You’ve heard of Miller Time, right? Well, when it came to the month of June at Sunset Speedway, it was Witty time any time we had the Limited Late Models on track. The LLMs ran three features at Sunset Speedway in June – two 30-lap points events, plus a 75-lap invitational. Each of those races saw Jason ‘Bam Bam’ Witty pick up the win.
It was nice to see the driver of the No. 19 Queensville Sod Farms, Matco Tools, Speedy Auto Machine and Carrot Express Chevrolet pick up the wins after a disastrous start to the season.
After purchasing a new chassis over the off-season, Witty would find himself in the middle of a wreck on opening night in the first heat, damaging the front of his Late Model. The following week, he would pull off a top five finish – finishing third. However, the bad luck would return the following week as he would involved in a wreck on the first lap of the feature. Then, to top off the month of May, he had an engine failure at the start of the month.
To say that the Witty Racing team was looking for a change in the wave for June, that’s an understatement. That change is what they found.
The first feature on June 8th saw Witty take the early lead after starting up front and keep in front of Billy Zardo in a late race battle for the win. Zardo would finish second, followed by Taylor Holdaway, Chris Morrow and Dwayne Baker.
Heat wins would go to Baker, Witty, Holdaway and Mike Bentley.
The following week, Witty once again grabbed the lead early in the race and won a half a lap ahead of Bentley. Bentley finished second, followed by Walters, Holdaway and Morrow.
Heat wins would go to Sean Grosman, Andy Kamrath, Holdaway and Bentley.
The invitational win came together through more excitement than a fan could normally expect to see – or should we say becoming expected with the action during the past couple of years.
Walters would take the lead in the first half of the race and pull away, stretching his lead to a straightaway ahead of Bentley before a late race caution on lap 60.
On the restart, Bentley and Walters would be side-by-side for the lead and remain that way till off of turn four on lap 59 as Walters would clear Bentley. Then in turns one and two, there was contact made between the two, resulting in Walters going for a spin to bring out the caution on lap 60. As a result, both Walters and Bentley were sent to the back of the “lead lap” cars for the restart with 15 laps to go. With both cars moved back in line, it’d be Baker taking the lead.
Baker would keep the lead while Walters began to make his way through the lead lap cars, moving into second with five laps to go. The caution would fly shortly after for Mike Brown and Frank Davey wrecking in the corner.
On the restart, Baker and Walters would battle side-by-side for the lead and off of turn four, Walters would pull ahead of Baker. They would come to the line when contact would be made between Walters and Baker, resulting in Walters hitting the front stretch wall. Also collected in the accident was Chris Morrow, who hit the front of Walters’ car.
As a result of the clean-up ahead and the fact rain was moving in, Sunset Speedway officials made the decision to call the race. So who would pick up the win? Officials went back a lap and took the running order, without the involved cars of Morrow, Baker and Walters. Who was in third coming to the restart? Witty.
With Witty picking up the three wins, he became the fifth driver to find Sunset Speedway LLM victory lane and the first repeat winner.
There is one piece to note of that wreck since – both Walters and Morrow made the repairs to their cars and were at Sauble this past weekend for the Sauble-Sunset Home-To-Home Series event.
Now with all that said, there’s no secret that we will see action over the next three months – the question is: how much action?
To add to this, Walters will head into the month of July with a two-point lead on Bentley. Can you see this championship coming down to the final feature, last lap?
Best Heat Average for the Month of June: Taylor Holdaway and Dwayne Baker - 2.25.
Two drivers would tie for the best heat average in June - ‘Hollywood’ Taylor Holdaway and ‘The Bully’ Dwayne Baker.
Now, this is including just the two points nights and not the invitational as they time trialed for the invitational. Bentley laid down the quickest time in time trials following Walters and Witty.
Holdaway, driver of the No. 41 Downing Roofing, ImageFactor.ca, OntarioOval.com and Holdaway Automotive Late Model would have finishes of fourth, first, third and first for the month of June.
Baker, driver of the No. 48 Centennial Chrysler and Baker Performance Parts Late Model, would have finishes of first, third, second and third for the month of June.
Neither driver has yet to find feature victory lane yet this year, however both have shown their strength on given nights. Baker has a pair of feature top fives while Holdaway has three feature top fives thus far this year.
‘The Frequent Flyer’ Sean Grosman had the third best average at a 3.25. The driver of the No. 29 SMG Motorsports, The Landing Strip, For Your Eyes Only and Rylex Late Model had finishes of fifth, fourth, first and third. Grosman is another driver who has yet to find victory lane in a feature this year, and actually had a rough month, finishing 14th and 21st in the pair of features.
‘Lights Out’ Mike Bentley had the fourth best average finish at a 3.5. The driver of the No. 51 Lattitude Effects Late Model had finishes of sixth, first, sixth and first for the month. Bentley won the second feature this year and finished second on June 15th, however suffered bad luck at the beginning of the month when he broke something in the rear-end, resulting in a 19th place finish.
The fifth best average goes to ‘Mr. Excitement’ Chris Morrow at a 3.75. The driver of the No. 11 Morrow Electric late model finished seventh, second, fourth and second in the heats. Morrow is another driver who has yet to find feature victory lane, though had a pair of top fives this month (fourth and fifth). Morrow didn’t escape the bad luck as he was caught up in the big wreck at the invitational, causing heavy front end damage to his Late Model (as previously noted)
Best Feature Average of the Month of June: Jason Witty – 1
Two feature wins…..easy to see why Jason Witty had the best average finish of the month, right?
Second best average went to Holdaway with a 3.5 after he finished third and fourth in both feature this past month. Holdaway’s team looks to have his Late Model handling right so look for him to possibly become the sixth different winner this year.
Third best average was a tie at 4.5 between Morrow and ‘Stompin’ Tom Walters. Morrow had finishes of fourth and fifth, while Walters, driver of the No. 47 McColl Racing Late Model, had a sixth and a fourth.
Baker had the fifth best average at 6 after finishing fifth and seventh this past month.
So let’s see…drama and a stacked field of drives can only mean one thing – I better see you at Sunset Speedway in July!