Millgrove, ON – Paul Howse (No. 8) used a thrilling inside groove pass to get by Shawn Chenoweth (No. 89c) in lapped traffic on lap 96 to win the Gold Rush 100 at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway on Monday night.
Chenoweth took the challenge to start in the 24th and final starting position with the opportunity to earn an additional $5000 if he could pull off the win. The veteran driver came within four laps of the victory, but was squeezed to the outside when the lead cars encountered lapped traffic.
The race got off to a rocky start. No sooner had the green flag flown to start the 100-lap feature, the caution flag was displayed when Jeff Cassidy (No. 97) made contact with the outside wall at the entrance of turn one on the opening corner.
Kenny Wallace (No. 36) spun in turn two as the field checked up behind him which sent the pole sitter to the rear of the field. Dale Shaw (No. 83) jumped out to the lead on the restart, while his father Jason Shaw (No. 82) used his inside line position to take the second spot. Just as Wallace and Shawn Chenoweth (No. 89c) began to make their way through the field, the caution was out on lap 7 when Brad Corcoran (No. 05) came to a stop in turn four. Corcoran was running in the top-five at the time. One lap later, 2012 Grisdale Triple Crown Champion Paul Howse (No. 8) was spun in to the infield off the front bumper of Jamie Cox (No. 22). Cox had nowhere to go as the field checked up when Jeff Stewart (No. 56) got loose off the same corner.
Heavy contact occurred on the restart when Scott Lyons (No. 52) made contact with Jason Shaw (No. 82) in turn two. The field stacked up behind, resulting in damage to Dawyne Baker’s (No. 48) nose and to Wallace’s right door. The race ran green with Dale Shaw on the point until a lap 18 caution when Matt Box (No. 27) touched lapped car Brent Wheller (No. 61) in turn two to send the 61 car towards the infield. The next green flag run saw Lyons get underneath Dale Shaw for the lead on lap 22. One lap later, Chenoweth filled the bottom of the track to shuffle Shaw back to third. Lyons’ lead was erased on lap 30 when Jim Sweers (No. 75) and Jamie Cox (No. 22) made hard contact in turn four. Both drivers failed to return to the field before the green flag. Lyons continued to lead despite a side-by-side battle with Chenoweth and Dale Shaw waiting in the wings.
Chenoweth took the lead on the restart, passing Lyons on the outside. One lap later another caution flew when Sweers spun in the infield. Mark Watson (No. 31) brought out a caution on lap 38 for a front stretch spin despite running second. Chenoweth led Lyons, Paul Howse (No. 8), Stewart, and Wallace at the half way mark. At lap 56, Chenoweth ran in to lapped traffic and saw his lead begin to dwindle when he could not find a way around Dwayne Baker (No. 48). Chenoweth got some relief on lap 60 when the caution flew as Dale Shaw spun in turn three. One lap after the restart, Matt Pritiko (No. 21) went hard in to the turn three well and collected Chris Boschler (No. 3). Pritiko was okay, but the car was removed from the track by flatbed.
The final 39 laps of the race ran caution free with 13 cars remaining on track. Howse made quick works of Lyons to put himself in 2nd and never let Chenoweth stray from his sites. With ten laps to go, Chenoweth was in the thick of lapped traffic with Howse glued to his rear bumper. Howse saw his opportunity on lap 96 and made the pass in the bottom lane as he forced Chenoweth up a groove with a lapped car to the bottom. Howse drove a flawless final four laps to hold off Chenoweth and take home the $5000 pay day.
An exhausted Howse said in victory lane he was happy with the victory, but wished the pass had not come in lapped traffic. Meanwhile, a disgruntled Chenoweth was frustrated at his second-place finish after leading 63 laps. Lyons finished third and was in tow with the leaders for the final 20 circuits. Kenny Wallace was fourth in his Gary Elliott Motorsports prepared entry. Jeff Stewart was fifth. Wallace laid down the quickest lap in time trials with a mark of 15.501 seconds, but declined the opportunity to return to the field. The St. Louis, MO native left the extra pay day opportunity to Chenoweth as a result.
Results: Gold Rush 100 (Flamboro Speedway – August 19, 2013)
Scored Finish (Starting Position in Parentheses)
1. 8 Paul Howse (5), 2. 89c Shawn Chenoweth (24), 3. 52 Scott Lyons (10), 4. 36 Kenny Wallace (1), 5. 56 Jeff Stewart (3), 6. 27 Matt Box (12), 7. 9 Jeff Ruddy (15), 8. 84j Larry Jackson (18), 9. 3 Chris Boschler (16), 10. 82 Jason Shaw (4), 11. 61 Brent Wheller (20), 12. 76 Shawn Arnott (22), 13. 83 Dale Shaw (2), 14. 75 Jim Sweers (13), 15. 7 Trevor Monaghan (8), 16. 21 Matt Pritiko (19), 17. 48 Dwayne Baker (14), 18. 38 Linda Stenhouse (23), 19. 31 Mark Watson (7), 20. 34 Calvin Warren (21), 21. 22 Jamie Cox (9), 22. 67 Gord Bennett (17), 23. 05 Brad Corcoran (6), 24. 97 Jeff Cassidy (11).
B-Main (Last-Chance Qualifiers)
1. 3 Chris Boschler, 2. 67 Gord Bennett, 3. 84j Larry Jackson, 4. 21 Matt Pritiko, 5. 61 Brent Wheller, 6. 34 Calvin Warren, 7. 76 Shawn Arnott, 8. 38 Linda Stenhouse.
Time Trial Results (Top 16 Line-up for the feature Heads Up)
1. 36 Kenny Wallace 15.501 seconds; 2. 89c Shawn Chenoweth 15.557; 3. 83 Dale Shaw 15.564; 4. 56 Jeff Stewart 15.590; 5. 82 Jason Shaw 15.618; 6. 8 Paul Howse 15.630; 7. 05 Brad Corcoran 15.634; 8. 31 Mark Watson 15.643; 9. 7 Trevor Monaghan 15.686; 10. 22 Jamie Cox 15. 695; 11. 52 Steve Lyons 15.716; 12. 97 Jeff Cassidy 15.787; 13. 27 Matt Box 15. 793; 14. 75 Jim Sweers 15.848; 15. 48 Dwayne Baker 15.995; 16. 9 Jeff Ruddy 16.001; 17. 3 Chris Boschler 16.053; 18. 21 Matt Pritiko 16.075; 19. 67 Gord Bennett 16.081; 20. 34 Calvin Warren 16.258; 21. 84j Larry Jackson 16.285; 22. 61 Brent Wheller 16.667; 23. 76 Shawn Arnott 16.906; 24. 38 Linda Stenhouse 19.372.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia) – OntarioOval.com Race Reporter
Photo Credit: Eric Uprichard (@SpeedwayPhoto)