leader with Wurster pulling away to a couple truck length lead in the closing laps. Wurster would take the win with Ledingham second with Vanderzanden put back to third spot at the finish in the caution free event.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY The J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Stars International Modified Lite Championship Weekend continues Saturday September 7th with Night 2 featuring the Modified Lite Finale … a 50 lap Super DIRTcar Series Event for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman and a 50 lap $1,000 to Win Duel on the Dirt Big 6 Series Event for the Hoosier Stocks. Gates Open at 5:30 PM. Show Time is at 7:00. For further information on either event - call the Speedway Office at 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)
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING STARS INTERNATIONAL MODIFIED LITE CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT NIGHT 1 (25 laps) Derek Wagner, Rod Jones, Paul Klager, Mikey Hay, Jeff Teeters, Nick Sapp, Jamie Gilbert, Jason Corless, Tim Anderson, Dan Ferguson, Doug Williams, Kory Howe, Rick Brubacher, Rob Misener, Josh Sliter, David Brown, Marty deMoel, Kellie Mason, Justin Williams, Mark Marcucucci, Matt Hall, Jim Bogett, Evan Leonard, Robert Ham.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (25 laps) Knapp, Reid, Murray, Sheehan and Anderson would be followed by Billy Hogue, Billy Bleichm Mark Fawcett, James Thompson, Steve Robison, Jeremy Bean, Jason Fontaine.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER FEATURE (15 laps) Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder 15 lap Feature Kyle Pelrine, Rob Overholt, Kyle Rothwell, Dave Small, Robert Goulding, Mike Sadusek, Sam Iftody, Greg Wilson, Brandon Boychuk, Bob Gill, Kyle Haynes, Leroy Buscumb, Chris Laskey, Rocco Conte.
PRO 4 TRUCK FEATURE (15 laps) Danny Wurster, Colton Ledinham, Steven Vanderzanden, Andy Imbeault, Ron Loggie, Taylor Vanderzanden, Jamie Ayers, Greg Haegens.