Nicole Podewils Picks Up Feature Victory at Sunset Speedway
2011 Sunset Speedway Mini Stock Champion Nicole Podewils would return to victory lane on Saturday night at Sunset Speedway in the Mini Stock feature. Podewils held off Billy Swartzenburg and Brandon McFerran in the final laps to pick up her first win of the season and become the fifth different driver to hit victory lane.
Points leader Warren Paxton won the first heat ahead of McFerran, Eric Yorke, Brian Love, Kevin Pickford, Nick Brown, Wendy Adams, Bob Phinnemore, Doug Wilman and Peter Inglis.
Gehrig Halliday won the second heat just ahead of Samantha Shaw. Shaw was followed by Lance Foster, Terry Woodley, Tyler Johnston, Ben Wolf, Shawn Gerrior, Lisa DeLeeuw and Chris Free.
Ben Melenhorst won the third heat ahead of Podewils, Swartzenburg, Terry Clodd, Steve Belanger, Kendra Adams, Eric Rainey, Candiss Everingham and Morgan Robson.
Brandon McFerran won the fourth heat ahead of Yorke, Paxton, Pickford, Love, Brown, Wendy Adams, Wilman, Phinnemore and Inglis.
In the fifth heat, there was a wreck right off the get go as DeLeeuw would spin off of turn four from the pole, coming across in front of the field. Everybody would avoid her, except Lance Foster, who made contact with the side of her car. DeLeeuw was able to continue, while Foster went down into the pits due to the hood being loose and possible other front end damage. Foster was back out for the feature later on that night, though.
Shaw took the win just ahead of Wolf while Woodley finished third, followed by Halliday, Johnston, Free, DeLeeuw and Gerrior.
Sauble Speedway Dash for Cash winner Swartzenburg won the final heat ahead of Podewils, Melenhorst, Belanger, Clodd, Kendra Adams, Rainey, Everingham and Robson.
Come feature time, Steve Belanger would start on pole followed by Tyler Johnston, Kendra Adams, Ben Wolf, Kevin Pickford, Terry Woodley, Gehrig Halliday, Brian Love, Terry Clodd, Ben Melenhorst, Eric Yorke, Nicole Podewils, Warren Paxton, Lance Foster, Billy Swartzenburg, Brandon McFerran, Samantha Shaw, Nick Brown, Wendy Adams, Eric Rainey, Shawn Gerrior, Lisa DeLeeuw, Chris Free, Candiss Everingham, Bob Phinnemore, Doug Wilman, Peter Inglis, Mike Robinson Jr., Ken Townsend and Morgan Robson.
Steve Belanger would grab the lead on lap one ahead of Johnston before the first caution waved for Pickford spinning Kendra Adams in turn two. Therefore, we would have a complete restart.
On that complete restart, Belanger once again grabbed the lead ahead of Johnston and Woodley while Wolf and Love battled for fourth. Love cleared Wolf on lap two while Woodley got alongside Johnston for second. Woodley would slip into second behind Belanger on lap three while Love, Johnston and Melenhorst battled three-wide for third. Melenhorst cleared both on lap four to move into third while Love and Johnston battled for fourth.
On lap five, Woodley would get alongside Belanger for the lead, taking the position on lap seven. While Woodley led, Melenhorst got alongside Belanger for second on lap eight.
While leading, Woodley’s shifter would pop out of gear, causing him to slow up and drop back some positions, handing the lead over to Melenhorst on lap 11 ahead of Podewils while McFerran and Belanger battled for third. McFerran and Swartzenburg would both make their way by Belanger on lap 13.
On lap 14, Podewils got alongside Melenhorst for the lead and would pass him on lap 15. Melenhorst and Swartzenburg would follow suit on lap 15. On lap 17, the top five ran single-file with Podewils leading McFerran, Swartzenburg, Melenhorst and Paxton while Belanger and Yorke battled side-by-side for sixth. Yorke and Shaw would both get by Belanger on lap 18, with Foster following suit on lap 19 before the caution waved for Wolf having problems.
With six laps to go, it’d be Podewils leading McFerran, Swartzenburg, Melenhorst, Paxton, Yorke, Shaw, Belanger, Foster, Love, Woodley, Johnston, Clodd, Brown, Pickford, Wolf, Rainey, Wendy Adams, Free, Kendra Adams, DeLeeuw, Gerrior, Inglis, Wilman, Phinnemore and Robson. Points contender Halliday had pulled off due to blowing the motor.
On the restart, Podewils and McFerran would battle side-by-side for the lead till the caution waved again for Wendy Adams spinning.
On the restart, Podewils and McFerran would once again battle side-by-side with Podewils taking the lead from McFerran as they slipped by the lap car of Robson with a couple laps to go.
Nicole Podewils would lead the final laps in sole procession while Billy Swartzenburg would just slip by Brandon McFerran at the end. Warren Paxton and Eric Yorke rounded out the top five.
Ben Melenhorst finished sixth followed by Samantha Shaw, Steve Belanger, Lance Foster and Brian Love.
Terry Woodley finished 11th followed by Terry Clodd, Tyler Johnston, Nick Brown, Kevin Pickford, Ben Wolf and Kendra Adams.