By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia) - Oro Station, ON – Brandon Watson (No. 9 Shear Metal Products Chevrolet) took advantage of his pole starting position, leading all 50 laps at Barrie Speedway Saturday night for his second OSCAAR Super Late Model tour victory of the season.
“This is my hometrack, this is where I started,” said Watson. “The experience on the track definitely paid off for me tonight.”
Watson bounced back from early trouble as the Stayner, Ont. driver nearly missed his first Klotz Qualifying heat race of the night with a loose battery cable. The 20-year-old, however, would have two solid finishes before drawing the pole for the 50-lap feature.
Wasting little time, Watson grabbed the lead on lap two after a hard-fought side-by-side battle with Derrick Tiemersa (No. 7 Wayfreight Chevrolet). The two drivers would run nose to tail for the entire 50-lap event.
“It’s definitely tough out there,” explained Watson. “Derrick gave me a run, but he ran me clean. Lapped cars played a big factor tonight. Derrick always has a good car, but he’s run very clean against me the last couple of weeks.”
It looked as though Tiemersma would have the chance to duck beneath Watson several times in the early stages of the race, but the defending champion fended off the veteran.
The only yellow flag of the night came at lap 25 after Watson and Tiemersma had broken away from the rest of the field. Rob Clarke (No. 49 London Mechanical Chevrolet) spun off turn four on to the front stretch grass while Brandon Vanderwel (No. 97 Shoreline Stone Chevrolet) spun simultaneously in turn two. No other drivers were involved in the incident.
The restart gave ample opportunity to rookie Kevin Cornelius (No. 17 Halton Crushed Stone Pontiac), who had been running third, to rejoin the top pair. Tyler Hawn (No. 42 Belford Haulage Chevrolet) restarted fourth with another rookie in Andrew Gresel (No. 81 Sauble Falls Trailer Park Ford) holding down the fifth spot.
Watson did falter on the restart, jumping back out front after another battle with Tiemersma.
Hawn got the worst of the restart as he was pinned to the outside line and forced back to the sixth spot. Gresel took full advantage of his inside track position to take the fourth spot and only laps later stole the third spot from Cornelius.
The top trio of Watson, Tiemersma, and Gresel would pace the field over the final 20 laps, running nose-to-tail for the remainder of the race. Gresel looked to make the hardest charge in the closing laps, but a loose car on corner exit held the No. 81 to the third spot.
Tiemersa threw everything he had at Watson in the closing laps, but wasn’t able to squeeze by.
“We had a good car. I think I was a bit faster than Brandon,” said Tiemersma,” but I would have had to rough him up a bit to beat him and I don’t drive like that.”
“It was a good race. I was on his bumper and it gave him an honest win. All of the changes we’ve made to the car are working so we’re happy coming out of Barrie with a straight racecar.”
Gresel’s podium finish marks the first of his young OSCAAR career.
“It’s a great feeling to finish in the top-five with a brand-new racecar,” said Gresel. “Barrie Speedway’s tough to get around. We learned a lot today. We just need to spend some more time here and I know we can make it a lot better.”
Glenn Watson (No. 22) had perhaps the most impressive run on the night. The Barrie, Ont. pilot was involved in an incident in his first heat of the night that caused heavy cosmetic damage to the front of the car.
Glenn returned for his second heat before starting eighth in the A-main event. Battling all night from his eighth starting position, Glenn moved his way to the fourth spot, but the top trio would ultimately prove to be too strong.
Cornelius earned his first top-five finish of the year after falling just short on opening night. The fifth-place finish is marks the Shelburne, Ont. driver’s second top-ten finish to start his OSCAAR rookie year.
The race was not short on excitement as the 20-car field raced clean and smooth for the entire 50 laps.
The OSCAAR Super Late Model tour returns to action on Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30 at Sunset Speedway for the two-day Don Biederman Memorial. The weekend event feature back-to-back 50-lap features for the OSCAAR Super Late Models, who will be joined by the OSCAAR Modifieds as well.
Results - Barrie Speedway 50-lap Feature (Starting Position in Parentheses).
1. 9 Brandon Watson (1); 2. 7 Derrick Tiemersa (2); 3. 81 Andrew Gresel (5); 4. 22 Glenn Watson (8); 5. 17 Kevin Cornelius (4); 6. 42 Tyler Hawn (4); 7. 2 John Owen (10); 8. 83 Ian Bourque (9); 9. 45 Rob Poole (7); 10. 40P Charlie Gallant (13); 11. 05 Brad Corcoran (12); 12. 8 Sean Cronan (14); 13. 13 Gary Passer (6); 14. 10 Jesse Kennedy (17); 15. 49 Rob Clarke (20); 16. 97 Brandon Vanderwel (16); 17. 63 Henry Hagen (15); 18. 67 Rob Reimer (18); 19. 23 Paul Milligan (11); 20. 98 Mike Hilliard (DNS).
Qualifying Heat winners: 49 Rob Clarke; 7 Derrick Tiemersma; 22 Glenn Watson; 17 Kevin Cornelius; 81 Andrew Gresel (2).
The OSCAAR Super Late Model tour is presented by a number of dedicated sponsors throughout Ontario, including: Knightworks Design, Hoosier Racing Tire, Klotz Synthetics Canada, Race2way.ca, Dave Franks Photos, Dickson Printing, Finishline Fabrication, McColl Racing Enterprises, McGunegill Engine Performance, Stefko Racing Engines, VP Racing Fuels, OntarioOval.com, RaceTime Radio, Inside Track Motorsport News, Jenco Equipment, Midas of Orangeville, Reinhart Trailer Sales, North Toronto Auctions, and South Shore Services.