Big Night for three first time 2016 Winners
Modern Corporation’s annual Big Rig Truck Show and Shine Night turned out to be a Big Night for three first time 2016 Feature Winners.
Tim Jones of Port Robinson won his first Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Feature of the season. Also collecting their first wins in the Yager Bros Trucking Novice Sportsman Division were Justin McKay of North Tonawanda NY and Trevor Wright of Grimsby.
Three Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Drivers also made their second trips to Victory Lane in 2016 – Tony Kelly (Niagara Falls), Rob Misener, (Welland) and Pete Reid of Stevensville in the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Mod Lite and Hoosier Stock Divisions respectively.
Cody McPherson of St. Catharines took home his third win in the Yager Bros Trucking Sportsman Division.
One final winner was Dan Lubberts of Fort Erie whose Rim Transport 2017 Western Star Truck was voted by the fans as favorite.
“I took a look at the track after my heat … and I didn’t think it would be my kind of track,” said Tim Jones after his first 358 Modified Win, “I can’t thank the sponsors and my engine builder Jeff Shaft from Nicholls-Hepp Racing Engines. (Former racer) Dan Miller has been a big help this season as well.”
Todd Gordon set the pace to start the Modified Feature with a chain reaction incident involving Chad Brachmann, Mike Bowman and Erick Rudolph between Turns 1 and 2 slowing the field early in the 35 lap Main Event. With the track blocked by the disabled cars - the race went under the red flag.
Unfortunately for the defending champion Brachmann his car was cradled off by the CAA Niagara Tow Trucks.
Gordon regained the lead on the restart but down the backstretch – Tim Jones rocketed into the lead.
By lap 10, Jones and runner up Ryan Susice had pulled away from third place runner Gordon. By lap 15, the two frontrunners extended their advantage to almost a straightaway.
Lap 20 met for disaster for Mike Bowman who made contact with the front stretch wall just past the start finish line but was able to drive away.
Jones resumed control of top spot on the restart with Susice quickly challenging. Susice would jump ahead but Jones’ momentum would put him back out front. By lap 30, Jones would open up a lead of some 5 car lengths on Susice. In the closing laps Tommy Flannigan and Pete Bicknell would battle for third spot.
With Jones and Susice as the top two – Bicknell would take third with Flannigan settling for 4th. Rudolph would rally from the early race incident to round out the top 5.
“The track was a little slick during the second feature,” said the recent Grade 8 Graduate Wright who won the 10 lap Novice Sportsman Feature, “I’m getting more and more confident every race - thanks to my mom and dad all my sponsors.”
Wright led the entire distance while Justin McKay won the 10 lap Novice Sportsman Feature earlier in the night that was delayed from June 18th’s Ontario Truck Driving School Canadian National Autism Foundation Night.
“I knew someone was there with me, said Tony Kelly after winning his second 4 Cylinder Feature of 2016, “I got a tap at the end … so it made it interesting.”
21 cars took the green flag with Gary Hodasun taking the lead from the start of the 15 lap Event. Caution on lap 3 would slow the pace after Jay Moulton and Clinton Nicholls came together out of Turn 4 causing Nicholls to spin his car.
Hodasun regained control of top spot ahead of Trevor Want until Tony Kelly and Kyle Rothwell raced into the Top 3. Lap 5 would see the event slowed for the second time after current point leader Tyler Lafantaisie slowed off Turn 4 with a flat tire. Lafantaisie would rejoin the field but would have to get by a quite a number of cars to maintain his point lead.
The field went four wide on the restart with Kelly quickly landing in top spot. Rothwell would follow into second spot and with 10 to go sat a few car lengths behind the leader.
At the white flag Rothwell made his move but the tap was as close as he could come.
At the finish, Kelly and Rothwell were followed by Alex Riley, Vincent Pagnotta and Tyler Lafantaisie who rebounded from the flat tire to take fifth.
“It’s always great racing with Chris (Crawford) and Jim (Lampman),” said back to back Hoosier Stock Feature Winner Pete Reid who is undefeated since winning the Welland and Fort Erie Timber Mart Dash for Cash June 18th “I’ve raced with them for years – it was nice and clean every lap.”
Steve Shaw and Lampman led the field to the green flag with Lampman taking control of the lead the first time into Turn 1. With 1 lap complete the pace was quickly slowed for a Turn 4 incident.
Lampman regained the lead at the start finish line on the restart with Chris Crawford and Pete Reid putting the top 3 cars three wide. Down the front stretch of lap 3 Crawford was the new leader until a Turn 2 incident involving the former leader Lampman slowed the pace once again.
Crawford set the pace on the restart until lap 11 when Pete Reid began to challenge for top spot. By lap 13 the two were side by side with the battle for third also side by side between Dave Bailey and Mark Fawcett.
Reid edged ahead crossing the start finish line to start lap 16 with Fawcett taking over third. Through slower cars Reid opened up a couple car length advantage over Crawford with Mark Fawcett, Dave Bailey and Billy Bleich Jr. as the top 5.
“I thought the white flag was the checkered flag … I almost pulled in a lap early,” said two time Modified Lite Feature Winner Rob Misener who dedicated the win to his late Grandfather Gord Misener who passed away Tuesday, “this one’s for him!”
Marty deMoel was first to lead the 15 lap Modified Lite Feature until the second time through Turns 1 and 2 when Rob Misener took over top spot.
Approaching lap 10, Misener’s team mate and multi-time champion Josh Sliter would enter the picture. After getting by Steven Beckett, Sliter wasn’t slowed by lap traffic. Sliter closed to within a car length – 3/10th of a second of Misener in the caution free 4 minute feature.
Misener, Sliter and Beckett were followed by RJ Pietz and Tyler Winger.
“I’ve got to thank my uncle Bill (Willard), “said Cody McPherson of the former Sportsman Champion and Wall of Famer, “my car hasn't been running the best last couple weeks … he came over this week and went through the car front to back, and made sure it was perfect.”
Tom Richau was first to lead the 25 lap Sportsman Feature until Justin Sharp took control the first time down the backstretch. Caution slowed the pace on lap 4 after Jesse Penner slowed onto the infield Kart Track.
Sharp resumed control on the restart with Paul Gaboury into the runner up spot. The early race to watch was the battle for third between Brent Begolo and Cody McPherson. Just as McPherson took third spot a multicar incident in Turn 2 slowed the pace once again.
Sharp was back out front on the restart and by lap 9, McPherson was challenging Sharp. McPherson would take the lead racing into Turn 1 on lap 11. Caution would slow the pace once again on lap 12.
McPherson would lead the field back to green and by lap 15 the top three were separated by a couple car lengths each between McPherson, Sharp and Gaboury. Lap 17 would find the field slowed with McPherson back out front.
The pace was quickly slowed the next time through Turn 4 for an incident involving front-runners Gaboury, Jay Mallory and others. McPherson was back out front once again with Sharp challenging the leader. Out of Turn 4 to complete lap 21 Rob Knapp made contact with the front stretch wall.
McPherson regained top spot on the restart and in closing laps ran to a couple car length lead at the finish over Sharp and Begolo with Charlie Lynch and Jay Mallory closing out the top 5.
Another recent Grade 8 Graduate Ryleigh Sliter of Port Colborne – a rookie in the Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Modified Lite Division was named Driver of the Week.
Merrittville Speedway would like to thank once again all the participants in the Modern Corporation Big Rig Truck Show and Shine.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
D&L Small Engines will present the second event of the David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series for the Yager Bros Trucking Sportsman Division Saturday July 9th. The Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event will also feature the Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modifieds, Hoosier Stocks, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Mod Lites and the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder Divisions.
Also joining the race card – a Poster Contest for Kids.
Gates will open at 5:30 with Show Time at 7 PM.
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. Merrittville Speedway’s Office is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and is located in the Grandstand Area on the ground floor of the Lucas Oil Tower.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 65th Consecutive Season in 2016 – 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
Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Feature (35 laps) Tim Jones, Ryan Sisice, Pete Bicknell, Tommy Flannigan, Erick Rudolph, Todd Gordon, Mark D’Ilario, Tyler McPherson, Gary Lindberg, Wayne Conn, Chris Steele, Phil Vignieri, Fred Carleton, Mike Bowman, Scott Wood, Chad Brachmann.
Yager Bros Trucking Sportsman Feature (25 laps) Cody McPherson, Justin Sharp, Brent Begolo, Charlie Lynch, Jay Mallory, Chris Bellamy, Joey Mastroianni, Paul Gaboury, Chris Watters, Tom Richau, Jesse Penner, Dave DiPetro, Sean Dominey, Rob Knapp, John Babion, Justin McKay, Robbie Johnston, Chris Storm.
Yager Bros Trucking Novice Sportsman Feature (from June 18th) (10 laps) Justin McKay, Chris Watters, John Babion, Trevor Wright, Sean Dominey.
Yager Bros Trucking Novice Sportsman Feature (10 laps) Trevor Wright, Chris Watters, John Babion, Sean Dominey, Dave DiPietro, Justin McKay, Tom Richau.
Hoosier Stock Feature (20 laps) Pete Reid, Chris Crawford, Mark Fawcett, Dave Bailey, Billy Bleich Jr., Kyle Pelrine, Steve Shaw, Jim Lampman, Jack Myers, Derek VanMil, Chris Schneider, Mason Smith, Jason Fontaine, James Marr, Dave Small.
Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports Modified Lite Feature (15 laps) Rob Misener, Josh Sliter, Steven Beckett, RJ Pietz, Tyler Winger, Jeffrey May, Chris Watson, Marty deMoel, Evan Leonard, Ray Sliter Jr., Craig Martin, Ryleigh Sliter
Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder Feature (15 laps) Tony Kelly, Kyle Rothwell, Alex Riley, Vincent Pagnotta, Tyler Lafantaisie, Jeremy Smith, Sam Iftody, Mike Sadusek, Olivier Larocque, Clinton Nicholls, Gary Hodasun, Mike Giberson, Kourtney Kocarik, Kyle Miller, Cole Hardy, Brian Teeple, Gregg Lounsbury, Austyn Werstroh, Trevor Want, Jason Coutu, Jay Moulton.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS