Oro Station, Ont. – Brandon Watson (No. 9 Shear Metal Products/ Knightworks Design/Barrie Frame & Alignment/Ken MacKinnon Construction Chevrolet Camaro) led all 50 laps at Barrie Speedway on Saturday June 15 to win his second consecutive OSCAAR feature to open the 2013 season.
The early success for the 20-year old driver from Stayner, Ont. is an excellent start to a championship title defense.
“I think the biggest thing is keeping it consistent,” explains Watson. “We always have a good car. The crew does an excellent job throughout the week getting the car ready. The sponsors give me a lot of help as well. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. A great job by the crew gets me to the finish line.”
After finishing both of his Klotz qualifying heat races in the second spot, Watson qualified among the top-five of the 20 drivers in attendance to enter the redraw procedure prior to the 50-lap feature.
For the second consecutive race, Watson would draw the pole starting position and would lead the field to green.
Watson wasted little time once the green flag dropped, grabbing the early lead despite an early battle from Derrick Tiemersma (No. 7).
With Tiemersma glued to his back bumper for most of the race, Watson never relinquished the lead, fending off the 2007 OSCAAR champion on multiple occasions.
The only caution of the night came at the halfway point, lap 25, when Rob Clarke (No. 49) and Brandon Vanderwel (No. 97) spun in unrelated incidents at opposite ends of the race track. The caution would tighten the field after Watson and Tiemersma had broken away from the rest of the competitors.
Tiemersma stayed with Watson on the restart and Andrew Gresel (No. 81) joined the duo at the front in the closing laps.
“It’s difficult (racing against Tiemersma). Derrick definitely gave me a good run for the money,” said Watson. “He ran me clean. It did get pretty exciting there a few times.”
Watson and Tiemersma maneuvered around a number of lapped cars at the end of the race which gave the number seven pilot a handful of chances to get around Watson, but the opportunities never materialized.
“Lapped cars played a big factor tonight, I think,” said Watson. “It’s definitely getting tough. Derrick’s had a good car and run me clean the last couple of weeks. It feels good.”
Watson used his track position to hold down the preferred bottom line for the rest of the night, leading all 50 laps for his fifth consecutive OSCAAR victory, dating back to September 23, 2012 at Sunset Speedway.
Watson has lead all of the 101 laps run on the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour this season.
The defending champ said he felt his longstanding history with Barrie Speedway helped him in his return to Barrie this season.
“It definitely does help,” said Watson. “This is my home track, this is where I started. I had quite a few years here racing in the four-cylinder. It helps having some experience on this track; there were definitely drivers that had more. It worked to my advantage tonight and we came out with the win.”
Watson will have two weeks off before the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour returns to action on June 29 and June 30 at Sunset Speedway for the 15th annual Don Biederman Memorial. Watson is the defending champion of the event, which will see a new format this year.
The Memorial race has traditionally been a 75-lap feature event and the longest race of the year. This season, the event will span two days and will showcase two separate 50-lap features.
“It would definitely be a big accomplishment (to win again) after we won at Kawartha last year. We had a great car there,” explained Watson. “Sunset has been working well for us the past couple of years. We’ll have to keep trying and get some more wins at Sunset.”
Watson thanked everyone involved with the No. 9 team for their part in getting the team to victory lane.
“The sponsors, my crew, and everyone else who helps out,” said Watson. “Our sponsors are Shear Metal Products, Barrie Frame & Alignment, Knightworks Design, Ken Mackinnon Construction, and Klotz Synthetics.”
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)