By Randy Spencer – It was Championship night at Flamboro Speedway Saturday and there was a lot on the line as the Freedom Village Thunder Cars and Grisdale Late Models were looking to crown new champions on the final regular night of the season. Two time champion Jason Shaw was in first by 11 points in the Late Model points chase while Brad Collison, 2004 Flamboro champion, led Nick Roth by 6 points in the Thunder Car points chase. The Ontario Pro Challenge paid their final visit to Flamboro running their next to last race of the season.
Heat races were up first and in Ponderosa Nature Resort Mini Stock action the #5 of Ken Stenhouse and #15 Matt Dean were victorious. Freedom Village Thunder Car heat victories went to #38 Bill Pearsall and #31 Kevin Gallant. The Grisdale Late Models heat wins went to #89 Shawn Chenoweth and #77 Matt Balog. #48 Jason Davidson and #71 Dario Valente took the checkers in Ontario Pro Challenge qualifying while #28 Dale Shaw won the last chance race for the Mini Stocks. A interesting note…Mini Stock driver Billy Schwartzenburg blew his engine in practice.. The car was towed to the pits and the Spira Race team went to work immediately. The engine from the car of Billy’s brother #72 Rich Schwartzenburg was taken out and put into the #86 car and he made it for the consi and finished third. Kudos to the team on removing engines from both cars and re-installing the one in the 86 car in a short time.
The Mini Stock feature was first up and like the Pro Challenge cars, this is their next to last race. Rodney Rutherford, the 2011 Oshweken Speedway Bombers champion had his dirt car out to run it on the 1/3 mile asphalt oval. Current and defending three time points champion Dave Bailey has the championship all but locked up as he has an 85 point lead on the second place car of Russ Aicken. The race is for second through sixth as those cars are separated by just 9 points. The green flag dropped on the field of 22 and some bumping and shoving and three wide action took place right off the start. On lap one, Rob Hoskins had to drop to the grass to avoid contact with a few cars and slid through the grass and wasn’t able to get it stopped and slid back on the track in turn 3 and unfortunately taking out the #81 of Samantha Shaw. On the restart, #01 Mark DaSilva took the lead and started to put a little distance on the second pack until a caution came out on lap 12 tightening the field. Dave Bailey lined up along side of DaSilva and the two drag raced side by side down the front and back stretch for several laps. On lap 19, a simple spin by the #0 car of Brittany Myers turned bad as three cars came out of turn 4 and the #71 of Russ Aicken had no wear to go and hit the 0 car quite hard. On the last lap, #15 Matt Dean and #31 Dave Bailey were right on DaSilva’s bumper but the two got hooked together coming out of turn 4 but avoided a major crash. DaSilva managed to hold off Van Wyngaarden and Hoskins to win his first ever feature race.
Scott Laporte and Bill Pearsall led the Thunder Cars to the green in the final regular season feature. Exciting three wide action through turns 3 and 4 as Albers, Cybalski and Perry got together and the end result was the #10 car of Cybalski cutting down a tire and sliding into the turn one wall. A few more incidents as the cars battled hard as every spot gained could be crucial in the final finish. Nick Roth and Dave Silverthorn got mixed up and the 17 of Roth took the car to the pits and although he returned was given the mechanical flag and he had to retire to the pits for the night. In another incident a few cars got tied up going down the back stretch resulting in the points leader, #13 Brad Collison making a right turn and making hard contact with the wall and took it to the pits to be checked out but London Recreational sponsored car made it back for the restart to keep his title hopes alive. Another car in the hunt, the Ray’s Towing sponsored car of Nick Troback got tied up with a lapped car and it resulted with the 73 car falling from second to thirteenth. In the final laps, Steve Perry was hot on the trail of the leader Kevin Gallant but the “Flying Farmer” from Freelton was able to hold him off and took the feature victory. After racing for five years with out a feature victory, Gallant has really come on this year and took his third feature win of the year. Unofficially Brad Collison is the 2011 Freedom Village Thunder Car champion. Congratulations to the entire London Recreational team led by Mike Schmidt for their great season!!!
The Grisdale Late Models roared onto the track for their final feature event of the 2011 season. Matt Balog, who had won his heat race earlier in the evening, was on the pole. The green flag dropped and plenty of movement earlier made for some fast paced and exciting action up front. Rookie Brennan Didero took the lead early and led a pack of 7 very experienced drivers in a nose to tail battle for the first half of the race. Three cars in the back of the pack got mixed up in turn one bringing out the caution however, just prior to that, #89 Shawn Chenoweth assumed the lead from Didero. On the re-start Chenoweth was lined up beside Paul Howse. They were beating and banging down the back stretch and heading out of four the two cars came together and as a result, Howse got loose but managed to keep the car under control and in the lead. The next time around the 89 car was shown the black flag by starter Ding DeLeeuw and was sent to the back for rough driving. This put points leader Jason Shaw on the tail of Howse now and that’s the way they battled to the end with Howse picking up the victory. As Howse picked up the checkered flag and was taking a victory lap the 89 car made contact with the 8 car and in turn penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for actions post-race. Jason Shaw finished second and is the unnofficial 2011 Late Model Champion. This is Jason’s third title, winning previously in 2007 and 2008. Congratulations to the entire Shaw Motorsports team for a great season!!!
The final race of the evening was the 20 lap feature for the Ontario Pro Challenge. #88 Tim Norris was odds on favorite to win as he has taken the previous two feature events here at his “home track.” Jason Davidson started up front and led early but #3 Dale Wilson made a great move in turn three and got by Davidson. Wilson started to put some distance between him and the rest of the field. With a few laps to go, out of nowhere came the 88 car of Norris. He was quickly gaining, but the checkered flag flew on Dale Wilson giving him his first feature victory and with no better time to do it as several friends, family and sponsors in attendance.
That brought to close another exciting action packed night of racing. Two “new” champions were crowned and lots of bumping, banging and exciting racing action at the 1/3 mile oval. Next week is the last regular night of racing at the track and it’s another open wheel extravaganza as the Lucas Oil Can-Am Midgets and Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modifieds join the Ponderosa Nature Resort Mini Stocks for the mini’s championship night. Grandstand opens at 5pm and racing gets underway at 6:30pm. In two weeks time is the annual Oktoberfest Classic with two days of great racing action. Saturday is qualifying for the Ontario Sportsmen, Late Models, Thunder Cars, Mini Stocks, F4 Modifieds, Hurricane Midgets, Open Wheel Modifieds and Limited Late Models. Feature Racing for the F4 Modifieds, Hurricane Midgets and Open Wheel Modifieds and Main Event is the 100 Lap feature for the Ontario Sportsmen. Sunday’s action includes last chance qualifying for Late Models, Thunder Cars and Limited Late Models. Main Event Lineup includes, 50 laps for the Grisdale Late Models-Round One, 50 laps for the Limited Late Models, 40 laps for the Freedom Village Thunder Cars, 30 laps for the Ponderosa Resort Mini Stocks and 50 laps for the Grisdale Late Models-Round Two. Times for both days, Pit gates open at 10am, Grandstand opens at 12 noon and Racing starts at 3pm. See you at the races!!!
Results (scored finish, not official)
Mini Stock Heat #1: #5 Ken Stenhouse, #01 Mark DaSilva, #22 Wade Watson, #64 Brandon McFerran, #69 Glen Vandergeld, #77 James Idsardi, #19 Brittany Idsardi, #10 Courtney Scott, #84 Lisa DeLeeuw, #0 Brittany Myers, #72 Rich Schwartzenburg (DNS)
Mini Stock Heat #2: #15 Matt Dean, #13 Mike Holmes, #43 Sarah Miskiewicz, #92 Eric Van Wyngaarden, #71 Russ Aicken, #37 Rob Hoskins, #31 Dave Bailey, #28 Dale Shaw, #81 Samantha Shaw, #38 Rodney Rutherford, #73 Dave Larkin, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg (DNS)
Mini Stock Consi: #28 Dale Shaw, #31 Dave Bailey, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #81 Samantha Shaw, #88 Mark Dennis, #19 Brittany Idsardi, #10 Courtney Scott, #38 Rodney Rutherford, #84 Lisa DeLeeuw, #0 Brittany Idsardi, #73 Dave Larkin (DNS), #72 Rich Schwartzenburg (DNS)
Mini Stock Feature: #01 Mark DaSilva, #92 Eric Van Wyngaarden, #37 Rob Hoskins, #28 Dale Shaw, #15 Matt Dean, #13 Mike Holmes, #22 Wade Watson, #64 Brandon McFerran, #88 Mark Dennis, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #5 Ken Stenhouse, #43 Sarah Miskiewicz, #71 Russ Aicken, #31 Dave Bailey, #10 Courtney Scott, #84 Lisa DeLeeuw, #19 Brittany Idsardi, #77 James Idsardi, #0 Brittany Idsardi (DNF), #69 Glen Vandergeld (DNF), #81 Samantha Shaw (DNF), #38 Rodney Rutherford (DNF), #73 Dave Larkin (DNS)
Thunder Car Heat #1: #38 Bill Pearsall, #88 Scott Laporte, #37 Jeff Bean, #5 Linda Dean, #36 Bill Watson, #71 Bobby Mercer, #02 Mark Burbridge, #2 Rick Burbridge, #6 Lloyd Bowman, #22 Paul Huskins
Thunder Car Heat #2: #31 Kevin Gallant, #27 Kevin Albers, #73 Nick Troback, #8 Steve Perry, #4 Gary Slama, #10 Dennis Cybalski, #13 Brad Collison, #17 Nick Roth, #19 Dave Silverthorn Jr., #87 Jeremy Bean (DNS)
Thunder Car Feature: #31 Kevin Gallant, #8 Steve Perry, #37 Jeff Bean, #27 Kevin Albers, #02 Mark Burbridge, #38 Bill Pearsall, #2 Rick Burbridge, #13 Brad Collison, #4 Gary Slama, #36 Bill Watson, #71 Bobby Mercer, #5 Linda Dean, #73 Nick Troback, #19 Dave Silverthorn Jr., #88 Scott Laporte, #6 Lloyd Bowman, #87 Jeremy Bean, #22 Paul Huskins (DNF), #17 Nick Roth (DNF), #10 Dennis Cybalski (DNF)
Late Model Heat #1: #77 Matt Balog, #24 Brennan Didero, #27 Steve Smith, #00 Jim Gillis, #50 Dave Baker, #22 Bill Lassaline, #33 Jason Lancaster, #63 Jim Bowman (DNF)
Late Model Heat #2: #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #36 Gary Elliott, #05 Brad Corcoran, #37 David Elliott, #8 Paul Howse, #82 Jason Shaw, #44 Steve Laking, #08 Derek Martin
Late Model Feature: #8 Paul Howse, #82 Jason Shaw, #24 Brennan Didero, #44 Steve Laking, #37 David Elliott, #05 Brad Corcoran, #36 Gary Elliott, #33 Jason Lancaster, #89 Shawn Chenoweth (DQ), #22 Bill Lassaline, #50 Dave Baker, #77 Matt Balog, #00 Jim Gillis, #27 Steve Smith (DNF), #08 Derek Martin (DNF), #63 Jim Bowman (DNS)
Ontario Pro Challenge Heat #1: #48 Jason Davidson, #14 Tim Shanahan, #3 Dale Wilson,#22 Jonathan Sloot, #40 Owen Smith, #20 Mike Taylor, #16 Rick Seeley, #00 Ken Lilycrop
Ontario Pro Challenge Heat #2: #71 Dario Valente, #66 Josh Nicholson, #88 Tim Norris, #02 Dennis Thomson, #99 Ken Nicholson, #38 Kyle Batty, #37 Larry Majuery
Ontario Pro Challenge Feature: #3 Dale Wilson, #88 Tim Norris, #99 Ken Nicholson, #02 Dennis Thomson, #66 Josh Nicholson, #40 Rick Seeley, #38 Kyle Batty, #20 Mike Taylor, #71 Dario Valente, #14 Tim Shanahan, #22 Jonathan Sloot, #16 Rick Seeley, #37 Larry Majuery, #00 Ken Lilycrop, #48 Jason Davidson (DNF)