For the second straight year in a row, Mike Bentley would take the checkered flag first in the Garry Reynolds Memorial at Barrie Speedway. It marks his second feature win of the 2012 season at Barrie and his seventh feature victory overall this year.
The Sunset Speedway regular would make his presence known right away in the first heat as he’d take the win, followed by Barrie’s Keith McLeod, Barrie’s Dwayne Baker, Sunset’s Dario Capirchio and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCATS) regular Kerry Micks. Robin Jongen finished sixth, followed by Scott Steckly, Roy Manary, Glenn Lloyd and Rob Bromley.
In the second heat, there’d be some drama as Ernie Fumerton would spin Gord Shepherd on lap two. Then on lap four, Gary Elliott would go for a spin. Barrie Speedway rookie Thayne Hallyburton would pick up his first heat victory in a Late Model, followed by NCAT regular Mark Dilley, Barrie’s Mike Brown, Barrie’s Shepherd and Barrie’s Allan Inglis. Kevin Reynolds would finish sixth, followed by Frank Davey, Elliott, Tommy Robb and Fumerton.
In the third heat, there’d be trouble on lap three when Capirchio would spin McLeod. It’d be Mike Bentley going for the heat sweep with another checkered, followed by Barrie’s Robin Jongen, Micks, NCATs regular Steckly and Baker. Capirchio finished sixth, followed by McLeod, Bromley, Rick Walt and Lloyd.
The final heat would go to Barrie Speedway regular Mike Brown, ahead of Inglis, Sunset’s Elliott, Dilley and Hallyburton. Reynolds would finish sixth, followed by Robb, Davey and Fumerton.
When it came to feature time, the top eight qualifiers based on the heats would be put through a unique invert. Each driver would be required to pick a Frisbee and when they flipped it over, the number on the back would tell them their starting position. Top qualifier Mike Bentley would draw the seventh Frisbee while Mike Brown drew pole.
Mike Brown would start on pole, followed by Dwayne Baker, Thayne Hallyburton, Robin Jongen, Mark Dilley, Kerry Micks, Mike Bentley, Al Inglis, Keith McLeod, Gary Elliott, Dario Capirchio, Kevin Reynolds, Scott Steckly, Tommy Robb, Rob Bromley, Gord Shepherd, Roy Manary, Frank Davey, Rick Walt, Ernie Fumerton and Glen Lloyd.
On the drop of the green flag, it’d be Brown and Baker side-by-side for the lead, with Baker clearing Brown on lap four.
So it’d be Baker leading Brown and Hallyburton while Jongen and Dilley ran side-by-side for fourth. Jongen would clear Dilley on lap eight, with Bentley passing Dilley for fifth on lap 10. Dlley would continue to slide back, as he’d passed by McLeod and Inglis by lap 12.
On lap 17 while Baker continued to lead over Brown and Hallyburton, Bentley would pass Jongen for fourth. McLeod now ran sixth, followed by Inglis, Dilley, Capirchio, Elliott and Steckly.
On lap 22, Bentley would get alongside Hallyburton for third, completing the pass on lap 27. Jongen would also get by Hallyburton for fourth. Hallyburton would continue to slide back as he was passed by McLeod and Inglis to slip back to seventh by lap 28.
On lap 32, Jongen and McLeod would get side-by-side for third and continue to battle hard all the way till a caution at lap 35 for Jongen going around after some contact from McLeod. Both cars would have to restart at the rear of the field. Meanwhile, Walt and Reynolds would both make their way down pit road under caution.
On the restart, Baker would jump out ahead of the field while Bentley passed Brown for second. On lap 35, Bentley would get alongside Baker for the lead, though Baker would hold on to the lead all the way to a caution at lap 37 for Walt going for a spin. Reynolds would once again bring his car down pit road, though would pull it behind the wall and be done for the evening due to no breaks.
On the restart it’d be Baker leading Bentley, Inglis, Brown, Dilley, Steckly, Hallyburton, Elliott, Fumerton, Jongen, McLeod, Capirchio and Robb. Micks would be the first car one lap down to the leader, followed by Davey, Manary, Fumerton, Lloyd and Bromley.
On the restart, Bentley would stay alongside Baker for the lead, though Baker would keep Bentley at bay, while Inglis ran third followed by Brown and Dilley. Hallyburton and Steckly ran side-by-side for fifth, with Steckly passing Hallyburton on lap 42. Hallyburton would then fall back to sixth on lap 43 after being passed by Shepherd.
On lap 44, Bentley would once again get alongside Baker for the lead, completing the pass on lap 47. Meanwhile, defending NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion Scott Steckly would pull his car behind the wall that lap after blowing the motor.
Then just before the mandatory caution at lap 50, fellow NASCAR Canadian Tire Series competitor Mark Dilley would pull his car behind the wall due to a blown motor also.
The mandatory lap 50 caution would then come out for the cars to come down pit road and have time to refill the gas tank. No other adjustments would be allowed, unless the driver was willing to give up their position and restart at the back. Micks would make some adjustments after putting the hood up so he’d be starting at the rear.
So at the halfway point under the caution, it was Mike Bentley leading Dwayne Baker, Al Inglis, Mike Brown, Gord Shepherd, Robin Jongen, Keith McLeod, Thayne Hallyburton, Dario Capirchio, Gary Elliott, Tommy Robb, Frank Davey, Rick Walt, Roy Manary, Kerry Micks, Rob Bromley, Glen Lloyd and Ernie Fumerton.
On the restart, it’d be Bentley jumping ahead of Baker while Inglis and Brown battled for third. Inglis would complete the pass for third on lap 53, with Shepherd passing Brown for fourth on lap 54. Brown would eventually fall back to seventh by lap 56 as he’d also be passed by McLeod and Jongen.
On lap 61 while Bentley continued to lead over Baker, Inglis and Shepherd would commence their battle for third. Inglis would hold Shepherd off for the time being by lap 68 while McLeod brought his car down pit road, done for the night. Also, Hallyburton would make his way by Brown for sixth.
So on lap 70 with 30 laps to go, it’d be Bentley leading over Baker, Inglis, Shepherd, Jongen, Hallyburton, Brown and Elliott.
On lap 71, Shepherd would once again get alongside Inglis for third, though Inglis would continue to hold him off on lap 72 as they made their way through lap traffic. Meanwhile, Elliott would pass Brown for seventh that same lap.
On lap 75, Shepherd would once again try his way with Inglis, yet failed to succeed.
On lap 80, there was almost trouble for the leaders when Davey and Capirchio would make contact right in front of Bentley, who was trying to put them both a lap down. Everybody would escape without damage and no caution was thrown.
So with 20 laps to go left on the lead lap it was Bentley leading Baker, Inglis, Shepherd, Jongen, Hallyburton, Elliott, Brown and Robb.
For the fourth time, Shepherd tried to find his way by Inglis on lap 86, though would once again be denied.
There’d be another close call for the leaders on lap 95 when Manary and Micks would just about wreck ahead of Bentley, though everybody kept it straight and kept going.
For the final 10 laps, Baker would be right there behind Bentley, trying to find a way to pass, though with the heavy lap traffic, Baker wouldn’t be able to find the opportunity.
In the end it’d be Mike Bentley taking his second straight Garry Reynolds Memorial trophy with Barrie Speedway’s points leader Dwayne Baker finishing second. Gord Shepherd would finally get by Al Inglis on the last lap while Robin Jongen rounded out the top five. Thayne Hallyburton finished sixth with Gary Elliott seventh. Meanwhile, Frank Davey would spin after the checkered flag had come out.