Between confusion over whether drivers should go to the tail of the field to laps completed, it wasn’t the best night for the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series at Sauble Speedway this past weekend.
Right off the get go, problems erupted as Adam Martin was unable to start the event due to a mechanical issue, forcing him to pull off during pace laps.
Once the green flag flew, it was season opener winner Mike Hrynuik taking the top spot ahead of Josh Wood, Chad McGlynn, Alvin McNicol and Brandt Graham as Donny Beatty ran side-by-side with Doug Cathcart for sixth. Beatty got the spot on Lap 2, bringing Kevin Allen through with him. Cathcart now ran eighth, followed by Bobby Tolton. Race 2 winner Kevin Gallant began his climb, passing Tolton for ninth at Lap 4. Tolton now ran 10th ahead of Bob Merrifield, Scott Laporte and Mike Nelson.
The first caution flew in the early laps after Graham went for a spin courtesy of Beatty. Graham would be sent to the rear for the restart with Beatty allowed to keep his position.
The restart saw some contact as McGlynn tagged the back of Hrynuik, but Hrynuik was able to keep it straight and keep going as the leader. Beatty worked his way up to third ahead of Wood, McNicol and Cathcart as Merrifield and Allen battled for seventh. Merrifled go the spot ahead of Allen, Gallant, Graham, Tolton, Laporte and Nelson.
Beatty continued his climb, getting by McGlynn for second after using the lap car of Tolton as a pick. Meanwhile, Cathcart was able to get by McNicol to move up to fourth, while Merrifeld fell back to ninth after being passed by Allen and Graham. Graham then got by Allen to move back up to the seventh spot.
It looked as though Beatty was set to track down the leader, when he ran into a mechanical issue, which forced him off the track. While Beatty pulled off, Hrynuik continued to stretch his lead, almost a full straightaway ahead of McGlynn. Josh Wood ran third till he was passed by Graham for the spot. Behind them, Cathcart ran fifth ahead of McNicol, Allen, Merrifeld, Gallant, Tolton, Laporte and Nelson.
Hrynuik continued to extend his lead, finding himself knee deep in lap traffic. Unfortunately, the lap cars weren’t as co-operative as the leader would’ve hoped. There was contact made on a couple occasions between Hrynuik and McNicol, eventually ripping the back bumper off of Hrynuik’s car partially and leaving debris scattered down the frontstretch. The race officials were left with no choice but to fly the yellow flag to clean up the mess.
Once the yellow came out, Merrifeld tried to help Hrynuik rip the bumper right off, but was unable to do so. With the back bumper dragging, Hrynuik was sent off the track to get it ripped off, giving up the lead to McGlynn. With supposedly 25 laps to go, McGlynn led Graham, Wood, Catchcart, McNicol and Hrynuik for lead lap cars. Allen was the first car one lap down in seventh, followed by Gallant, Merrifeld, Laporte and Nelson.
The restart did not go cleanly as contact happened between Hrynuik and McNicol, resulting in both drivers getting into the outside wall, collecting Merrifeld with them. Hrynuik was done for the event.
The second restart went off more cleanly as McGlynn grabbing the advantage, leading Graham and Wood to battle for second. There would be contact, ultimately sending Wood around for the spin. Wood would be sent to the back of the lead lap cars for the restart while Graham was originally given the black flag to be sent to the back, but ended up restarting in the second spot.
The restart saw a close battle for the lead between McGlynn and Graham, with Graham getting the lead. The white flag flew two laps later, though was followed ultimately by the caution flag. There was no incident on track, but rather an error in lap count between the track flagman and LOSC series director.
The restart didn’t go as planned for Wood as he ultimately suffered a second spin.
Brandt Graham went on to pick up the win ahead of Chad McGlynn and Doug Cathcart.
Noably, those results are unofficial as the series is currently reviewing the sequence of events to determine the fairest way to score the race, and whether Graham gets the win or McGlynn.