By DON SIMPSON
Saturday, July 25, will see the Summer Sizzler unfold Live on 360 Nitro TV with the main event a 50-lap feature for the 358 Modifieds.
Also that night will be a 35-lap feature for the Sportsman Modifieds and a 25-lap feature for the Lighting Sprints capped off with a 20-lap feature for Vintage.
The first two 358 Modifieds races so far this year attracted 30 plus cars for each event. In the first round, Dany Gagne took home the checkered flag, while in the second round, veteran driver and former track champion Mario Clair took home the win.
Mat Williamson will be making the long haul from there St. Catharines, Ontario shop to redeem the disappointing result from the first event at Cornwall. With Mat leading, mechanical failure struck dashing any hopes for the win. But as Mat explained, “The team is back on track and we are going to make the trek down to Cornwall, looking forward to the race already and I am sure it will be a good race as there are a lot of good racers at Cornwall.”
Along with Williamson, there will be a top-notch field of drivers like Corey Wheeler, David Hebert, Ryan Arbuthnot, Steve Bernier, and Chris Raabe, along with many more, scheduled to participate in round three. It’s anyone’s guess who will take home the win on the 25th.
It’s much the same in the Sportsman ranks where anyone could win. Each of the past two Sportsman events has seen more than 29 Sportsman on hand. Round one saw Johnathan Ferguson visit the winner’s circle, while Brianna Ladouceur took home the win in round two.
For the Summer Sizzler Brianne will be back in her 358 Modified. The Sportsman race was just a one-off.
“I was excited to be racing with my friends again, since this year I made the big jump to 358 but COVID had other plans and I only got to race my mod about three times,” commented Ladouceur. “As for the Sportsman race last week I started 13th in the feature and came home with the win. My team did an amazing job fixing my car and had the car working perfectly!!! I slowly started to come up threw the field and finished first. It was a fun good hard race, we had about three different leaders which would’ve made it fun for the fans. Getting out of my car with no fans isn’t the best and sucks I wasn’t allowed my whole team there for a victory lane picture since it is a team sport but we are just glad to be racing!!! I can’t wait for everything to be back to normal. I sure do love racing my Sportsman with my friends but racing a 358 is a whole other thrill that I love!! I will be back in the car for the Summer Sizzler, next weekend.”
That same night will see the Lighting Sprints return along with the Vintage division.
The season so far has been a success considering the COVID-19. The last race had well over 100 cars in the pits, which forced the track to open up the infield to take up the excess from an overflowing pit area.
Cornwall Speedway spokesperson Martin Belanger also feels there has been a great success this season considering. Martin explained, “I think overall it has been pretty successful, the Lavergne family are putting these events to keep the sport going until we can have fans back in the stands. They have covered their costs so far but they are not making large profits and it is a lot more work than a normal night because of all the new logistics that go with the current restrictions.
“The response and collaboration from race teams such as Lightning Sprints, Vintage, etc., have been great. The car counts in Modifieds and Sportsman divisions were over 30 in all their events this season at Cornwall and numbers will be similar for the Summer Sizzler as well seeing the interest building as we speak. This past event provided some healthy car counts with over 15 cars in each class. Unfortunately, the rain on Saturday forced us to revert to our rain date which was on Sunday. This caused the loss of some teams.”
As Cornwall gets set for the “Summer Sizzler,” make sure you make your plans to catch all the action live on 360 Nitro TV, with the pre-race show starting at 6:30, with show hosts and race call by Martin Belanger and Tim Baltz. The show cost will be CAD 24.95 or $19.95 US.
This being the fourth in which is setting up to somewhat of a series at the 51-year-old speedway is once again stacking up to be a great race as a large number of teams have already committed to race the July 25 show.
Martin said, “Seeing the success and the rhythm that we have built with the first three events; I think we will continue with bi-weekly events until September. With the Ontario Government’s Phase 3 announcements, only allowing 100 spectators, unfortunately, the Lavergne’s will not change their approach with the type of events we will present. We are trying to bring some ideas to boost some sponsorship to raise the drivers’ payouts, and so far, we have had a lot of interest from the Corona Crusher, bringing in $4,000 plus. Hopefully, we can build on that for the Summer Sizzler and going into August.”
Mark your calendars for July 25 as Cornwall Motor Speedway presents you with the “Summer Sizzler,” all in the comfort of home where you can watch with friends and family.