Chevalier, Gaboury, Klager & Goulding first time 2014 Feature Winners in CAA Niagara Member Appreciation Night while Fontaine takes third
CAA Niagara Member Appreciation Night at Merrittville Speedway saw Chad Chevalier, Paul Gaboury, Paul Klager and Rob Goulding take home their first 2014 Feature Wins in the 35 lap Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified, Rick’s Delivery Sportsman, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions on May 24th. Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Jason Fontaine take home his 3rd Hoosier Stock Feature in 4 starts this season.
“Those restarts were pretty interesting,” revealed 358 Modified Feature Winner Chad Chevalier in Victory Lane, “I know he likes the bottom and will set you up between 1 and 2 …. I had to keep my foot in it and not let him do it.” The driver the Port Colborne Driver was referring to was none other than Pete Bicknell.
On a lap 15 restart, Chevalier held off Bicknell for top spot but not until the two ran side by side for an entire lap. Another caution at halfway found Chevalier regaining the lead - opening up a lead of some 3 seconds by lap 25.
Chevalier would maintain that advantage to the checkered flag. Chevalier who took control right at the start of the 35 lap event before losing top spot to Brandon Easey just after a lap 8 restart.
With another lap on the Insta-Insulation Lap Counter, Chevalier was back out front and at the finish would be followed by Bicknell, Easey. Ryan Susice and Tim Jones.
Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Heat Winners Robbie Krull, Todd Gordon and Scott Wood.
“With Adam on cruise control … I didn’t think I was going to catch him,” revealed Paul Gaboury in Victory Lane after winning the 25 lap Feature for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division, “he was long gone ,,, but the car came to me as the race went on … Thanks’ to Alexander Awnings who came on board this year … it’s kind of lit a fire under me.”
Adam Leslie was first to lead and survived two restarts in control of top spot on laps 1 and 3. With Leslie comfortably out front by about 10 car lengths with the same gap between him and Gaboury who was about the same distance ahead of Boyd MacTavish. Quickly Gaboury would close in on the leader and by lap 17 – was in control of top spot.
By lap 15, Gaboury had pulled away to almost a quarter lap lead on MacTavish. In the closing laps Leslie was able to regroup taking second from MacTavish with Cody McPherson and Justin Sharp closing out the top 5.
Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division Heat Winners – Adam Leslie, Paul Gaboury and Justin Sharp. B Mail Winner – Gary Lindberg.
“The track was real racy tonight,” said 3 time Hoosier Stock Feature Winner Jason Fontaine, “everyone was all over each other so that gave me a shot to make my way to the front.” Fontaine, who started the 20 lap Feature from 12th starting spot had a back seat to some unreal racing action ahead of him in the early stages with cars three and four wide battling for position.
Rookie Kyle Pelrine led the field to the initial green flag before Jim Lampman took control the first time into Turn 2. When Chris Crawford slowed off the pace on lap 4 the caution relaxed the field from the first go round of three wide battles.
With Lampman out front on the restart, the race for second had Billy Bleich, Billy Hogue and Brad Sheehan fighting for the spot until lap 6 when Sheehan lost control. Hogue was the new leader on the restart with Lampman joined by Bleich in a three wide race for top spot.
Nobody would give up with Hogue regaining top spot at halfway with 3 others trying to make it 4 wide. Unfortunately one of the challengers and early leader Lampman slowed off the pace on lap 11 with a flat tire and retired to the pit area.
Second generation driver James Thompson became the new leader on lap 12 before Fontaine took control on lap 14. Thompson and Bleich would become hooked together but were able to break free of each other without caution. The remaining laps had everyone settle down with Fontaine leading Billy Hogue, Mark Fawcett, Thompson and Bleich to the checkered flag.
Hoosier Stock Heat Winners – Jim Lampman and Brad Sheehan.
’m still trying to figure out this car … but it’s a lot better than last year,” informed Paul Klager in Victory Lane after winning the 15 lap Mod Lite Feature, “I’m still working the bugs out of it.”
Klager of Beamsville didn’t waste any time getting to the front after taking the lead from initial leader Dylan Davidson after an early caution slowed the field. By lap 5, Klager had stretched his lead until a lap 7 caution. Klager again the set the pace on the restart and in the last half of the event Jamie Gilbert was the driver on the move – taking second spot from Jeffrey May.
Davidson would hold on for fourth with Randy Hollingshead rounding out the top 5.
J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Heat Winner – Paul Klager.
“It’s a lot of fun … that’s why I’m here,” said Rob Goulding in Victory Lane, “I’ve been changing some of the set up from the start of the season.”
Jeff Hill would lead the 21 car field to the green flag but unfortunately would face a penalty at the first caution or the checkered flag – whichever would come first. The break for Hill would come on lap 8 after caution slowed the field. To that point, Hill, Jason Coutu, Rob Overholt and Rob Goulding had broken away from the pack.
Coutu was the new leader on the return to racing which was immediately slowed once again. Goulding was the new leader with Coutu staying side by side and Hill rejoining the battle.
Contact between cars back in the pack resulted in Overholt making contact with the front stretch wall on lap 13. Coutu was back out front on the restart with Goulding quickly regaining top spot.
The race for top spot quickly became a three wide challenge between Goulding, Coutu and Leroy Buscumb. The top 5 in the Feature saw a thrilling sweep for the VWs with the top three followed by Hill and Kyle Rothwell.
Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Heat Winners - Jocelyne Wiley, Kyle Rothwell and Rob Overholt.
PIT NOTES Merrittville Speedway’s Kart Race Director Jeff Riley would like to thank all the Tuesday Night Kart Racers that participated in the Display and Demonstration – Aiden Lavallee, Owen Kaiser, Jackson and Spencer Maytum, Carter Long, Davis & Shannon Grocott, Joey Priestley, Nathan Boisvert, Trevor Wright, Austyn Werstroh, Tyler Winger, Steven Beckett, Garry Overholt, Ashley Moore, Daniel McKay and John Matthews in addition to sponsors Performance Manufacturing, Drummond Home Hardware, Tim Phillips Garage, KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment, Ed MacPherson Construction, Superior PetroFuels, Philbrick Farm & Garden Equipment, Wilder Racing Engines, Cassell Manufacturing, Burris Tire and Briggs Racing.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY The month of May concludes Saturday May 31st with Archer Truck Service and Semenuk’s Esso presenting a Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Program that will feature the opening round of the 2014 Turn 4 Collision Triple Crown Series for the 4 Cylinders. Gates will open at 5:30 with show time at 7:00.
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 358 Modified Feature (35 laps) Chad Chevalier, Pete Bicknell, Brandon Easey, Ryan Susice, Tim Jones, Mat Williamson, Chad Brachmann, Chris Steele, Todd Gordon, Tommy Flannigan, Fred Carleton, Mike Bowman, Tyler McPherson, Robbie Krull, Travis Cunningham, Travis Miller, Dennis Giancola, Ken Winnfield, Scott Wood, Rick Bellamy, Bill Bleich, Rick Hoctor.
Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division (25 laps) – Paul Gaboury, Adam Leslie, Boyd MacTavish, Cody McPherson, Justin Sharp, Brad Rouse, Rob Clark, Austin Wood, BJ Willard, Rob Knapp Ryan Turner, James Friesen, Brent Begolo, Jason Farraway, Joey Mastroianni, Jay Mallory, Jason Moore, Jordan Cosco, Robert Baker, Gord MacIntosh, Derick Hodge, Paul Williamson, Gary Lindberg, AJ Lewis. DNQ – Charlie Lynch, Kyle Tomaski, Jim Harbison.
Hoosier Stock Feature (20 laps) – Jason Fontaine, Billy Hogue, Mark Fawcett, Bill Bleich, Jr., James Thompson, Billy Bleich, Rob Murray, Peter Reid, Kevin Knapp, Kyle Pelrine, Brad Sheehan, Vince Fargnoli, Marcel Michaud, Mason Smith, Chris Crawford, Jim Lampman.
J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Feature (15 laps) Paul Klager, Jamie Gilbert, Jeffrey May, Dylan Davidson. Randy Hollingshead, Marty DeMoel, Christy Dulaj, Chris Watson.
Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Feature (15 laps) – Rob Goulding, Jason Coutu, Leroy Buscumb, Jeff Hill, Kyle Rothwell, Evan Curtis, Tyler Lafantaisie, Mike Sadusek, Jocelyne Wiley, Garnet Wilson, Chris Shepherd, Greg Wilson, Kyle Haynes, Kyle Pelrine, Mike Giberson, Rob Overholt, Brandon Boychuk, Kurtis Wiley, Kourtney Kocarik, Cam Collens, Alex Riley
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