Story By: JIM IRVINE / MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY Photos By: JULIE DAVIDSON / PHOTOCHIK PHOTOGRAPHY
THOROLD, ONTARIO- August 24, 2014- The Pen Centre presented a night of racing that featured the 2014 David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Finale with Gary Lindberg of Ridgeway taking home the 40 lap Gabe Bellante Memorial. Cody McPherson earned his second Mini-Series Title. The J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Division were also in the spotlight in a TUSA Modified Lite Tour Event with Western Regional Point Leader Paul Klager of Beamsville taking the checkered flag.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw two Alexander Awning sponsored drivers in Victory Lane as Tim Jones (Port Robinson) won his 1st Feature of the season in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modiified Feature,, Peter Reid (Stevensville) took home top honors in the Hoosier Stock Division while Jason Coutu of St. Catharines won the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Division Feature.
"The car was really good tonight," said Gary Lindberg after his 2nd straight win, "I just had to bide my time until I got to the front. Thanks to all my sponsors and my crew ... Rick Bellante as well for the extra money he donated for the event that remembers his dad."
"Dad was a diehard race fan ... he probably didn't miss a Saturday Night in 50 years," commented Gabe Bellante's son Rick, "he always liked to see a good race and I think we saw that through all the divisions tonight!"
Read more: Tim Jones Wins At Merrittville Speedway; Lindberg Wins Gabe Bellante Memorial
On a picture perfect day of weather this past Sunday, fans came to the Utica-Rome Speedway knowing that the Modified Twin 20's could play a huge role in the championship picture. When everything was settled on Mirabito Fuel Group and Rasmussen Rents/Broedel Energy night, it was Matt Sheppard and Danny Johnson taking the pair of $2,000 to win NASCAR Modified wins while Mike Walton took the emotional Sportsman feature win. Chris Carr survived a marathon Pro Stock feature to take the victory while Bill Mason took the photo finish win in the Pure Stocks.
In the first Modified 20 lap feature, Jason Rood jumped out to the early lead from his pole starting spot with fourth place starter Dave Moyer and Adam Roberts in tow. Ninth place starter Matt Sheppard was on the charge early as was in the top five by lap two and into second by lap three, and set off after Rood. On lap four, Sheppard completed his charge to the front as he slipped by Rood for the lead and began to pull away. As Sheppard was out front, several drivers were making their way towards the front as well, including point leader Stewart Friesen and third place point man Mike Mahaney. With 10 laps to go, it was Sheppard way out front over fifth place starter Danny Varin, 10th place starter Mahaney, 13th place starter Friesen, and Rood.
Read more: The Doctor Makes A House Call At Utica Rome Speedway
Saturday, August 23rd - Canandaigua, NY -
Canandaigua Motorsports Park was a flurry of activity last Saturday night as they attempted to complete three of the held over features along with a regular full card of racing. HEP Sales presented a total of nine features and twelve qualifying events were completed by 10:30 pm. Great job by all!
Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY captured his first Big Block Modified feature last Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The third generation driver is the son of multi time Land of Legends champion and recent DIRTcar Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Rudolph. Piloting the Mike Payne owned, Pages Trucking sponsored #7z ? Rudolph used a move on the high side of turn four to go from third to first on lap twenty-three of the thirty-five lap main. Rudolph would maintain the top spot through the final twelve circuits to claim his first win at the Land of Legends. Steve Paine and Matt Sheppard put on a great show for the fans as they battled for the runner up position. Paine would have the narrow advantage at the line aboard his HFC #7x chassis. Sheppard, Billy Dunn, and Gary Tomkins rounded out the top five. Sheppard maintained the points lead however a rained out feature and a double points finale remain leaving the points title a race within the race.
Read more: Erick Rudoph Wins First Big Block Feature At Canandaigua; Gray Picks Up Sportsman Victory
Ransomville, NY - Friday, August 22nd -
A total of ninety cars entered the pit area last week set for competition in the Five Star division program presented by Firth's Jewelers and the Lion's Club. A great crowd was on hand as Danny Johnson, Mike Williams, Alex Morris, Steve Matson and James Sweeting took feature wins.
Danny Johnson of Rochester, NY made a house call last Friday night at the Big R as he collected his third win of the season. The win couldn't come at a better time for the veteran racer as just one point separated him from hotshoes Erick Rudolph and Ryan Susice coming into the event. Johnson took the lead away from Easy E Rudolph on lap eleven of the thirty lap main and quickly pulled away to a one second lead. Rudolph was able to close the margin in lapped traffic but to no avail as Johnson took the win aboard his Traction Grabber #27j and extended his points lead unofficially to five markers over Rudolph and nine over Susice with one fifty lap main remaining. Rudolph finished second followed by Susice, Pete Bicknell and Chad Brachmann. Bicknell currently sit fourth in points.
Read more: Danny Johnson And Mike Williams Pick Up Wins At Ransomville Speedway
By CHARLIE BROWN, DELMAR, DE -
It was "all in the family" as Jamie Mills captured the first of the Twin 20's in the NAPA Big Block Modifieds then chased his nephew, Jordan Watson who won the second 20 lap main on Foster and Adoptive Family Night.
Dale Hawkins led the first two laps of the first NAPA Big Block Modified feature before Jamie Mills, who had started in seventh shot to the top. Matt Hawkins followed Mills into second and Shawn Ward took third. At the halfway sign Matt was within a car length of Mills while Ward, Brad Trice and H.J. Bunting rounded out the top five.
The second and final yellow was out with eight to go when Bunting slowed with a flat rear tire. Mills would open some breathing room on the restart as Beau Wilkins powered into the top five. Wilkins was up to fourth with four to go and two laps later got by Ward for third.
Mills would collect his sixth win of the season by a comfortable margin with Matt Hawkins turning in another solid performance in second. Wilkins would settle for third with Ward fourth and Trice fifth. Heats were won by Mils and Matt Hawkins."Charlie (Cathell) threw us a little bit of a curve with this new surface," said Mills following the win. "We put in our little motor for tonight and it seemed to like this kind of track."
1st NAPA Big Block Finish: 1. Jamie Mills; 2. Matt Hawkins; 3. Beau Wilkins; 4. Shawn Ward; 5. Brad Trice; 6. Howard O'Neal; 7. Joseph Watson; 8. Bobby Watkins; 9. Jordan Watson; 10. HJ Bunting; 11. Robert Dutton; 12. Dave Dissinger; 13. Scott VanGorder; 14. Dave Simmons; 15. Drew Simmons; 16. Blaine Bracelin; 17. Dale Hawkins; DNS: Michael White.
Read more: Jamie Mills And Jordan Watson Capture Wins At Delaware International Speedway
Ransomville, NY -Friday, August 15th- By Ransomville Speedway PR
It was a chilly night at the Big R as a total of ninety-eight cars filled the pit area. Pepsi and Creekside Sales and Service presented a Full Card of Racing which included the FinditQuick.com Modifieds, Investors Services Sportsman, KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks, Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers, and Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman plus an Autograph Night and Ladies Race.
Danny Johnson of Rochester, NY captured his second win of the season in the FinditQuick.com Modified division. In what came down to one of the most exciting finishes of the season, Johnson used a move to the inside of defending champion Pete Bicknell on the final lap to take over the point position and the win in the thirty lap main. Chad Brachmann and Erick Rudolph were also in the hunt as the four car battle brought fans to the edge of their seats. By virtue of his win, Johnson would take over the points lead by just one marker over Ryan Susice and Erick Rudolph who are tied for second. Just two points separate the top three with two point shows remaining.
Read more: Danny Johnson And Jesse Cottriss Win Features At Ransomville Speedway