For the fourth week in succession absolutely picturesque race conditions would bless the legions of fans and drivers alike at Barrie Speedway on Aug 24 for The Dock 104.1 Night. The evenings big winner was #91 Andre Pepin of Midland, as the sophomore driver would capture the first of twin 30 lap features for the Wahta Springs Late Model division. Pepin, who was been remarkably consistent throughout the entire season, has really upped his game in the month of August, as the driver had recorded five top 5 finishes in just 8 feature races. The win would not come easy for Pepin however, as the talented wheelman was chased to the stripe every inch of the way by childhood hero #57 Ron "The Dominator" Quesnelle of Penetang, who also recorded a second place finish in the 30 lap finale to the evening. Speaking of that second 30, the feature win in that affair went to current point leader #10 Gord Shepherd of Oro Station, after the 2009 track champ encountered some misfortune in the first 30 lap race, hitting the wall hard in between turns 1&2 and having to come from the pack of the pack to eventually manage a sixth place finish. Heading into this weeks action, Shepherd still holds a 34 point advantage over Quesnelle, as the two long time division veterans are set to decide the 2013 title on track over the final five feature races.
In the initial 30, it was outside pole sitter #83 Ian Bourque who captured the point early, after powering past #5 Mike "The Hulkamaniac" Langley on the outside of turn 2 from the drop of the green. On lap 3, it was Pepin who was beginning to make noise from his 4th place starting position, working around Langley on the outside of turn 1, to advance to 2nd in the running order, with Langley now locked in a door to door battle with #43 Darin Malcolm for third place. Also right in the mix was the 57 of Quesnelle, as the driver took to the outside line and bided his time to see how the Langley/Malcolm duel would play out in front of him. On lap 8, it was Pepin's turn to take over at the front of the field, getting to the inside of Bourque between turns 1&2, as Quesnelle now landed in 3rd, after passing Malcolm to the outside on the exit of turn two. Also making moves early was 2010 track champ #69 Al "Red Rocket" Inglis, was the venerable veteran would charge inside the top 5 from his 8th place starting position in a staunch and highly competitive 14 car field.
It was on lap 11 when the race completely changed, when Shepherd would make the afore mentioned contact with the outside retaining wall in between turns 1&2, just as it looked like Quesnelle was set to wrestle away runner up positioning from Bourque. On the restart, Pepin was looking calm and collected on the front end with laps in the 14.7 second range, but the driver would once again receive a stern challenge from the 83 of Bourque, as Bourque moved out to a marginal lead from the outside line, when the caution again flew as the 5 of Langley slowed in turn two. This time the positions would change on the restart, with Bourque now manning the preferred inside line, as Pepin looked game on the outside, eventually taking the lead on the outside of turn 1, right at the midway mark. Pepin, would break away to a three car length lead at the front of the field, as 2011 track champ Quesnelle would relieve Bourque of 2nd with a clean outside pass. Quick to follow Quesnelle's advances was the 69 of Inglis, as the 4 time track champ would claim 3rd, with an inside pass of Bourque between turns 1&2 on lap 18. The best battle on track at this point was the race for 5th, as Malcolm and #14 "Hurricane" Thayne Hallyburton went wheel to wheel for that position, with Malcolm prevailing, leaving Hallyburton to fall back into the clutches of #24 Leonard Johnston for 6th, as Johnston was able to take that spot after a hard fought battle.
Inside of five laps remaining the man on the move was the 10 of Shepherd, who after the earlier misfortune landed in 7th after passing Hallyburton, thus setting his sights on Johnston who was directly in his crosshairs as the duo raced down the backstretch. Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Pepin was still soldiering on with the race lead, keeping Quesnelle at bay by three car lengths approaching the checkered. On the last lap, the positions were shuffling just outside of the top 5, as Shepherd would work to Johnston's inside between turns 1&2 to advance further in the running order. This race would belong to the Franke Industries/SPM Race Engines/Anytime Fitness Dodge Charger of Pepin however, as the silky smooth driver went on to capture his 2nd win of the season by those same 3 car lengths over Quesnelle at the stripe. Inglis, would get his night kick started under solid footing in finishing 3rd, as Bourque and Malcolm would round out the fast five.
In the 30 lap finale to the evening, it was once again Bourque who found the front early, as the 43 of Malcolm took to the outside of Langley in the race for 2nd, as division rookie Johnston was running nip and tuck behind that duo. On lap 6, Malcolm would work past Langley for 2nd on the outside of turn 1, with Quesnelle following through into third just one lap later midway down the backstretch. As the race approached the ten lap mark, Quesnelle was really beginning to crack up the heat on Malcolm for 2nd, looking to the inside of turn two on successive laps, but unable to find the necessary traction to make a pass stick. Leader Bourque was looking strong on the front end, holding a 2 car length advantage on the Malcolm/Quesnelle dice brewing in behind him.
Nearing the midway mark, it was the 10 of Shepherd who was on a tear, passing both Malcolm and Quesnelle for position on the outside of the backstretch, just as the talented trio was approaching turn 3. On lap 18, leader Bourque would wash up the track ever so slightly in turn 2, allowing the alert Shepherd the opening to take over the race lead. Just four laps later, Bourque would again drift up high on exit of turn two, with Quesnelle slipping past to claim 2nd, and sending Bourque back into the clutches of Malcolm for third place positioning. Perhaps the many battles over the two feature races was beginning to take its toll on 3 time track champ Bourque's tires, as Malcolm would capture third on the inside of turn 3 on lap 25. Also putting on a valiant charge towards the front of the pack was the 14 of Hallyburton, as the division sophomore would close in on Bourque and execute a pass for 4th in the running order. With Shepherd holding a comfortable near half straightway lead at the front of the field, the race would end under caution when #00 Darryl St. Onge of Barrie spun between turns 3&4 just as the leaders had taken the white flag. Shepherd would notch his division leading ninth feature win of the season, as Quesnelle finished 2nd, with Malcolm, Hallyburton, and Bourque comprising the remainder of the top 5.
In Canestoga Property Maintenance Thunder Car action it was #44 Dave "The Deuce" Doucette of Angus who took the victory in a thrilling 30 lap main. The race would begin with #21 "Flyin" Bill Walt and #37 Robbie Sikes doing battle from the front row, as Walt would capture the point, with the duo of #10 Rick Walt and Doucette following that progression on the outside lane to land in 2nd and 3rd respectively just a couple laps in. The race's first caution would appear on lap 4, when speedway newcomer #1 Joe Thurston would leak fluid and spin in turn 2, thus ending his race early. After a brief clean up, it was Rick Walt who took over the race lead, after disposing of uncle Bill on the restart, with Doucette making a clean low pass of Bill Walt in turn 3 to inheirit runner up positioning. The best battle on track at this point was the race for 4th, as #12 Jim "Polish Prince" Belesky and #39 Travis "The Enforcer" Hallyburton waged an impressive dice for that position, as Hallyburton would take the spot with an inside move while racing out of turn two on lap 10.
The race's second caution would fly just a short while later, when Belesky and #00 Darryl St. Onge made contact while racing for 4th place, with the result sending St. Onge spinning through the grass and coming to rest against the inside retaining wall just under the flagstand. This set the stage the stage for Walt and Doucette to do battle from the front row on the restart, but the race wouldn't remain green long, when the 37 of Sikes spun in turn two on lap 18. At this point in the race the #21 of Bill Walt would also retire to the infield with a blown motor, ending a strong run that had the likeable driver sitting in 4th place. This time on the restart, Walt and Doucette waged an all out war for 4 laps for the race lead, as the two veterans raced door handle to door handle in what was a great display of tough and clean short track racing. Walt, would eventually run up over the curbing between turns 1&2, thus allowing Doucette to take over at the front of the field. Just a short while later, Walt would give Doucette a knock on the exit of turn 4, getting his fellow competitor extremely crossways, with a ultra sportsmanlike display of class exhibited by Walt who back off in allowing Doucette to gather it up. Over the duration, Doucette would extend his lead to 2 car lengths over the hard charging Walt, as the two division veterans would come to the checkered in that order, ad Doucette captured his 3rd feature victory of 2013. Walt, would cap off a solid point night in finishing 2nd, as Hallyburton, St. Onge, and Belesky rounded out the fast five.
Heat wins went to Doucette with a pair, St. Onge, and Belesky.
In St. Onge Recreation Pure Stock action it was #09 Dean Curry of Singhampton who took the checkered in his Markdale Salvage/Canadian Seepage Solutions/ Vortex Brake Pads Dodge Neon. The race would get kick started under shaky footing when a gaggle of cars collected between turns 3&4 on the opening lap. With a complete restart called, it was #88 Jeremy McLean who took the initial lead, with #18 Tim Gagne slotting into 2nd, as Curry executed a daring three wide move around pole sitter #6 Josh Inglis and #3 Randi Seguin to land in third in the running order. On lap 4, Curry would move to 2nd with an outside pass of Gagne in turn 3, with point leader #77 Mike Gettliffe being quick to follow into third, dropping Gagne further back in the strong 20 car field. Just a short while later Curry would make the winning move, getting under McLean in turn one, with an alert Gettliffe taking advantage to take second nearing the midway point of the 20 lap affair.
McLean, would continue to get shuffled further back in the running order, when he was passed to the inside by the trio of #10 Doug Butler, #400 Justin Holmes, and #63 Jamie Cairns. The race's second caution would appear of lap 11, when the second place car of Gettliffe cut down a right front tire after possible contact with the 10 of Butler while battling for the runner up position in turn two. On the restart, Curry once again found the point, despite a strong challenge from provincial heavyweight Butler to the outside. After the third and final caution flew for debris on the backstretch, Curry again outmaneuvered Butler from the drop of the green, as promising upstart Holmes had a brief look to the inside of Butler, in an attempt to jockey away 2nd place. At this point in the race the best battle on track was the race for 5th, as #9 Charlie Smith would claim that position after a tough dice with the 63 of Cairns. Curry, was displaying incredible poise at the front of the field with laps in the 16.3 second range, hitting all his marks along the way, as a game Butler was again beginning to mount a challenge, trying one last ditch high side move between turns 3&4 approaching the flagstand. Curry, would fend off this final challenge, capturing his 2nd feature win of the season by a half of a car length over a very racy Butler at the finish. #400 Justin Holmes would capture his fourth top 5 result in the month of August in finishing 3rd, while #15 Will Davies, and Smith would comprise the remainder of the top 5.
Heat wins went to Butler with a pair, Curry, and #77 Mike Gettliffe.
PIT NOTES -------------------------- Despite the 2013 race calendar coming to a close a number of new faces continue to appear at the High Line as #1 Joe Thurston in Thunders and #28 JP Rosevear in Pure Stocks would make their first Barrie starts of the season. Thurston, despite some mechanical misfortune looked impressive in getting a feel for the track he once campaigned at before its reconfiguration at the beginning of the 2005 season, as the Thunder Car veteran prepares for a full time campaign in 2014. Meanwhile Rosevear was equally as impressive in his return to the speedway, coming in with a top 10 feature race finish, after the driver has been absent all season due to work commitments. #00 Darryl St. Onge of Barrie would make just his 3rd career start in a Late Model, and was also quite impressive, coming in the a top 10 finish in the first 30 lap feature, and had a solid run going until a late race spin in feature two.. Be sure to join us this coming Saturday Aug 31st, as all three divisions are back in action for ROCK 95/Kool FM Night.. Pit gates open at 2pm, with spectator gates commencing business at 5pm, and green flag slated to fly at 6:30pm sharp.. With just two points nights remaining for both the Thunder Cars and Pure Stocks.. THIS WILL PROVE TO BE ANOTHER CAN'T MISS EVENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!