Bleich wins 100 lap Enduro - Gervais wins Bus Race in support of Wounded Warriors Canada
August 15, 2018 THOROLD, ONTARIO - Port Robinson's Joe Bleich won his first Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale's Enduro accelerated by Niagara College Sunday August 12th.
On Air Hosts from Giant FM attempted to rock the second annual Bus Race against their counterparts from sister station Country 89 but it was Afternoon Show Host Andre Gervais host put on quite an afternoon show in winning the event while raising money and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada.
The Seaway Mall Motorized Mayhem Event also had Samantha Lafrenniere, Makayla Van-Helsdingenpick up wins in the Backwards Race and Ladies Race Events.
Bleich, son of former S&W Service Centre 358 Modified racer Bill Bleich also won the Bus Race amongst several Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Drivers and teamed up with his older brother and Hoosier Stock Racer Billy Bleich to win the Side by Side Race.
After video review, Kenny Hair was declared winner of the Flag Pole Race.
Unfortunately pole sitter Sean Iftody was unable to start the event so first to lead the 100 lap was Jon MacWhirter. That lead was very brief as the first time into turn 1, McWhirter skated off the track.
It didn't take long for 5th place starter Neil Martens to take the lead with the mayhem behind him having drivers racing 5 wide until the first red flag on lap 18 to clear stranded cars.
Martens resumed control when racing resumed with former 4 Cylinder Champion Rob Goulding catching up from his 32nd starting spot. Goulding who has also competed Saturday Nights in the Modified Lite and Sportsman Divisions and event in Tuesday Night Karts took control of top spot just before a red flag on lap 30 for track maintenance.
Martens would retake top spot on the restart and by lap 40 had pulled away to about a half lap lead. Another red on lap 42 slowed the pace after a number of cars came together in Turn 4 resulting in 2018 Dave's Auto & Speed Centre rookie Alana MacDonald rolling her Enduro Car.
While the field was under the red flag, James Mercer's car had a fire flare up but he was able to continue as was Martens who was back out as leader.
Martens had been quite dominant in the early stages of the event and just when it appeared that there may be the first repeat winner of the event - the 2016 winner slowed down the frontstretch on lap 50. While under another red flag on lap 54, Martens would pull into the pits.
The new leader on the restart was Goulding with Mercer unofficially second until Goulding fell victim to a flat tire on lap 68.
Joe Bleich was the new leader and by lap 75 had an official lead of about a half lap. Goulding would return to action although several laps down. 24 hours earlier it was doubtful that he would even start the event but was able to get his tried and true car running and would make the most of his afternoon that he could.
With the running order a mix of front runners and slower cars, Bleich was racing at times 4 wide with less than 20 laps to go but was pretty strong in lapping many of the 50 starters still running.
The debate was on as to what was more entertaining ... Bleich's drive to the checkered flag or James Mercer's spins and 180s to get pointed back in the right direction.
Bleich's drive to the checkered flag almost came to an end on lap 98 - almost getting collected in a collision with other cars.
After 100 laps, Bleich who started 10th was followed by Joe Swinson who started 38th, 21st starter Derek Konyi, 19th starter Brad McCaffery and Aaron Racing who started from 20th.
One year ago, Country 89's Andre Gervais was unable to participate in the 1st Annual Bus Race for Charity as he was Best Man at a Wedding. In the second event - he was Best Man in the Bus Race.
Gervais and his co-workers appeared to have studied Redroom Videos from Saturday Night action as they put the former school buses side by side and making bump and runs look easy.
Gervais - dressed in army garb and safety gear in support of his Wounded Warriors Charity made the race winning move out of Turn 4 the final time and beat defending winner Jef Brown by half a bus length at the finish.
Wounded Warriors Canada honours and supports Canada's ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. To learn more visit https://woundedwarriors.ca/
Merrittville Speedway would like to thank everyone at Giant FM and Country 89 in addition to the Saturday Night Racers that helped out for all their help and coaching.
Special THANKS to Dave Walters and Dave McIntyre from Walters Excavating for all their efforts in constructing the Monster Truck Course and the Merrittville Staff for their support as well.
The Seaway Mall Motorized Mayhem Event also included several performances by Train Wreck the Monster Truck
For further information - call 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com
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MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2018 67th Anniversary Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway's 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors - S&W Service Centre, David Chevrolet, Hoosier Tire Canada, Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale's, Central Fabricating and Welding and Dave's Auto & Speed Centre in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.html and visit them when you require their products and/or services.
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