Sharp wins $1,000 in David Chevrolet
King of the Crates
Series Finale -
Panunte the Title in Pen Centre Night
The Pen Centre hosted the final round of the 2013 David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division at Merrittville August 24th. With Justin Sharp taking home the Victory in the 40 lap Sterling Silver Main Event and the $1000 Winner’s Share but it was Greg Panunte that took home the Mini-Series Title.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Pete Bicknell and Mark Fawcett notch their second wins while first time winners were Bob Davidson. and Kyle Rothwell in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified, Hoosier Stock, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions respectively.
“We’ve been running good the last few weeks … thanks to Ted Curvin for his help with my shocks,” relayed Justin Sharp in Victory Lane after winning the 40 lap David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Finale, “once I got into lap traffic … I ran as hard as I could … like the slower cars were actually ahead of me.” In addition to the $1000 winners share of the purse for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Main Event, Sharp also took home the 24th edition of the Sterling Silver Award established by former race Ken Walsh that honors racing pioneer and Wall of Famer Bill Willard Sr. His daughter Betty Moore presented him with the annual trophy. Jim Johnstone was first to lead with caution slowing the field right away on lap 1. Rob Knapp was the new leader but unfortunately would be hit with a 2 spot penalty for firing before the leader on the next caution or at the end which ever came first. Johnstone however would quickly regain top spot with Justin Sharp joining the battle for top spot with the front runners battling three wide. Sharp would be the new leader on lap 7 and on a lap 9 restart his new challenger would be Bill Willard Senior’s great grandson Cody McPherson – the 2011 winner of the special event. By lap 15 Sharp was off to a lead of almost a ¼ lap over McPherson who had the same advantage over Knapp in third. Just past the halfway point Sharp was into slower cars and was able to stretch his lead with Knapp challenged by Brent Begolo who took over third at lap 30. Lap 31 saw caution slow the field after James Friesen slowed at the start finish line with a broken drive shaft. “I felt a vibration about 5 laps ago,” revealed Friesen in a quick on track interview with Clint Geoffrey, “I was hoping it would just go away.” Sharp resumed control of top spot on the restart and after a lap 37 caution would set the pace in the three lap dash to the finish – holding off McPherson by about 5 car lengths. Jim Johnstone settled for third with 2013 David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Champion Greg Panunte fourth.
“With the season we’ve been having … we’ll take it,” thanked Panunte who took the Mini-Series Title without a Victory, “at least we are consistent … it seems like the harder we try – the worse we do. Thanks to all my guys for their support and Rick Bellante – I would have been done racing 3 years ago without him.” Another of Willard Senior’s great grandsons - BJ Willard rounded out the top 5.
10 years ago Bob Davidson was in Victory Lane as the 2003 Winner of the Sterling Silver Award. In 2013 he was again – this time for taking home the 15 lap Feature for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division. “These cars don’t get the credit they deserve,” revealed Davidson who has spent the season behind his son Dylan’s Modified Lite career launch as a 13 year old, “with every kind of car I’ve raced … the Mod Lite has been the most fun to drive of anything. They are a totally different animal from what I’m used to … so now I can relate to the feedback Dylan gives me – thanks to the Sliters for the opportunity.” Ray Sliter Jr. was in the lead at the start before Evan Leonard took control down the backstretch of lap 2.
Just as quick as Leonard took control – another lead change saw Josh Sliter the new leader until caution on lap 4. Sliter resumed control on the restart with Bob Davidson now into the runner up. The two pulled away from the battle for the top 5 amongst Randy Hollingshead, Leonard and Jason Corless before caution on once again on lap 7 slowed the field. Davidson was the new leader in the return to action with the race quickly slowed with one more lap in the books. Davidson regained top spot on the restart and drove away to a 5 car lead on Sliter until the final caution on lap 12. Once again Davidson set the pace on the restart with Sliter challenged by Paul Klager. At the Checkered Flag, Jamie Gilbert made a late race move to steal third with Klager, and Jason Corless closing out the top 5.
The start of the 4 Cylinder Feature misfortune before 1 lap complete after Pelrine and Curtis came together. Both drivers would continue but at the back of the field. Kyle Rothwell was in control on the restart before another Caution lap 6 for Curtis who was sitting the wrong way in Turn 2. Rothwell was back out front on the restart and soon was off to a 10 car lead by lap 10 over Rob Overholt and Tyler Lafantaisie. Overholt would close in on the leader and by lap 12 was right on the back bumper. Through lap traffic in the final laps have to check the tape for whatever I was thinking “I saw him stick his nose in with 2 laps to go,” said Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Feature Winner Kyle Rothwell of his battle with Rob Overholt, “I’ve lost 2 races switching grooves at the end so I stayed to the bottom and was able to hold him off.” The start of the 4 Cylinder Feature had some misfortune before 1 lap was complete after point leaders Evan Curtis and Kyle Pelrine came together. Both drivers would continue but at the back of the field. Kyle Rothwell was in control on the restart before another on caution lap 6 for Curtis who was sitting the wrong way in Turn 2. Rothwell was back out front on the restart and was soon was off to a 10 car lead by lap 10 over Rob Overholt and Tyler Lafantaisie. Overholt would close in on the leader and by lap 12 was right on the back bumper. Through lap traffic in the closing laps Rothwell maintained top spot for his first Merrittville win ahead of Overholt with Tyler Lafantaisie, Dillan Sliter and Aaron Wiley as the top 5.
James Thompson was first to lead the 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature before Mark Fawcett took control down the front stretch to start lap 4. Thompson would quickly face a challenge from Brad Sheehan which allowed Fawcett to pull away to a huge lead . Ryan Turner would also attack Thompson and by the half way point was into the runner up spot. With 5 laps to go Turner would have almost a full straightaway to make up and catch Fawcett with Kevin Knapp in third spot about the same distance behind. At the finish it was Mark Fawcett taking home his 2nd win of the season with Ryan Turner, Kevin Knapp, Brad Sheehan and Peter Reid as the top 5
Tommy Flannigan was first to lead the 35 lap Feature for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds. Quickly Scott Wood was in the runner up spot and took the lead just before a lap 5 caution after a number of cars came together in Turn 4. Wood was back out front on the restart and as the race hit the lap 10 mark – Pete Bicknell, Mike Bowman and Chris Steele had raced into the top 5 ahead of Flannigan. The second caution slowed the pace after Flannigan coasted into the infield and Fred Carleton slowed with a flat tire. Bicknell edged ahead of Wood on the restart but the next time around it was Wood back in control until caution on lap 17 after Brandon Easey slowed with a flat tire. Wood resumed control with Mat Williamson now into the top 3. With Bicknell being pressured by Williamson, the current point leader was still able to challenge Wood until caution on lap 26. Bicknell would quickly regain the lead when action resumed with Williamson following to take over the runner up spot as well. At the checkered flag, Bicknell’s 2nd win of the season would clinch his 23rd Points Championship. Mat Williamson – fresh off clinching his 1st Point Championship at Lernerville Speedway would take second while Wood and Bowman would settle for third and fourth with Erick Rudolph fifth.
PIT NOTES Jamie Gilbert began the night as the latest driver to be named the B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week. Scott Wood’s #38 carried a Happy 70th Birthday Message for his Dad Lyndon Wood. Also celebrating Birthdays were drivers James Friesen and Brandon Easey.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Brian’s Tire Repair will present the 2013 Championship Chase Finale for all 5 Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Divisions Saturday August 31st with the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds featured in the 50 lap John Spencer Memorial. During Intermission, Race Fans can look forward to meeting their favorite drivers in a Front Stretch Autograph Session.
The Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00. For further information - call the Speedway Office at 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com.
For directions to Merrittville Speedway click on www.merrittvillespeedway.com/track_map For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com.
Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)
DAVID CHEVROLET KING OF THE CRATES SERIES - RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN – (40 laps) Justin Sharp, Cody McPherson, Jim Johnstone, Greg Panunte, BJ Willard, Brent Begolo, Rob Knapp, Paul Gaboury, Boyd MacTavish, Gary Lindberg, Austin Wood, Jason Moore, Brad Rouse, Mark Chiddy, Jason Farraway, Adam Leslie, Joey Mastroianni, Gord McPherson, Travis Miller, Jordan Cosco, Robert Baker, Paul Williamson, Derek Hodge, James Friesen. DNQ - Charlie Lynch, Michael Bosse.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Bob Davidson, Josh Sliter, Jamie Gilbert, Paul Klager, Jason Corless, Randy Hollingshead, Kellie Mason, Rob Misener, Ray Sliter Jr., Dylan Davidson, Evan Leonard, Marty deMoel, Jeff May, Kory Howe.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER (15 laps) Kyle Rothwell, Rob Overholt, Tyler Lafantaisie, Dillan Sliter, Aaron Wiley, Leroy Buscumb, Kyle Pelrine, Tony Kelly, Mike Sadusek, Greg Wilson, Garnet Wilson, Evan Curtis, Kyle Haynes, Chris Shepherd, Jeff Larmet, Sam Iftody, Bob Gill. Brandon Boychuk, Mike Giberson, Kourtney Kocarik.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Mark Fawcett, Ryan Turner, Kevin Knapp, Brad Sheehan, Pete Reid, Rob Murray, James Thompson, Billy Hogue, Cory Turner, Bill Bleich Jr., Marcel Michaud.
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (35 laps) Pete Bicknell, Mat Williamson, Scott Wood, Mike Bowman, Erick Rudolph, Robbie Krull, Chad Chevalier, Brandon Easey, Fred Carleton, Chris Steele, Bill Bleich, Todd Gordon, Ken Winnfield, Tyler McPherson, Rick Hoctor, Tommy Flannigan.