(Bowmanville, ON – July 9, 2013) A highlight of any season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway is Fan Appreciation Night, when the fans and the drivers have an opportunity to interact trackside. On July 6, the 2013 edition of Fan Appreciation Night was presented by Red Beard Sports, and in addition to the autograph session and the prize giveaways, a full card of stock car racing was offered with events scheduled for the Lucas Oil Pure Stocks, the Bob’s Towing Thunder Cars, the Late Models and the Techtonix Open-Wheeled Modifieds.
Lucas Oil Pure Stock
Stuart Hinds may be a stock car racing sophomore, but Saturday night he proved that he has learned his lessons well, piloting his #57 RadMan/PS Auto Wreckers Honda to a ‘Hat Trick’ of wins in the Lucas Oil Pure Stock division.
Having swept the opening twin qualifying races, Hinds would have to come from Row 2 in the feature if he had hopes of earning the checkered flag three-peat.
Finding himself trailing the #19 Taunton Tire/Clips and Crafts Prelude of series points leader Willy Howells, Hinds went into full ‘chase’ mode, and by the second lap had closed up to the back bumper of Howells, the early race leader. As the pair exited the back straight on Lap 3, Hinds ducked low, and powered into the race lead.
With Howells firmly locked into his back bumper, Hinds never put a wheel wrong, taking the checkers to claim his first career feature win and completing the three-race sweep.
“Willy had such a strong car, I didn’t know if I could catch him,” said Hinds from Victory Lane. “When I got close, I thought I might have a chance. I poked the nose under him in (turn) three, and was able to squeeze through.”
Howells, whose car was battling with overheating problems in the heat races, held on to his runner-up result, with the #18 Algonquin Property Services mount of Matt Boyce completing the podium positions.
Rounding out the top five were Bill Carr (#63) and Danny White (#13).
Bob’s Towing Thunder Car
Ken Donaldson Jr. earned his second consecutive Bob’s Towing Thunder Car feature victory on Saturday night, but it was anything but an easy race for the driver of the #03 Downtown Rug/Planet Recovery Monte Carlo.
Locked in between race leader Bob Kish (#78 Procut Sharpening) and third place runner John Baker Jr. in his #63 Fotheringham Bookkeeping/Ray World of Vending Chevy, Donaldson waited until Lap 7 before making a concentrated effort at wrestling the point away from Kish.
After three full laps of side-by-side competition, Donaldson was eventually able to sneak through and into the race lead heading into the first turn on Lap 11, moving into a position that he would hold until the Lap 20 checkered flag.
“That was hard work, but it sure was fun,” proclaimed Donaldson. “Bob ran me clean lap after lap, and so did JBJ (Baker). John was right on me, but I figured that as long as I kept the car on the bottom, I could hold him off.”
Baker’s #63 Impala suffered engine woes in the second heat but was repaired in time for the feature and proved strong enough to fend off a hard-charging and determined Howie Crowe (#28 Crowe Brothers Roofing Monte Carlo) for a second place result. Kish faded as the race wore on, crossing the stripe in fourth spot. Bill Northam had been running with the lead pack until the five-to-go mark, when the motor in the #85 Wild Wings Chevy went off-song. Northam slowed, but held on to a top five finish.
Kyle Donaldson continued his relentless pursuit of the 2013 Late Model championship, using a three-race sweep on July 6 to widen the gap over points challengers Darren Kearnan (#55) and Linc Brown (#99).
Locking onto the back bumper of pole sitter Mark Gordon’s #52 Boston Pizza car at the drop of the green, Donaldson stayed within striking distance until Lap 4 when he powered his #53 Custom Steering Impala past Gordon and into the race lead.
“Mark has a lot of experience on this track, that made him tough to pass,” said Donaldson from the Winner’s Circle. “I wanted to stay tight on him, take my time, and then pick my moment to go.”
Able to check out on the Late Model field, on three occasions Donaldson found his advantage disappear due to a rash of mid-race cautions, but ultimately would collect the race victory, his fourth feature win of the season.
Linc Brown (#99 Kawartha Metals Don Butt Auto Body) spent much of the practice session repairing the front suspension of his Chevy, but was rewarded with a solid runner-up result, leading the #55 RMJ Trucking/ Nick Oram Auto Body Impala of Darren Kearnan to the stripe by three car lengths.
Mark Gordon, believing that he had a tire going flat, pitted under caution on Lap 11, but returned to the field to finish with a fourth place result, with series rookie Owen Smith (#29) rounding out the top five finishers.
Techtonix Open-Wheel Modifieds
Dwight Brown scored his third consecutive feature win of the year in the Techtonix Ontario Modified Racing Series, benefiting from a blown motor in the #46 TTR Transport Modified of primary rival Darren Kearnan to be able to cruise to an “uneventful” race victory.
And while the driver of the #2 Bourque Transmission Modified had no on-track issues on his way to the win, every other position was up from grabs with wheel-to-wheel racing occurring throughout the modified field.
Chad Strawn (#77s) enjoyed a race-long dice with the #09 of series rookie Nick Lees. Swapping positions several times, Strawn eventually secured a second place finish with five-to-go, leading Lees to the line by two car lengths.
Even more frantic was the battle for fourth through sixth place.
Bill Pickford (#61) led a three-car train throughout the 25 lap feature, with the father and son duo of Rick and Rob Warnes scrapping over a top five result.
On the white flag lap, father Rick pipped Rob for the spot, the trio of Pickford, Warnes and Warnes taking the checkered flag in a nose-to-tail finish.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a more frustrated race,” admitted Rob Warnes. “I’d get a run on Bill (Pickford) coming out of a corner, but then he’d just pull me down the straight. I got so focused on finding a way past Bill, I forgot that #90 car (Rick Warnes) was fast, too.”
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Photo Credit – Wally Nesbitt