THOROLD, ONT – Baron Roofing & Siding provides the Niagara Region with premium roofing services. On Saturday May 12th, they provided Merrittville Speedway’s Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Drivers with $5,000 in cash bonuses.
“You can’t thank Baron’s Terry Keagan enough for his genorisity to our race teams,” said Merrittville’s Don Spiece, “he’s been a longtime supporter at the track and with many teams … it was great to welcome him back!”
Mat Williamson of St. Catharines won his second straight S&W Service Centre 358 Modified Feature of 2018 while Cole Hardy of Welland’s first win of the new season opened both the Hardys Racing Triple Crown and the Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series for the Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinders.
Defending Champions Dave Bailey of Hagersville and Brent Begolo of Thorold took their first wins in the Hoosier Stocks and Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s Modfied Lite Divisions. James Friesen of Niagara Falls and Jeff Larmet of St. Catharnes were also first time winners in the David Chevrolet Sportsman and Dave’s Auto & Speed Centre V6 Divisions respectively.
“We went on a lot of trips together … we did the Petty Driving Experience together a few times,” said 358 Modified Driver Pete Bicknell after taking former racer and Merrittville Speedway Owner Bryant Irvine on his final laps while finishing 4th, “I think I gave him quite a ride tonight.”
With Irvine’s family taking in the special night in his honor, Bicknell broke away from the field to run a ceremonial lap before defending champion Chad Brachmann took control when Starter Steve DeVos threw the green flag to start the 35 lap main event.
Brachmann was quickly challenged by Tommy Flannigan who took control of top spot. Brachmann battled back to regain the lead. By lap 10, the two leaders had Gary Lindberg closing in.
By lap 15 Brachmann was into lap traffic – just before Lindberg had taken second from Flannigan. 5 laps later, Mat Williamson would take over third spot and by lap 23 would be in the runner up spot.
With 10 laps to go, Brachmann, Williamson and Lindberg were separated by about 5 car lengths. Williamson would catch Brachmann – taking the lead out of Turn 4 on lap 27. By lap 30 – Williamson’s advantage was about 5 car lengths.
Taking the checkered flag at lap 35 – Williamson had stretched his lead to almost a quarter lap ahead of Brachmann with Lindberg settling for third. Bicknell was fourth and Ryan Susice 5th after an engine change after qualifying.
With Vincent Pagnotta and Nick Masi leading the Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder 20 lap Feature to the green flag – the field was slowed for the first time after a lap 1 caution.
With Pagnotta our front once again – a lap 2 incident would quick slow the field once again.
When action resumed, Cole Hardy who finished 4th in both the 2017 season-long points and in the three race Triple Crown Series was the new leader with 2016 Overall Champion Tyler Lafantaisie quickly following into second.
A lap 6 caution had Hardy out front one again – ahead of quite a race between Lafantaisie, opening night winner Alex Riley, Masi and the Tony Kelly #12 that won both the overall and Triple Crown points in 2017 being driven by his son Anthony Kelly.
Riley would take second by lap 11 with Hardy’s pace slowed once again on lap 13. With 5 to go, Hardy had a couple car length lead over the race for second between Riley, Lafantaisie and Kelly.
A lap 19 caution set up a one lap dash with Hardy holding off a last lap move from Alex Riley. Lafantaisie, Kelly and Masi would round out the top 5.
Tony Shintani and Tanner Podwinski led the 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature to green but quickly the 72T was being challenged by his dad Bill Podwinski in the 72P.
While the family feud was raging, Jason Fontaine became the new leader down the backstretch of lap 1.
Another driver on the move was Dave Bailey who had climbed from 10th starting spot to third by lap 4. By lap 6, Bailey had closed to about 5 car lengths of Fontaine. Quickly the front runners were into lap traffic but it wasn’t until lap 12 that they were side by side.
A lap 13 caution would find Fontaine in top spot once again but soon they were side by side until Bailey took a ½ car length lead on lap 15. Fontaine was now being challenged by Rob Murray.
Bailey, Fontaine and Murray were followed by Billy Bleich Jr and Kyle Pelrine.
Shortly after the Tuesday Night Karting Demonstration took place on the infield track led by RCM Racing Equipment’s Chris and Carter Long it was former Kart Racer Tyler Winger that showed his stuff at the start of the Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s Modified Lite Feature.
Winger of Stevensville immediately drove away to a considerable lead over the field of motorcycle engine-powered cars that also includes former Karters Chris Watson, Ryleigh Sliter, Randy Giroux and most recently Zach Trotter.
As the laps wound down for Winger catching up to slower cars also meant that Brent Begolo was able to catch up to him. Begolo who also ran some Kart Races would overtake the leader.
With two laps to go with Begolo out front, Winger would be challenged by May 5th Winner Josh Sliter.
With Begolo taking the checkered flag, Sliter would take second ahead of Winger with RJ Pietz and Chris Watson as the top 5.
Chris Watters was the first to lead the 25 lap Feature for the David Chevrolet Sportsman Feature before a caution slowed the 25 car starting field on lap 2.
Rob Knapp soon became the new leader and by lap 6 opened up a ¼ lap lead over Trevor Wright, Watters and James Friesen.
Friesen took over second spot on lap 8 with another caution slowing the pace on lap 10. While under caution, defending champion Brad Rouse making his first start of the season and carrying the Baron Roofing & Siding logo on his 18R fell victim of a flat front tire.
Rouse chose to stay out with Knapp taking the field back to green.
By lap 10, Paul Gaboury was in the runner up spot with Knapp off to a 5 car length lead with 10 laps to go. A lap 17 caution found Knapp back out front on the restart with Friesen back in second.
Friesen would become the new leader on the front stretch of lap 18. A lap 22 caution slowed the field after Rouse finally slowed with the flat tire.
Friesen would lead the final three circuits with Gaboury taking second from Knapp. Brent Begolo and Greg Panunte would round out the top 5.
Tina Ronning and Jeff Larmet would take the Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V^ Feature to green. Unlike the week before when Ronning flipped her car between Turns 1 and 2 the first time she made it through but it was Larmet who was in control of top spot.
Two cautions on laps 5 and 6 would slow Larmet who regained top spot on each of the restarts.
In the last half of the race, John Couture was challenging opening night winner Adam Plazek for the runner up spot. While the two were battling for position, Larmet was able to open up a 5 car length advantage at the finish of the 12 lap Feature.
Larmet, Plazek and Couture were followed by Chris Mussat and Alana McDonald.
UPCOMING at Merrittville Speedway
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.
The first doubleheader of the new season kicks off Saturday May 19th when the Pen Centre hosts a Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Event that features the first Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College plis 358 Modifieds, Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks and the 4 Cylinders.
Pits will open at 5:00, Grandstands at 5:30 and Show time is 7 PM.
Monday May 21st – Zavitz Financial Strategies and ZFS Employee Benefit Solutions will present the 4th Annual Brian Stevens Memorial 67 lap $2,700 to win 358 Modified Main Event in addition to the Action Sprint Tour, Hoosier Stocks, Modified Lites and V6 Divisions.
The Pit Area will open at 4 PM, Grandstands at 5:30 and Show Time is 7 PM.
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.
Baron Roofing & Siding Night – Saturday May 12, 2018
Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series Complete Results
S&W Service Centre 358 Modified Feature (35 laps) Mat Williamson, Chad Brachmann, Gary Lindberg, Pete Bicknell, Ryan Susice. Tommy Flannigan, Scott Wood, Mike Bowman, Todd Gordon, Fred Carleton, Tom Richau, Tom Neale, Boyd MacTavish, Chris Bellamy.
Hardys Racing Triple Crown and Insta-Panels Duel on the Dirt Series Openers for the Central Fabricating & Welding 4 Cylinder Division (20 laps) Cole Hardy, Alex Riley, Tyler Lafantaisie, Rob Sauder, Anthony Kelly, Nick Masi, Austyn Werstroh, Jay Moulton, Matt Nuell, Martin Schroeder, Brandon Janssens, Kyle Rothwell, Alex Pidgeon, Sean Iftody, Sam Iftody, Cameron Lane., Daniel McKay, Tim Nuell, Dave Hoyle, Carrie Teeple.
Hoosier Stock Division Feature (20 laps) Dave Bailey, Jason Fontaine, Rob Murray, Billy Bleich, Kyle Pelrine, Tanner Podwinski, Dave Small, Bill Podwinski, Rob Hoskins, Kevin Pauls, Brad Sheehan, Tony Shintani.
Vansickle Pet Valu & Groomingdale’s Modified Lite Division Feature (20 laps) Brent Begolo, Josh Sliter, Tyler Winger, RJ Pietz, Chris Watson, Jeffrey May, Randy Giroux, Chris Perry, Rob Misener, Ray Sliter, Jr., Craig Martin, Ryleigh Sliter, Zach Trotter.
David Chevrolet Sportsman Division Feature (25 laps) James Friesen, Paul Gaboury, Rob Knapp, Brent Begolo, Greg Panunte, Adam Leslie, Jordan Cosco, Trevor Wright, Chris Watters, Ryan Ferri, Jason Farraway, Brian Bellinger, Dave DiPietro, Chris Storm, Dave Small, Jason VanMil, Lee Mallory, Vince Fargnoli, Sean Dominey, Robbie Johnston, Brad Rouse, Joey Herremans, Brandon Gruhl, Derek VanMil, Jay Mallory.
Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V6 Division Feature (12 laps) Jeff Larmet, Adam Plazek, John Couture, Chris Mussat, Alana MacDonald, Tina Ronning, Matt Cayouette.