Bowman wins second Winger Memorial – Elsie, Begolo and Cosco newest inductees into L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame
The Welland and Fort Erie Timber Marts and Blast Entertainment presented Merrittville Speedway’s 2015 Nostalgia Night July 11th with Mike Bowman of St. Catharines winning the 50 lap Jerry Winger Memorial for the Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modifieds.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Kyle Rothwell of Welland, Rob Misener of Port Colborne and Rob Knapp of Niagara Falls taking home wins in the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Modified Lites and the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Divisions respectively.
Prior to race time, the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame Inductions assisted by CAA Niagara and Auto FX Graphics and Signs.
Mark Elsie, Jim Begolo and Pete Cosco were announced as the 2015 Inductees.
“This body started out with Don Turner and then Henry Shivak at the former Speedway Park,” said Vintage Race Car Display Race Winner Mark Shadwell of Hamilton, “I raced it for a year … 35 years later I found it and restored it.”
Shadwell bested the field of cars that represented many of the eras from Merrittville Speedway’s 64 year history. Joining in for the first time was the 1937 Chevrolet replica of the #73 of Wall of Famer Bob Davidson Sr. The 87 year old returned to the track for the heat while his son Barry ran the Feature Event.
“The last time this car won was this race two years ago,” said Merrittville Speedway’s 10th different 2015 Winner in the Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Division, “I just purchased it back from Travis Cunningham.”
Once again, the 50 lap Jerry Winger Memorial appeared to be on it’s way to another 2 time winner with Watertown NY’s Billy Dunn in control at the drop of the green flag from recent Wall of Fame Inductee Jim Begolo.
Dunn was on cruise control in the early going in the Randy Slack-owned #3 until lap 14 when smoke began to show. Dunn retired to the pit area early with Bowman the new leader.
Tom Flannigan was first to lead before Dunn took control the first time down the backstretch.
Dunn resumed control on the restart and by lap 10 had pulled away to a lead of a half a straightaway until Chad Brachmann slowed with a flat tire on lap 12.
About 12 laps later the second red flag in as many weeks stopped the event after contact in the pack sent Bill Bleich flipping in almost the same spot as did Tim Jones. Bleich got out of his car under his own power.
Bowman was the leader once again with almost a straightaway lead on the race for second. Mat Williamson challenging Pete Bicknell for the runner up spot until caution would slow the field on lap 35.
The final 15 laps saw Williamson challenge Bowman with the 9th caution on lap 46 with Bowman setting up a four lap dash to the finish.
“I was better in 1 and 2,” said Williamson in a post race interview with Co-announcer Brett Wood, “he was better in 3 & 4. After last week, (being involved in the Jones wreck,) I’m just happy to be here.”
At lap 50, Bowman had a couple car length advantage on Williamson with Chad Brachmann rebounding from the flat tire to take third.
“We did have a good car … the last few laps one of my wheels filled up with mud … all I could do was hang on,” relayed the point leader Brachmann, “I’m keeping an eye on the points but I want to get back to the top of the podium.”
Pete Bicknell and Flannigan rounded out the Top 5
Joey Mastroianni outraced fellow front row starter Robert Baker to the initial green flag of the 25 lap Feature for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division. With Austin Wood and Rob Knapp in second and third – the leaders quickly broke away a little from the field.
Down the backstretch of lap 8, Wood would pull alongside the leader and drove into top spot out of Turn 4. By halfway Knapp would stay with the leader who came up on lap traffic by lap 16. Lap 17 would see the field slowed after Justin Sharp slowed off the space.
Wood resumed control on the restart with the challengers Knapp and Gary Lindberg almost 3 wide.
Knapp pulled alongside Wood on lap 21 with Knapp edging ahead. With one lap to go, Wood regained the lead.
When the checkered flag flew – Knapp edged ahead of Wood by at most a quarter car length.
Knapp and Wood were followed by Gary Lindberg, Chad Chevalier and Paul Gaboury.
Marty deMoel was the first to lead the 15 lap Feature for the Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Modified Lites when Mike Journeaux was slow to fire at the drop of the green Flag. Quickly Rob Misener would take over top spot and by the one third mark was followed by defending champion Jeff May and Josh Sliter with Jamie Gilbert holding down 4th.
Just ahead of lap 10, Gilbert was able to overtake Sliter for third until Gilbert almost lost control only to save it but lost the spot to Sliter.
A chain reaction incident on lap 14 saw Gilbert facing the wrong way in Turn 4 slowing the pace once again.
Misener got the jump on the restart holding off May and Sliter with RJ Pietz and Marty deMoel fifth.
Kurtis Wiley set the pace at the start of the 15 lap Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder Feature with action through the field 3 and 4 wide. With the battle for top spot 3 wide the second time into Turn 3 – Mike Sadusek literally went from third to first along the inside.
By the halfway point, Sadusek was about 10 car lengths ahead of Kyle Rothwell who in turn had the same lead on Tyler Lafantaisie in third. With Sadusek out front after a lap 10 restart, Lafantaisie would fall off the pace with a flat tire. The current point leader coasted into the infield letting the race continue.
Rothwell who started in 10th would challenge Sadusek a few times in the closing laps edges ahead by .034 of a second at the start finish line.
Rothwell and Sadusek were followed by Jason Coutu, Rob Goulding and Kyle Haynes.
The infield flags were at half mast in memory of Merrittville Speedway Co-founder John Marino who passed away in late June.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Saturday July 18th, Merrittville Speedway will host a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Night.
Racing will feature all 5 Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Divisions with the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinders featured in Round Two of the Triple Crown Series. Rounding out the program is the rescheduled Ballhockey.com Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College.
The Grandstand Gates open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00.
To reach Merrittville Speedway call 905-892-8266 or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold Ontario.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 64th Consecutive Season in 2015 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Become a fan of Merrittville Speedway on Face Book at www.facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Merrittville
Pinty’s Delicious Foods DIRTcar 358 Modified Jerry Winger Memorial (50 laps) Mike Bowman, Mat Williamson, Chad Brachmann, Pete Bicknell, Tommy Flannigan, Tyler McPherson, Boyd MacTavish, Scott Wood, Mark D’Ilario, Tim Jones, Jeff McGinnis, Travis Miller, Dennis Giancola, Chris Bellamy, Chris Steele, Todd Gordon, Billy Dunn, David Flannigan, Bill Bleich, Like Griener, Brett Clarke. DNS – Fred Carleton.
Rick’s Delivery DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (25 laps) Rob Knapp, Austin Wood, Gary Lindberg, Chad Chevalier, Paul Gaboury, Cody McPherson, Jay Mallory, Brent Begolo, James Friesen, Brad Rouse, Joey Mastroianni, Jason Moore, Adam Leslie, Jordan Cosco, Robert Baker, Gord McIntosh, Gord Moreau, Justin Sharp, Derick Hodge, Chris Storm, Charlie Lynch.
Rev’s Full Throttle Power Sports Modified Lite Feature (15 laps) Rob Misener, Jeffrey May, Josh Sliter, RJ Pietz, Marty deMoel, Dylan Davidson, Chris Watson, Jamie Gilbert, Steven Beckett, Mike Journeaux, Ray Sliter Jr.
Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder Triple Crown Series Opener (15 laps) Kyle Rothwell, Mike Sadusek, Jason Coutu, Robert Goulding, Kyle Haynes, Sam Iftody, Alex Riley, Kurtis Wiley, Mike Giberson, Kourtney Kocarik, Jeremy Smith, Jay Moulton, Gary Hodason, Alex Pidgeon, Brandon Pidgeon, Tyler Lafantaisie, Brian Teeple.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2015 64th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Rick’s Delivery, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports, Hoosier Tire Canada and Van Raine Construction and Contingency Partners http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/contingency.html in addition to many marketing partners. Visit them athttp://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htmand visit them when you require their products and/or services.
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