Mike Bentley wins 20th Annual Autumn Colors Pro Late Model Feature at Peterborough
In the last two years, Mike Bentley has made himself known as one of the best Late Model drivers in the province of Ontario. Last year, he won the Gary Reynolds Memorial at Barrie Speedway, along with Ocktoberfest at Flamboro Speedway. This year, he won the Gary Reynolds Memorial once again, along with the Velocity 250 feature at Sunset Speedway. The 24-year-old added another big win to his resume as he would take home the victory in the 20th Annual Autumn Colors Classic 112 lap Pro Late Model feature.
In the first heat for the Pro Late Models on Friday, Mike Bentley would spin in turn two, followed by Andrew Gresel and Jaxson Jacobs wrecking in turns three and four. In the end, Delaware Speedway’s Andrew Gresel would take the win, followed by Mike Wallace, Matt Pritiko, Andrew Kamrath, the 08, Jacobs and the 49.
In the second heat, Gary Elliott would spin Dan McHattie around. Barrie Speedway’s Gord Shepherd would take the win, ahead of Bryan Mercer, Brandon Watson, Matt Box, McHattie, Marc Jacobs and Elliott.
In the third heat, Mark Watson, Jason Shaw and Jamie Cox would wreck in turn two. Kawartha Speedway’s Ryan Kimball would take the win, followed by Kent Nuhn, Dwayne Baker, Watson, Cox and Shaw.
In the fourth heat on Saturday, there’d be a wreck on lap three when Brad Corcoran would get into Andrew Kamrath, sending him up on top of the turn one wall. Corcoran got into Kamrath after Kamrath made contact with Corcoran to get by him for position. Then on lap five, Bentley would spin Pritiko outta turn four. In the end, Flamboro Speedway’s Brad Corcoran came back to get the win, ahead of Gresel, Pritiko, Wallace, Bentley, Jaxson Jacobs and the 49.
In the fifth heat, Matt Box would go for a spin. 2012 OSCAAR Super Late Model Champion Brandon Watson would take the win ahead of Mercer, Foster, Shepherd, Elliott, Box, Marc Jacobs and the 61. After crossing the line, McHattie would hit the wall going into turn one.
In the sixth and final heat, the 08 would push Watson into the wall, sending him up on it. Barrie Speedway’s Dwayne Baker would take the win ahead of Shaw, Nuhn, Kimball, Cox and the 08.
Virtue of his strong qualifying effort, Delaware Speedway driver Andrew Gresel would start on pole for the 112 lap Pro Late Model feature on Sunday night. He would grab the early lead ahead of Brandon Watson, Dwayne Baker and Kent Nuhn while Bryan Mercer and Gord Shepherd battled for fifth. Mercer would clear Shepherd on lap two for the position.
The first caution would come out at lap eight for Matt Box and Mark Watson going around in turn two.
On the restart, there’d be another caution as there’d be a big wreck in turns three and four involving Nuhn, Mark Watson, Bruce Wheeler, Jamie Cox, Mike Bentley, Jason Shaw, Ryan Kimball and Gary Elliott. Shaw would receive the most damage, done for the rest of the event.
On the restart, Gresel would hold the lead ahead of Brandon Watson, Baker, Mercer and Brad Corcoran. Starting mid-pack, Bentley would begin his climb through the field, passing Corcoran on lap 17 to crack the top five. Shepherd would pass Corcoran the same lap for sixth, with Andrew Kamrath and Matt Pritiko passing Corcoran on lap 18.
The caution would then fly as Jaxson Jacobs would go around in turn four. Under caution, Box would make his way down pit road. With 94 laps to go it’d be Gresel leading Brandon Watson, Mercer, Baker, Bentley, Shepherd, Kamrath, Pritiko, Corcoran, Kimball, Mark Watson, Cox, Mike Wallace, Wheeler, Nuhn, Marc Jacobs, Casey Cavanagh, the 08, Jaxson Jacobs and Elliott.
On the restart, Gresel would hold the lead ahead of Brandon Watson, Mercer and Bentley while Kamrath and Baker battled for fifth. The third caution would fly the next lap (19) as Box would go around. With 93 laps to go it’d be Gresel leading Watson, Mercer, Bentley, Kamrath, Baker, Shepherd, Kimball, Pritiko and Corcoran.
On the restart, Gresel would once again hold the lead, now ahead of Mercer, Brandon Watson, Kamrath, Shepherd, Bentley and Pritiko. The race wouldn’t stay under green long as the fourth caution would fly on lap 23 for Kamrath wrecking in turn one.
Then on the restart, the fifth caution would fly when Gresel would spin out of the lead in turn four, collecting Wheeler and Shepherd. Gresel didn’t get going good on the restart so could have resulted in contact from behind. That would hand the lead to Kawartha Speedway driver Bryan Mercer.
Mercer would get a good restart, grabbing the lead ahead of Bentley, Brandon Watson, Wallace and Pritiko. The top five would run single file all the way till the sixth caution on lap 25 for Jaxson Jacobs going around on the front stretch. With 87 laps to go, it’d be Mercer leading Bentley, Brandon Watson, Wallace, Pritiko, Nuhn, Cox, Corcoran, Kimball and Box.
Mercer would hold Bentley off on the restart with Brandon Watson third, followed by Pritiko and Cox. Wallace would now run sixth, followed by Nuhn, Corcoran and Kimball. The seventh caution would fly on lap 29 for Marc Jacobs going around as virtue of Mark Watson. Under caution, Marc Jacobs would then get into the back end of Mark Watson. As a result, Marc Jacobs received the black flag for rough driving.
On the restart, Mercer would keep the lead ahead of Bentley and Brandon Watson while Cox moved up to fourth with Corcoran fifth. On lap 32, there’d be a change for the lead as Sunset Speedway’s Mike Bentley would make his way by Mercer for the lead. The eighth caution would then fly for Gary Elliott spinning in turn two. With 80 laps to go, Bentley led Mercer, Brandon Watson, Cox and Corcoran while Gresel had made his way back up to sixth following his spin on lap 23.
On the restart, Bentley would keep the lead ahead of Mercer and Brandon Watson while Corcoran and Cox battled for fourth. Corcoran would clear Cox on lap 33 just before the ninth caution on lap 34 for Wheeler stalling. With 78 laps to go, it’d be Bentley leading Mercer, Brandon Watson, Corcoran, Cox and Wallace.
On the restart, the 10th caution would fly when Gresel would spin Wallace around. So now with 78 laps to go it’d be Bentley leading Mercer, Brandon Watson, Corcoran, Cox, Pritiko, Shepherd, Kimball and Box.
The second restart would be clean with Bentley grabbing the lead ahead of Mercer and Brandon Watson while Corcoran and Cox battled for fourth. Corcoran would clear Cox on lap 37, leaving Cox to battle with Kimball for fifth. The 11th caution would then fly though as Pritiko would go around virtue of contact from Shepherd, collecting Cavanagh and Wallace. Under caution, Cox and Nuhn would make their way down pit road.
So with 75 laps to go, it’d be Bentley leading Mercer, Brandon Watson, Corcoran and Kimball. Kimball had made his way back to the top five for the first time since the early race incident that caused heavy front end damage to his car. Box ran sixth, followed by Wheeler and Gresel. Also, the caution would be counted at this point due to the race running past its time limit.
The restart would come on lap 42 when Bentley holding serve ahead of Mercer, Brandon Watson, Corcoran and Kimball. The top seven would run single file while Gresel and Mark Watson battled for eighth. Though the 12th caution would then fly when Gary Elliott would wreck on the front stretch, collecting Pritiko and Nuhn.
The restart would come on lap 49 with Bentley once again holding serve over Mercer, Brandon Watson, Corcoran, Kimball, Gresel and Shepherd. They would run single file all the way till the lap 60 caution for Jaxson Jacobs spinning in turn four. Due to being involved in three cautions, Jacobs would be parked for the rest of the race. Under caution, Box would make his way down pit road.
With 52 laps to go it’d be Bentley leading Mercer, Brandon Watson, Corcoran, Kimball, Gresel, Shepherd, Pritiko, Cox, Mark Watson and Nuhn. Under this caution, Brandon Watson would give up his third place spot due to having to come down pit road as a result of the exhaust being loose.
The restart would come on lap 65 with Bentley continuing to lead over Mercer, Corcoran, Gresel, Pritiko, Cox and Kimball. The 14th caution would then come out on lap 69 for Brandon Watson stopping on the track. He would come down pit road to have more work done to his car, remaining on the lead lap.
With 43 to go it’d be Bentley leading Mercer, Corcoran, Gresel, Pritiko, Cox, Kimball and Mark Watson.
The restart would come on lap 71 with the top five keeping their positions while Kimball got alongside Cox for sixth. Kimball would clear Cox for sixth on lap 73. Cox would fall back to 10th on lap 81 after being passed by Wallace, Shepherd and Brandon Watson.
The 15th caution would fly on lap 87 for Brandon Watson and Shepherd making contact in turn one while battling for eighth.
The restart would come on lap 90 and Mercer would keep alongside Bentley for the lead. However, the battle wouldn’t last long with Bentley clearing Mercer on lap 91. Gresel would pass Mercer for second on lap 91, with Pritiko passing Mercer for third on lap 92. Mercer would fall back to fourth on lap 95 after being passed by Corcoran. That same lap, Mercer would bring out the 16th caution after going for a spin in turn one. Under caution, Cox made his way down pit road.
With 17 laps to go, it’d be Bentley leading Gresel, Pritiko, Corcoran, Wallace, Mark Watson, Nuhn, Kimball, Box and Shepherd.
The restart would come on lap 100 with 12 laps to go, though quickly resulted in the 17th caution as Gresel would go for a spin in turn one virtue of contact from Pritiko. So now with 12 laps to go, it’d be Bentley leading Pritiko, Corcoran, Wallace, Mark Watson, Nuhn, Kimball, Wallace, Shepherd and Brandon Watson.
The first restart would result in the 18th caution for Pritiko jumping the start.
The second restart, coming on lap 105, would go good with Bentley holding serve over Pritiko, Corcoran, Mark Watson and Kimball. On lap 107, Pritiko pulled a move on Bentley and did make some contact, however Bentley was able to hold on to the lead. The 19th caution would then fly that same lap for Gresel having a problem.
Mike Bentley would hold on in the final laps to take the victory ahead of Matt Pritiko, Brad Corcoran, Bryan Mercer and Ryan Kimball. Brandon Watson would wound up sixth, ahead of Mark Watson.