By DAVE SULLY
PT COLBORNE, ONTARIO- Veteran Sportsman driver Adam Leslie, from Wainfleet, made a late race caution pay off, as he took the lead in the 30 lap RoC Sportsman feature and went on to the victory on Sunday, September 3rd at Humberstone Speedway in perfect weather and with a good crowd on hand. As a result of Leslie’s win, Jay Mallory edged Brad Rouse for the RoC Dirt Sportsman Championship.
Nineteen cars took the green, with pole sitter Curtis Friesen and Brad Rouse comprising the front row, while Leslie started third, following the redraw. Rouse made short work of Friesen, steaming into the lead on the outside on the first lap, with Leslie grabbing second on lap two. The top two then quickly distanced themselves from the field. While Rouse and Leslie drew away, the rest of the cars battled for position, with Mallory moving into third past Friesen.
The lead cars remained in that order entering slower traffic on lap 17, with Leslie stalking Rouse, occasionally reaching his bumper, but unable to make a move for the lead. That changed on lap 25, as the caution flew when a car stopped in turn two. That set up a double file restart with Rouse and Leslie side by side at the front, followed by Friesen, who had retaken third, and Mallory in row two.
At the drop of the green, Leslie got a great jump on the outside and grabbed the lead in turn two, as Mallory reclaimed third. Once in the lead Leslie put some distance between himself and Rouse over the final laps. At the line, it was Leslie comfortably in front, followed by Rouse, Mallory, Jessica Power, who made a late pass of Friesen, who completed the top five. There was some irony in the finish, as Rouse was driving Leslie’s back-up car, and if he had won, he would have claimed the RoC Sportsman championship, but Leslie’s win over his teammate this night, narrowly gave the title to Mallory.
In Victory Lane, on the race, Leslie offered, “I knew if I couldn’t get him on the restart, that was about it. It’s really cool. We had a tough year, so it’s good to get one close to the end of the year.”
Mallory knew exactly what the point situation was and needing one more spot. He said, “I figured if we just stayed where we were and hopefully pick up Curtis (Friesen), but Adam got by him (Rouse), so we just stuck there and rode it out.”
The co-feature was a 30 lap Late Model Open, which allowed Super Late Model to compete with Crates, which drew 12 cars from Canada and the US. New Yorker TJ Downs took the lead from the pole, with former track champion Zack Carley, also from New York jumping into second. They stayed that way until a lap eight caution. On the restart the two went side by side, with Carley easing into the lead on lap 10, just before the caution flew.
On the restart Brian Speelman took second and then began battling for the lead with Carley until lap 18, when another former track champion and, another New Yorker, Chad Homan, driving s Super Late Model, who had worked his into third after starting eighth, grabbed the runner-up spot when Speelman scraped the wall. Homan then closed on Carley for the lead when the caution flew on lap 24. During the caution, it was determined that Carley had a tire going down, sending him to the pits and giving the lead to Homan, who survived a lap 25 caution before quickly opening a lead on the restart to score the win. Jake Hooker ended up second, while Gregg Haskell, Speelman, and Downs rounded out the top five.
In Victory Lane, Homan noted, “I’ve got a Super Late. It’s my first win with it.
The 25 lap Thunder Stock feature went to Peter Reid, who took the lead on lap three, after starting fourth, and never looked back, winning comfortably over a hard charging Jason Fontaine, who started eighth.
Also, Ken Hair won the 20 lap Mini Stock feature after a grueling battle with Alex Riley, which saw the two swap the lead midway through the race before the struggle ended when Riley suffered a flat tire as he was trying to make a pass on Hair on lap 19 and the two made contact. Olivier LaRocque ended up second.
Finally, former longtime competitor Doug “Flash” Gordon swept to the win in the 15 lap Vintage Car race, his second of the season, taking the lead from Dave Small on lap seven and then driving away over the final laps.
RoC Sportsman – 1. Adam Leslie 2. Brad Rouse 3. Jay Mallory, 4. Jessica Power, 5. Curtis Friesen, 6. Taylor Vanderzanden, 7. Nelson Mason, 8. Noah Mamo, 9. Matteo Panunte, 10. Billy Bleich Jr, 11. Matt Sharpe, 12. Rob Pietz, 13. Terry Smith, 14. Chris Hawkins, 15. Daniel McKay, 16. Nathan Peattie, 17. Jordan Denobriga, 18. Jeff Panunte, and19. Doug Walsh Jr. Heat winners were Mallory, Mason, and VanderZanden. Fast timer was Mason.
Late Models: (30 laps) – 1. Chad Homan, 2. Jake Hooker, 3. Gregg Haskell, 4. Brian Speelman, 5. T.J. Downs, 6. Rob Ledingham, 7. Joe Brosseau, 8. Blaine Murawski, 9. Zack Carley, 10. Jason Haskell, 11. Scott Burk, and 12. Jeff Dayman. Heat winners were Homan and Haskell.
Thunder Stocks: (25 Laps) – 1. Pete Reid, 2. Jason Fontaine, 3. Dave Bailey, 4. Zach Bleich, 5. Ryan Dinning, 6. Ken Sargent, 7. Jim Lampman, 8. Donny Lampman, 9. Gofast Teeple, 10. Jeff Bean, 11. Adam Plazek, 12. John Dunn, 13. John Overholt. Heat winners were Donny Lampman and Fontaine,
Mini Stocks: (20 laps) – 1. Ken Hair, 2. Olivier Larocque, 3. Brian Aube, 4. Craig Vlasic, 5. Dylan Llord, 6. Mason Anderson, 7. Alex Riley, 8. Dave Wininger, 9. John Lubeck, 10. Roger Winfield, 11. James Marshall, 12. Grayden Lyons, 13. Jacob McIntyre, 14. Crystal Soules, 15. Ray Cerenzia, 16. Shawn Keus, 17. Nick Bowman, 18. Rob Goulding, 19. Tyler Lafantaise, and 20. Nathan Joyner. Heat winners were Aube, Riley, and Cerenzia.
Vintage Cars: (15 laps) – 1. Doug Gordon, 2. Dave Small, 3. Mark Shadwell, 4. Tim Natalino, 5. Bill Montreuil,6. Conrad Baker, 7. Jens Mortensen, and 8. Bill Profota. Heat winner was Small.