(Bowmanville, ON – June 18, 2013) Round Four of the 2013 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway schedule was run June 15, and, as has been the case over the three previous weekends, the trend continued illustrating that there are no trends evident regarding racing success.
With Oshawa’s Rock 94.9 Radio providing the support, the drivers providing the entertainment, and the fans enjoying the benefits, four deserving drivers were crowned race champions, having conquered the challenges of the track and their respective rivals.
Lucas Oil Pure Stock
Saturday night proved to be Jeff Vanderbelt’s turn to claim the top step of the Lucas Oil Pure Stock podium, as previous feature races were won by his teammate Henk Mulders and defending series champion Willy Howells.
Howells, in his #19 Sanford Racing Engines Prelude, and Vanderbelt enjoyed heat race victories, the 15 lap feature falling into place as the tiebreaker.
Taking advantage of his pole position, Vanderbelt’s #33 Courtice Specialty Products (CSP) Integra shot into the early lead, with previous feature race winner Mulders (#45 Link Greenhouses Acura) and Howells in close pursuit.
Evenly matched in performance, preparation and driving talent, no gains could be made by any one of the three, the trio running in lockstep, never separated by more than a couple of car lengths, right to the checkered flag.
“The car was a rocket right off of the trailer, I knew it was hot as soon as I got it on-track. As long as I could run my line with no interference, I was sure nobody could touch me,” said Vanderbelt.
Matt Boyce, making a rare CTMP Speedway start, crossed the stripe in fourth spot, with youngster Stuart Hinds (#57) rounding out the top five finishers.
Bob’s Towing Thunder Car
When the checkered flag finally dropped over the Bob’s Towing Thunder Car feature, everyone in attendance recognized that they had just witnessed everything that a stock car race could offer.
The action started on the opening lap when a backstraight, multi-car melee eliminated the #85 Re/Max car of Bill Northam. Two green flag laps later, the yellow flag, and then the red, was thrown as Terry Shaw’s #27 Thunderbird coasted to a stop in Turn One, the newly rebuilt engine blown up and fully ablaze under the hood.
“Everything was fine and then I heard a ‘Pop’. I went for the brakes and the pedal went to the floor. Then I noticed the flames coming through the floor panels,” said Shaw.
Quick work by the Speedway Service crew limited the damage, and Shaw emerged from his car with only “melted shoe laces.”
With the track cleared, racing resumed with the #63 John Baker Auto mount of John Baker Jr. assuming control of the contest.
From his position at the front of the pack, Baker watched as a war was unfolding behind him for second place, with early race leader Bob Kish (#78 Rapid Racing), the #03 Steelcase Tire and Mags Monte Carlo of Ken Donaldson Jr. and Howie Crowe’s #28 Crowe Brothers Roofing Chevy all coming to grief in a Turn One crash on Lap 11.
The yellow flew once more on Lap 17 for a spin by Kevin Hinds, allowing the field to close up onto Baker’s back bumper, but JBJ would not be denied his first feature win of the year, taking the checkered flag by five car lengths over the still-battling duo of Kish and Crowe.
Donaldson Jr. held on for a fourth place finish, with veteran Steve Mayhew (#14 Mayhew Auto Nova) earning a top five result.
In a mirror image of his 2012 return to the CTMP Speedway, Kyle Donaldson’s season got off to a rather unremarkable start this year, but the Donaldson team seems to have gotten the pieces all together as the former multi-time track champion scored a well-deserved victory in the Late Model feature race.
Having split the victories in the evening’s qualifying races, Donaldson, aboard his #53 Custom Steering/ Planet Recovery Chevy and the #55 Jessup Motorsports/ Harrington Mobile Mechanics Impala piloted by Darren Kearnan faced off again in the 25 lap feature.
At the drop of the green flag, Kearnan won the drag race into the first turn, with Donaldson jumping up from his second row grid position to secure second spot.
The two-car breakaway continued for four full laps of the half-mile Speedway, and on Lap 5, Donaldson was able to snatch the low line through Turn 2, and two turns later powered by Kearnan as the pair headed down the 800 foot long front straight.
In the ‘Clean and Green’ dash to the finish, Donaldson inched away, eventually accepting the checkered flag six car lengths in front of the #55 Chevrolet.
“The car wasn’t that great in the heats, but we worked on it a bit during the intermission,” explained Donaldson. “The track cooled down for the feature, and with the changes we made, things worked out in our favour.”
Linc Brown (#99) remained a lurking presence throughout the contest, crossing the stripe in a lonely third place. In one of the more entertaining ‘stalks’ of the night, track visitor Derek Lynch (#15), having started from the tailend of the field, inched his way towards the front, and with five-to-go, began a back and forth scrap with the #52 APX Racewear Chevy of former champion Mark Gordon. After swapping places several times, Gordon emerged with the fourth place result, Lynch taking the checkers mere inches behind Gordon in fifth spot.
Techtonix Open-Wheel Modifieds
Dwight Brown took another step towards repeating as the Ontario Modified Racing Series champion on June 15, sweeping to victory in his twin 10 lap qualifying sprints, and then leading championship rival Rick Warnes (#90) to the checkered flag by six car lengths to secure his second feature victory of the season.
Taking the green flag from the inside of Row 3, Brown carefully plotted his charge to the front.
“The guys who started in front of me were racing pretty hard between themselves. I figured if I was patient, I could get through that bunch, unscathed,” explained Brown.
Advancing one position per lap, by the fourth tour of the half-mile CTMP oval, Brown had powered his #2 Bourque Transmission Modified up to the rear nerf bar of pole sitter Warnes. On Lap 6, Brown crossed the line neck and neck with Warnes, but edged away as the duo sped through the first corner.
Once in control of the race, Brown paced himself, maintaining the gap over the purple #90 to the Lap 25 checkered flag.
Chad Strawn, aboard the #77 Mod and track newcomer Nick lees (#09) enjoyed a spirited, race long dice, and following two full side-by-side laps of the paperclip oval, Lees eventually emerged with third place, a position he held to the end. Strawn maintained his fourth place standing, and took the checkers as the last car on the lead lap, with the #88 of Ryan Dick completing the top five finishers.
OMRS regulars Darren Kearnan (#46) and Rob Warnes (#95) were unable to make the feature, both cars suffering from motor issues.
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Ryan Chalmers, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
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Photo Credit – Wally Nesbitt