By Randy Spencer – J.R. Fitzpatrick picked up where he left off in 2015. And talking to the Cambridge, Ontario driver during the off season, J.R. was chomping at the bit and couldn’t wait to get the season started. He finished off 2015 strong, finishing either first or second in the final six races on the schedule.
Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway hosted the first big event of the 2016 season, the Spring Fever Blues Shakedown. This two day event got off yesterday with qualifying for all divisions and feature events for the OSCAAR Super Late Models and Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modifieds.
The Vintage Modifieds were up first. Steve Trendell was on the pole for the ten lap qualifier. Trendell wasted no time getting out to a nice lead and picking up the checkered flag. Heat two saw veteran Brian Atkinson lead all the way. 2015 points champion Jason Keen didn’t let Atkinson out of his sites and T.J. Marshall, who won several events here last season was close behind in third.
The Flamboro Stadium & Speedway Pure Stocks were up next for qualifying. Gillian Hils led early but Wayde Thorne and 2015 points champ Andy Wheller were breathing down her neck. On lap six of the ten lap heat, Thorne got by Hils down the back stretch and picked up the win. The second heat saw a great battle between a couple of young guns as Lofton Schuts hold off a determined Josh Shantz to pick up the checkered flag.
The Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop hit the track for their one heat race. Russ Aicken showed no mercy and continued his strong early season showing running away from the pack and picking up a win.
The Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Thunder Cars had one qualifier as well with six cars taking the green flag. An early caution on lap two as the 21 of Andrew Roberston and 55 of Chris Howse tangled out of two and spun out bringing the caution. On the restart, Shawn Arnott continued to lead and a valiant effort by Brad Collison but Arnott would not surrender the lead and took the checkers.
The Pro Four Modifieds were the next to run with a 15 lap qualifying race. Dan Nanticoke, who has had some issues early on this season, didn’t show any on this day as he shot out to a huge lead. Even a caution on lap ten didn’t slow his momentum and he picked up the win.
Up next was qualifying for the three OSCAAR series divisions. They would run double qualifiers. The Super Late Models were first and veterans Glenn Watson and Shawn Chenoweth were on the pole. Chenoweth led early and was holding off the hard charging Fitzpatrick. He tried several times to get by Chenoweth and wasn’t able but finally on lap eight in turns 1 & 2 he managed to use the bump and run and got by to take the lead and Fitzpatrick took the win. Heat two saw Roy Passer, Craig Stevenson and Charlie Gallant nose to tail for ten laps with Passer taking the victory.
The Modifieds were next. Last years point champion Gary McLean got out to a good lead and the battle for second was the race to watch as the Spiderman John Harper battling Dean Scott with Harper coming home second. Heat two, the 14 of A.J. Emms led from flag to flag and had a full straight away lead on the rest of the pack.
The Midgets, known previously as the Hurricane Midgets were next. Richard Woodland got out to a big lead and is in the previous race, the action was for second and third. Ryan Brown held off Larry Lawson to come in second. Heat two saw a great battle between James Stanley and Brian Woodland. Stanley led until lap seven when Woodland got by going into turn three and he picked up the checkered flag.
Round two of qualifying got underway as the Midgets finished up. Roy Passer and J.R. Fitzpatick were on the pole. Tried as he may, Fitzpatrick couldn’t get passed and Passer won heat three. Heat four saw Dustin Jackson and Derrick Tiemersma battling early but Tiemersma slowed and left the track on lap three and Jackson picked up the win.
Modified heat three saw pole sitter Dan Price go around in turns 3-4 on lap two bringing out the caution. A.J. Emms wasted no time taking the lead and having a repeat performance of his first heat winning handily by almost a full straight away and took the heat win. Heat four saw George Wilson out front early. John Harper and David Baylch were battling behind Wilson and as Wilson took the checkers, Harper was second followed by Baylch.
The Midgets were up and once again Brian Woodland won handily picking up his second checkered flag of the day. Heat four saw James Stanley take the lead on lap two as he passed Larry Lawson and took off like a shot to win by a good margin in the final qualifier before intermission.
Two features would be run to end the racing action for the day with the Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modifieds up first for their 25 lap main event. This one was pretty uneventful, ran flag to flag with Steve Trendell picking up the checkered flag holding off veteran Brian Atkinson and Jason Keen for the win in the kick off event for the club’s 50th anniversary. A nice touch for Trendell who has been a long time runner with the club and doing some great work on line and on the club’s website promoting the history of the Vintage Modifieds, known to many as the Hobby club.
The OSCAAR Super Late Models were the last event of the day with fourteen cars taking the green flag. Tyler Hawn and Charlie Gallant were on the pole. Glenn Watson led lap one but it wasn’t long before J.R. Fitzpatrick, who started fifth in the field, powered his way to the front of the field. Shawn Chenoweth was on Fitzpatrick’s bumper early but Roy Passer got by the 89 of Chenoweth heading down the front stretch on lap 24. The first caution came on lap 34 as the 52 of Gary Passer went around on the front stretch bringing the field back to even with 16 laps to go. Fitzpatrick didn’t waste any time regaining the lead off the start followed by Roy Passer right on his back bumper. Fitzpatrick held off the field for the remainder of the race and picked up the twin checkers from starter Dale Shunamon.
That brought to a close the racing action for the day. Make sure you join us Sunday, May 22nd for day two of the Spring Fever Blues Shakedown. Twin 30 lap features for Pro Late Models, 40 lap features for Thunder Cars and Mini Stocks, 25 lap features for the Pure Stocks, OSCAAR Midgets and Pro 4 Modifieds and 30 lap feature for the OSCAAR Modifieds. Pits open at 11am, front gates at 1pm and last chance qualifying starts at 4pm.
Canadian Vintage Modifieds Heat #1 : #57 Steve Trendell, #5 Mike Podd, #25 Cassidy March, #21 Chris Milwain, #03 Bob Gilbert, #33 Ian Burney
Canadian Vintage Modifieds Heat #2 : #92 Brian Atkinson, #18 Jason Keen, #15 T.J. Marshall, #29 Daryl Henood, #19 Mike Westwood, #11 Amanda Stoner, #84 J. Barton (NS)
Canadian Vintage Modified Feature : #57 Steve Trendell, #92 Brian Atkinson, #18 Jason Keen, #15 T.J. Marshall, #5 Mike Podd, #25 Cassidy March, #21 Chris Milwain, #03 Bob Gilbert, #19 Mike Westwood, #11 Amanda Stoner, #33 Ian Burney, #29 Daryl Henwood (NF), #84 J. Barton (NF)
Pure Stock Heat #1 : #6 Wayde Thorne, #90 Andy Wheller, #82 Gillian Hils, #66 Jeff Miller, #50 Ross Winter Jr., #11 Clay Collison, #24 Tyler Mayhew, #26 Ashton Reekie, #9 Courtney Scott, #14 Elijah Hawrylyshin (NF), #7 Matt Young (NS)
Pure Stock Heat #2 : #10 Lofton Schutts, #18 Josh Shantz, #2 Peter Becker, #69 Roger Lessard, #83 Eric Crow, #77 Kevin Thomas, # 79 Caroline Kelly, #61 Paul Ditner, #19 Brian Fader, #16 Mark Thorne (NS)
Mini Stock Heat #1 : #71 Russ Aicken, #76 Shawn Taylor, #97 Blair Wickett, #38 Rodney Rutherford, #61 Chad Ditner, #07 Michael Kenny, #36 Carson Nagy, #70 Joe Trafford, #77 Mike Hooper, #79 Kyle Istead, #03 Jake Gilbert (NS)
Thunder Car Heat #1 : #76 Shawn Arnott, #13 Brad Collison, #55 Chris Howse, #36 Hudson Nagy, #21 Andrew Robertson, #7 Bobby Mercer
Pro 4 Modified Heat # 1 : #15 Dan Nanticoke, #8 Craig Shaver, #9 Brian Nanticoke, #36 Dave Hodgkinson, #23 Linc Erison, #68 Aaron Turkey (NF), #33 Cliff Hodgkinson (NF), #63 Mark Lucas (NS), #93 Dan Petit (NS)
Super Late Model Heat #1 : #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #07 Todd Campbell, #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #22 Glenn Watson, #52 Gary Passer, #61 Dustin Jackson, #67 Rob Reimer (NF)
Super Late Model Heat #2 : #2h Tyler Hawn, #7 Derrick Tiemersma, #27 Roy Passer, #40 Charlie Gallant, #77 Craig Stevenson, #36 Gary Elliott, #91 Mike Westwood (NF)
Super Late Model Heat # 3 : #27 Roy Passer, #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #22 Glenn Watson, #91 Mike Westwood (NS), #67 Rob Reimer (NS)
Super Late Model Heat # 4 : #40 Charlie Gallant, #07 Todd Campbell, #61 Dustin Jackson, #36 Gary Elliott, #7 Derrick Tiemersma (NF), #77 Craig Stevenson (NS)
Super Late Model Feature : #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #27 Roy Passer, #40 Charlie Gallant, #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #2h Tyler Hawn, #61 Dustin Jackson, #52 Gary Passer, #77 Craig Stevenson, #36 Gary Elliott, #07 Todd Campbell (NF), #22 Glenn Watson (NF), #67 Rob Reimer (NF), #91 Mike Westwood (NF), #7 Derrick Tiemersma (NF)
Modifieds Heat #1 : #8 Gary McLean, #79 John Harper, #99 Luke Gignac, #19 Dean Scott, #09 Dan Price, #12 David Baylch
Modifieds Heat # 2 : #14 A.J. Emms, #36 Gary Elliott, #79h Corey Horner, #20 George Wilson, #44 Rick Schurr
Modifieds Heat # 3 : #14 A.J. Emms, #19 Dean Scott, #09 Dan Price, #99 Luke Gignac
Modifieds Heat # 4 : #20 George Wison, #79 John Harper, #12 David Baylch, #8 Gary McLean, #36 Gary Elliott, #79h Corey Horner
Midget Heat # 1 : #84 Brian Woodland, #24 Ryan Brown, #8 Larry Lawson, #69 Wally Wilson, #84 Richard Woodland, #72 Zack Millman
Midget Heat # 2 : #48 Brian Woodland, #57 James Stanley, #71 Wayne McKibbon, #42 Brian MacDonald, #50 Alex Cuzzilla
Midget Heat # 3 : #48 Brian Woodland, #84 Richard Woodland, #71 Wayne McKibbon, #94 Russ Couture, #24 Ryan Brown (NF)
Midget Heat # 4 : #57 James Stanley, #8 Larry Lawson, #42 Brian MacDonald, #50 Alex Cuzzilla, #69 Wally Wilson, #72 Zack Millman (NF)