Andrew Gressel Has Five Thousand Reasons To Smile At Gold Rush

Photo Credit: Ashley McCubbin
By Randy Spencer (Flamboro Speedway PR) – The long awaited and highly anticipated Gold Rush was well worth the wait as eighteen of the best Super Late Models battled it out for 100 laps at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway Monday night.
Lots of cars going in were favored to take home the big prize and the anticipation as time trials got underway kept everyone on the edge of their seats to see who would be the fastest. Six cars would come across at less than fifteen seconds. Gary Passer, Matt Pritiko, Roy Passer, Tyler Hawn, Andrew Gressel and pole sitter Brandon Watson who had a time of 14.712.
Peter Becker was the fastest car in Pure Stock qualifying with a time of 19.694. He would sit on the pole and declined the offer to go to the rear to try and make it through to win $600. That was the challenge that second quickest car of Gary Slama decided to take up. He had a time of 19.743 and would head to the rear as the field of 24 took the green. Becker would lead lap one. The field began to spread out and a freight train of cars made its way mainly single file around the three eights mile oval. Slama was on the move. He was quickly up to 12th spot and gaining. At the front Becker was still the leader and Kevin Gallant was close behind in second as the two broke away from the pack. A caution as the 7 of Matt Young was into the wall in turn three. Slama was now up to seventh and before long up to fifth on the bumper of Ross Winters Jr. Slama was glued there for a while and it seemed perhaps he had met his match. But with a few laps to go, Kevin Gallant and Andy Wheller went high out of four, Wheller got loose and spun to the infield. This gave Slama the break he was looking for and he moved into second spot. Lapped traffic was starting to play a factor and it would give either Becker or Slama what they were looking for. But it proved to be too much for Slama, he was about ten car lengths back as Becker crossed the line under the checkered flag to pick up the $300 first place prize. Slama gave it a great effort coming home second. As the cars exited four, Gallant and Winters Jr. were jousting for position, the two cars tangled and Winters was around and crossed backwards over the line for third while Gallant spun through the infield for fourth. Gillian Hils rounded out the top five.
With just 18 cars, no B Main was required for the Super Lates so after an intermission we got right into the 100 lap main event. Nice to have two cars from Flat Rock Speedway in Michigan including their Late Model champion Paul Pelletier and the Boogey Man, Terry Bogusz. Unfortunately Bogusz had engine issue and wasn’t able to qualify or make the race. The cars and drivers lined up on the front straight for driver introductions and to see which drivers were prepared to go to the rear of the field to try and make it through to the front to double the prize to $10,000. As announcer Gary Colling made his way through the field he asked each driver and he got to the second fastest car Andrew Gressel. By this point eleven drivers said the would go to the back. Gressel did as well making it twelve but pole sitter Brandon Watson was the last word and he also said yes and he would be the car and driver that would take up the last spot.
As the green flew, Andrew Gressel led lap one. He got a little squirrely out of four as they completed lap one and a caution the next lap as Glenn Watson went around heading into three. A few laps later John Cadman Jr. lost power heading into three and slowed through four with several cars narrowly avoiding him. Cadman came to a stop on the front stretch as another yellow flew. On the restart, Gressel and Pritiko battled door to door. The cars settled in and Gressel continued to lead and had a five car length advantage on Pritiko. By lap 25, Gressel was still out front followed by Shane Maginnis, Pritiko and J.R. Fitzpatrick. The third caution of the race on lap 29 as Dustin Jackson spun to the infield out of two. On the restart, Gressel and Maginnis battled side by side but Gressel once again was the leader. On lap 39, Matt Pritiko slowed down the back stretch with a broken fuel pump and that brought out the competition caution so cars with smaller fuel cells could enter the pits to fill up with fuel.
The top three now were Gressel, Maginnis and Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick would take over second spot on the restart as Maginnis went high out of two and that allowed J.R. to get by on the low side for second. Half way it was Gressel, Fitzpatrick, Maginnis, Hawn, Roy Passer and pole sitter to the rear, Brandon Watson. Also of note, Glenn Watson who started at the back as well was now up to ninth. A caution on lap 54 as Todd Campbell got loose and was around sliding to the infield. The fifth and final caution of the race the next lap as Dwayne Baker and Campbell got together and were into the turn three wall. With 24 laps to go, Watson was making a late charge. After not qualifying due to mechanical issues, starting at the rear and a first lap spin, Watson was now up to sixth as he got by Brandon Watson. Some bumping and grinding gave Watson the break he needed and he was up to fourth. On lap 83, Fitzpatrick slowed through three and four and slowly made his way off the track ending his night for what he said was, “a $10 part derailed us”, as a small pin hole in the left front flex line for the caliper was the culprit. With ten laps to go, Watson would get by Maginnis to take over second spot but Andrew Gressel would lead flag to flag and pick up the $5000 first prize money. Congratulations Andrew!!
That brought to a close a very exciting night of racing at Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway. Please make plans to join us thisSaturday, August 27th as the Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modifieds and Lucas Oil Can Am Midgets are back at Flamboro. Alo on hand are the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Thunder Cars, the Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks and the Pro Four Modifieds. Pits open at 4pm, main grandstands at 5pm, Kids rides at 6pm and green flag at 7pm sharp!
Check the website for all the details
Photos can be found at Derek Smith  and Mike Kiers
Video by Ingrid Hartman
Huge thanks to all those that helped with this event especially Mike Schmidt of London Recreational and announcer Gary Colling for all your hard work. Nice to have Gary announce with Adam Ross, Rob Howden and Jamie Maudsley!! Great job guys!!
Pure Stock Time Trials: #60 Peter Becker 19.694, #90 Gary Slama 19.743, #31 Kevin Gallant 19.866, #82 Gillian Hils 19.966, #80 Andy Wheller 20.053, #50 Ross Winters Jr. 20.062, #1 Steve Lovie 20.123, #16 Mark Thorne 20.177, #38 John Cote 20.195, #37 Rob Hoskins 20.305, #23 Doug Moir 20.324, #81 Keara Gallant 20.374, #7 Matt Young 20.509, #72 Michael Neumeister 20.573, #92 Kyle Neumesiter 20.641, #03 Jake Gilbert 20.666, #18 Josh Shantz 20.686, #6 Wayde Thorne 20.749, #84 Nick Clarke 20.774, #24 Tyler Mayhew 20.894, #4 Blair Mayhew 20.897, #26 Ashton Reekie 21.004, #61 Paul Ditner 21.219, #48 Steve Deleeuw 21.842, #17 Matt Fraser 21.868 (DNQ), #5 Jason Legge 22.346 (DNQ), #0 Phil Givens 31.446 (DNQ)
Pure Stock Feature: #60 Peter Becker, #90 Gary Slama, #50 Ross Winters Jr., #31 Kevin Gallant, #82 Gillian Hils, #1 Steve Lovie, #16 Mark Thorne, #37 Rob Hoskins, #38 John Cote, #23 Doug Moir, #92 Kyle Neumeister, #18 Josh Shantz, #24 Tyler Mayhew, #6 Wayde Thorne, #72 Michael Neumeister, #84 Nick Clarke, #80 Andy Wheller, #26 Ashton Reekie, #03 Jake Gilbert, #4 Blair Mayhew, #81 Keara Gallant, #61 Paul Ditner, #48 Steve Deleeuw, #7 Matt Young (DNF)
Super Late Model Time Trials: #9 Brandon Watson 14.712, #81 Andrew Gressel 14.782, #2 Tyler Hawn 14.888, #27 Roy Passer 14.948, #21 Matt Pritiko 14.970, #52 Gary Passer 14.980, #71 John Cadman Jr. 15.019, #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick 15.025, #03 Shane Maginnis 15.193, #70 Jeff Hanley 15.316, #4 Daniel Bois 15.334, #10 Kelly Balson 15.375, #44 Paul Pelletier 15.457, #07 Todd Campbell 15.519, #61 Dustin Jackson 15.772, #48 Dwayne Baker 15.821, #98 Mike Hilliard 16.263, #22 Glenn Watson (DNQ), #550 Terry Bogusz (DNQ)
Super Late Model Feature: #81 Andrew Gressel, #22 Glenn Watson, #03 Shane Maginnis, #9 Brandon Watson, #70 Jeff Hanley, #10 Kelly Balson, #27 Roy Passer, #2 Tyler Hawn, #61 Dustin Jackson, #44 Paul Pelletier, #52 Gary Passer, #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick (DNF), #49 Dwayne Baker (DNF), #07 Todd Campbell (DNF), #21 Matt Pritiko (DNF), #98 Mike Hilliard (DNF), #71 J9hn Cadman Jr. (DNF), #4 Daniel Bois (DNS), #550 Terry Bogusz (DNS)