In one of the longest run Mini Stock features of the season, Brandon McFerran would get by Ben Melenhorst on one of the last race restarts to grab the victory.
Samantha Shaw won the first heat behind the wheel of her No. 81 Lucas Oil, Spira Fire Protection and Roof Trusses and Components Mustang ahead of Steve Belanger, Eric Yorke, Scott Simmons, Billy Melenhorst, Ken Townsend, Trevor Hemingway, Jake Watson and Mike Robinson Jr.
McFerran won the second heat behind the wheel of his No. 64 Peter D. Laird, Meisner Construction, Thringco (Bev Thring), East End Car Wash, Roadranger, Absolutewedsite.com, and John J Mcferran & sons trucking Mustang a nose ahead of Warren Paxton.
In speaking of the finish in the heat, McFerran said to Spencer Lewis, “It’s all about putting on a show for the fans. I love running side-by-side with Warren.”
Love finished third followed by Tyler Johnston, Nick Clarke, Kendra Adams, Lisa DeLeeuw and Peter Inglis.
Lance Foster won the third heat behind the wheel of the No. X Newmarket Car Club, Dryco.ca, Bourque Transmission and RB Graffix Mini Stock ahead of Ben Melenhorst, Kevin Pickford, Gehrig Halliday, Wendy Adams, Eric Rainey, Doug Wilman, Candiss Everingham and Chris Free.
Eric Yorke won the fourth heat behind the wheel of the No. 51 Can-Alignment Motorsports, Milton Napa Auto Parts, J&D Tire, Solex Steel, McKeown Collision, Partimer Signs and Redline Racing Nissan 240SX followed by Belanger, Shaw, Simmons, Billy Melenhorst, Watson, Robinson Jr. and Hemingway.
McFerran made is a sweep of the heats by winning the fifth heat ahead of Paxton, Kendra Adams, Love, Clarke, Gerrior, Inglis, DeLeeuw and Morgan Robson.
Ben Melenhorst won the final heat behind the wheel of his No. 26 Automotive Business School of Canada Mini Stock ahead of Halliday, Foster, Pickford, Wilman, Rainey, Free, Wendy Adams and Everingham.
Come feature time, Wendy Adams started her No. 78 Canadian Pool Players Association, ProSigns.ca, The UPS Store – Collingwood, Sunflower Studios, TSS Top Shops and Robson Janitorial Mustang on pole followed by Doug Wilman, Shawn Gerrior, Kendra Adams, Steve Belanger, Kevin Pickford, Eric Rainey, Gehrig Halliday, Brian Love, Eric Yorke, Scott Simmons, Ben Melenhorst, Lance Foster, Warren Paxton, Brandon McFerran, Samantha Shaw, Billy Melenhorst, Nick Clarke, Tyler Johnston, Jake Watson, Trevor Hemingway, Lisa DeLeeuw, Peter Inglis, Chris Free, Candiss Everingham, Mike Robinson Jr., Ken Townsend and Morgan Robson.
On lap one, the field spread out three-wide, four-wide and even five-wide throughout the pack with Belanger (No. 9 Rumball Haulage & Excavation, Chris Craft Custom Cabinets and Tire Depot), Gerrior and Wilman (No. 14 Laura’s Nails, Porter Traffic Ticket Services, Wilman Haulage, John Holderny (Barn Dismantling), Playful Paws and Orillia Auto Mart) battled for the lead three-wide on lap two. Belanger grabbed the advantage on lap three ahead of Halliday and Yorke while Kendra Adams and Gerrior battled for fourth. Adams cleared Gerrior on lap four, with Ben Melenhorst following suit. Melenhorst then made his way by Adams on lap five for the fourth spot. Adams slipped back to eighth by lap nine after being passed also by Simmons, McFerran and Paxton. Also, Halliday slipped back to fourth after being passed by both Yorke and Melenhorst.
After Yorke moved into second, he ran down Belanger for the lead and began to look for a way by. As Yorke went to make his move down the backstretch, Belanger cut down across Yorke’s front end and spun. As a result, both drivers would go to the back, handing the lead to Ben Melenhorst.
On the restart, Ben Melenhorst led Halliday while Simmons and McFerran battled for third till the caution flew once again for Inglis spinning in turns one and two. With 14 laps to go, Ben Melenhorst led Halliday, McFerran, Simmons, Paxton, Pickford, Billy Melenhorst, Foster, Kendra Adams, Shaw, Love, Clarke, Johnston, Gerrior, Hemingway, Wilman, Watson, Townsend, Wendy Adams, Yorke, Belanger, Everingham, Free, DeLeeuw, Robinson Jr., Inglis and Robson.
Ben Melenhorst held the lead on the restart once again while Halliday and McFerran battled for second till the caution flew once again on lap 13 for Free spinning off of turn four, collecting Robinson Jr. So now with 12 laps to go, it was Ben Melenhorst leading McFerran, Halliday, Paxton, Simmons, Foster, Pickford, Shaw, Billy Melenhorst, Kendra Adams, Clarke, Love, Johnston, Gerrior, Wilman, Yorke, Hemingway, Townsend, Watson, Belanger, Wendy Adams, Everingham, DeLeeuw, Free, Robinson Jr., Inglis and Robson.
The fourth caution flew on the restart when Pickford spun in turn four.
On the second attempt at a restart, Ben Melenhorst held down the lead ahead of McFerran, Paxton, Halliday, Simmons, Foster, Shaw and Billy Melenhorst till the fifth caution flew the next lap, on lap 15, for Robinson Jr. spinning in turn two due to contact from Free.
The next restart escaped cleanly with Foster pulling alongside Simmons for the fifth spot and making his way by.
At the front, Ben Melenhorst would get loose off of turn four and as a result, McFerran would jump at the opportunity and grab the lead. Paxton would then move past Melenhorst for second on lap 21. Back mid-pack, Clarke, Yorke and Kendra Adams ran three-wide with Adams getting sideways in the process. Love would make contact with her, pushing her further sideways, yet Adams was able to hold on to her mini stock and keep going.
At the front of the field, McFerran would slice his way through lap traffic with Paxton chasing till the caution flew on lap 24 for an incident down the backstretch. Trevor Hemingway got sideways off of turn two and blocked up the track, resulting in Kendra Adams making hard contact with the side of Hemingway’s car. In behind, McFerran would dodge the wreck while second and third place runners Paxton and Melenhorst would come together trying to get stopped.
With the fact that there was only one more lap left and the length of the feature already, the race was called official at that point and Brandon McFerran got the victory. It marks the fourth victory of the season for the 14-year-old.
McFerran announced that he will be making the move to Sunset Speedway full-time in 2014 in pursuit of the championship.
“I’m pumped,” McFerran said earlier in the night. “I wanted to this year, but Dad wanted to run Flamboro. We got knocked around there but we’re having fun here. We’re winning races and haven’t finished outside of the top three too much.”
Because Warren Paxton and Ben Melenhorst was involved in the wreck “after the initial point of caution”, the pair of them would keep their positions in second and third, respectively. Gehrig Halliday and Samantha Shaw rounded out the top five, officially.
The rest of the finish that I will list here is UNOFFICIAL as it is how I scored it based on where everybody was, but may be wrong based on going back a lap so please do check Sunset Speedway’s official website at http://www.sunsetspeedway.ca for the official race results.
As I have it, Lance Foster will get sixth followed by Scott Simmons, Billy Melenhorst, Eric Yorke and Nick Clarke.
Brian Love will get 11th followed by Tyler Johnston, Shawn Gerrior, Kevin Pickford, Doug Wilman, Wendy Adams, Mike Robinson Jr., Candiss Everingham and Lisa DeLeeuw.