Championship Clash is a Saturday NightShootout at Canada's Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval
By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
With the 2015 track titles on the line, Peterborough Speedway wrapped-up the regular season of action – Saturday, September 5th – with the Championship Clash. Drivers in the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun, Mini Stock, Renegade Truck, Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car and Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model divisions looked for every advantage that would help improve their overall point position in the season standings. The show also included the OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Models.
Donovan Price and Ryan Carr brought the Mini Stock field to the Great Canadian RV Green Flag to kick-off feature race action. Price – who enjoyed a strong season that included his first Mini Stock feature win – was in control of things for much of the event, but James Townsend moved into second spot with 13 laps on the scoreboard. As lapped traffic came into play, others closed on the leader and Price was forced into the outside line. After technical inspection, the first 5 across the line were Townsend, Tyler Junkin, Price, Carr and Kevin Strutt. Unofficially, Tyler Junkin is the 2015 Mini Stock track champion.
Heading into their final feature event of the season, Jordan Dallin and his brother Jack – the defending track champion – paced the pack of pick-ups from the pits for the Renegade Truck 'A' main. The inside line got a jump on the field from the green flag, but the championship battle took a dramatic turn when Tim Burke, the truck division's most recent feature winner was black flagged for a fuel leak. Jack Dallin held on for the race win and earned his second consecutive championship. Chris Burrage and Bill O'Hara Jr. followed Dallin across the stripe.
Sean Kennedy and Matthew Vanderbelt led the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun teams to the line. With a starting grid of 23 drivers, there was action everywhere in the field. Vanderbelt used the outside line to get a jump on the pack and looked to be on his way to another checkered flag. A lap 15 yellow flag – when Jeremy Kelly got into the leader – could've moved both cars to the back but under the gentleman's rule, Kelly accepted responsibility for the incident and the #69 got his spot back. Kennedy would be next to challenge for the spot and grabbed the win. Vanderbelt, Tiffany Vandebelt, Ryan Oosterholt and Marilyn Junkin chased Kennedy to the line. With his 4th place finish, Oosterholt is unofficially the 4Fun champion.
With 25 laps on the table, Amanda Connolly and Mike Wallace were the front row starters for the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model headline dance. Wallace grabbed a quick lead and led a 4 car breakaway through the early stages. With some exciting action throughout the pack, the caution-free feature saw Wallace park in Dart Heating & Air Conditioning Victory Lane for his first career Late Model win. Connolly, Ryan Kimball, Dave Morgan and Rick Walt completed the top 5 finishers. Unofficially, Morgan is the 2015 Late Model champ.
Veteran Steve Mayhew and Rob Richards showed the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car runners the way to the stripe for their final feature event of the regular season. With barely a lap on the scoreboard, the yellow flag flew when Richards was sent spinning after a hit from behind by Fidelle DiBello. The driver of the #61 took the blame for the incident, giving Richards his position back for the restart. Luke Gignac overtook Mayhew for the top spot and never looked back. Tyler Liscum, Howie Crowe, Anthony DiBello and Bailey Jacobs followed Gignac to the line. Anthony DiBello clinched his second straight Thunder Car crown.
Corey Jones and Shane Gowan occupied the front row for the 50 lap OSCAAR Super Late Model feature event. J.R. Fitzpatrick was a man on the move, taking over 3rd spot with just a trio of laps complete. Lapped traffic came into the picture with 8 laps down and the yellow flag waved for an incident between Gowan and Glenn Watson with 10 circuits on the board. Fitzpatrick was the star of the show, lapping all but the second place finisher for his first career OSCAAR main event win. Kevin Cornelius, Jones, Sean Grossman and Roy Passer rounded-out the top 5.
Earlier in the night, qualifying heats were won by James Townsend, Tyler Junkin, Kevin Strutt and Brandon Hannah in the Mini Stocks; Chris Burrage and Jack Dallin in the Renegade Trucks; Matthew Vanderbelt, Ryan Oosterholt, Brandon Feeney and Sean Kennedy in the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun; Tyler Betts, Rick Walt, Bryan Sudsbury and Mike Wallace in the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Models; Anthony DiBello, Tyler Liscum and Rob Richards; Kevin Cornelius. Shawn Chenoweth, Glenn Watson and J.R. Fitzpatrick took the OSCAAR Super Late Model qualifiers.
Bullring bullet points: Murray Sammons of Peterborough took home the 50/50 winner's share of $770.50…After making the long haul from Timmins, Ontario with his #57 Thunder Car, Michael Shumilak suffered mechanical issues during practice and was on his way home without turning a racing lap…After announcing his retirement following a 2014 OSCAAR win, John Owen returned to action behind the wheel of the #55 Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model machine…Dave Morgan's son Jack made his second straight start in the Farm Bro Racing 4Fun rental car, while Ottawa Valley racers Steve Munro and Casey Cavanaugh complimented the Late Model and Thunder Car ranks respectively.
Action at Peterborough Speedway takes a break until the running of the 23rdAnnual Autumn Colours Classic – presented by Lucas Oil Products – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 9th to 11th. The track will host an open practice session – Sunday, September 20th – starting at 11:00.
Fans can always find the latest news at www.peterboroughspeedway.com by liking the track's page at www.facebook.com or following it on Twitter. You can also download the free Peterborough Speedway app on your Smartphone.
Photo attachment: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
1) James Townsend (#42) turn-in a strong run in another borrowed ride to win the Mini Stock feature – Saturday, September 5th – at Peterborough Speedway.
2) Winning the battle and the war, Jack Dallin (#07) celebrates with family and friends after winning the Renegade Truck feature and 2015 championship – Saturday, September 5th – at Peterborough Speedway.
3) It was another great night for Sean Kennedy (#9), who claimed the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun feature win – Saturday, September 5th – at Peterborough Speedway.
4) For the first time in his career, Mike Wallace (#27) earned the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model feature win – Saturday, September 5th – at Peterborough Speedway.
5) Everyone joined the celebration when Luke Gignac (#00) won the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car feature – Saturday, September 5th – at Peterborough Speedway.
6) J.R. Fitzpatrick (#84) turned-in a dominating performance for his first career OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model win – Saturday, September 5th – at Peterborough Speedway.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media