By Dave Vokey - Beautiful weather provided the backdrop for ideal race conditions at Barrie Speedway on June 15, as it was the only Barrie appearance of 2013 for the Oscaar Super Late Models and Oscaar Modifieds on Bracebridge Taxi Night. The big winner on the evening was a local favorite, as #9 Brandon Watson of Stayner piloted his Shear Metal Products/Barrie Frame and Alignment Chevy Outlaw to victory lane in the 50 lap Super Late Model main in front of the large gathering in attendance. The feature win for Watson was his first at the High Line since the 2009 season, when the talented wheelman was a part time competitor in the Limited Late Model division. Watson, who cut his oval track racing teeth at the track in 2005 as part of the Pure Stocks ranks, was chased to the line every step of the way by a hard charging #7 Derrick Tiemersma of Newmarket and rookie standout #81 Andrew Gresel of Hepworth as those three paraded to the checkered in nose to tail fashion.
The race would begin with Watson and Tiemersma battling door handle to door handle from the front row, as Tiemersma had several looks to the inside of his fellow competitor racing out of turn two, but was unable to find the necessary traction to make a potential pass stick. Further in back of that duel #17 Kevin Cornelius of Shelburne was making a charge towards the front, as he would check into 3rd in the early going, finding the inside line in front of #42 Tyler Hawn of Oro Station. Watson, would eventually open up a single car length lead over Tiemersma with laps in a blistering 13.4 seconds covering the one third mile tri oval, as Gresel and #45 Rob Poole of Cookstown began to crank up the heat on Hawn for 4th in the running order just past the 10 lap mark. During this time, the best battle on track was the race for 8th, as longtime series veteran #2 John Owen of Peterborough and current Barrie Limited Late Model competitor #83 Ian Bourque of Newmarket went to war for that position, in a battle eventually won by Owen.
The lead duo of Watson and Tiemersma was setting a torrid pace at the front of the field, opening up 5 car lengths on the 3rd place car of Cornelius, with perhaps the biggest shock being defending race winner #10 Jesse Kennedy of Oneida First Nation and former 4 time series champion #49 Rob "Magic Shoes" Clarke of London going a lap down before the race reached the 20 lap mark. The race's only caution flew on lap 24, as Clarke went around on the nose of #63 Henry Hagen of Innisfil, as #97 Brandon Vanderwal simultaneously spun in turn 1, with Bourque also spinning to avoid the prone Vanderwal ride. Bourque, would rightfully retain his place in the running order, setting the stage for another epic Watson/Tiemersma battle from the front row. Watson, would power out to the point once again when Tiemersma got partially crossways out of turn 2, with Cornelius still slotted in 3rd despite increasing pressure from the 81 of Gresel. On lap 27, Gresel would finally dive to the inside of Cornelius entering turn 3, to relieve him of third in the running order, as former 2 time Barrie Late Model champ #22 Glenn Watson was also now inside the top 5 after starting 8th in the 19 car field. Watson, would quickly find Cornelius back bumper, executing a clean inside pass between turns 1&2 to take over 4th place positioning.
With 15 laps remaining, Tiemersma would close in on Watson for the race lead once again, but didn't really look to be pressing the issue, perhaps with the thought of not wanting to slip up and lose runner up positioning to the impressive Gresel, who was right there on his back bumper running third. Once again the best battle was forming just outside of the top 5 as the 2 of Owen would pass Poole for 7th on the outer groove, leading the way for an alert Bourque to follow into 8th, again along the top side of Poole's #45 Outlaw. Over the duration the pace would slow at the front of the field, as Watson was now completing laps in the 14.1 second range, as the former Jegs CRA Tour competitor would parade to the checkered by a narrow margin over Tiemersma at the finish. #81 Andrew Gresel would turn in a solid 3rd in only his 2nd start in the series, and first in his brilliantly prepared new Hamke chassis, while Glenn Watson, and Cornelius would round out the fast five.
Heat wins went to Gresel with a pair, Tiemersma, Glenn Watson, #49 Rob Clarke, and Cornelius. The win for Cornelius would be his first career checkered flag in the Oscaar ranks coming in just his 2nd start in the series.
As mentioned earlier, also on hand were the unique Oscaar Modified division as the win would go to #7 Brent McLean in his Bowmanville Home Hardware/Dave Franks Photos Troyer Chassis. McLean, was chased to the line every inch of the way by cousin and defending Barrie race winner #8 Gary McLean of Conn who finished a strong second. #1b Brad Pearsall of Innisfil would turn in an impressive drive in coming to the checkered in third in his Plaza Kia/Ponderosa Nature Resort Kia Optima, while former Delaware Speedway regular #39m David McCollough turned in a solid run coming home in 4th, with former Hurricane Midget stalwart #2 Matt Barton rounding out the top 5.
Heat wins went to Brent McLean and Gary McLean with a pair each.
Pit Notes --------------------- Former Barrie Limited Late Model pilot #42 Tyler Hawn would have his best career Super Late Model result, finishing a solid 6th place in the 50 lapper. Hawn, ironically enough also captured the first Late Model feature win at the track, after it was converted to its current 1/3rd mile tri oval configuration from a 1/4 mile oval bullring at the beginning of the 2005 season. Be sure to join us this coming Saturday June 22nd as all three home track divisions are back in action on Fox's Buns Master & Deli Night. Current Wahta Springs Late Model point leader #10 Gord Shepherd holds a 20 point lead on the strength of 4 feature wins over 2011 track champ #57 Ron "The Dominator" Quesnelle, who went to victory lane on the opening race of the season, while sophomore sensation #14 "Hurricane" Thayne Hallyburton sits just 37 points in back of Shepherd, having gone to victory lane twice in 2013.. The closest point race is in the Canestoga Sprayers & Asphalt Repair Thunder Cars as 2009 track champ #00 Darryl St. Onge sits a scant two points ahead of #44 Dave "The Deuce" Doucette, who went to victory lane for the first time on June 8, while #39 Travis "The Enforcer" Hallyburton sits just 5 points further in back of Doucette. In the Pure Stock ranks speedway newcomer #10 Doug Butler of New Lowell holds a 9 point advantage over defending champion #9 Charlie Smith, while #77 Mike Gettliffe sits just 15 points behind point leader Butler. Of the trio, only Smith holds multiple feature wins in 2013, having visited the winners circle twice thus far, while Butler and Gettliffe each have one feature victory to their credit. Pit gate opens at 2pm, with spectator gates open at 5pm, and green flag slated to drop at 6:30pm sharp.. THIS WILL PROVE TO BE YET ANOTHER CAN'T MISS EVENT!!