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Jake Hooker pulled off a huge upset as the 14-year-old won the Sport Stocks Shootout, his first career feature win in a stock car, and the $1,000 pay cheque.

Jake Hooker pulled off a huge upset as the 14-year-old won the Sport Stocks Shootout, his first career feature win in a stock car, and the $1,000 pay cheque.

The fans came to watch the big boys in the Late Models and Modifieds, but it was the youngest driver that stole the show.

Jake Hooker, a 14-year-old rookie from Chatham, won the Sport Stocks feature race in Saturday’s Canadian Fall Shootout at South Buxton Raceway.

American drivers won the main events, as Brian Ruhlman, of Clarklake, Mich., won his fifth career UMP Modified Shootout feature and Eric Spangler, of Lake City, Mich., won his first in the UMP Late Models.

But it was Hooker’s win that was the most memorable for the nearly 2,000 fans as he avoided a rash of accidents to park in Victory Lane for the first time.

“It’s pretty crazy, I didn’t think I was going to win a feature this year, I was happy just winning a heat race,” the young teen said, as his only checkered flag in his rookie season came in a June 21 preliminary race.

Not only did Hooker make history becoming the first Sport Stocks Shootout winner, he also pocketed the $1,000 winner’s purse, one of the largest ever for the class.

Hooker earned an additional $1,000 from Ron and Zoot Garant, who financially supported his successful go-cart racing career before making the switch to stock cars this year.

“They told me a few weeks ago if I’d win a feature, they’d give me a thousand bucks,” Hooker said, with a smile.

So, what is a 14-year-old going to do with $2,000?

“Put it back into the race team (Hooker Motorosports),” he said, without hesitation.

Hooker finished sixth and started the 14-car feature in fifth row.

“My dad (Kirk) told me to stay back for the first few laps and wait for a couple of cautions to make my move,” Hooker said.

“I noticed Tiffany (Ellis) was passing people on the high side so I followed her and got by a few cars,” said Hooker.

Brian Ruhlman won his fifth Modified Shootout, receiving his trophy and $2,000 cheque from SBR flag girl Allie Massender.

Brian Ruhlman won his fifth Modified Shootout, receiving his trophy and $2,000 cheque from SBR flag girl Allie Massender.

Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon took the lead on the first lap but was black-flagged on lap 11 for an incident with second-place Brent Colby, who had to pit for a flat tire and restarted at the back.

The incident was one of nine cautions in a three-lap stretch, as Hooker went from ninth on lap 11 to third on a lap-12 restart by attrition and penalties.

Essex’s Doris Lajeunesse spun after taking the green flag on the second attempt to restart lap 12, bringing out another caution and moving Hooker to the front row beside Ellis.

Hooker restated on the bottom and shot out to the lead but the caution came out again when Ellis’s car broke.

Track officials reduced the race to a green-white-checkered at that point, putting Hooker in the lead for a single file restart.

“Something happened to the 69 (Eric Vanderiviere) behind me and I was able to pull away,” Hooker said.

“I saw the white flag, so I concentrated on hitting my marks that last lap.

“I thought the race was going to be a wreckfest because so much money was on the line,” Hooker said.

“I guess I got rewarded for being patient,” said the 14-year-old in a veteran’s tone.

Merlin’s Steve Shaw rebounded from a penalty to finish second, passing Wallaceburg’s Gary Vyse on the last lap. Chatham’s Eren Vanderiviere, the season points and championship race winner, finished 10th.

Eric Spangler won his first Late Model Shootout and $3,000 first-place prize.

Eric Spangler won his first Late Model Shootout and $3,000 first-place prize.

Ruhlman started on the outside pole and led all 30 laps for his fifth Modified Shootout win and $2,000 winner’s purse. He finished second to Louisville’s Jim Fletcher in 2012, the only time he didn’t win.

Leamington’s Justin Coulter, Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr., Leamington’s Joel Dick and Merlin’s Brad McLeod rounded out the top five.

Spangler took advantage of a caution with four laps to go to take the lead from Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford, as the 2014 points and championship winner led the first 26 laps.

The Michigan driver led the final five laps, including a green-white-checkered finish, to win his first Late Model Shootout and $3,000 payout.

Glassford hung for second, followed by Blenheim’s Andrew Reaume, Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis and Ruhlman, who drove both classes.

Cottam’s Rob Quick led all 20 laps to win the Mini-Mods feature, making up for a crash early in Friday’s season championship race while running second that led to a 13th-place finish.

The magic marker bearing his name on the $1,000 winner’s cheque was barely dry, and Quick was already on the phone.

Rob Quick climbs out of his tribute car to his father Bob after winning the Mini-Mod Shootout feature.

Rob Quick climbs out of his tribute car to his father Bob after winning the Mini-Mod Shootout feature.

“I had to call my Dad and tell him how we did … he was pretty happy,” Quick said after winning the Mini-Mods feature at the Canadian Fall Shootout at South Buxton Raceway on Saturday night.

Quick’s father Bob, 78, was back home in the Cottam area, too ill to make the trip to South Buxton.

Quick, 51, put a new paint scheme on his Mini-Mod last week in tribute of his father, with the No. 5, colours and logo from the 1935 Coup he ran at Ridge Raceway in 1969.

“This was really special to win tonight with this on the car for my dad … it’s pretty emotional,” Quick said.

Quick’s crew was up early Saturday morning to make repairs to get the car back to the track for the Shootout.

“I would have loved to win the championship, but being the first Mini-Mods Shootout winner is pretty good too,” Quick said.

“It’s a credit to P.J. (Wolters) and my crew, they worked on the car all day and get it to Victory Lane tonight,” he said.Chatham’s Tim Mackenzie was second, followed by Dresden’s Matt Sorrell, Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr. And Leamington’s Brandon Windsor.

Blenheim’s Trevor Jones, who won the season championship race on Friday to go with his points title, finished 11th in the Shootout after a spin in lap 16 while running fourth.

Pit Stops

  • Glassford won the Late Model Dash and Dale Jr. The Modified dash to earn the poles for their respective features.
  • Darryl Hoekstra and Clayton Smith won the ‘B’ Mains for the Modifieds.
  • Shaw and Lozon won the Sport Stocks heats, Quick, Sorrell and Mackenzie were the Mini-Mods heat winners.
  • Chris Simpson of Merlin won $1,443 in the Chatham-Kent Crimestoppers 50-50 draw.
  • The draw for the Suzuki Quad from Bob’s Motorsports will be drawn and announced on Monday.
  • Westside Performance Plus in Blenheim, sponsor of the Late Model division, put up the $1,000 winner’s purse for the Mini-Mod Shootout.
  • Kim Connor Fishleigh’s Pampered Chef, Sherry Lemesurier and SBR shared in the Modified’s $2,000 winner’s purse.
  • Humbers Nursery, Garry Lemesurier and SBR provided the $3,000 winner’s purse for the Late Models.
  • Scott Burk’s Erieau Road Woodworking and SBR put up the $1,000 Sport Stockswinner’s share.

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