This year marks the third year for the Garry Reynolds Memorial at Barrie Speedway. Put together as an event by Barrie Speedway officials to run in memory of drivers who have passed away, the event continues to grow each year.
The first year it was run on a Thursday mid-August, only featuring the Late Model division. Last year, it was once again ran on a Thursday, but grew to include the Thunder Cars. However, 2013 brings forth yet another change….for the better.
For the first time ever, the Garry Reynolds Memorial will be run at the end of the season. With it being run after all of the tracks except one have crowned their champions, drivers don’t have to worry about their cars getting wrecked and being out of their own championship deal. Then moving it to a Saturday also makes it easier on drivers and their families.
Also, the placement sets it up perfectly as the event will kick off what has become unofficial short track playoff season – five straight invitationals are set ahead for drivers to tackle. After the Garry Reynolds, there’s the Velocity 250 at Sunset Speedway, Ocktoberfest at Flamboro Speedway, Autumn Colors at Peterborough Speedway and then Frost Fest at Flamboro. Some drivers will run a couple of the above listed events, while others will tackle the whole list making it interesting for fans. If one driver can go forward and sweep the events, let’s just say they’ve proved something.
The other change this year is that the Pure Stocks will be included as part of the event for the first time. Putting up Barrie’s top Minis against drivers from across the province should make for an interesting addition to a great show.
Now before we even get into the Pure Stocks though, that’s not the focus here. The focus here is our Late Models, the premiere event of the Garry Reynolds Memorial. The Limited Late Models will be running 100 laps on Saturday night, with a break at lap 50 to refuel their cars.
After winning Sunset Speedway’s weekly championship, Mike Bentley will be at Barrie Speedway on Saturday night. In the past two runnings of the event, Bentley has won both. He passed Dwayne Baker for the lead on lap 42 and dominated the second half of the event. In 2012, Bentley took the lead on lap 47 and led till the end once again, holding off a late race charge by Baker. Bentley has quickly established himself as a top tier racer, also winning the 2012 Autumn Colors Pro Late Model feature. If Bentley is able to capture the win on Saturday night, it’ll just add to the list of accomplishments for the driver of the No. 51 Lattitude Land Effects Late Model.
Well nothing official has been said, Dwayne Baker will probably in attendance after finishing runner-up to Bentley both years. Baker will look to find victory lane following a third place finish in Sunset’s points this year and last year’s Autumn Colors Limited Late Model victory.
Fellow Sunset Speedway regular Nick Goetz has confirmed that he will be at Barrie Speedway also on Saturday night. With each lap in his late model, Goetz has kept getting stronger as a driver and has found himself on the edge of the top five mark in Sunset Speedway’s Late Model division.
2011 Sunset Speedway Super Stock Champion Lane Zardo will be at Barrie Speedway on Saturday night behind the wheel of Kyle Mombourquette’s Late Model. Zardo wasn’t sure if he would be at Barrie Speedway, though after a bunch of people stepped up and donated sponsorship dollars, he will be in attendance. Some of those who donated money include Kendra Adams Motorsports, Thompson Photography, his brother Billy Zardo, Ken Britt, Mike Schmidt of London Recreational and Daniel Brois Autosport. Zardo has been running the late model on Saturday nights at Sunset Speedway over the past couple of months, scoring a couple of top 10s along the way.
Taylor Holdaway has been itching to give Barrie a shot and will do so this weekend. “Hollywood” started off the year at Sunset not on the note that he would’ve hoped, but finished the year running up front and may be able to carry that momentum to Barrie this weekend.
Coming off his historic 2500th start three weeks ago, Gary Elliott will be at Barrie Speedway this weekend to try his hand at the tricky 3/8 mile oval.
Sunset Speedway regular and past Barrie Speedway Thunder Car driver Frank Davey was in attendance last year and may be returning in 2013.
Peterborough Speedway regular Kelly Balson will be in attendance at Barrie Speedway this weekend. Known as the crowd pleaser, Balson is always one to watch as he has shown speed in past top tier Late Model events.
There is no word if any of Varney Speedway’s Late Models will be at Barrie this weekend, but Tommy Robb was in attendance last year so he may show this year.
With the event being at Barrie Speedway, expect a slue of Barrie Speedway regulars to be in attendance.
2013 Champion Gord Shepherd will be tough to beat, as he has been all year at Barrie Speedway. Shepherd went into the final night with the championship pretty much locked up after picking numerous feature wins this season.
Thayne Hallyburton won eight features at Barrie Speedway this year and finished third overall in points. The sophomore driver has quickly proven that he is a threat to win on any given night.
Other drivers that should be in attendance include Al Inglis, Mike Langly, Mike Brown, Shawn Murray, Leonard Johnston and Andre Pepin. I’d also put Ron Quesnelle on the maybe list. There could be lots of other Barrie drivers in attendance, but there is nothing confirmed at this moment.
As it stands, those are the only drivers in which I can officially confirm or even ponder with regards to. Come Saturday night at Barrie Speedway, there will probably be more drivers in attendance that are not even mentioned here to make a full field of cars. With that said, I expect to see you at Barrie Speedway on Saturday night, joining us in honoring Garry Reynolds and other drivers that we’ve lost.
Photo Credit: Mike Keiers - Barrie Speedway Photographer/Cable Guy Photos - http://www.cableguyphotos.com