BOWMAN GOES BACK-TO-BACK IN ACTION SPRINT TOUR, FRIESEN, FONTAINE, BEGOLO AND LAROCQUE GRAB WINS
THOROLD, ONTARIO (July 8th, 2023) … The Oakwood Transport Action Sprint Tour West Tour returned to Merrittville Speedway Saturday night as part of Hottub Heaven Night. St. Catharines, Ontario’s Mike Bowman won the crate sprint event. Curtis Friesen also of St. Catharines scored the victory in the Right Choice Auto & Leisure DIRTcar Sportsman. Jason Fontaine of Port Colborne, Ontario won the Hoosier Stocks feature while Thorold, Ontario’s Brent Begolo made it five wins in a row in the Rona Doidge Modified Lites. Olivier Larocque of Welland, Ontario won the Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders.
The Oakwood Transport Action Sprint Tour West made their second appearance of the season at Merrittville Speedway. Keegan Baker and Al Sleight started the feature from the front row. Sleight jumped out to an early advantage before the caution fell at lap 10 when Will Marche spun in front of the leader. Sleight’s evasive maneuvers saved him from further incident, but on the restart, Mike Bowman grabbed the lead. Bowman won at Merrittville the last time the Action Sprint Tour visited Canada’s Oldest Dirt Track and won the previous night’s event at Ohsweken Speedway. Once again it was Bowman standing on the front stretch with Sleight finishing in second and Johnny Miller joining them on the podium. Tanner Podwinski and Ashton VanEvery completed the top five.
Curtis Friesen started on pole for the Right Choice Auto & Leisure DIRTcar Sportsman. Cautions fell early and frequently throughout the event. Lap three Rob Pietz suffered a flat tire to bring out the races first caution. Lap four Adam Leslie stopped to bring the yellow once again. The largest incident of the night came on a lap 10 restart when Billy Bleich Jr. spun in front of the field triggering an incident that involved all but six cars of the 26 who started. As the remaining cars took the green once again, Friesen lined up alongside Jay Mallory, powering away to another lead. Friesen ended up winning over Mallory, Cody McPherson, Taylor Vanderzanden and James Friesen.
The Hoosier Stock feature began with Jim Lampman and Ron Loggie on the front row. Zach Bleich and Mark Fawcett tangled together on lap one to shake up the running order early. Dave Bailey took the lead on the restart, but on lap five, caution was brought out for a second time when Rob Murray spun and collected Kyle Pelrine. When green flag racing resumed, Jason Fontaine was able to get passed Bailey. Bailey continued to pressure Fontaine but was never able to regain the lead and Fontaine would hang on to snap a long winless streak at Merrittville. Pete Reid was third, Ryan Dinning fourth and Mark Fawcett fifth.
Cautions were common in Rona Doidge Building Centres Modified Lite action on Saturday night. Six cautions came out during the feature, none being more dramatic than on the final lap when Josh Sliter appeared to finally be the one to end Brent Begolo’s four race win streak. Instead, the race went into overtime and Begolo took the lead away during the green-whited-checkered finish, extending his dominant streak five in a row and seven victories on the season. Sliter settled for second, with R.J. Pietz, Rob Misener and Chris Watson rounding out the top five finishers.
In Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinder action, Randy Alway seemed destined to get his first win and become the seventh different driver to win a race in the division this season. John Lubeck brought out the caution on lap 14, erasing Alway’s advantage. This put Olivier Larocque on the tail of Always for the restart, and in the final corner, Larocque found just enough day light under Alway to make a move for the lead and the win coming to the checkered flag. Alway held on for second as Kyle Rothwell made it a nearly 3 wide runs to the finish line. Cole Hardy and Mason Anderson completed the top five finishers.
Next weekend, King Paving & Construction Ltd presents Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing as the Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modified’s will return to Merrittville Speedway after a week off. Joining them will be the Right Choice Auto & Leisure DIRTcar Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, Rona Doidge Building Centres Modified Lites and Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders. Pit gates will open at 5:00 pm, grandstands open at 5:30, and racing will begin at 7:00 pm.
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RACE RESULTS –- July 8th, 2023
Right Choice Auto & Leisure DIRTcar Sportsman – CURTIS FRIESEN, Jay Mallory, Cody McPherson, Taylor Vanderzanden, James Friesen, Justin Sharp, Chad Chevalier, Nelson Mason, Billy Bleich Jr., Mitch Dumont, Rob Knapp, Paul Gaboury, Matteo Panunte, Matt Sharpe, Noah Mamo, Nathan Peattie, Bill Gill, Jordan Denobriga, Jordan Cosco, Terry Smith, Graeme Toth, Tyler Pulchalski, Daniel McKay, Rob Pietz, Adam Leslie, Ryan Ferri
Qualifying Heats – Jay Mallory, Mitch Dumont, Nathan Peattie
Oakwood Transport Action Sprint Tour Western Tour – MIKE BOWMAN (3), Al Sleight, Johnny Miller, Tanner Podwinski, Ashton VanEvery, Keegan Baker, Lance Erskine, Tyler Ward, John Cadman, Sheldon Bender, Brian Nanticoke, Jeremy Hughes, Curtis Gartly, Will Marche, Jesse Costa, Cam MacKinnon
Qualifying Heats – John Cadman, Jesse Costa, Tyler Ward
Hoosier Stocks – JASON FONTAINE, Dave Bailey, Pete Reid, Ryan Dinning, Mark Fawcett, Zach Bleich, Ron Loggie, Jim Lampman, Gofast Teeple, Bryce Richardson, Kyle Pelrine, Ken Sargent, Rob Disher, Kyle Haynes, Donny Lampman, Jeff Bean, John Couture, Rob Murray, John Overholt
Qualifying Heats: Pete Reid, Zach Bleich, Ken Sargent
Rona Doidge Building Centres Modified Lites – BRENT BEGOLO (7), Josh Sliter, R.J. Pietz, Rob Misener, Chris Watson, Leroy Buscumb, Sean Iftody, Dan Kviring, Ryleigh Sliter, Ashton Anderson, Chance Kotar, Dave Cornish, Anthony Kelly, Ryan Anderson, Sam Iftody, Greg Zack, Cohen Corbett, Tyler Winger
Qualifying Heats – Sean Iftody, Greg Zack
Vansickle Pet Valu/PV On the Lane 4 Cylinders – OLIVIER LAROCQUE (2), Randy Always, Lyle Rothwell, Cole Hardy, Mason Anderson, Ken Hair, Clinton Barrick, Cierra Keus, Dustin Duga, Donald Deagle, Richard Hadler, Tina Ronning, John Lubeck, Steven Ellis, James Marshall, Nathan Joyner, Jacob Mcintyre, Blair Rousselle, Austyn Werstroh, Dylan Llord, Dave Winniger, Douwe Degroot, Roger Winfield, Rick Beales
Qualifying Heats – Rick Beales, Cierra Keus, Clinton Barrick
Article Credit: Jonathon Howe
Submitted By: Jonathon Howe