By STEVEN PETTY
THOROLD, ONT – Darien, NY’s Kyle Inman celebrated in victory lane after his triumph at Merrittville Speedway on Civic Holiday Monday. Inman’s victory was his first on the Bellinger Electric Inc. Lightning Series 2018 tour.
Brad Rouse and “Oh Henry” James Henry brought the 24-car starting field to the green flag for the 30-lap feature event with Rouse showing the way early. Rouse used his track knowledge well in the early stages as he opened-up the lead over Henry, James Michael Friesen, Rob Knapp, and Dave Conant.
The first yellow flag of the event would come out on lap eight as Rob Knapp tagged the front stretch wall. On the restart, sixth-place starter Kyle Inman went three-wide with Cody McPherson and Friesen to move into second and would then quickly reel in race leader Rouse. By lap 10, Inman would take the lead away by using the middle groove of the racetrack. Dave DiPietro spun in turn four to bring out the second and last caution of the night on lap 18. The final 12-laps saw Inman hold off numerous challenges from Friesen to score the victory at the Thorold, Ontario oval.
“I found something in the middle of the track off turn two and it stuck”, said Inman in victory lane. “I ended up following Kyle in the middle and learned a few things but we were close tonight”, stated runner-up finisher Friesen. “We had a good run tonight. Didn’t know where Kyle came from off the one restart but overall it was a good night”, commented third-place finisher Cody McPherson.
42-cars signed in pitside despite threatening weather around the Niagara Region.
The Samco Designs Low Cash Dash was won by Scott George over Cameron Tuttle in an exciting six-lap battle.
Contingency award winners were Pails of VP Race Fuels went to James Michael Friesen and Jim Harbison. The Lucas Oil/Leslie Motorsports package went to Cody McPherson. The certificate from Bicknell Race Products went to Darrell Farraway. Henry’s Exhaust certificate went to Zach George and the Fab Shop 54 certificate went to Boyd MacTavish. The Wild Card draw went to Jordan Cosco.
BEI Lightning Series officials would like to thank contingency sponsors Bicknell Racing Products, Rick’s Delivery, Leslie Motorsports, Henry’s Exhaust, Fab Shop 54, Samco Designs LLC, Smith’s Speed and Pro Shop, Innovative Auto Repair, and Dialed Designs.
The next race for the BEI Lightning Series is on Sunday, August 12 at the New Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario. The race at New Humberstone will mark race two of the North Series. For more information about the BEI Lightning Series, find them on Facebook and Instagram @beilightningseries.
RACE RESULTS – MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
FEATURE (30 Laps): KYLE INMAN, James Michael Friesen, Cody McPherson, Brad Rouse, Greg Panunte, James Henry, Chad Chevalier, Brett Senek, Paul Gaboury, Brent Begolo, Robbie Johnston, Adam Leslie, Jay Mallory, Dave Conant Justin Sharp, Dave DiPietro, Trevor Wright, Garrison Krentz, Derrick Borkenhagen, Jim Harbison, Boyd MacTavish, Zach George, Darrell Farraway, Rob Knapp
Low Cash Dash: Scott George, Cameron Tuttle, Chris Storm, Ryan Ferri, Chris Bellamy
Qualifying Heat Winners: Dave Conant, James Michael Friesen, James Henry, Cody McPherson, Brad Rouse
Last Chance Qualifier Winners: Trevor Wright, Darrell Farraway
Failed to Qualify: Jordan Cosco, Dylan Davidson, Cameron Tuttle, Scott George, Chris Storm, Ryan Ferri, Chris Bellamy, Tyler Puchalski, Noah Walker, AJ Custodi, Sean Dominey, Luke Carleton, Mike Denning, Vince Fargnoli, Josh Wilcox, Rob Sauder, Zach Sam, Brandon Gruhl