By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
The right combination of hard work, preparation and determination will always produce results. Drivers in Peterborough Speedway's 5 weekly divisions saw their efforts pay off with season point titles – Saturday, September 3rd – during the Championship Clash at Canada's Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval. Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun, Jiffy Lube Mini Stock, Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Truck, Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car and Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model teams clinched the 2016 crowns, while the OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model squad took the next step toward this year's honours.
At the start of racing Jeremy Kelly, James Townsend Chris Burrage, Howie Crowe and Rick Spencer-Walt led the points in 4Fun, Mini Stock, Renegade Truck, Thunder Car and Late Model divisions respectively.
Main event action for the night got rolling with a 20 lapper for the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Cars, with Tom Podd and Nick Oram in the front row. Oram used the tough, outside line to take an early lead with title rivals Bailey Jacobs and Howie Crowe moving into 3rd and 5th in the running order. A yellow for an incident in the 3rd turn with 7 laps complete slowed the pace, but Oram was still in control of the field. Crowe would move into the runner-up spot and stayed there until the checkered flag. James Townsend, Jacobs and Rob Richards rounded-out the top 5. His second place finish gave Howie Crowe the Thunder Car crown.
Stacy Bierworth and her father Stephen paced the Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Trucks to the stripe for their 15 lap feature. Within just a few laps, Chris Burrage had taken over the top spot, with last season's title-holder Jack Dallin on his tailgate. The pair ran some torrid laps to keep the crowd on the edge of their seats, but Burrage won the battle and the war, taking the division championship with another feature win. Jack Dallin, Stephen Bierworth, Doug Dallin and Stacy Bierworth followed Burrage across the line.
With Donovan Price and Tiffany Vanderbelt leading the way, the Jiffy Lube Mini Stock pack rolled from the staging area for their 20 lap season-ending headline dance. With another track championship still slightly within his grasp, Tyler Junkin took and early lead and was catching the tail of the field as the scoreboard showed 7 laps complete. James Townsend had worked his way into the runner-up spot with 5 laps to go, but heavy traffic had him almost a half a track behind the leader. As the checkered flag flew to give Junkin the feature win, Townsend locked-up the title with his second place effort. Donovan Price, Tiffany Vanderbelt and Kevin Strutt had great seats for the title fight and finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
Mike Wallace and Amanda Balson led the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Models for the 30 lap main event that would determine the 2016 track championship. From the drop of the green flag, Wallace ran the bottom line so well, it would've taken a crowbar to move him out of the preferred groove. He was still leading at halfway and when a nudge moved him out of the way to bring-out a lap 21 yellow flag, he got the position pack when the other driver involved took blame for the spin. Another quick yellow a lap later tightened the running order and as the field saw 24 circuits complete, point leader Rick Spencer-Walt had moved into the top spot and claimed the track title. Former champion Bryan Sudsbury was 2nd, with Dan McHattie, Balson and Jack Horner finishing out the top 5. Wallace was 6th at the line.
Dave Feeney and Shawn Solomon paced the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun field to the Great Canadian RV feature race green flag that would close out action for Peterborough Speedway's regular divisions. Feeney grabbed an early lead as the 25 starters battled around the tight, tricky bulling on Mount Pleasant Road, west of the Liftlock City. The leaders caught the back of the pack within 6 laps on the board. Using a restart from a lap 11 caution flag, defending track champion Ryan Oosterholt grabbed the lead and title hopeful Jeremy Kelly moved into second spot 3 laps later. Kelly – who came into the night with a 19-point cushion – took the crown as he followed Oosterholt across the line. Feeney, Jake Kelly and Sean Kennedy completed the top 5.
John Cadman and J.R. Fitzpatrick led the way as the 50 lap OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model 'A' main hit Canada's Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval. Glen Watson took the checkered flag, with Fitzpatrick and Gary Passer joining him to advance to the next round of the championship chase that will be decided at the Autumn Colours Classic. The full race story can be found at www.oscaar.ca.
Taking checkered flags in qualifying heats were point Rob Richards and Bailey Jacobs in the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Cars. Jack Dallin took both preliminary rounds for the Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Trucks, with Tyler Junkin and James Townsend each taking a pair of Jiffy Lube Mini Stock qualifiers. Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model heat wins went to Bryan Sudsbury, Mike Wallace, Dan McHattie and Amanda Balson. Ryan Oosterholt and Jake Kelly each had a pair of Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun checkered flags, with Keith Parkes and Dave Feeney taking one each.
The top 3 in finishers in the OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model qualifying heats were J.R. Fitzpatrick, Roy Passer and Gary Passer in heat one. Glenn Watson, Kelly Balson and John Cadman in the round 2. Gary Passer, Kelly Balson and Charlie Gallant in the 3rd heat and John Cadman, Glenn Watson and Rick Spencer-Walt in the 4th and final qualifier.
Bullring Bullet Points: Brian Bichener of Oshawa, Ontario took home $641 by winning the night's 50/50 draw, in support of the Millbrook Lions Club…Even though he entered the night within 6 points of the Late Model track championship, an out of town obligation kept hometown favourite Chris Mitchell from attending the Championship Clash. The former Autumn Colours champ relinquished the driving duties to Dan McHattie, who has helped set-up the car all season.
Peterborough Speedway takes a break until the running of the 24th annual Autumn Colours Classic – presented by Lucas Oil Products – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 7th to 9th.
Full schedule details – along with up to the minute news and results – are always available atwww.peterboroughspeedway.com, by liking the track on Facebook or following it on Twitter. You can also download the free Peterborough Speedway app on your Smartphone.
Photo attachment: Morgan Amber Photography
Nick Oram (#00) scored led from start-to-finish to score another Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car feature win – Saturday, September 3rd – at Peterborough Speedway.
His second place finish in the night's main event was enough for Howie Crowe (#28) to earn the 2016 Thunder Car track championship – Saturday, September 3rd – at Peterborough Speedway.
It was a great night for Chris Burrage (#9) as his feature win clinched the Trent Lakes Complete Plumbing Renegade Truck title – Saturday, September 3rd – at Peterborough Speedway.
Tyler Junkin (#41) won the main event but came-up just short in his quest for a second straight Jiffy Lube Mini Stock track championship – Saturday, September 3rd – at Peterborough Speedway.
Jeremy Kelly (#80) celebrates his 2016 Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun track title with family, friends and fans – Saturday, September 3rd – at Peterborough Speedway.
Glenn Watson (#22 - centre) – along with J.R. Fitzpatrick and Gary Passer – advanced to the next round of the OSCAAR Super Late Model Championship Chase – Saturday, September 3rd – at Peterborough Speedway.