By Randy Spencer / OntarioOval.com – It was three weeks in the making but the Oktoberfest Classic 2011 was finally completed at Flamboro Speedway. It was definitely one of the craziest Classics in recent memory with many referring to it as Wrecktoberfest. So many race cars were heavily damaged and a lot of carnage. It was a special night as well as racers, track staff and fans remembered Abel Castelein who passed away earlier in the week. Last chance races for the Mini Stocks, Thunder Cars and Late Models were on tap as well as Twin 50 lap features for the Late Models, 50 laps for Limited Late Models, 40 laps for Thunder Cars and 30 laps for the Mini Stocks.
Racing got under way just after 3pm with an 8 lap Mini Stock consi. The winner was Darryl Fice (#44). Fice, a visiting car from Peterborough Speedway has had a very rewarding year finishing first in Mini Stock Points at Peterborough as well as winning the feature at the Autumn Colors Classic and taking the Pumpkin Smasher Ontario Open Mini Stock race at Delaware Speedway last weekend. The Late Model consi was next and Steve Laking took the checkers while the Thunder Car last chance race win went to Darrell Lake who was driving J.R. Fitzpatrick’s 2011 Camaro. Lake, nicknamed “Hollywood” races weekly at Delaware Speedway in a ’79 Nova in the Dynamic Fluids Super Stocks division.
Feature racing got under just before 4 pm and the final checkered flag didn’t fly until almost six hours later. The Crown King of Speed, Jason Shaw (#82), the 2011 Grisdale Late Model Points champion was on the pole with the “Shadow” Brad Corcoran (#05) along side. The green flag dropped to start the first 50 lap feature, little did we know it would take almost an hour and a half to complete, 23 cars would start and just 10 made it through the carnage by race end. The first caution came down on lap 6 when Matt Balog (#77) and Brent Wheller (#61) got tangled in turn 3. The second caution flew at lap 11 as J.R. Fitzpatrick (#84) got into the back of the “Iron Man” Gary Elliott (#36) in turn 2. A few cars got collected in that one including Elliott, Brad Corcoran and Flamboro Late Model rookie of the year Brennan Didero (#24) all having some extensive damage to their cars. Fitzpatrick later spoke and apologized to Elliott for getting into him. Racing continued with some exciting action at the front as Jason Shaw and Paul Howse (#8) waged an intense battle for several laps. Howse climbed the wall down the back stretch and as he continued tire smoke was heavy. He continued but by lap 43 the tire exploded going down the front straight and the car looked like it was shot out of a cannon or on ice and at full speed spun and went straight into the wall driver side first. Emergency crews rushed to the scene and Howse was removed and looked very shaken. He was taken to Hamilton Genereal Hospital and it was reported later in the evening he had a torn ACL. It could have been worse, it was a very hard and violent hit. Racing continued and on the restart several cars got tangled just before the start finish line with Bill Lassaline (#22) hitting the wall hard causing some extensive damage. Jason Shaw who had led the first 43 laps had to pit with a flat tire. On the ensuing restart, David Elliott (#37) and Fitzpatrick were ready for a exciting race to the finish. Coming out of turn 4 Eliott got a little high and this left the door open for Fitzpatrick to take the lead. The next lap saw the red flag come out as Mark Watson (#78) and Steve Laking (#44) got mixed up and Laking climbed the wall and rode it into turn 2 taking out the Flamboro Speedway Winner’s Circle sign. Both cars suffered extensive damage in that one. A five lap shootout to the finish saw J.R. Fitzpatrick hold off the hard charging David Elliott and Jason Shaw for the first 50 lap feature win.
The Limited Late Models hit the track for their 50 lap feature event. A familiar face was back at the track. “Stompin” Tom Walters didn’t make it out to qualifying October 1st. His car was heavily damaged in a late season crash at Sunset Speedway. Similar to the Late Model feature, several cautions early on. Shawn McGlynn (#28) retired to the pits with what looked like a broken rear end to his car. Mike Bentley who jumped to the Limited Late Model division at Sunset after many years at Flamboro took the lead from the green and built a big lead. The real battle was for second through fourth. Jason Tremble (#34), Kyle Donaldson (#53) and Tom Walters (#47) were battling bumper to bumper and exchanging some paint. A caution brought the pack back to even but on the restart Bentley once again shot out to a big lead and took the checkered flag leading all 50 laps.
The largest field of Thunder Cars all year took to the track for their 40 lap main event. Twenty four cars took the green and the pattern from the past two features trickled over and cautions in the first two laps made it seem like we were in for another long race…and we were. By lap 5 the cars were lined up like a freight train all around the 1/3 mile oval. Dennis Cybalski (#10) and Matt Bentley (#21) were battling up front and banging off each other. Bentley got into the back of Cybalski sending him spinning to the infield. The starter gave Bentley the black flag and Cybalski was unable to continue. The “Rocket” Randy Rusnell assumed the lead and Kevin Albers (#27) was on his outside. Shawn Arnott (#76) got tangled and Rusnell lost the lead. A few laps later Bill Watson (#36) got together with Scott Way (#83) and Watson made a right turn into the wall as they entered turn one. Watson hit the wall and slid back out into traffic hitting Lloyd Bowman (#6). On lap 13, another wreck between turns one and two as Gary Slama (#4), Bobby Mercer (#71), Steve Perry (#8) and Matt Clarke (#85) got together. At the half way point Albers was in the lead with 2011 Freedom Village Thunder Car champion Brad Collison (#13) and Nick Troback (#73) on his tail. Steve Perry and Scott LaPorte (#88) mixed it up in turn one bringing out yet another caution. On the restart, Albers and Troback put some daylight between themselves and the next two cars, Collison and Rusnell. A change in the lead happened on lap 29 as the two front runners, Albers and Troback tangled. Shawn Arnott and Ken Donaldson Jr. (#03) were playing tag and coming out of turn two Matt Bentley took full advantage and shot by on the inside. Donaldson and Arnott continued their battles and Donaldson got a black flag for roughing in the opinion of starter Ding Deleeuw. The “Rocket” Randy Rusnell assumed the lead and held it for a victory in his return to Flamboro after racing the year at Sunset. Rusnell, who was coming off four straight Flamboro Thunder Car points championships jumped from the car and with checkered flag in hand climbed the fence and saluted the crowd. He announced in Victory lane to Flamboro announcer Josh Paxton, that although his plans for 2012 were still uncertain one thing for sure it wouldn’t be in the current car. From what I understand the car is or will be sold to another current Thunder Car driver for next season.
The Mini Stocks lined up on the front stretch for their 28 lap feature and a short ceremony to remember Abel Castelien with a moment of silence. The race was changed to 28 laps instead of 30 in Abel’s honor. Lots of heavy hearts in the field as cars sported stickers remembering their fallen friend. Good friend Dave Bailey (#31) who let Castelein drive his backup car at Ohsweken Speedway this season was in the field as well as Abel’s step son Kyle Beaty who had his dad’s #31x car out for the race. The cars took a few cruise laps leaving open the pole position for Castelin. Ironically Dale Shaw sat on the pole and he is #28. Cars took position and the largest field of Mini Stocks in a long while at Flamboro took the green and Shaw took the lead early. The trend continued as several cautions flew early. Rob Hoskins (#37) got high in turn 3/4 as did Dave Bailey and on lap two the tight pack got mixed up and Wade Watson (#22) went around into the front stretch wall. Another caution flew and once again on the restart before another lap was in the books, the caution flew again. Bill Pearsall (#33), Rob Bajek (#99) and Matt Dean (#15) got together in turn 3 with Dean receiving the most damage and was removed on the flat bad trailer. All the while Dale Shaw kept putting more distance between himself and the rest of the field. Lapped traffic started to become a problem for Russ Aicken (#71) and Mike Holmes (#13), who were second and third. It allowed Shaw to maintain his lead and the other cars would pose no major threat to Shaw who took the checkered flag for another feature victory.
The final race of the night was the second 50 lap feature for the Late Model division. Jamie Cox (#2) and Jason Lancaster (#33) were up front. Lancaster took the early lead but David Elliott (#37) got by Lancaster and inherited the lead. Six laps in Bill Hollis (#93) and Harry Topp (#39) got together and Topp fell back to the rear after getting the black flag. A couple more cautions with Jason Lancaster (#33) and J.R. Fitzpatrick (#84) banging fenders and as a result Fitzpatrick came to rest facing the wrong way in turn 2. The car was removed on the hook and racing continued. Half way through Trevor Monaghan (#74) and Steve Laking (#44) mixed it up bringing out the yellow flag. David Elliott continued to lead holding off several attempts by Mark Watson (#78) to get by. With less than ten laps remaining a caution tightened the field again. As the cars raced out of turn four to take the green Elliott got a little loose and Watson hit the line first but Elliott regained the lead as they came around on lap 42. Next time by Gary Elliott (#36) spun coming out of turn four and was clipped. Elliott went to the pits for some repairs but returned to take the green. With four laps to go coming across the start finish line Bill Hollis (#93) got high and Brandon White (#96) rode the wall and was at a 90 degree angle with the under carriage of the car clearly visible from the grandstand side. White was removed through the passenger side window and showed his displeasure to Hollis. It looked as though if Hollis would have continued on the 96 car would have end up with four wheels to the sky. The red flag came out and Ray’s Towing and other on track staff worked for a long period to safely get White’s carback on four wheels with out damaging the car’s under carraige and to save it from rolling over. The car was successfully removed from the track and the race got back under way. Emotions continued to boil over as Monaghan (#74) and Lancaster (#33) traded paint again. The checkered flag flew and the winner was none other than this year’s Grisdale Triple Crown champion David Elliott. Elliott led the final 48 laps for the victory and was also crowned Late Model Oktoberfest champion, a fine way to cap off a very frustrating year for David as well as dad Gary. Monaghan and Lancaster continued their on track fued during the cool down lap and apparently into the pits afterwards. Congratulations David!
With that the unofficial end to the 2011 season at Flamboro Speedway had come. Next week is the last event of the year, the Frost Fest races on Saturday, October 29th featuring the London Recreational Thunder Car Challenge. Twin 35 lap features for the Thunder cars and Twin 25 lap features for the Mini Stocks. Gates open at 12 noon and racing gets underway at 3pm. In the event of bad weather, racing will take place the next day, same times. Lots of extra cash prizes as it’s Flamboro Thunder Cars vs. the “World”. Check out full details at http://www.flamborospeedway.ca See you at the races!!
Results (scored finish, not official)
Mini Stock Consi: #44 Darryl Fice, #33 Bill Pearsall, #30 Kyle Beaty, #18 Courtney Scott, #99 Rob Bejak, #2 Johnny Myers (DNF)
Mini Stock Feature: #28 Dale Shaw, #71 Russ Aicken, #13 Mike Holmes, #02 Mike Taylor, #64 Brandon McFerran, #92 Eric Van Wyngaarden, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #50 John Van Dyke, #43 Sarah Miskiewicz, #31 Dave Bailey, #81 Samantha Shaw, #01 Mark Da Silva, #88 Mark Dennis, #5 Ken Stenhouse, #20 Ryan Edwards, #44 Darryl Fice (DNF), #35 Tim Tolton (DNF), #22 Wade Watson, #10 Jeremy Hughes, #77 James Idsardi, #37 Rob Hoskins, #38 Rodney Rutherford, #2 Johnny Myers, #30 Kyle Beaty,
#19 Brittany Idsardi, #84 Lisa Deleeuw, #18 Courtney Scott, #3 Jack Horner (DNF), #33 Bill Pearsall (DNF), #15 Matt Dean (DNF), #99 Rob Bejak (DNF), #73 Dave Larkin (DNF), #47 Brent Wheller (RD)
Thunder Car Consi: #14 Darrell Lake, #37 Jeff Bean, #44 Jeff Showler, #29 Steve Cashmore, #36 Bill Watson, #6 Lloyd Bowman, #38 Ken Grubb (DNF), #19 Dave Silverthorn Sr. (DNF), #80 Wilfred Marlowe (DNF), #22 Paul Huskins (DNF), #11 Dusty Richardson (DNF), #87 Jeremy Bean (DNF), #2 Rick Burbridge (DNF), #39 Marvin Freiburger (DNS)
Thunder Car Feature: #72 Randy Rusnell, #76 Shawn Arnott, #14 Darrell Lake, #27 Kevin Albers, #44 Jeff Showler, #83 Scott Way, #4 Gary Slama, #02 Mark Burbridge, #31 Kevin Gallant, #13 Brad Collison, #17 Nick Roth, #8 Steve Perry, #37 Jeff Bean, #85 Matt Clarke, #73 Nick Troback, #5 Linda Dean, #36 Bill Watson, #6 Lloyd Bowman, #29 Steve Cashmore (DNF), #88 Scott LaPorte, #71 Bobby Mercer, #10 Dennis Cybalski (DNF), #03 Ken Donaldson Jr. (DQ), #21 Matt Bentley (DQ)
Limited Late Model Feature: #51 Mike Bentley, #8 Jason Parker, #34 Jason Tremble, #53 Kyle Donaldson, #47 Tom Walters, #37 Luke Grenier, #77 Tim Gordon, #09 Kent Nuhn, #85 Jeff Lotspeich (DNF), #28 Shawn McGlynn, #35 Andy Kamarath (DNS)
Late Model Consi: #44 Steve Laking, #96Brandon White, #5 Jay Christie, #74 Trevor Monaghan, #22 Bill Lassaline, #78 Mark Watson, #39 Harry Topp, #77 Matt Balog, #00 Jim Gillis, #61 Brent Wheller, #93 Bill Hollis, #63 Jim Bowman (DNS), #50 Dave Baker (DNS)
Late Model Feature #1: #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #37 David Elliott, #82 Jason Shaw, #33 Jason Lancaster, #2 Jamie Cox, #78 Mark Watson, #27 Steve Smith, #39 Harry Topp, #96 Brandon White, #93 Bill Hollis, #5 Jay Christie (DNF), #77 Matt Balog, #22 Bill Lassaline (DNF), #74 Trevor Monaghan (DNF), #61 Brent Wheller, #8 Paul Howse (DNF), #00 Jim Gillis (DNF), #97 Jeff Cassidy (DNF), #56 Jeff Stewart (DNF), #36 Gary Elliott (DNF), #05 Brad Corcoran (DNF), #24 Brennan Didero (DNF), #44 Steve Laking (DQ)
Late Model Feature #2: #37 David Elliott, #78 Mark Watson, #2 Jamie Cox, #82 Jason Shaw, #36 Gary Elliott, #61 Brent Wheller, #77 Matt Balog, #96 Brandon White (DNF), #93 Bill Hollis (DNF), #44 Steve Laking (DNF), #27 Steve Smith (DNF), #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick (DNF), #5 Jay Christie (DNF), #00 Jim Gillis (DNF), #39 Harry Topp (DNF), #56 Jeff Stewart (DNF), #24 Brennan Didero (DNF), #33 Jason Lancaster (DQ), #74 Trevor Monaghan (DQ), #22 Bill Lassaline (DNS), #8 Paul Howse (DNS), #97 Jeff Cassidy (DNS), #05 Brad Corcoran (DNS)