Chenoweth & Bailey Big Winners At Flamboro Speedways's Frost Fest

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By Randy Spencer for – The final race of the 2012 season at Flamboro Speedway is becoming a tradition and the invitational known as Frost Fest has grown every year. This year’s event was no different. Dubbed Frost Fest 120, the London Recreational Thunder Car and Mini Stock Challenge had a total purse of $10,000 up for grabs with multitude of other prizes for all those that made the features. Two rounds of qualifying for each division and double thirty lap features awaited the combatants.

A dismal weather forecast Friday evening forced a postponement of the event from Saturday to Sunday and an earlier start time of 3pm. The weather was perfect and there was about a 50/50 split of Flamboro registered cars versus visiting drivers. Drivers meetings were held for both division to make sure everyone was on the same page. Home track rules would apply at the discretion of track staff, the only real difference would be the Mini Stocks would have to run a minimum 200 tread wear tire as opposed to normal racing tires and this would come back to bite a couple drivers early on in Mini Stock qualifying. Rules were explained as was the system of how points would be awarded. Points were awarded in each of the two feature races for both Thunder Cars and Mini Stocks, based on finishing positions. The top five drivers overall received bonus money from London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas and additional contingency prizes from Bennett Chevrolet in Cambridge, Ideal Brake Parts, Castrol Edge, Hitman Hotrods, Graybar, Partsource Cambridge, Flamboro Speedway, Kyle Marshe, Team Vincent Motorsports, Pro-wraps and Whoosh Cleaning Products. All drivers walked away with handfuls of prizes at racing’s end.

Drivers took to the track one last time to get their cars ready for racing in 2012. Gary Elliott was out in the #5 Mini Stock normally raced by Ken Stenhouse Jr. but Ken and family were away dealing with family matters so the Iron Man didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to race, especially against his grandson Gehrig Halliday who races the #37x normally at Sunset Speedway. Unfortunately Gary didn’t make the main show as he swerved to miss a car that was spinning out and took a hard hit into the wall coming out of turn four. As racing got underway, the 28 Mini Stocks and 27 Thunder Cars were divided into three heats each.

In the first heat, thirteen year old Brandon McFerran burst out to a big lead and won the race quite handily. Unfortunately for Brandon, wrong tires gave the win to the second place car of Russ Aicken. The same story in race number two as Cory Young, visiting from Sauble Speedway, received the bad news and the win went to Mike Holmes. In the third race, rookie Josh Shantz showed 2012 Ponderosa Nature Resort Mini Stock champion Billy Schwartzenburg that he wasn’t going to back down. Shantz has shown as the year went on he will be a driver to keep your eye on in the near future. But a “veteran” move by Billy “The Kid” got him by and he crossed the line first but in the opinion of the starter, Schwartzenburg jumped a start earlier and the race win went to Shantz.

Thunder Cars took to the track for their first three qualifying heats. Some familiar faces were in the pits for this one. NASCAR Canadian Tire series driver J.R. Fitzpatrick was at the wheel of the London Drive Systems Challenger raced at Delaware Speedway by Darrell Lake. Another familiar face and name, Bill Zardo Sr. He had grandson Lane Zardo’s car out during practice. He didn’t seem out of place either but Z3, Billy Zardo III was behind the wheel as the first qualifying heat got underway. And after a few years away at Sunset Speedway, Z3 returned to the winners circle taking heat #1. The “Man in Black” Shawn Chenoweth won heat #2 while Dennis Cybalski took heat #3.

Second round qualifying for the Mini Stocks and Brandon McFerran showed a tire issue in race one wasn’t an issue at all. McFerran once again burst out to a nice lead and took the checkered flag. Bruce Wheeler captured the win in heat #2 while Tyler Junkin, a Peterborough Speedway regular took the third heat. Second round qualifying Thunder Car heat winners were Brad Collison in the London Recreational #13, The “Flying Farmer” Kevin Gallant and another former Flamboro regular Nick Roth took the final qualifier.

The points were tallied and the fast qualifiers in Mini Stock qualifying were Mike Holmes who sat on the pole with Billy Schwartzenburg to his outside. Holmes took the green and led lap one. Billy “the Kid” took the lead by laps two and never looked back battling through lapped traffic and holding off Dave Bailey to take the first 30 lap feature. In the first Thunder Car feature, the front row consisted of a couple of long time Flamboro combatants. Kevin Gallant sat on the poll after a first and a second in qualifying. Nick Roth sat on the outside as the green flag fell for the first feature. A great race as the race went green all the way with Roth leading all 30 laps, followed closely by Shawn Chenoweth.

In the second Mini Stock feature, a surprise car missing in action as the champ, Billy Schwartzenburg’s car sat at his trailer as the rest of the field took the green. A faulty water pump caused the head gasket to blow and ended Billy’s night and a chance at the overall title. Unlike the first two features, several cautions occurred early and would breed more as the race progressed. Brandon McFerran assumed the lead and like Schwartzenburg in race one, McFerran managed to hold off Dave Bailey and took the final Mini Stock heat of the year. The final race for the Thunder Cars saw just one caution and another exciting race to the finish. J.R. Fitzpatrick was looking to improve on a ninth place finish in the first feature and was battling the car all day. They had no power off the corners due to losing a piston ring in the motor causing it to blow smoke. Fitzpatrick thought it would be best to park the car after the first feature but car owner Matt Lake said go until it blows so that’s what he did (but it didn’t blow). Fitzpatrick moved up from his position 10 cars deep at the start and advanced up to second and looked like he may pull of the win but lapped traffic and a great drive by Shawn Chenoweth forced J.R. to finish second.

That brought an end to the 2012 season and when all the points were tallied Dave Bailey with two second place feature finishes narrowly beat out Brandon McFerran who had a first and a third. Shawn Chenoweth held the big cheque with a first and a second with last years Frost Fest co-winner (tied with Matt Mulholland) Nick Roth coming in second with a first and a fourth in his two heat races. Great to hear all the nice comments from those in attendance after the race as Gerry Paxton, John Casale, Brad Collison and Mike Schmidt greeted and congratulated all the drivers with cheques and lots of great prizes. Talking to Mike after the races, he was very pleased with how things turned out and the great racing that took place. Some may have figured a repeat of the drama at Autumn Colors but all racers kept it clean and made for a great show and the best Frost Fest event thus far. Plans are underway already for the 2013 Frost Fest and making it part of the regular schedule to be released next March. Once again a big thanks to Mike Schmidt from London Recreational Concrete Pools and Spas for making this event possible as well as sponsorship and prizes from Bennett Chevrolet in Cambridge, Ideal Brake Parts, Castrol Edge, Hitman Hotrods, Graybar, Partsource Cambridge, Flamboro Speedway, Kyle Marshe, Team Vincent Motorsports, Pro-wraps and Whoosh Cleaning Products. See you all in 2013 and thanks for all your kind words and support this year. Lots of great stuff in the plans for next season so please stay tuned!! Keep up to speed at all winter long and all season at

Mini Stocks: Big thanks to Mike Schmidt for sponsoring such a great event. We were really blessed with great weather and such a great promoter of grass roots stock car racing. The nice weather put a damper on the Mini Stock debut of “Ice Man Junior”, Justin Collison however. If the race would have been run Saturday, you would have seen Justin behind the wheel of the London Recreational #71 Mini Stock. Russ Aicken had other commitments Saturday but with the rain he was able to make it Sunday. Justin was understandably disappointed but I’m sure you’ll see him behind the wheel of a car in the very near future. They celebrated Justin’s 16th birthday at the track after the races and the cake was great! Another youngster made his debut as 12 year old Jake Watson did rather well piloting the #22 Spira car normally driven by his dad Wade. Not sure how many pillows he had to put on his seat but he should be proud. Didn’t look out of place at all for a rookie. A bright future for sure, likely racing for Ken Spira some day and with father Wade and OSCAAR Super Late Model 4 time champion Uncle Glenn Watson and the blood line includes Brandon Watson…not too shabby! Peterborough Speedway Mini Stock champion Tyler Junkin had a good day as well with a third overall finish. After a rough start and faced with perhaps packing it in for the year, great to see the progress in young Gehrig Halliday. Son of former hobby racer Shirley Elliott and grandson of the Iron Man Gary Elliott, this kid has a bright future too. Kevin Nichol, who ran some races in the Pure Stock division this year made his first appearance in a Mini Stock driving the Crash Myers #0. And Mike Taylor, a former top runner in the Mini Stock division here, returned after a few years racing on the dirt at Ohsweken Speedway and racing with the Ontario Pro Challenge touring series. Dave Bailey who won this event last year once again put on a show and with a couple of second place finishes and repeated as Frost Fest Mini Stock champion. What a shame that Billy Schwartzenburg couldn’t put the icing on the cake to cap off a perfect 2012 season but it wasn’t meant to be. He ran very well all day but as they say, that’s racing. Rob Hoskins had the Rabbit out for the first time in a long while. Definitely not the dominant car it once was but he still puts on a show and always has a smile and nothing but good things to say. Shouldn’t be surprised that Scott Simmons was out but I was a little. His #44 car resembled an accordion more than a race car but the team got it back to almost new. Samantha Shaw, who ran most of the year near the top of the Mini Stock points came home with a tenth overall after tangling with Simmons in turns three and four late in the second feature but she will be around for along time. The Shaw name is legendary in these parts as Sam and cousin Dale are eight and ninth in the family that have raced Flamboro over the years and are destined for a trip to the top of the racing ladder before long. Finally my thoughts and prayers go out to the Stenhouse family on the passing of Marlene.

Thunder Cars: After a drama filled feature Sunday at Autumn Colors a few weeks back, many were expecting things to repeat. Multi-time Flamboro Thunder Car champion, the “Rocket” Randy Rusnell and Shawn Chenoweth had an on track disagreement but Rusnell decided to forgo Frost Fest this year. Chenoweth fared real well however with a first and second and was the 2012 Frost Fest champion. Will be interesting to see what Shawn’s plans are for 2013 as he has sold his Super Stock/Thunder Car already and plans on doing “something new”. Stay tuned for that one. Nice to see the green and black Zardo hauler back in the pits. Grandpa Zardo has been a long time consistent Late Model/Super Late model pilot along with Billy Jr., daughter Sharon and Billy the third and 2011 Sunset Thunder Car champion Lane Zardo. With Sharon married to Pete Shepherd Jr. and their son NASCAR Canadian Tire driver Petey Shepeherd, that has to be one of greatest racing families ever to race Flamboro. Another well known family in racing, the Lapcevich’s have the latest up and comer showing he will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come. Cayden, another in his early teens, follows in the footsteps of NASCAR Canadian Tire racers, father Jeff and Nik, along with his brother Jim and grandpa Nick who raced the Late Models back in the early 1970’s at Flamboro. Full Throttle Marketing owner Gord Bennett who is no stranger along with his dad Pete in these parts made his debut racing Tristan Gill’s Thunder Car. That was the car “Big Bad” Bob Chenoweth raced and NASCAR star Jimmy Spencer piloted last July 1st. Gord fared pretty good finishing second in one heat and tenth in one of the features. He had his Sprint car out testing during intermission. Had it moving very well although the cooler temperatures made it a little difficult for the tires to get some heat and traction in them. Gord wants to put a series together for the Sprint cars at Flamboro for next year, we’ll see where that goes. Would be a nice addition to the program. As mentioned previously, J.R. Fitpatrick was at the controls of Darrell Lake’s #77 Challenger. He brought it home for a top five finish. The team put together a nice little 8 minute You Tube video of the day, make sure you check it out. They did a very nice job putting that together. Link is Last years co-champion in the Thunder Car Frost Fest event, Matt Mulholland came home eight in the first feature but had a DNF in the second 30 lapper. He was the Thunder Car champion this year at Sauble Speedway. Bobby Mercer says he has a new car he’s working on for 2013, can’t wait to see it. The Rays Towing team did well overall, Nick Troback came home with a fifth overall with two fifth place feature finishes. Nice to see Dennis Cybalski pick up a heat win after a rough year. I hear the #88 of Scott Laporte is looking to race a part time schedule in 2013 and is looking at another Camaro that ran really well at Delaware over the past few seasons. Al Bowman who has been racing for close to 60 years had is brother Lloyd’s car out for a show. Lloyd didn’t race this year after picking up the 2011 Thunder Car rookie of the year. That car is for sale if anyone is looking to get into racing that was a good car in 2011. Brad Collison had a rough go in the features after some tough times in the first heat race. Brad is such a great ambassador for racing in Ontario. Talked to Dave Habel, the one hand racer of the #43 car said he hopes to put some work into the car this winter to make it better. Habel, a past Thunder Car champion here races with one had while the other is draped over the roll cage bar to his right side. Finally Kevin Albers, this year’s Ray’s Auto Center & Towing Thunder Car champion came home third overall to finish the season pretty well. Always the bridesmaid, nice to see on of the real nice guys in racing get his dues. Congratulations once again to all for a great show!

UNOFFICIAL Results (scored finish, not official)

Mini Stock Heat #1: #71 Russ Aicken, #81 Samantha Shaw, #31 Dave Bailey, #44 Scott Simmons, #03 Rodney Rutherford, #20 Ryan Edwards-Kiss, #28 Don Yorke, #31x Mike Miller, #85 Kyle Wood, #64 Brandon McFerran (DQ)

Mini Stock Heat #2: #13 Mike Holmes, #01 Mark DaSilva, #8 Nick Clarke, #61 Chad Ditner, #02 Mike Taylor, #47 Bruce Wheeler, #37 Rob Hoskins, #0 Kevin Nichol, #36 Cory Young (DQ)

Mini Stock Heat #3: #1 Josh Shantz, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg (J), #34 Kevin Strutt, #37x Gehrig Halliday, #41 Tyler Junkin, #55 Stephanie Dean, #94 Jake Gilbert, #22 Jake Watson, #5 Gary Elliott (DNS)

Mini Stock Heat #4: #64 Brandon McFerran, #31 Dave Bailey, #81 Samantha Shaw, #71 Russ Aicken, #28 Don Yorke, #03 Rodney Rutherford, #20 Ryan Edwards-Kiss, #85 Kyle Wood, #31x Mike Miller, #44 Scott Simmons (DQ)

Mini Stock Heat #5: #47 Bruce Wheller, #8 Nick Clarke, #13 Mike Holmes, #36 Cory Young, #01 Mark DaSilva, #61 Chad Ditner, #37 Rob Hoskins, #02 Mike Taylor, #0 Kevin Nichol

Mini Stock Heat #6: #41 Tyler Junkin, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #37x Gehrig Halliday, #1 Josh Shantz, #34 Kevin Strutt, #55 Stephanie Dean, #22 Jake Watson, #94 Jake Gilbert, #5 Gary Elliott (DNS)

Mini Stock Feature #1: #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #31 Dave Bailey, #64 Brandon McFerran, #41 Tyler Junkin, #71 Russ Aicken, #1 Josh Shantz, #13 Mike Holmes, #8 Nick Clarke, #81 Samantha Shaw, #44 Scott Simmons, #37x Gehrig Halliday, #01 Mark DaSilva, #47 Bruce Wheller, #36 Cory Young, #37 Rob Hoskins, #61 Chad Ditner, #03 Rodney Rutherford, #20 Ryan Edwards-Kiss, #02 Mike Taylor, #31x Mike Miller, #85 Kyle Wood, #22 Jake Watson, #0 Kevin Nichol, #28 Don Yorke, #94 Jake Gilbert, #55 Stephanie Dean, #34 Kevin Strutt (DNF), #5 Gary Elliott (DNS)

Mini Stock Feature #2: #64 Brandon McFerran, #31 Dave Bailey, #41 Tyler Junkin, #1 Josh Shantz (J), #8 Nick Clarke, #13 Mike Holmes, #71 Russ Aicken, #47 Bruce Wheller, #01 Mark DaSilva, #03 Rodney Rutherford, #02 Mike Taylor, #44 Scott Simmons, #81 Samantha Shaw, #94 Jake Gilbert, #85 Kyle Wood, #28 Don Yorke, #55 Stephanie Dean, #37 Rob Hoskins, #61 Chad Ditner (DNF), #37x Gehrig Halliday (DNF), #36 Cory Young (DNF), #31x Mike Miller, #0 Kevin Nichol, #20 Ryan Edwards-Kiss (DNF), #86 Billy Schwartzenburg (DNS), #22 Jake Watson (DNS), #34 Kevin Strutt (DNS), #5 Gary Elliott (DNS)

Mini Stock Overall:
#31 Dave Bailey, #64 Brandon McFerran, #41 Tyler Junkin, #1 Josh Shantz, #71 Russ Aicken, #13 Mike Holmes, #8 Nick Clarke, #01 Mark DaSilva, #47 Bruce Wheller, #81 Samantha Shaw, #44 Scott Simmons, #03 Rodney Rutherford, #02 Mike Taylor, #37x Gehrig Halliday, #37 Rob Hoskins, #36 Cory Young, #61 Chad Ditner, #85 Kyle Wood, #94 Jake Gilbert, #28 Don Yorke, #20 Ryan Edwards-Kiss, #31x Mike Miller, #55 Stephanie Dean, #0 Kevin Nichol, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #22 Jake Watson, #34 Kevin Strutt

Thunder Car Heat #1: #46 Billy Zardo III, #73 Nick Troback, #4 Gary Slama, #77 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #29x Steve Cashmore, #36 Ken Grubb, #43 Dave Habel, #34 Cayden Lapcevich, #13 Brad Collison

Thunder Car Heat #2: #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #31 Kevin Gallant, #8 Matt Mulholland, #76 Shawn Arnott, #27 Kevin Albers, #41 Shawn Hewitt, #7 Bobby Mercer, #33 Mike Gilmour, #6 Al Bowman

Thunder Car Heat #3:
#10 Dennis Cybalski, #17x Nick Roth, #38 Shawn McGlynn, #78 Jordan Lawrence, #88 Scott Laporte, #87 Jeremy Bean, #29 Derek Jackson, #22 Paul Huskins, #17 Gord Bennett (DNS)

Thunder Car Heat #4: #13 Brad Collison, #29x Steve Cashmore, #36 Ken Grubb, #73 Nick Troback, #77 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #4 Gary Slama, #46 Billy Zardo III, #43 Dave Habel, #34 Cayden Lapcevich (DQ)

Thunder Car Heat #5: #31 Kevin Gallant, #27 Kevin Albers, #76 Shawn Arnott, #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #41 Shawn Hewitt, #8 Matt Mulholland, #7 Bobby Mercer, #33 Mike Gilmour, #6 Al Bowman

Thunder Car Heat #6: #17x Nick Roth, #17 Gord Bennett, #88 Scott Laporte, #38 Shawn McGlynn, #10 Dennis Cybalski, #78 Jordan Lawrence, #87 Jeremy Bean, #29 Derek Jackson, #22 Paul Huskins

Thunder Car Feature #1: #17x Nick Roth, #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #31 Kevin Gallant, #10 Dennis Cybalski, #73 Nick Troback, #27 Kevin Albers, #29x Steve Cashmore, #8 Matt Mulholland, #77 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #76 Shawn Arnott, #4 Gary Slama, #36 Ken Grubb, #13 Brad Collison, #46 Billy Zardo III, #78 Jordan Lawrence, #34 Cayden Lapcevich, #17 Gord Bennett, #41 Shawn Hewitt, #87 Jeremy Bean, #88 Scott Laporte, #7 Bobby Mercer, #43 Dave Habel, #38 Shawn McGlynn (DNF), #29 Derek Jackson (DQ)

Thunder Car Feature #2: #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #77 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #27 Kevin Albers, #17x Nick Roth, #73 Nick Troback, #29x Steve Cashmore, #36 Ken Grubb, #13 Brad Collison, #34 Cayden Lapcevich, #17 Gord Bennett, #31 Kevin Gallant, #10 Dennis Cybalski, #4 Gary Slama, #46 Billy Zardo III, #41 Shawn Hewitt, #7 Bobby Mercer, #78 Jordan Lawrence, #88 Scott Laporte, #43 Dave Habel, #38 Shawn McGlynn, #29 Derek Jackson (DNF), #8 Matt Mulholland (DNF), #76 Shawn Arnott (DQ)

Thunder Car Overall: #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #17x Nick Roth, #27 Kevin Albers, #73 Nick Troback, #77 J.R. Fitzpatrick, #29x Steve Cashmore, #31 Kevin Gallant, #10 Dennis Cybalski, #36 Ken Grubb, #13 Brad Collison, #4 Gary Slama, #34 Cayden Lapcevich, #17 Gord Bennett, #46 Billy Zardo III, #8 Matt Mulholland, #78 Jordan Lawrence, #41 Shawn Hewitt, #87 Jeremy Bean, #7 Bobby Mercer, #88 Scott Laporte, #43 Dave Habel, #38 Shawn McGlynn, #76 Shawn Arnott, #29 Derek Jackson