By Randy Spencer (Flamboro Speedway PR) – A twenty four hour delay was well worth the wait for Andrew Gressel as he dominated the seventh leg of the APC United Late Model Series at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway Sunday afternoon. Heavy rain and a flooded infield and pit area made it too dangerous to run the race Saturday.
The afternoon got underway with Bennett GM Pole Qualifying for the APC Late Models. Andrew Gressel who leads the series in points and had won three of the first six races saved the best for last as was the last out to qualify and set a new APC track record at Flamboro with a fast second lap of 15.164. Brandon Watson held the record previously at 15.180. The top five were all very close, separated by .111 of a second. Jason Parker was second quick followed by Billy Schwartzenberg, Matt Pritiko and Steve Laking. After the top five “pill” draw the top five changed and when the green flag dropped on the race the top five were Billy Schwartzenberg, Andrew Gressel, Matt Pritiko, Jason Parker and Steve Laking.
Racing got underway shortly after three and we would run the six features then intermission before the main event. In Flamboro Stadium & Speedway Hall of Fame Pure Stock feature action, Ross Winters Jr. was on the pole alongside Eric Crow. An early caution on lap two as debris on the track brought the cars back to even. Winters led the first lap but on the restart Josh Shantz took the lead away. But Winters wouldn’t give up and a few laps later out of four he regained the lead. Winters would lead the rest of the way but not before lapped traffic and a hard charging veteran Andy Wheller making Winters work very hard for the win. As the checkers flew it was Winters Jr. followed by Wheller and Shantz. In the second feature it was equally as exciting if not more to the finish. Matt Young and Gillian Hils were on the pole and the two battled door to door for the first few laps. It was a tight battle but Hils eventually would lead and before you knew it, there was the veteran Andy Wheller once again. Starting tenth in this one, he was up to second, just four laps in. Wheller was pretty much glued to the bumper of the 82 Hils for many laps and the two started to break away from the rest of the pack. Winters Jr. wasn’t too far behind and he wouldn’t let the leaders get too far out front. As the leaders approached the half way mark, lapped traffic was becoming an issue for the top three contenders. They were nose to tail and with five laps to go, Wheller did everything he could to get by Hils. Heading down the back stretch, Wheller took the low road but a lapped car made it difficult to get past. As the three exited four with the checkers in sight, Wheller made one last try followed by Winters but Hils would hold them off to pick up the win.
In Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stock action, Blair Wickett was the early leader in feature one. David Gallinger and Mike Hooper got tangled with one another heading out of four and Hooper headed to the pits for repairs. A caution as some damage from the previous incident as Gallinger slowed to a stop. Russ Aicken was battling Wickett and was the new leader and as the checkered flag came down it was Aiken followed by Wickett and Wayde Thorne. In the second feature, Michael Kenny and Jake Gilbert were out front of the pack. Kenny would lead early and the cars started settling in. Kenny was leading the freight train of canine cars nose to tail for over ten laps. Aicken and Wickett were continuing their battle and race each other for every inch. Gilbert started to make his move just past half way and by lap 15 in one and two Gilbert made the pass and was the new leader. The next lap as the cars came out of two and were heading down the back stretch, Thorne got into Aicken and sent him spinning. The starter waved the black flag at Thorne and he took up position with Aicken at the back of the pack. Gilbert was the leader but Wickett made his move in turn two with two laps to go and took the lead from Gilbert. As the checkers flew it was Wickett followed by Gilbert and Miles Tyson.
The Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modifieds had eleven cars signed in on this night. Steve Trendell and Jason Keen still battling atop the point standings were both in fine form and ready for battle. In feature one, on the original start it appeared the pole sitters Amanda Stoner and Bob Gilbert had a synchronized spin and the caution was out. New front row saw Trendell and Darren Dryden lead the field to green for a second try. Trendell led and about half way through the 84 of Jeremy Barton went high out of two and turned slightly making contact with the 92 of Brian Atkinson. Atkinson was partially airborne as he climbed the left front tire of Barton and came to a rest sideways on the backstretch. On the restart, Trendell continued to lead but Jason Keen would get by Dryden down the back stretch and take over second. Trendell and Keen would battle close the rest of the way with Trendell taking the win. In feature two, Trendell had some issues and Keen would dominate this one and would take the checkers in this one.
After a brief intermission, the APC United Late Models hit the track for in car introductions. Andrew Gresel got a jump on inside pole sitter Billy Schwartzenberg to lead the opening lap. The cars jockeyed for position early and the race was clean until a spin by Paighton Jacobs in turn two on lap 18. The cars ran like a freight train for a longer period and it wasn’t until lap 67 that the caution flew again for two separate issues. Paighton Jacobs came to a stop near the exit in turn two and the 17 of Josh Stade spun on his own and went backwards into the turn one wall. On the lap 67 restart the caution came out once again as Dan McHattie spun through four and ended up just off the track. Through several restarts, Gressel continued to retake the lead each time. By this point Dale Shaw and Steve Laking were on Gressel’s tail and battling tooth and nail for every inch of real estate. Over the next six or seven laps, several cautions would bring the field to even with Gressel taking the lead back each time. On lap 82, Shawn Chenoweth and Steve Laking made contact sending Laking around. Chenoweth was shown the black flag and was sent to the rear for causing the spin. On this restart, Shaw got the jump this time and took over the race lead from Gresel but a crash on the back straightaway when Rick Burbridge and Shawn McGlynn saved Gressel and he got the lead back. Burbridge left for change a flat and McGlynn went to the infield and slowly exited the car to be checked by EMS. On the final restart, Dale Shaw made a great moved on Schwartzenberg to take second and soon found Gressel’s back bumper. The two broke away from the pack and Shaw did what he could to catch the points leader. Cole Timm took over third from Schwartzenberg. As the checkers flew, Gressel made it four wins in seven races and end up in Royal Purple victory lane. Dale Shaw was second, Cole Timm third, Schwartzenburg 4th and Jason Parker was fifth.
Notes: Nice to see young Cole Timm make his way north to race in the series. He mentioned in victory lane that racing these guys race a little rougher up here than back home in North Carolina. Shawn McGlynn took a hard hit and x-rays showed a broken bone in his left arm. His racing season is finished. The Meineke team is looking at putting another driver in the car for the next race at Sunset Speedway on August 27th. In Mini Stocks, Taylor Thring is coming on and had her best career finish with an eighth. Stephney Dean Kopecny was back in a Mini Stock, her first time on the track since the first of the season when a crash caused some injuries that put her out of action most of the summer. Wayde Thorne continues to drive for Shawn Taylor in the 76. Great run by Michael Kenny in the second Mini Stock feature. After lots of bad luck to start the year, nice to see him have some good luck. Morgan Robson Jr. made the trip down from Sunset for his first ever race at Flamboro. By all accounts he had a great time and was happy with the results. A full time wheel chair user, he says on his facebook page, “Because you have a disability, doesn’t mean you can’t follow your dreams.” Nice to see so many Mini and Pure Stocks from other tracks make it to the action at Flamboro. Being a Sunday it made it easy for so many to make the trip. Rain forced cancellation at many other tracks Friday and Saturday. IMPORTANT NOTE: The Enduro and Figure 8 race scheduled for August 28th has been cancelled.
GOLD RUSH update: There are teams out there that are concerned that they will not have enough fuel to run 100 laps! We don’t want to see teams not come because of this concern so if a caution comes out between lap 20 to 40, teams will be allowed to come into the pits and top up on fuel without losing your position on the track. If no caution comes out, we will make a caution before lap 40. Having the caution early will insure nobody can play the weight game. There will be a section in the pits to fuel with a tech person over seeing it. No other changes can be made to your car at this time and if you do you will go to the back of the field.
That brought to a close another exciting night of racing action at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway. A busy August continues with a doubleheader this weekend. First up Saturday, August 20th, it’s FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT and back by popular demand, KING OF THE HILL. Help us honor our first responders as all Police, Fire and EMS will be admitted free with proper I.D. on the main grandstand side. The Grisdale Late Models return along with the Ray’s Towing & Auto Centre Thunder Cars, the Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks and the Pro Four Modifieds. And at intermission, it’s race what you drove as the ever popular King or Queen of the Hill makes its final 2016 appearance. The winner gets a trophy, $100 and bragging rights. This event is always very exciting. Pit gates open at 4pm, main grandstand at 5pm and racing starts at 7pm.
Then on Monday, August 22nd the GOLD RUSH arrives at Flamboro Speedway once again. The past two events were for the Pro Late Models, this time the Outlaw Super Late Models are the lucky recipients. Super Late Models from all over Ontario will be on hand and rumor has it that many from bordering U.S. tracks are looking at making the trip here to take home the cash. The race will be 100 laps with $5,000 to the winner and an extra $5,000 is up for grabs if the top qualifier surrenders the position to start at the back and if they come to the front and win, the get $10,000. It almost happened in one of the Pro Late Model Gold Rush events so it is possible. With just 20 cars taking the green, this should be exciting!! Sixteen cars will qualify through time trials and the remaining four will be determined by a twenty lap B feature. The Pure Stocks will run and Invitational Mini Gold Rush. The field of 24 will be set trough time trials for the 25 lap main event. The winner will get $300 and as in the Super Late Model race, if the top qualifier surrenders his or her spot and comes through the field and wins, they get an extra $300 for a total of $600. Monday, Pits open at 3pm, Main grandstand at 5pm, Pure Stock Time Trials at 630pm, Outlaw Super Late Model Time Trials at 7pm and the main events start at 8pm.
You can find all the details at www.flamborospeedway.ca
Photos by Derek Smith of www.racepulse.com
Videos by Ingrid Hartman.
Pure Stocks Feature #1: #50 Ross Winters Jr., #90 Andy Wheller, #18 Josh Shantz, #10 Lofton Scuts, #16 Mark Thorne, #38 Rodney Rutheford, #69 Roger Lessard (-1J), #83 Eric Crow, #61 Paul Ditner, #73 Jordan Morris, #79 Caroline Kelly, #90x David Rockwood, #82 Gillian Hils, #7 Matt Young, #9 Cortney Scott, #42 Leo Labarbera, #57 Keith Parkes, #48 Steve Deleeuw, #66 Jeff Miller (NF), #55 Curtis Shildrick (NF), #26 Ashton Reekie (NF), #0 Lori Lowes (NF), #11 Clay Collison (NS)
Pure Stock Feature #2: #82 Gillian Hils, #90 Andy Wheller, #50 Ross Winters Jr., #16 Mark Thorne, #10 Lofton Schuts, #18 Josh Shantz, #66 Jeff Miller, #7 Matt Young, #73 Jordan Morris, #69 Roger Lessard, #79 Caroline Kelly, #83 Eric Crow, #42 Leo Labarbera, #57 Keith Parkes, #9 Courtney Scott, #0 Lori Lowes, #90x David Rockwood, #55 Curtis Shildrick, #61 Paul Ditner, #48 Steve Deleeuw, #38 Rodney Rutherford (NF), #26 Ashton Reekie (NS), #11 Clay Collison (NS)
Mini Stock Feature #1: #71 Russ Aicken, #97 Blair Wickett, #76 Wayde Thorne, #61 Chad Ditner, #49 Miles Tyson, #03 Jake Gilbert, #07 Michael Kenny, #88 Jake Watson, #6 Kyle Jackson, #84 David Gallinger, #05 Dave Goodacre, #55 Taylor Thring, #28 Morgan Robson, #5 Stepheny Dean, #77 Mike Hooper, #42 Rick Robinson, #33 Mike Gilmour (NS)
Mini Stock Feature #2: #97 Blair Wickett, #03 Jake Gilbert, #49 Miles Tyson, #07 Michael Kenny, #6 Kyle Jackson, #61 Chad Ditner, #88 Jake Watson, #55 Taylor Thring, #71 Russ Aicken, #42 Rick Robinson, #28 Morgan Robson, #77 Mike Hooper, #05 Dave Goodacre, #5 Stepheny Dean, #76 Wayde Thorne (NF), #84 David Gallinger (NS), #33 Mike Gilmour (NS)
Canadian Vintage Modified Feature #1: #57 Steve Trendell, #18 Jason Keen, #12 Darren Dryden, #15 T.J. Marshall, #25 Bill Stoner, #80 Amanda Stoner, #19 John Karley, #84 Jeremy Barton (NF), #92 Brian Atkinson (NF), #03 Bob Gilbert (NF), #33 Ian Burney (DQ)
Canadian Vintage Modified Feature #2: #18 Jason Keen, #15 T.J. Marshall, #12 Darren Dryden, #57 Steve Trendell, #80 Amanda Stoner, #25 Bill Stoner, #19 John Karley, #84 Jeremy Barton, #33 Ian Burney, #92 Brian Atkinson (NS), #03 Bob Gilbert (NS)
APC London Recreational 100 Late Model Time Trials: #81 Andrew Gressell (15.164-new APC record time), #8 Jason Parker (15.221), #86 Billy Schwartzenberg (15.251), #21 Matt Pritiko (15.266), #44 Steve Laking (15.275), #22 Jamie Cox (15.305), #83 Dale Shaw (15.306), #17 Josh Stade (15.320), #2 Rick Burbridge (15.322), #89 Shawn Chenoweth (15.322), #44T Cole Timm (15.349), #71 Dan McHattie (15.471), #23 Shawn McGlynn (15.485), #3 Shae Gemmell (15.522), #96 Marc Jacobs (15.548), #10 Tom Gibbons (15.559), #27 Mat Box (15.559), #61 Brent Wheller (16.033), #5 Paighton Jacobs (16.319)
APC London Recreational 100 Late Model Feature: #81 Andrew Gressell, #83 Dale Shaw, #44T Cole Timm, #86 Billy Schwartzenburg, #8 Jason Parker, #89 Shawn Chenoweth, #22 Jamie Cox, #21 Matt Pritiko, #10 Tom Gibbons, #27 Mat Box, #71 DanMcHattie, #2 Rick Burbridge, #61 Brent Wheller, #5 Paighton Jacobs, #3 Shae Gemmell, #44 Steve Laking, #23 Shawn McGlynn, #96 Marc Jacobs, #17 Josh Stade