Sauble Beach, ON – Brandon Watson entered the lone trip to Sauble Speedway for the OSCAAR Super Late Models looking for his fourth win in five starts with the tour on Saturday night.
The Shear Metal Products/Barrie Frame & Alignment team did not find Knightworks Design Victory Lane, but did secure their fifth consecutive top-five finish to start the season with a fourth-place result.
“Fourth isn’t really what we come for,” said Watson. “We obviously come to win, but we’ll take a top-five. It’s good for us to be consistent.”
The strong finish keeps Watson at the top of the championship standings through five events.
Watson was placed in a strong six-car Klotz qualifying heat, featuring Kevin Cornelius, Andrew Gresel, Glenn Watson, Tyler Hawn, and Shane Gowan.
Watson finished second in his first heat after a strong battle with Cornelius from start to finish in the 10-lap affair.
The 20-year-old driver out of Stayner, Ont. would start near the tail of the second qualifying heat and would finish fifth.
The combination of finishes put Watson in to the bottom-half of the redraw process, which would give him the seventh starting position for the 50-lap A-Main.
The field quickly fell single-file at the drop of the green flag with Polesitter Gresel jumping out to the early lead. Watson moved past Tyler Hawn in the opening laps to take the sixth spot and began the hunt for the top-five.
On lap 18, Watson got inside Lloyd Ritchie in turn one and the two raced side-by-side down the backstretch for the fifth spot. Watson would grab the spot one lap later before the race’s only caution on lap 20.
On the ensuing restart, following Tyler Hawn’s blown motor, Watson was able to hold his fifth spot. On lap 31, Brandon got an excellent run that allowed him to take the fourth spot from Glenn Watson.
The race would run under green flag conditions for the final 30-laps and the field spread out single-file around the track with Brandon sitting fourth. After spending a handful of laps battling with Glenn Watson, Brandon fell back of the top three runners Gresel, Tiemersma, and Cornelius.
Without any further cautions and the gap too big to close, Brandon would have to settle for the fourth spot.
“We needed a caution to catch those guys,” said Watson. “We might have had something for them. Our car got better as the night went on, but the distance was too big (to overcome).”
After a scorching hot afternoon, Watson said the track tightened up for the feature.
“It definitely wasn’t as greasy in the feature as it was this afternoon,” said Watson. “The tires hooked up better in the feature and we had a lot more grip.”
Watson, as always, was grateful for the support of his sponsors, including Shear Metal Products, Barrie Frame & Alignment, Klotz Synthetics, Knightworks Design, and Ken Mackinnon Construction. The 20-year-old also thanked his crew for their dedication on a long, hot day.
The OSCAAR Super Late Model tour shifts to Flamboro Speedway next weekend for the series’ first trip to the Hamilton-area oval in four seasons. Brandon hopes the team will be able to take the notes they accrued at Sauble, to Flamboro.
“I haven’t really raced there too much,” said Watson of Flamboro. “The two tracks are a bit the same, so we might be able to use some of our notes. We’ll go there and do our best to get another win.”
Racing starts at 6:00pm and spectator gates open at 5:00pm.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)