Williamson, McPherson, Knapp, Wagner and Lafantaisie winners in Welland and Fort Erie Timber Mart Night
“Thanks so much to some 85 drivers that helped us get the track in shape,” said (Merrittville Speedway GM) Erica Bicknell-Jones after a late afternoon shower delayed the start of the second event of 2014, ”thanks to our staff for their efforts as well and especially our fans who braved the cold night for their patience.
The Welland and Fort Erie Timber Marts are your renovation destinations – on this night we were committed to making Merrittville the race place!” “We were good tonight,” said 358 Modified Tri Track Opening Round Winner Mat Williamson, “but we could be better.”
Williamson couldn’t have been much better in the new Series presented by Van Raine Construction and VP Racing Fuel. With a heads up start – the first heat winner quickly became the 30 lap Feature’s early leader until caution slowed the field on lap 3. On the ensuing restart with Williamson back in control – the battle for second became a three wide race between Tommy Flannigan, Ryan Susice and Chad Brachmann with the opening night winner eventually landing in the runner-up spot. Williamson of St. Catharines would lead the field into lap traffic by lap 8. Brachmann of Sanborn NY would keep close to the leader with the two front-runners pulling away to about a straightaway lead over Flannigan to the halfway point. With some 5 laps to go, Williamson’s 10 car lead over Brachmann would be erased as caution would slow the pace with the race eventually stopping with a red flag. Brandon Easey originally slowed with a flat tire and after Shayne Pierce made contact with the disabled car had to be cradled off with front and rear suspension damage. Williamson would resume control on the restart and at the finish was followed by Brachmann, Susice, Flannigan and Scott Wood. Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Heat Winners were Williamson, Susice and Mike Bowman. Merrittville Speedway will host it’s second Tri Track Series Event for the 358 Modifieds on Meridian Credit Union Night Saturday Auigust 9th.
Earlier in the night, James Friesen was named the first Archer Truck Service Driver of the Week after his win in the Lococo Wholesale Season Opener. The third generation driver from St. Catharines made a strong case to earn the honor once again after driving from last starting spot to second at the conclusion of the 25 lap Event. Jason Farraway and Robert Baker were on the front row with several attempts at a start delayed for cautions with no laps on the Lucas Oil Live Leaderboard. With some green flag laps complete – it was Farraway setting the pace until caution just before half way. The restart saw Cody McPherson in the runner up spot and quickly the newlywed driver began to pressure the leader. Exiting Turn 4 to complete lap 18, the second generation St. Catharines driver took control of top spot and through to the finish opened up a comfortable lead over Friesen with Farraway settling for third. Brad Rouse and Gary Lindberg rounded out the top 5. “It was a long day at the shop getting ready for tonight,” informed McPherson sitting comfortably for the moment in the caved in door panel from early race contact, “I tried to avoid that wreck but got caught up in it … thanks to my Dad, Randy Williamson and the crew … I wouldn’t be here without them.” Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division Heat Winners – Farraway, Baker and Jordan Cosco.
“We worked hard on this thing all week,” revealed Kevin Knapp in Hoosier Stock Victory Lane, “ we made a lot of changes over the winter and last week it had a few bugs in it. This win is for Debbie Burghall who we lost this winter and everyone at Cameron Trucking!” Peter Reid was the initial leader of the 20 lap Feature and after a lap 2 caution was pressured by Knapp. Knapp and Reid were side by side with Reid holding the slightest lead until Knapp took control out of Turn 4 to complete lap 4. 4 laps later, Knapp had pulled away to a comfortable lead – a gap that would extend to almost a straightaway by lap 12. Knapp would be unchallenged the rest of the way with Reid settling for second ahead of Rob Murray, James Thompson and Brad Sheehan. Hoosier Stock Division Heat Winners were Sheehan and Reid.
Second year Driver Dylan Davidson would lead the 15 lap J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Feature to the initial green flag but unfortunately the 4th generation would face a penalty after jumping the start. Whether at the first caution or the finish Davidson would be put back two spots. Lucky for him that would come on lap 2. Opening Night Winner Derek Wagner was the new leader on the restart until defending champion Josh Sliter took control the first time through Turn 1. Wagner of Spencerport, NY would challenge the Port Colborne Driver right away and by lap 7 was back out front. Through the last half – it was Wagner holding top spot over Sliter with rookie Rob Misener in third. Rick Koabel and Jeffrey May closed out the top 5. “We really appreciate the effort that everyone put in to get tonight in,” thanked Wagner in Victory Lane, “it’s great to be here and back in Victory Lane!” J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division Heat Winners were Davidson and Wagner.
“It’s the same car from last year … we really didn’t do anything to it,” revealed multi-time 2013 Feature Winner Tyler Lafantaisie, “it stuck like glue tonight with the track so tacky.” Once Lafantaisie took control of the lead from Garnet Wilson down the backstretch of lap 10 – he needed to make it stick in holding off Wilson – especially after a caution on lap 11. Lafantaisie resumed the lead on the restart over Wilson who took top spot early from initial leader Kourtney Kocarik. Once out front Wilson drove away to a huge lead but in lap traffic around the halfway point – Lafantaisie was able to close in. Lafantaisie and Wilson were followed by Rob Goulding, Dillan Sliter and Evan Curtis. Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Division Heat Winners were Jeff Hill, Rob Overholt and Jason Coutu.
PIT NOTES On behalf of Race Fans and Race Teams – Merrittville Speedway would like to thank the Welland and Fort Erie Timber Marts who provided a number of Door Prizes and $1000 in cash bonuses that went to a random driver in each division via draws of finishing positions.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Monday May 19th ZFS Benefit Solutions and Zavitz Financial Strategies will present the 100 lap 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series Main Event with a Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt Home Track Event and the first Ballhockey.com Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College.
Saturday May 24th CAA Niagara will present it’s Member Appreciation Night with a full 5 Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Race Program in addition to a demonstration from the Tuesday Night Kart Racers. Grandstands open at 5:30 with Show Time at 7 PM for both events.
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.
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).
To reach Merrittville Speedway call 905-892-8266 or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tri Track Series presented by Van Raine Construction and VP Racing Fuels - Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Feature (30 laps) Mat Williamson, Chad Brachmann, Ryan Susice, Tommy Flannigan, Scott Wood, Travis Cunningham, Tim Jones, Todd Gordon, Fred Carleton, Brandon Easey, Mark D'Ilario, Pete Bicknell, Bill Bleich, Travis Miller, Steven Schumacher, Tyler McPherson, Mike Bowman, Shayne Pierce, Chris Bellamy, Rick Hoctor, Ken Winfield, Chad Chevalier, Dennis Giancola, Robbie Krull. DNS - Chris Steele
Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division Feature (25 laps) Cody McPherson, James Friesen, Jason Farraway, Brad Rouse, Gary Lindberg, Paul Gaboury, Justin Sharp, Brent Begolo, Jordan Cosco, Boyd MacTavish, Jason Moore, Rob Knapp, AJ Lewis, Gord McIntosh, Joey Mastroianni, Robert Baker, Mike Van Oosten, Rob Clark, Austin Wood, Kyle Tomaski, Derick Hodge, Ryan Turner, Adam Leslie.
Hoosier Stock Feature (20 laps) Kevin Knapp, Pete Reid, Rob Murray, James Thompson, Brad Sheehan, Billy Bleich Jr, Billy Hogue, Chris Crawford, Jim Lampman, Kyle Pelrine, Vince Fargnoli, Mason Smith, Marcel Michaud, Jason Fontaine, Mark Fawcett, David Bitner, Jr.
J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Feature (15 laps) Derek Wagner, J Josh Sliter, Rob Misener, Rick Koabel, Jeffrey May, Dylan Davidson, Evan Leonard, Ray Sliter Jr., Chris Watson, Marty DeMoel, Kristy Dulaj, Justin Sliter.
Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Feature (15 laps) Tyler Lafantaisie, Garnet Wilson, Robert Goulding, Dillan Sliter, Evan Curtis, Rob Overholt, Leroy Buscumb, Sam Iftody, Jocelyn Wiley, Kyle Haynes, Mike Sadusek, Mike Giberson, Jason Coutu, Kourtney Kocarik, Greg Wilson, Chris Shepherd, Terry Wilson, Chris Ryckman, Brandon Boychuck, Kurtis Wiley, Gabriel Attallah, Alex Riley, Cam Collens, Jeff Hill.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS