Lindberg wins Bellante Memorial, McPherson wins 2nd David
King of the Crates Series Title while
wins TUSA Mod Lite Tour Event
The Pen Centre presented a night of racing that featured the 2014 David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Finale with Gary Lindberg of Ridgeway taking home the 40 lap Gabe Bellante Memorial. Cody McPherson earned his second Mini-Series Title.
The J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division were also in the spotlight in a TUSA Modified Lite Tour Event with Western Regional Point Leader Paul Klager of Beamsville taking the checkered flag.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw two Alexander Awning sponsored drivers in Victory Lane as Tim Jones (Port Robinson) won his 1st Feature of the season in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modiified Feature. Peter Reid (Stevensville) took home top honors in the Hoosier Stock Division while Jason Coutu of St. Catharines won the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Division Feature.
“The car was really good tonight,” said Gary Lindberg after his 2nd straight win, “I just had to bide my time until I got to the front. Thanks to all my sponsors and my crew … Rick Bellante as well for the extra money he donated for the event that remembers his dad.” “Dad was a diehard race fan … he probably didn’t miss a Saturday Night in 50 years,” commented Gabe Bellante’s son Rick, “he always liked to see a good race and I think we saw that through all the divisions tonight!” Paul Gaboury was first to lead the 40 lap Main Event for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division but unfortunately the leader would have to be put back two spots on the next caution or the end of the race – whichever came first for jumping the original start. Luckily the first caution would come on lap 12. Brad Rouse was the new leader on the restart with Lindberg challenging the 2011 King of the Crates Champion by lap 15. Rouse enjoyed a couple car length lead on lap 20 but as the leaders were coming up on lap traffic – Lindberg was able to make the race winning move on lap 23. Out of Turn 2 the second generation driver split some slower cars to take over top spot. Heavy lap traffic at some points did not slow Lindberg down as by the time the checkered flag flew on lap 40 – the now 3 time 2014 Feature Winner had pulled away to almost a full straightaway lead on Rouse. James Friesen, Cody McPherson and Justin Sharp who won last year’s 40 lap $1,000 to win Series Finale rounded out the top 5. Rob Knapp, Austin Wood and Adam Leslie won the Sportsman Qualifying Heats while Robert Baker won the Consolation. McPherson with two wins and a fourth won his second career David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Title. “Thanks to Rick for all his support of our division,” said McPherson in Victory Lane, “it’s nice to win the King of the Crates Title … now we can focus on the overall points and next week!”.
“I have to dedicate tonight to a former Kart Racer Connor Mooradian who passed away this past week,” remarked Paul Klager after his 3rd J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Feature win of the season, “hopefully we can carry this over to Sunday Night … I really don’t know who that was who drew my starting spot – but I owe him big time!” Going into the 20 lap TUSA Modified Lite Hoosier Mr. Dirt Racing Series Tour Event that was sandwiched between TUSA Western Regional Series Events at Ohsweken Speedway (August 22nd) and Humberstone Speedway (August 24th), Klager led Derek Wagner of Medina NY by 7 points with Jeff May of Mount Hope in third. Klager was the initial leader before losing top spot to May with a couple laps complete on the Lucas Oil Live Leaderboard. On lap 7, Klager would regain top spot leading the field out of Turn 2. Soon May would be challenged by Jamie Gilbert. Gilbert would take over the runner up spot down the backstretch on lap 11. Some 10 car lengths behind the leader at that point, Gilbert’s late race charge through lap traffic fell about 5 car lengths short at the finish. Klager and Gilbert were followed by Josh Sliter, Wagner and May. Klager and Wagner won the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division Qualifying Heats.
“I really didn’t want to see those cautions towards the end,” revealed Tim Jones in Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Victory Lane, “you never know what can happen on restarts … thanks to my crew and my sponsors.” The final restart for Jones came on lap 31 which meant everyone behind him was lined up single file. Previous to that two cautions on laps 29 and 30 would have the cars lined up double file bringing late race challenger Tyler McPherson alongside Jones on the restarts. Jones was the initial leader of the 35 lap event – losing top spot to Mark D’Ilario after a couple cautions right away delayed the green flag action. By lap 10 Jones had caught the leader D’Ilario – regaining the lead on lap 12. To the halfway point – Jones, McPherson and Tommy Flannigan made up the top 3 comfortably spread apart from each other. The battle for 4th on back was the one to watch between D’Ilario, Pete Bicknell and the race for top spot in the overall points between Mat Williamson and Chad Brachmann. Just after McPherson began to challenge Jones for top spot – the trio of cautions saw Jones retain top spot while McPherson was challenged by Williamson in the closing laps. Jones and McPherson were followed by Williamson with Flannigan and Brachmann making late race charges to close out the top 5. Brachmann, Bicknell and Travis Miller won the Qualifying Heats for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds.
“We’ve done a ton of work on this car the last couple weeks … we’ve broke a lot of parts and have had lots of problems,” revealed Hoosier Stock Feature Winner Pete Reid, “but it’s all good … I’m back in Victory Lane tonight!” Kyle Pelrine and Chris Crawford led the field to the green flag of the 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature until Crawford took control out of Turn 4 to complete the first lap. Pete Reid snuck by taking over the runner up spot and the lead just before a lap 3 caution slowed the field. With Reid out front, the racing behind was two and three wide until a caution on lap 7 Several cautions slowed the pace in the closing laps but at the finish Reid opened up a 1//4 lap lead for his first feature win of the season. Reid was followed by Mark Fawcett who made a late race charge to take the runner up spot from Pelrine. Jim Lampman and Kevin Knapp rounded out the Top 5. Reid and Pelrine won the Hoosier Stock Qualifying Heats.
“Once the caution bunched us up I was a little worried,” said Jason Coutu after his 2nd Turn 4 Collision 15 lap Feature Win, “my car’s not good in Turn 4 but it makes it up in Turns 1 and 2.” Kurtis Wiley was first to lead with the second generation driver’s pace slowed a few times in the early stages for cautions. Eventually Coutu would take over top spot with the race for 2nd one to watch between Rob Overholt, Tyler Lafantaisie, Evan Curtis and Leroy Buscumb. With Overholt taking over second by lap 10 – Coutu ran away to a ¼ lap lead at the checkered flag. Overholt held off Evan Curtis by a bumper with Buscumb and Lafantaisie closing out the top 5. Unfortunately in post race techinal inspections, Rob Overholt was disqualified for a Cylinder Head infraction and Evan Curtis’ finishing position is unofficial pending further inspection. Overholt, Sam Iftody and Garnet Wilson on the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Qualfying Heats.
PIT NOTES J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Rookie Chris Watson was name the latest Archer Truck Service Driver of the Week. The flags were at half mast in memory of former Kart Racer Connor Mooradian who passed away this past week. The Mooradian family are big supporters of both Chad Brachmann and Ryan Susice. After engine problems sidelined the Cosco Haulage 17c, Todd Gordon offered Chris Steele his own #28 for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Feature while similar problems saw Billy Hogue behind the wheel of the Billy Bleich Jr. Hoosier Stock. In memory of his dad, Rick Bellante provided more than $1,100 in additional purse money that was shared throughout the entire starting field for the Gabe Bellante Memorial 40 lap Sportsman Feature.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Brian’s Tire Repair will present the final Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Point Night with the 50 lap John Spencer Memorial for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds and the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Triple Crown Series Finale as the featured events. The Night will also feature the fan favorite Autograph Night.
The Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00.
For directions to Merrittville Speedway click on www.merrittvillespeedway.com/track_map 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 – email@example.com.
RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN Gabe Bellante Memorial … David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Finale – (40 laps) Gary Lindberg, Brad Rouse, James Friesen, Cody McPherson Justin Sharp, Paul Gaboury, Rob Knapp, Boyd MacTavish, Jason Farraway, Austin Wood, Adam Leslie, Brent Begolo, Ryan Turner, Robbie Rounce, Joey Mastroianni, Jordan Cosco, Gord McIntosh, Robert Baker, Charlie Lynch, Chris Bellamy, Derick Hodge, Ray Hockridge, Gord Moreau..
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (20 laps) Paul Klager, Jamie Gilbert, Josh Sliter, Derek Wagner, Jeffrey May, Chris Watson, Rob Misener, Jessie Hudson, Dylan Davidson, Rick Koabel, Evan Leonard, Marty deMoel, Dean Pronovost, Ray Sliter, Jr. DNS - Kristy Dulaj.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Tim Jones, Tyler McPherson, Mat Williamson, Tommy Flannigan, Chad Brachmann, Pete Bicknell, Brandon Easey, Mark D’Ilario, Mike Bowman, Scott Wood, Chris Steele, Travis Miller, Fred Carleton, Ryan Susice, Luke Skywalker, David Flannigan, Jr., Ken Winnfield, Dennis Giancola, Brett Clarke, Todd Gordon.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (15 laps) Pete Reid, Mark Fawcett, Kyle Pelrine, Jim Lampman, Kevin Knapp, Rob Murray, Billy Hogue, Brad Sheehan, Mason Smith, Ed McLean, Chris Crawford, Marcel Michaud, James Thompson. DNS – Tyler Anderson.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER (15 laps) - Jason Coutu, Rob Overholt - DQ, Evan Curtis (Unofficial), Leroy Buscumb, Tyler Lafantaisie, Jocelyn Wiley, Garnet Wilson, Kurtis Wiley, Greg Wilson, Sam Iftody, Kourtney Kocarik, Jeremy Smith, Cam Collens, Kyle Haynes, Mike Sadusek, Rob Goulding, Mike Giberson, Chris Shepherd, Alex Riley.
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).
Join us this season on a Saturday Night for a LUCAS OIL WEEKLY RACING SERIES EVENT featuring FIVE Divisions with local heroes and up and coming new stars. Make your plans … call your friends and enjoy a staycation at the speedway with plenty of free parking and camping spots – a night at the races is so much fun and so close to home! Your Local Dirt Track is where it’s at!
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