THOROLD, ONT – A late afternoon rain wasn’t going to wash out Merrittville Speedway’s Canada 150 Celebration July 1st and the Performance ATV and Leisure Event.
Later in the evening, BEI Lightning would strike for Chad Chevalier as the Port Colborne driver’s first win of 2017 came in the 40 lap $1,000 to win main event.
James Thompson of St. Catharines was also a first time winner – taking his first Hoosier Stock Feature.
Three drivers would make their 4th visits to Victory Lane – Mat Williamson of St. Catharines and Brent Begolo and Greg Rauscher both of Thorold in the Pinty’s 358 Modifeds, Wood Motor Company Mod Lites and Novice Sportsman Divisions.
Tony Kelly of Niagara Falls took home his third win of the season in the Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder Division.
“I wanted to do it for Paul and Brenda Williamson,” said Chad Chevalier of his car owners about a month after taking the BEI Lightning Series Opener in his own car at Humberstone, “I wish they could have been here tonight … this one’s for them. It was a great race with Adam (Leslie) … we could run wide open!”
Leslie and Chevalier started on the front row and at the drop of the green it was Leslie in control with several early cautions slowing the pace but not the battle between the two.
Neither driver had a lock on top spot with P1 changing several times until a lap 8 caution. Chevalier would take the lead and for the first time was able to drive away from the 24 car starting field.
By lap 15, the gap was almost a ¼ lap.
Caution would slow the long green flag run on lap 20 after Dave
Flannigan Jr. couldn’t clear the off ramp after pulling off the racing surface.
Chevalier and Leslie were again side by side on the restart until
Leslie regained top spot on lap 21. Chevalier was back on top one lap later and once again distanced himself from the field.
On the move in the last half of the race was Brad Rouse who started 11th By lap 30 he took over third spot. After a lap 35 caution, the race to watch was between Leslie and Rouse which allowed Chevalier to open up a comfortable lead.
Rouse would take over second on lap 38
“That was so much fun,” said Leslie who held on to third spot.
“Chad’s strong everywhere he goes,” said Brad Rouse, “from 11th to 2nd … we’ll take that. Many thanks to Rob Bellinger and his team – this series is a blast.”
Chevalier, Rouse and Leslie were followed by Brett Senek and Brent Begolo.
“We’ve had a rough start to the season … and even tonight,” said first time Hoosier Stock Feature Winner James Thompson, “after having to go tail … I just put my head down and here we are … hopefully we’re back to where we need to be.”
Go Fast Teeple and Bill Podwinski would lead the field to the green flag with Podwinski taking top spot the first time through Turn 1.
Quickly Vince Fargnoli would become the new leader on lap three.
By lap 5 just as Fargnoli had stretched his lead caution would slow the pace. The field was slowed almost right away after front runners Dave Bailey and Rob Murray came together.
Fargnoli would resumed control on the restart with Billy Bleich Jr. taking the runner up spot. Just as Bleich and James Thompson were battling the leader three wide another caution would stall the battle for top spot.
Thompson would take over top spot and by lap 15, would be joined by Bleich in driving away from the field. Thompson would cross the finish line a couple car lengths ahead of Bleich with
Fargnoli third. Dave Bailey would recover to take 4th with Brad Sheehan fifth.
“We were fortunate to start where we did,” said now 4 time 358 Modified Feature Winner Mat Williamson, “we made some changes after the heat … it ended up being a little slicker than expected but here we are.”
Williamson took the lead from early leader Pete Bicknell after a lap 10 restart. Bicknell, who took top spot from Todd Gordon survived a number of restarts before losing top spot to Williamson.
By lap 14, Erick Rudolph was into the runner up spot some 10 car lengths behind. Chad Brachmann raced into third by lap 26 and was on the move until caution slowed the field on lap 30.
With Williamson out front on the restart, the race was on for third between Bicknell and Brachmann. A lap 33 caution for debris set up a two lap dash to the checkered flag.
Williamson would beat Rudolph to the finish by a couple car lengths with Brachmann third. Bicknell and Gary Lindberg would close out the top 5.
“I knew he’d be tough in Josh’s car … our cars are real close,” said Brent Begolo of his race with team mate Rob Misener, “I saw my chance on that restart and made it work.”
Marty deMoel was first to lead the 15 lap event before Misener took control on lap 2.
Misener would come up lap traffic by lap 7. Just as Begolo was closing in – a caution on lap 10 brought the field back together.
Misener resumed control of the lead on the restart. Begolo would make his move on the backstretch of lap 11 taking over top spot out of turn 4.
Misener would unfortunately drop off the racing surface losing control of his car on lap 14 setting up a one lap dash to the finish.
With Begolo out front, Chris Watson made a last lap move to take second spot with RJ Pietz, Steven Beckett and Tyler Winger as the top 5.
The 10 lap Novice Sportsman Feature went three wide right at the start with Gregg Rauscher eventually landing in top spot.
“I had to make my move,” said Rauscher in Victory Lane for the fourth time, “I figured I’d either be in the trees off Turn 2 or in good shape. The car stuck and I was able to take the lead.”
Rauscher would lead the entire distance to finish ahead of Scot Sonnenberg and Brandon Gruhl.
“Happy Birthday Canada!” said Tony Kelly – the first driver to celebrate a Canada Day win, “ thanks again to Kyle and Lisa who helped me put this car together … also my family and everyone that helped.”
Vincent Pagnotta was first to lead the 15 lap Event with a couple cautions slowing the early pace after several drivers drifted off the frontstretch.
By lap three Tom Neale was the new leader who was able to open up a good lead. By lap 5, Kelly was into second spot from starting 10th and by lap 6 was the new leader.
By lap 10, Kelly was off to a 10 car length lead ahead of quite a battle in the top 5. Kyle Rothwell, Alex Riley, Chris Laskey and Neale were all racing for the runner up spot. Unfortunately Riley would lose control of his car spinning and forcing a late caution.
Kelly would set the pace on the restart with Neale making a last chance bid for top spot.
At the finish it would be Kelly by a few car lengths with Neale, Rothwell, Cole Hardy and Laskey as the top 5.
Merrittville Speedway’s Don and Lorraine Spiece would like to extend a HUGE Thank You to the fans for their support and Patience once the rain cleared and the track work began.
A big Thank You as well to all those that helped in the Track work and to those who helped out with all the Night’s extra events … the Front Gate Events and $1 Hot Dog Promotion.
Hope everyone enjoyed the Performance ATV & Leisure Canada Day Event … Fireworks and Shoot from the Hip’s performance.
UPCOMING at Merrittville Speedway
Modern Corporation will present their annual Big Rig Truck Show and Shine Saturday July 8th in addition to a 5 Division Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Race Event.
The Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office opens at 5:30 and Show Time is 7 PM.
For further information on Merrittville Speedway’s 2017 Season visit http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com or call the Speedway Office at 905-892-8266 or via e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2017 66th Anniversary Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions was brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty’s Delicious Foods, S&W Service Centre, Hoosier Tire Canada, Wood Motor Company and Central Fabricating in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htmand visit them when you require their products and/or services.
Celebrating 15 years of serving the Hamilton, Halton and Niagara Regions, Bobcat of Hamilton is a leading provider of compact equipment for a wide variety of markets – striving to empower customers to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
To learn more about more about the Bobcat of Hamilton Advantage click on www.bobcatofhamilton.com.
Bobcat of Hamilton … One Tough Animal!
Performance ATV & Leisure Night – Saturday July 1, 2017
Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Complete Results
BEI Lightning Series for the S&W Service Centre Sportsman Feature (40 laps) Chad Chevalier, Brad Rouse, Adam Leslie, Brett Senek, Brent Begolo, Cody McPherson, Rob Knapp, Luke Carleton, Justin Sharp, James Friesen, Charlie Lynch, Chris Bellamy, Dave DiPietro, Tom Richau, Rob Goulding, Rob Bellinger, Chris Storm, Greg Martin, Cameron Tuttle, Matt Farnham, Dave Flannigan Jr., Mark Chiddy, Kyle Inman, Chris Watters.
Hoosier Stock Feature (20 laps) James Thompson, Billy Bleich Jr., Vince Fargnoli, Dave Bailey, Brad Sheehan, Jim Lampman, Steve Shaw, Kyle Pelrine, Derek VanMill, Bill Podwinski, Go Fast Teeple, Robin Mortensen, Donny Lampman, Dave Small, James Marr, Tanner Podwinski, Trevor DeBoer, Rob Murray.
Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Feature (35 laps) Mat
Williamson, Erick Rudolph. Chad Brachmann, Pete Bicknell, Gary Lindberg, Scott Wood, Todd Gordon, Mark D’Ilario, Larry Lampman Jr., Fred Carleton, Jim Zimmerman, Tim Jones, Boyd MacTavish, Ryan Susice, Mike Bowman, Greg Panunte, Tommy Flannigan.
Wood Motor Company Modified Lite Feature (15 laps) Brent Begolo, Chris Watson, RJ Pietz, Steven Beckett, Tyler Winger, Jeffrey May, Marty deMoel, Chris Perry, Tucker Wood, Craig Martin, Rob Misener, Kenny Meadows, Ryleigh Sliter, Ray Sliter Jr..
Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder Division (15 laps) Tony Kelly, Tom Neale, Kyle Rothwell, Cole Hardy, Chris Laskey, Sam Iftody, Leroy Buscumb, Garnet Wilson Jeremy Smith, Jay Moulton, Alex Riley, Vincent Pagnotta, Trevor Want,Mike Giberson, Dan McKay, Austyn Werstroh, Jason Coutu.