Delaware, ON – Jamie Cox (No. 3 APC/Total Lubricants) made a thrilling move to the outside with two laps to go to get by race leader Justin Demelo (No. 82 EMCO Waterworks/CAT Toromont) to win his first career OSCAAR Modified tour victory.
Cox used the outside line to his advantage all night, making several passes as he worked his way to the front of the field from his tenth-place starting spot. The outside only works, Cox said, if you’re willing to go there.
“Part of it is you have to have the confidence to be out there,” said Cox. “I did it years ago. You lose a little bit, but you gain some as well.”
It was an action-packed battle at the front of the field for the entire 30-laps. Demelo wasted little time getting to the front of the field after starting fourth, getting by Gary McLean (No. 8 McLean Industrial Design) within the first five laps.
Demelo then grew his lead to nearly half a straightaway over McLean before the first caution of the race at lap 16 for Ryan Dick (No. 88 Johnston Bros Sand & Gravel) who spun in turn two.
The caution flag tightened the field, with McLean running second, David McCullough (No. 39 Oak’s Auto) sitting third after starting on the pole, and Barry Newman (No. 1 Vipond Fire Protection) fourth for the restart.
Demelo again got the better of the field, jumping out to a big lead once again, but was reeled in by a caution one more time on lap 19 when Brent McLean (No. 7 Bowmanville Home Building Centre) had problems with what appeared to be the left-front tire.
The field was hardly up to speed when one lap later Davey Terry (No. 14 Wasteco/Brennan Haulage) and Dick got tangled in turn one.
Demelo looked to be in control of the field on the restart with ten laps to go, but Cox continued to make a push through the field, passing Newman following the ensuing restart.
Two more cautions at laps 24 and 27 for spins by Dick and Bobby Tolton (No. 13 Knightworks Design/Amsoil/At a Glance Screen Printing) prevented Demelo from cruising to a victory.
The final caution with three laps remaining was the one Demelo wanted the least. Cox moved past Gary McLean just prior to the final yellow and had begun to chase down Demelo, but it looked as though he would run out of time, until the yellow flew.
With Cox restarting on his preferred outside line, Demelo was in tough for the final three laps. After fending off the competition on each previous restart, Demelo wouldn’t be as lucky in his final try.
Cox drove hard down the front stretch to glue himself to the outside of Demelo. The exit of turn two proved pivotal as Cox got the better run down the Delaware hill on the backstretch and had gained the lead entering turn three.
Cox cleared Demelo as the field came to the line with two circuits remaining. Demelo made several attempts to retake the lead, but fell just shy and would have to settle for second.
“It’s great to get that car out. I’ve wanted to race it, but with running the late model, it’s hard to do that,” explained Cox. “This was the week to do it. We pulled it out (of the shop) and pulled the win off.”
Demelo fell just shy of his first OSCAAR Modified tour win once again after several trips to the podium in 2012 as well.
“Jamie might have got on to the restart procedure I was doing,” said Demelo. “He has that big motor and could take off. I’ve only got a crate so restarts are tough on me because it takes a couple laps for the car to come in.”
“Maybe if there was a couple more laps at the end we could have got by,” explained Demelo,” but it was a great run by all in the end.”
Demelo felt he may have used up his tires growing a big lead in the early laps, which hurt his chances on the final restart.
“We might have used up a little bit of the car, but overall it was still a fun race,” said Demelo. We’ll get them next time though. We have to work harder on the car and be more aggressive.”
Gary McLean’s third place finish maintains his spot atop the championship standings and marks his third consecutive podium finish to start the season.
“We had quite a bit of damage from last week at Barrie,” explained McLean. “The car was hurt pretty bad. We were surprised when we got looking at it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t perfect. Then we lost power steering at the start of the race, and that’s brutal at this place with some of the bumps.”
It’s no secret Cox and Demelo benefitted from having four fresh Hoosier tires for the feature in their first start of the season, while most of the tour regulars were only allotted one new tire.
Newman had an impressive run to finish fourth. The Springfield, Ont. driver ran at the front of the field and contended for the lead early on before running out of laps to get to the front.
Shawn Thompson (No. 72 Earl S. Ross Inc.) made his first career OSCAAR start and finished fifth. Of the top-five finishers, four were former Delaware Speedway Modified weekly regulars.
The win by Cox marks only the second time in the tour’s history a driver without the last name ‘McLean’ has won a feature event. Steve Smith is the other lone victor at Sauble Speedway in 2012.
John Harper (No. 79 Transaxle Parts) suffered a hard hit during his heat race. Harper arrived with a brand new chassis and had very little chance to practice the car before getting it in to race action. Harper got in to the marbles in turn one before sliding up the race track and hitting the turn two wall hard. Harper suffered heavy damage to the entire front-end of the car, including the right-front suspension.
The OSCAAR Modified tour returns to action next Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30 at Sunset Speedway as part of the OSCAAR Super Late Model Don Biederman Memorial weekend. Both series will run complete shows on each night with two full payouts. For more details, stay tuned to www.modifieds.oscaar.ca and www.oscaar.ca this week.
Results: Delaware Speedway 30-Lap Feature – June 21, 2013 (Starting Position in Parentheses)
1. 3 Jamie Cox (10); 2. 82 Justin Demelo (4); 3. 8 Gary McLean (2); 4. 1 Barry Newman (3); 5. 72 Shawn Thompson (8); 6. 2 Matt Barton (12); 7. 39m David McCullough (1); 8. 7 Brent McLean (6); 9. 19 Dean Scott (16); 10. 14 Davey Terry (7); 11. 88 Ryan Dick (5); 12. 13 Bobby Tolton (13); 13. 62 Darryn Wright (DNF) (14); 14. 47 Brian McLean (DNF) (11); 15. 22 Rob Fennema (DNF) (18); 16. 91 Mike Westwood (DNS); 17. 98 Steve Smith (DNS); 18. 79 John Harper (DNS).
Heat Race Winners: 8 Gary McLean, 1 Barry Newman.
The OSCAAR Super Late Model tour is presented by a number of dedicated sponsors throughout Ontario, including: Knightworks Design, Hoosier Racing Tire, Klotz Synthetics Canada, Race2way.ca, Dave Franks Photos, Dickson Printing, Finishline Fabrication, McColl Racing Enterprises, McGunegill Engine Performance, Stefko Racing Engines, VP Racing Fuels, OntarioOval.com, RaceTime Radio, Inside Track Motorsport News, Jenco Equipment, Midas of Orangeville, Reinhart Trailer Sales, North Toronto Auctions, and South Shore Services.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)