Fraserville, ON –Ignition issues on lap 33 dashed the Brandon Watson’s hopes of a second consecutive trip to victory lane with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour on Sunday night at Kawartha Speedway.
Watson ran in the runner-up position from the initial start after starting third in the 50-lap Midas of Orangeville A-Main. The Stayner, Ont. driver trailed polesitter and eventual race winner Andrew Gresel (No.81) in the early stages of the race.
Watson was not able to capitalize on a trio of early race restarts, but the defending champion explained he was saving his tires for the later laps.
“I was trying to keep some tires on it for a late race charge,” said Watson. “I’m not sure I would have had anything for him. He had a pretty good car. It would have definitely been a good race at the end if we hadn’t had any problems.”
The red flag was displayed on lap nine to clean up oil from Derrick Tiemersma’s car after the rear-end broke on the No.7 entry. The red flag lasted nearly 15 minutes, which Watson said didn’t affect the car just his personal energy levels.
“The worst part is sitting in the car bored while you’re waiting to go back to green,” said Watson. “It always sucks when you get a big lead and a caution comes out.”
Watson was in need of a caution with 20 laps remaining in order to close the extended gap Gresel had created.
However, Watson did not intend to be the source of the caution, but such was the case as the power plant under the hood of the No.9 Shear Metal Products entry began to sputter with 33 laps complete.
The No.9 Chevrolet came to a stop on the front stretch and would later be diagnosed as a problem with a coil in the ignition system.
Watson was able to return to the field after this crew had repaired the issue, but only after falling three laps behind the race leader.
Watson would finish 12th, three laps down. The finish was the team’s first and only outside the top-five this season.
“It’s always fun going to Kawartha, it’s a big open track. It’s just unfortunate we had to have troubles there because there’s lot of speed and fast-paced racing.”
The team’s night was not a complete loss as Watson earned one win Klotz Canada qualifying heat race win and a fourth-place finish in his second heat.
Watson would not fair too poorly in the championship standings as Tiemersma’s broken rear-end in the early laps would score him 17th. Watson continues to lead the championship by 30 points over Tiemersma and Gresel, who now sit tied for second.
“It’s always good when you gain points and you don’t have a very good night. I was lucky that other guys had bad nights when we had a bad night,” said Watson. “Obviously we had a good start to the year, which helps us when something like this comes up. Now, we have to keep going and get as many wins as possible in case something like this does happen again.”
The series will take a one week hiatus, which Watson will use to head to Sarnia to compete with his Creemore Braves Jr. ‘C’ baseball team. The series return to action on Saturday, August 24 at Peterborough Speedway. Watson was the winner in the series last visit to Peterborough.
“We always have a good car at Peterborough. I like going there, it’s a fun track,” said Watson. “We got a win there last week. Hopefully we can move ahead with that and get another win.”
Racing is schedule to begin at 6:00pm at Peterborough. For a full schedule of events for the August 24 show, visit www.oscaar.ca.
Follow Brandon Watson’s 2013 chase for a second consecutive OSCAAR Super Late Model championship all season long on Twitter via @BrandonWatson15 and online at www.brandonwatsonracing.com.
Brandon Watson’s 2013 OSCAAR Super Late Model tour is supported by Shear Metal Products, Ken Mackinnon Construction, Knightworks Design, Klotz Synthetics Canada, Simcoe Energy Propane Exchange, and Barrie Frame and Alignment.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)
Photo Credit: Dan Little Jr.