WOOD WINS BEFORE MERRITTVILLE WASH OUT, BOWMAN A WINNER AGAIN IN AST WEST
THOROLD, Ontario (August 27th, 2023) … While rain sprinkled through the Niagara region Saturday night, Mother Nature finally played with the Merrittville Speedway drivers and fans. All five features went their full distance, including the Corr/Pak Merchandise 358 Modified feature which was won by Scott Wood of Thorold, Ontario. St. Catharines, Ontario’s Mike Bowman claimed the win in the final event of Oakwood Transport Action Sprint Tour West. In the Hoosier Stocks, Ron Loggie of Burlington, Ontario scored his first win of the season. Brent Begolo of Thorold, Ontario won in the Rona Doidge Building Centres and Ken Hair of Niagara Falls, Ontario scored the victory in the Vansickle Pet Valu PV o the lea 4 cylinders.
The Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modified feature began with Dave Flannigan Jr. and Todd Gordon on the front row. Scott Wood moved up from the outside of the second row to take the lead early in the feature event. With a little more than 20 laps to go, brad Rouse had a mechanical problem which brought out a yellow flag. The restart brought Pete Bicknell to Scott Wood’s outside, but Wood drove out to the lead. He amassed about a one second lead. With less than 10 laps to go, Bicknell began to reel in Wood, closing to nearly a car length back. However, the charge would come up short, and Wood, who lost in a photo finish the previous week, scored the win this week. Shayne Pierce finished third, Darrell Farraway and Trevor Wright completed the top 10.
The Oakwood Transport Action Sprint Tour West Tour wrapped up at Merrittville on Saturday night. Sheldon Bender and Johnny Miller started on the front row, but neither driver got very far as the yellow flag came out on lap 1 when Will Marche slowed on the back stretch. Brett Stratford took the lead on the restart as Andrew Hennessy and Mike Bowman entered the top three. Two more cautions on lap 10 and lap 15 kept the field close. Hennessy and Bowman pressed Stratford who began to fade on the restart, and it was Bowman making a move to the middle while Hennessy tried to take the lead on the outside, who would take the spot from Stratford who fell to third in one set of corners. Bowman looked set to claim win number six on the tour until Will Marche spun as the leader took the white flag, setting up a green, white checkered finish. Bowman timed the restart perfectly and drove away before Hennessy could make a charge, taking the win and taking another step forward in his quest for the National title. Hennessy and Stratford complete the podium with Dale Curran fourth and Miller in fifth.
The Hoosier Stocks had another dandy of a race on Saturday Night. The first 15 laps featured four cautions, which prevented anyone from gaining a significant advantage. The top five spent most of the race running side by side with each other. The final caution for Zach Bleich spinning on lap 15 set up a five-lap run to the checkered flag that ended with a finish nearly too close to call. Ron Loggie and Mark Fawcett were wheel to wheel out of the final corner with Loggie edging out a win by one thousandth of a second at the scoring line. Fawcett would come up short by a matter of centimetres settling for runner up spot. Jason Fontaine, Dave Bailey, and Pete Reid rounded out the top five.
The Rona Doidge Modified Lites began with Dave Cornish and Ryan Anderson out-front. The race ran caution free, and a familiar name got to the front of the field in a hurry. After starting eighth, Brent Begolo, in search of his ninth win on the year, rocketed forward on the opening lap up to second. By lap three, Begolo was in the lead. Josh Sliter who started on the inside of Begolo, also marched toward the front but didn’t have the pace to close on Begolo, who scored win number nine, pretty much sealing the deal on the track championship. Sliter still finished second, with Leroy Buscumb, Tyler Winger, Rob Misener completing the top five finishers.
Disaster struck early in the Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders for point leader Austyn Werstoh. The driver held a 15-point lead heading into the penultimate race Saturday but was involved in a crash on lap two when pole sitter, Dave Winniger spun from inside the top five spots, collecting Mason Anderson and Werstroh. Werstroh would continue but restart at the back of the 25-car pack. Ken Hair led the field back to green and paced the field well for most of the race. In the closing laps, Hair was pressured by Alex Riley, another driver in the championship hunt, for the top spot. Riley kept Hair honest but could never mount the charge needed to steal the win away. Hair scored win number two on the season, while Riley finished second, John Lubeck third, Kyle Rothwell, and Austyn Werstroh rallied to come with a top five finish.
Next week marks the final points night of the season at Merrittville Speedway with racing action presented by Semenuks Esso. The Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modified’s will conclude their season with the 50 lap John Spencer Memorial, The Right Choice Auto & Leisure DIRTcar Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, Rona Doidge Modified Lites and Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders will all conclude their points titles in championship action. 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 –- August 26th, 2023
Corr/Pak Merchandising 358 Modifieds – SCOTT WOOD, Pete Bicknell, Shayne Pierce, Darrell Farraway, Trevor Wright, Todd Gordon, Luke Carleton, Fred Carleton, Justin Sharp, Billy Bleich Jr., Dave Flannigan Jr., Paul Gaboury, Tom Neale, Ken Winfield, Brad Rouse, Dylan Davidson, Derek VanMil
Qualifying Heats – Todd Gordon, Scott Wood, Pete Bicknell
Oakwood Action Sprint Tour West – MIKE BOWMAN (6), Andrew Hennessy, Brett Stratford, Dale Curran, Johnny Miller, Lance Erskine, Al Sleight, Cameron Thomson, Tanner Podwinski, Brian Nanticoke, John Cadman, Ashton VanEvery, Tyler Ward, Sheldon Bender, Trevor Young, Cam MacKinnon, Jeremy May, Will Marche, Broden Weiler
Qualifying Heats – Lance Erskine, Brett Stratford, Johnny Miller
Hoosier Stocks – RON LOGGIE, Mark Fawcett, Jason Fontaine, Dave Bailey, Pete Reid, Kyle Haynes, Donny Lampman, Kyle Pelrine, John Couture, Gofast Teeple, John Overholt, Jeff Bean, Shane Fryer, Jim Lampman, George Grosul, Ken Sargent, Zach Bleich, Chris Crowe
Qualifying Heats: Jason Fontaine, Mark Fawcett, Donny Lampman,
Rona Doidge Modified Lites – BRENT BEGOLO (9), Josh Sliter, Leroy Buscumb, Tyler Winger, Rob Misener, R.J. Pietz, Sean Iftody, Cohen Corbett, Anthony Kelly, Chris Watson, Dan Kviring, Dave Cornish, Chance Kotar, Ryleigh Sliter, Ashton Anderson
Qualifying Heats – R.J. Pietz, Brent Begolo
Vansickle Pet Valu/PV on the Lane 4 Cylinders – KEN HAIR (2), Alex Riley, John Lubeck, Kyle Rothwell, Austyn Werstroh, Ray Cerenzia, Craig Vlasic, Cole Hardy, Brian Aube, Randy Always, Olivier Larocque, Vincent Pagnotta, Rob Goulding, Cierra Keus, Douwe Degroot, Niko Hansen, Blair Rousselle, Mason Anderson, Richard Hadler, Tina Ronning, Roger Winfield, James Marshall, Dylan Bonner, Joshua Dmytrow, Dave Winniger
Qualifying Heats – Dave Winniger, Ken Hair, Cole Hardy
Article Credit: Jonathon Howe
Submitted By: Jonathon Howe