It may not have been pretty, and there may have been more than enough drama on the night. However in the end, it was Jr Farrelly picking up the victory in the Saugeen Shores Transmission Late Model Invitational at Sauble Speedway.
Following time trials and the invert, Dwayne Baker started pole ahead of Josh Stade, Nick Goetz, Brandon Watson, Marvin Freiburger, Tim Ellis, Rick Walt, Todd Delisle, Jr Farrelly, Tim Schreinhart, the 18, Tom Gibbons, the 77, Jason Legge, Tommy Robb, Shawn Stones, the 8, Kevin Bridge and Mike Westwood.
The green flag saw Josh Stade put the No. 17 MEI Paving, APC Auto Parts, Nicol Insurance, Butchart Automotive, Barclay Wholesale and Upper CanadaTitle Late Model out front as Baker and Watson battled for second. The caution then flew, though, as contact took place between Schreinhart and Walt, resulting in Schreinhart going around with the 18, Farrelly and Stones in turns one and two. Under caution, Westwood pulled off the track.
The restart saw Baker put the No. 48 Zancor Custom Homes, G.D. Coates Used Car Superstore, McGunegill Engine Performance, Four Valley’s Excavating, Clearview Heating & Cooling, Baker Performance Parts and Nisco National Leasing Late Model out front as Stade and Ellis battled for second. Ellis took the spot on Lap 4, with Watson getting alongside Stade for third. Behind them, Freiburger ran fifth ahead of Goetz and Gibbons, with Gibbons getting alongside Goetz at Lap 6.
Watson was able to make his move, clearing Stade to take over the third spot on Lap 7. Stade now ran fourth ahead of Freiburger with Gibbons moving into sixth ahead of Goetz. Walt ran seventh ahead of Delisle and Schreinhart as Bridge and Legge ran side-by-side for 10th. Bridge got the spot on Lap 11, bringing the 8 and the 18 through with him. The 18 then got alongside the 8 at Lap 12, completing the pass a lap later for 11th.
Further up the field, Gibbons looked to continue making ground, getting alongside Freiburger for fifth at Lap 15. Baker continued to lead with Watson now moving into second at Lap 17 ahead of Ellis, Stade and Gibbons. Freiburger ran sixth ahead of Goetz, Walt, Farrelly and Delisle. Schreinhart had made his way up to 11th, followed by Bridge, the 18, the 8 and Robb.
The second caution then flew on Lap 26 as the 18 spun Bridge in turn one.
The restart saw a battle for the lead between Baker and Watson, with Baker resuming his role in the top spot on Lap 28. Ellis continued to run third ahead of Gibbons and Stade. Freiburger resumed his role in line in sixth ahead of Walt, Goetz and Farrelly. Gibbons then tracked down Ellis, tagging the back end of him at Lap 31. Ellis was able to keep it straight, while keeping the third spot ahead of Gibbons.
Meanwhile, it’d be Schreinhart in 10th ahead of Delisle, Legge, the 8, Bridge, Stones and Robb. Goetz made his move, getting alongside Walt for seventh at Lap 37, while the 8 got alongside Legge for 12th at Lap 40 .Goetz took the seventh spot at Lap 43, bringing Farrelly through with him. Walt now ran ninth ahead of Schreinhart, Delisle as Legge and the 8 continued to run side-by-side.
Further up the field, there’d be more contact taking place as Gibbons once again tagged Ellis on Lap 45. This time, he was able to sneak by to take the third spot ahead of Ellis and Stade. Freiburger continued to run sixth ahead of Goetz and Farrelly.
As the race reached 27 laps to go, Baker continued to lead over Watson, Gibbons, Ellis and Stade, Freiburger was sixth ahead of Goetz, Farrelly, Walt and Schreinhart. Delisle held down the 11th spot as the 8 and Legge continued to battle for 12th ahead of Bridge and Stones. The 8 was able to clear Legge at Lap 55, taking the spot while Stone pulled off the track a lap later.
At the front of the field, Watson was able to track down Baker for the lead, riding his back bumper. He’d make his move going into turn one on Lap 57, unfortunately getting in there too hard as they’d make contact, resulting in both drivers going around. With both drivers sent to the back of the field, Tom Gibbons inherited the lead behind the wheel of the No. 10 Late Model.
The first restart didn’t work out as Goetz intended, as he’d get spun by Delisle in turn two, collecting Baker, Watson and Robb in the process. Notably, the whole ordeal started when Freiburger didn’t get going and the field bunched up.
Under caution, Gibbons stopped in turn one with a mechanical problem, requiring a push off the track. With Gibbons’ problem, it’d be Tim Ellis inheriting the lead behind the wheel of the No. 2 Boehmers, WindowTintPros.com Late Model.
The restart saw Ellis lead ahead of Stade as Freiburger and Farrelly battled for third ahead of Walt, Baker and Goetz. Stade then tagged the back of Ellis a lap later, getting alongside him for the lead.
With 14 laps to go, the flagman flew the white flag for the leaders as they came across the stripe. Coming around turns one and two, contact was made between the pair, resulting in Stade climbing the backstretch wall. Stade rode the entire length of the wall, as well as turns three and four before coming to a stop. He was uninjured in the crash.
With the top two drivers crashing together, the decision was up to race officials whether Freiburger or Farrelly was in third at the start-finish line prior to the crash. Notably, the decision would decide the race as the race wasn’t set to be restarted due to damage to the backstretch fence. Officials originally handed the win to Freiburger, however the decision was later changed to Farrelly later on that night.
So Jr Farrelly gets the victory ahead of Marvin Freiburger, Rick Walt, Dwayne Baker, Brandon Watson, Nick Goetz, Todd Delisle, the 8, Jason Legge, Kevin Bridge, Tommy Robb and Tim Ellis.