Williamson Opens Merrittville Season With Victory

THOROLD, ONT – Peters Excavating has a proven track record an all disciplines … from small jobs to multi-million dollar complex projects.  Five Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Drivers have proven track records in 2018 as Feature Winners in the 67th Season Opener Saturday May 5th.

Mat Williamson of St. Catharines, Chad Chevalier of Port Colborne, Josh Sliter of Ridgeway, Alex Riley of Thorold and Adam Plazek of Caistor Centre each won in the S&W Service Centre 358 Modified, David Chevrolet Sportsman, Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s Modified Lite and Dave’s Auto & Speed Centre V6 Divisions respectively.

James Thompson took the checkered flag in the first Home Track Event in the 2018 Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series for the Hoosier Stocks but was later disqualified.

“The car was good right out of the box,” said Williamson standing beside his S&W Service Centre #6 in Victory Lane, “it just took a little bit for the tires to come in … when they did we didn’t look back.”

Williamson and Todd Gordon led the field to the green flag in the 35 lap Main Event with Gordon taking control of top spot the first time down the backstretch.

Lap 13 was lucky for Williamson as he had closed in on the leader and by lap 14 was in control.

In the last half of the event, Williamson’s tires came in good as the former Champion drove away to a comfortable lead of almost a straightaway by lap 25.

Going back to lap 20, Ryan Susice had taken control of second spot making a late race charge to close in somewhat on Williamson in the caution free event.

Following Williamson and Susice at the finish were Gordon, defending champion Chad Brachmann, and former Tuesday Night Karter and 2018 Rookie Matt Farnham as the top 5.

“It was fun racing with Paul (Gaboury) and Greg (Panunte),” said David Chevrolet Sportsman Feature Winner Chad Chevalier, “I saw Paul was pushing a little … I knew I had to make my move.”
Chevalier’s move would come after a lap 24 restart and he was able to maintain the advantage through to the checkered flag.

Prior to Chevalier’s challenge, Gaboury was involved in quite a battle with Panunte. Down the backstretch of lap 19, Panunte became the new leader with Gaboury back out in front by lap 21.

Gaboury took the field to the initial green flag in the 25 lap event and survived three restarts in the early going until Chevalier had a brief lead around lap 13.
At the finish, Chevalier, Gaboury and Panunte were followed by James Friesen and Adam Leslie.

“After our heat … we thought we needed to throw something at the car,” said Josh Sliter in Modified Lite Victory Lane, “we got out from gears we haven’t used since 2012 – we may have to use them a little more.”

A caution on lap 12 changed up the running order with defending Champion Brent Begolo out front only to lose the lead to Sliter after the restart. Begolo was the initial leader only to lose it to Chris Watson.

Begolo battled back and by lap 4 was once again out front and by half way was close to a straightaway out front.

Once Sliter was out front, he would open up a lead of some 10 car lengths over Begolo, Watson, RJ Pietz and Jeffrey May.

“That was an amazing race”, said Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder Feature Winner Alex Riley, “I could feel them all but we all raced clean … Thanks to my new car owners Lisa and Kyle Rothwell.”

On the first night of the new season for new car owners there was nothing going to stop anyone from blowing out the candles on Riley’s 18th Birthday Cake.

Cole Hardy and Riley took the field to the green flag until Riley took control before a lap 1 caution slowed the pace. Three cautions up to lap 10 found Riley out front each time.

Just before another on lap 11, Anthony Kelly took control of third spot and took on Hardy for the runner up spot.

Kelly, a former Karter is a 2018 Rookie in the division behind the wheel of the car his father Tony drove to the championship with last season.

Riley opened up a couple car length lead – ahead of Kelly who took second on lap 13. Hardy settled for third spot with Jay Moulton and Vincent Pagnotta as the top 5.

“It’s an honor to carry on the family history here,” said Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V6 Feature Winner Adam Plazek, “back in the day … my dad Frank’s number was 4 and my Uncle Joe’s was #1 … I’m #1 in hockey too so that’s where the 41 came from.”

Just after John Couture and Nick Hendricks took the first race of the new season into Turn 1 … Steve DeVos was forced to throw the first red flag after second generation racer Tina Ronning rolled her car between Turns 1 and 2.

Ronning was ok but her car wasn’t able to continue.

Hendricks was back out front on the restart with Couture the new leader in Turn 2.

Plazek began to close in on the leaders and by lap 7 took over top spot – opening up a couple car length advantage at the lap 12 checkered flag.

Billy Bleich was first to lead the Hoosier Stock Feature before James Thompson took control to complete lap 1.

Lap 5 saw front runners Dave Bailey, Jason Fontaine and Kyle Pelrine three wide for position until Bailey landed in third spot. Three laps later, Chris Hale almost met with disaster and losing control of his car out of Turn 4. Hale would execute a high speed donut crossing the start finish line keeping the event under green.

With Thompson off to a ¼ lap lead by lap 12, it was Bailey and Rob Murray battling for the runner up spot. Bailey would get the spot with 5 to go but through lap traffic in the final laps – Murray was able to regain the runner up spot.

Thompson, Murray and Bailey were followed by Brad Sheehan and Fontaine.

PIT NOTES In Victory Lane, Josh Sliter dedicated his win to Mark Marcucci of West Middlesex, PA – a frequent visiting racer at Merrittville for Mod Lite Special Events and thanked Jeff Riley for his support of the division in 2018.
The flags were at halfmast in memory of Marcucci and former Merrittville Owner Bryant Irvine who both passed away in April.
UPCOMING at Merrittville Speedway
Race Fans and Race Teams alike are invited to attend Ignition Night 2018 Friday May 11th being held at Honker’s Turn 1 Bar at the Speedway.
All proceeds will benefit Drivers in Saturday August 25th’s St. Catharines Husky Travel Centre Harry Sittler Memorial.
Tickets are $10 which includes a Buffet, Games and Prizes.
Racing returns Saturday May 12th with Baron Roofing and Siding presenting a 6 Division Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Event featuring the Opening Round of Hardys Racing Triple Crown Series for the Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder Division.
The Tuesday Night Kart Racers will be on display inside the Grandstand Area when the Gates Open at 5:30 and will stage Demonstration Races as well during the evening.
Racing starts at 7 PM
Merrittville will host a Wednesday Night Practice on May 16th. Open to all divisions – the Pit Area will open at 5:30 and the Track at 6:30.
For further information – call 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 2018 Season, Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book https://www.facebook.com/groups/merrittvillespeedway/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/Merrittville?lang=en
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2018 67th Anniversary Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – S&W Service Centre, David Chevrolet, Hoosier Tire Canada, Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s, Central Fabricating and Welding and Dave’s Auto & Speed Centre in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services.

Celebrating more than15 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!

Peter’s Excavating 67th Season Opener – Saturday May 5, 2018
Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Complete Results
S&W Service Centre 358 Modified Feature (35 laps) Mat Williamson, Ryan Susice. Todd Gordon, Chad Brachmann, Matt Farnham, Tommy Flannigan, Gary Lindberg, Pete Bicknell, Mike Bowman, Scott Wood, Fred Carleton, Tom Richau, Boyd MacTavish, Tom Neale.
David Chevrolet Sportsman Division Feature (25 laps) Chad Chevalier, Paul Gaboury, Greg Panunte, James Friesen, Adam Leslie, Jay Mallory, Darrell Farraway, Brent Begolo, Rob Knapp, Brett Senek, Robbie Johnston, Chris Storm, Lee Mallory, Ryan Ferri, Trevor Wright, Chris Watters, Dean Scott, Brandon Gruhl, Derek Van Mil, Noah Mamo, Vince Fargnoli, Joey Herremans, Dave DiPietro, Sean Dominey.
Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s Modified Lite Division Feature (20 laps) Josh Sliter, Brent Begolo, Chris Watson, RJ Pietz, Jeffrey May, Rob Misener, Chris Perry, Ryleigh Sliter, Allyson Price, Randy Giroux, Ray Sliter Jr., Alexa Roux, Colbey Bennett, Craig Martin, Kevin Carrier, Tyler Winger.
Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder Division Feature (15 laps) Alex Riley, Anthony Kelly, Cole Hardy, Jay Moulton, Vincent Pagnotta, Wayde Thorne, Dan McKay, David Hoyle, Trevor Wantt, Rob Sauder, Sam Iftody, Sean Iftody, Austyn Werstroh.
Dave’s Auto & Speed Centre V6 Division Feature (12 laps) Adam Plazek, John Couture, Stephen Conway, Alana MacDonald, Nick Hendricks, Chris Mussat, Tina Ronning.
Hoosier Stock Division Feature (20 laps) James Thompson Rob Murray, Dave Bailey, Brad Sheehan, Jason Fontaine, Billy Bleich, Kyle Pelrine, Chris Hale, Dave Small, Peter Reid, Bill Podwinski, Tanner Podwinski, James Marr, Go Fast Teeple, Robin Mortensen, Tony Shintani, Chris Schneider.