THOROLD, ONT – Brent Begolo of Saint Catharines, Ontario and Dave DiPietro of North Tonawanda, N.Y., ran to victories on respective nights in Race Of Champions Dirt 602 Sportsman Modified competition at Ohsweken (Ontario) Speedway this past Friday and Merrittville on Saturday.
On Friday night at Ohsweken Begolo started 9th and quickly worked his way through the field and wrestled the lead away from Brad Rouse of Saint Catharines, Ontario at Oshweken to gain the top spot. Begolo had to hold off the challenges of top Sportsman driver and 2016 Series champion Brad Rouse of Saint Catharines, Ontario to earn his first ever Series victory.
“It was a good night for us and the car was fast for us from the time we unloaded,” smiled Begolo in victory lane. “Any time you can top a field like this, it feels great. This is a great way to start the weekend, thank you to my Dad and my family for a great opportunity to race like this.”
Rouse came home second with Darrell Farraway of Hamilton, Ontario coming home third. Justin Sharp of Port Colborne, Ontario, fourth and Chad Chevalier of Port Colborne, Ontario, fifth, rounded out the top-five. Begolo, Rouse and Farraway won the qualifying races and Rouse earned the Speed51.com “Top of the Board” Award and an additional $51 in group qualifying by posting the fastest overall time.
On Saturday night the Series moved to Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ontario for the Driver Appreciation Night presented by Saint Catharine’s Husky. In the 30-lap main, DiPietro redrew second, took the lead on the first lap and turned in a dominating performance leading the remainder of the laps enroute to his first-ever series feature victory.
Dipietrro bested 2017 Series Champion, Chad Chevalier of Port Colborne, Ontario. Chevalier worked his way from the 5th starting spot to finish second. Cody McPherson of Saint Catharines, Ontario, finished third after starting on the pole.
Adam Leslie of Saint Catharines, Ontario finished fourth and Jay Mallory of Port Colborne, Ontario rounded out the top-five.
Rouse, McPherson and Mallory won qualifying races, while Mallory earned the Speed51.com “Top of the Board” Award.
The Series races again Sunday night to close out its five race season with the running of the Pete Cosco Memorial at Humberstone Speedway. Three drivers; McPherson, Rouse and Chevalier have a shot at the Series championship and the accolades that go with it. McPherson leads Rouse by 4 points and Chevalier sits just 13 points back in third. The winner of the race will have their name etched on the perpetual Pete Cosco Race of Champions Dirt Memorial Trophy.
The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with primary marketing partners Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, US Army, Upstate Automotive Group, Waddell Communications, Pilat Graphic Design, Jerico Performance, TDH Refrigeration, Sherwood Racing Wheels, PavedTrackDigest.com and Speed51.com. The 68th annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2018 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.
Ohsweken Speedway Race of Champions 602 Sportsman Series: 1. 16 Brent Begolo (9); 2. 18r Brad Rouse (4); 3. 66 Darrell Farraway (6); 4. 8s Justin Sharp (8); 5. 12 Chad Chevalier (1); 6. 7 Cody McPherson (10); 7. 72 James Michael Friesen (3); 8. 20 Jay Mallory (16); 9. 17c Jordan Cosco (14); 10. 11 Dan Ferguson (13); 11. 15 Adam Leslie (5); 12. 18w Jim Harbison (7); 13. 12p Emily Puchalski (2); 14. 96b Luke Carleton (11); 15. 94m Anthony Muscale (18); 16. 10 Dave Small (22); 17. 119 Chris Watters (21); 18. 2 Derek VanMil (19); 19. 57 Joey Herremans (17); 20. 21p Tyler Puchalski (20); 21. 99p Greg Panunte (12); 22. 73 Dylan Davidson (15); 23. DNS X Matt Sharp (23)
Merrittville Speedway Race of Champions 602 Sportsman Series: Dave DiPietro, Chad Chevalier, Cody McPherson, Adam Leslie, Jay Mallory, Paul Gaboury, Luke Carleton, Robbie Johnston, Greg Panunte, Rob Knapp, Justin Sharp, Brad Rouse, James Friesen, Trevor Wright, Brent Begolo, Jordan Cosco, Tyler Puchalski, Dave Small, Vince Fargnoli, Derek VanMil, Dave Mamo, Jason VanMil, Ed Cain, Lee Mallory.