By JONATHON HOWE
THOROLD, ONT – Port Colborne, Ontario’s Greg Panunte survived a barrage of restarts to claim the victory in the Rick’s Delivery DIRTcar Sportsman feature Saturday night at Merrittville Speedway. Multi-time Hoosier Stock track champion Dave Bailey from Hagersville, Ontario returned to action and returned to victory lane. Ridgeway, Ontario’s Josh Sliter won the Doidge Building Centre’s Mod Lites. Hamilton, Ontario’s Fabio Olivieri and Fort Erie’s Jordan Fidler earned wins in the Central Fabricating/Glo & Go Tanning Mini Stocks and the James’ Auto V6’s respectively.
Taylor Vanderzanden and Jeff Panunte lead the field to green as the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman got underway in what was a wild feature, to say the least. Multiple yellow flags within the first 10 laps shuffled some of the normal front runners to the back, including defending track champion Brad Rouse. The largest melee took place off of turn four and saw as many as seven cars wadded up together. As the field settled in, a 5-car breakaway of race leader Greg Panunte, Chad Chevalier, Cody McPherson, James Friesen, and Brent Begolo was able to break away from the pack. Despite a close call on the final corner with a lap car, Greg Panunte was able to hold Chevalier to score the win.
Dave Bailey returned to action in the Hoosier Stock division after having to miss last Sunday’s event at Merrittville Speedway due to injury. Saturday night was a flawless performance for “Brewster Baker”. Starting from pole, Bailey was rarely challenged under green, eventually winning by a margin of 1.285 seconds over Steve Shaw Sr. Chris Hale was third followed by Donny Lampman and Tyler French.
The RONA Doidge Building Centre Modified Lites were back on track on Saturday in a feature that saw Josh Sliter pick up right where he left off last year, winning by over six-tenths of a second. Sliter was tasked with holding off a hard-charging Jeffery May on multiple restarts, however, May would have to settle for second. Qualifying heat race winner Brent Begolo would round out the podium.
In Central Fabricating/Glo and Go Tanning 4 Cylinder action, Fabio Olivieri and Austin Werstroh reversed fates from their qualifying heats to the main event. Earlier in the evening, it was Werstroh claiming the heat with Olivieri right in his tire tracks. By feature time, it was Olivieri making the most of pole position starting spot to win over Werstroh.
Jordan Fidler took the victory in the James Auto V6 class over John Couture. Fidler, the qualifying heat race winner took the lead early and never looked back to score the win.
Racing returns to Merrittville Speedway on Saturday, August 8 as the S&W Service Centre 358 Modifieds headline the show featuring the Hoosier Stocks, Central Fabricating/Glo & Go Tanning Mini Stocks, RONA Doidge Building Centre Mod Lites, and James’s Auto V6. Race time is at 7 pm.
Fans are encouraged to keep up to date with all the schedules and if any changes are needed by following Merrittville on social media including Facebook (facebook.com/MerrittvilleSpeedway), Twitter (@Merrittville), and now on Instagram (@merrittvillespeedway). For results, point standings, and more, check out www.merrittvillespeedway.com
8-1-20 69th POINTS OPENER RACE RESULTS
Rick’s Delivery DIRTcar Sportsman: GREG PANUNTE, Chad Chevalier, Cody McPherson, James Michael Friesen, Brent Begolo, Billy Bleich Jr, Brad Rouse, Rob Sauder, Justin Sharp, Taylor Vanderzanden, Boyd MacTavish, Noah Mamo, Tyler Puchalski, Jason VanMil, Dave Flannigan Jr, John Babion, Nathan Peattie, Chris Hawkins, Trevor Wright, Luke Carleton, Jay Mallory, Cameron Lane, Dean Scott, Dan McKay, Jeff Panunte
Qualifying Heats: Greg Panunte, Chad Chevalier, Jay Mallory
Hoosier Stocks: DAVE BAILEY, Steve Shaw Sr, Chris Hale, Donny Lampman, Tyler French, Mike Thorne, Wally Alderice, Jim Lampman, Clinton Nicholls, Go Fast Teeple, Zack Bleich, JT Miller, Steve Shaw Jr, Rob Murray, Derek VanMil, Kyle Wert
Qualifying Heats: Steve Shaw Sr, Dave Bailey
Central Fabricating/Glo and Go Tanning Mini Stocks: FABIO OLIVIERI, Austyn Werstroh, Ross Crowe, Alex Pidgeon, Dave Lane, Danny Wurster, Colton Lane, Braden Keus, Rob Shaw
Qualifying Heat: Austyn Werstroh
RONA Doidge Building Centre Mod Lites: JOSH SLITER, Jeffrey May, Brent Begolo, Sean Iftody, RJ Pietz, Rob Misener, Ryleigh Sliter, Craig Martin, Tyler Winger, Ryan Anderson, Randy Giroux
Qualifying Heats: Brent Begolo, Tyler Winger
Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V6: JORDAN FIDLER, John Couture, Dustin Duga, Joe Bleich, Josh Dymtrow, Tina Ronning, Alana MacDonald
Qualifying Heat: Jordan Fidler