Williamson win 358 Modified Tri Track Series Main Event on
Meridian Credit Union Night
Meridian Credit Union presented Help A Child Smile Night August 9th at Merrittville and St. Catharines’ Mat Williamson was smiling after winning the 35 lap Tri Track Feature in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Division.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Gary Lindberg (Ridgeway),Mark Fawcett (Canfield), Josh Sliter (Port Colborne) and Evan Curtis (Port Colborne) in Victory Lane in the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman, Hoosier Stock, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions respectively.
“I needed this one tonight,” said Mat Williamson after his third win of the season, “I needed something after Monday’s run for sure.” Williamson, who started in 7th had raced into the top 3 by lap 6 behind initial leader Tommy Flannigan and then runner-up Brandon Easey. Flannigan set the early pace through 2 restarts on a night with a full moon in clear sight including one incident that saw all 6 cars involved drive away. By lap 11, Williamson was challenging Easey for second with Flannigan leading the way into lap traffic by lap 15. Williamson would become the new leader crossing the finish line to start lap 21 and by lap 25 had opened up a comfortable lead. The battle for second became the one to watch with Flannigan, Easey and Ryan Susice going at it three wide at times. Just before the final caution on lap 32, Susice made a charge to take the runner up spot, In the 3 lap dash to the finish – Williamson would open up about a three second lead over Susice, Easey, Flannigan and Chris Steele. Easey, Flannigan and Mike Bowman won the Qualifying Heats for the Tri Track Series Event that includes races at Ransomville and Humberstone Speedways. The 2014 Series concludes Sunday August 17th at Humberstone as part of the Port Colborne facility’s Baron Roofing Night.
“I really have to thank my crew for this one,” revealed Gary Lindberg after winning his 2nd Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division Feature of 2014, “they worked on the car all day … I was off helping a friend move … maybe I should let them take care of things more often.” Lindberg was really moving in the 25 lap event – landing into the runner up spot by lap 5 behind early leader Rob Knapp from an 8th place start. Knapp took the lead the first time down the backstretch – overtaking front row starters Robert Baker and Jordan Cosco. Lindberg quickly took control of second from Paul Gaboury who had followed Knapp to the front. The second generation driver would pull even with Knapp on lap 7 and in Turn 2 on lap 9 became the new leader. By the halfway point Lindberg opened up a lead of some 10 car lengths on the field. There was no slowing Lindberg as through increasing lap traffic … his margin of victory was almost a full straightaway over Knapp. Cody McPherson made a late race charge to take third with Gaboury and rookie third generation driver Ryan Turner closing out the top 5. Knapp, Turner and Gaboury won the Qualifying Heats for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division.
“It was a pretty racy track,” revealed Mark Fawcett after winning his 2nd 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature of the season, “everybody was racing hard … I didn’t think I would be here … but I got a run on the outside and made it work!” Fawcett ‘s move was a last lap last turn move that resulted in his Camaro edging Billy Hogue for top spot. While rookie Kyle Pelrine was the initial leader – it was Hogue who was in control the first time into Turn 3. With the point leader Hogue out front … the action behind him was something to see. Pelrine was quickly challenged by Chris Crawford and Jim Lampman to the halfway point. With cars three wide behind him Hogue was able to open up a couple car length lead by lap 15. Fawcett – who began the night being named the latest Archer Truck Service Driver of the Week - moved into the picture in the closing laps – pulling alongside then runner up Crawford before reeling in the leader. Fawcett, Hogue and Crawford were followed by Lampman and Kevin Knapp with Hogue winning the Qualifying Heat.
“I just threw it into one and hope it stuck … when I came up on his rear bumper – I thought I’d try it again … hoping it would stick,” said Josh Sliter of his two moves that saw him take home his 5th J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite 15 lap Feature of the season. Sliter, who started from 9th made the move to win after a lap 13 caution from leader Derek Wagner who outdueled rookie Chris Watson after a lap 11 caution. For the restart - unfortunately race long leader Rick Koabel would be put back two spots with former Kart Racer Watson the new leader when action resumed. “The leader was over aggressive on the restart and made contact with Watson,” stated interim Race Director Doug Leonard, “we made a decision to penalize the 27 two spots on the next caution or the end of the race whichever came first.” Koabel had been the leader from the start and was slowed on lap 5 for a caution which led to the penalty. At the finish, Sliter was followed by Wagner, Watson, Koabel and Jeffrey May.
“I can’t believe it … two weeks in a row,” said Evan Curtis after winning his second straight Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder 15 lap Feature, “What can I say about my dad … he does it all – I wouldn’t be here without him!” Kurtis Wiley was first to lead the 15 lap event with Garnet Wilson the first to challenge and taking over top spot on lap 2. By lap 6, Wilson would face a challenge from Chris Shepherd and after running a lap side by side – Shepherd would become the new leader on lap 7. By lap 10, Shepherd would hold an advantage over point leader Leroy Buscumb and Curtis until Curtis became the mew leader down the backstretch of lap 12. At the finish, Curtis and Shepherd were followed by Buscumb, Rob Goulding and Kyle Rothwell. Unfortunately, Shepherd was disqualified in post race technical inspection for a carburetor infraction. Curtis and Rob Overholt won the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Qualifying Heats.
PIT NOTES The Flags were at half mast in memory of former racer and L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame Member Bob Hatt who passed away during the week. The night was the last night of the season for long time Official and Statistician Fran Buschardt who will miss the remainder of the season due to commitments in starting a new job. Best wishes from all the staff. Meridian Credit Union Night also featured the Annual Kid’s Club Box Car Races. Evan McNulty took home top honours in the 7 to 9 age category while Brennan Hagar won the 2 to 6 category.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Avondale Food Stores will present a Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event Saturday August 16th that features the finale of the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Triple Crown Series. With the Annual Best Appearing Dog Contest on tap – the Night will also feature action in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds, Rick’s Delivery Sportsman, Hoosier Stock and J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Divisions. The Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 63rd Consecutive Season in 2014 – 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) Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold.
For directions click on http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/directions.html or call 905-892-8266 or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Mat Williamson, Ryan Susice, Brandon Easey, Tommy Flannigan, Chris Steele, Pete Bicknell, Tyler McPherson, Mike Bowman, Fred Carleton, Mark D’Ilario, Chad Brachmann, Chad Chevalier, Tim Jones, Travis Miller, Todd Gordon, Bill Bleich, Dennis Giancola, Brett Clarke, Ken Winnfield, Luke Skywalker, David Flannigan, Scott Wood..
RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN FEATURE – (25 laps) Gary Lindberg, Rob Knapp, Cody McPherson, Paul Gaboury, Ryan Turner, James Friesen, Brad Rouse, Brent Begolo, Austin Wood, Justin Sharp, Jay Mallory, Robbie Rounce, Robert Baker, Jordan Cosco, Joey Mastroianni, Jason Farraway, Chris Bellamy, Gord McIntosh, David Clark, Ray Hockridge, Derick Hodge, Charlie Lynch...
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Mark Fawcett, Billy Hogue, Chris Crawford, Jim Lampman, Kevin Knapp, Kyle Pelrine, Billy Bleich, Jr., Mason Smith, Marcel Michaud, Ed McLean.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Josh Sliter, Derek Wagner, Chris Watson, Rick Koabel, Jeffrey May, Evan Leonard, Dean Pronovost, Ray Sliter Jr., Paul Klager, Rob Misener, Kristy Dulaj, Dylan Davidson, RJ Pietz, Marty deMoel.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER (15 laps) Evan Curtis, Chris Shepherd (DQ), Leroy Buscumb, Rob Goulding, Kyle Rothwell, Rob Overholt, Garnet Wilson, Tyler Lafantaisie, Sam Iftody, Kyle Haynes, Mike Giberson, Kurtis Wiley, Greg Wilson, Jeremy Smith, Kourtney Kocarik, Alex Riley.
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