Jim Jones pulled off a win for the ages on Saturday night, as the 53-year-old Chatham driver won the Lube Tech/Great Canadian Oil Change UMP Late Model championship race.
Jones ran second for 23 laps before taking the lead when Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford slowed in turn four coming around to take the two-to-go signal.
Jones held off Chatham’s Kirk Hooker on the green-white checkered for his third career championship race win.
“I’m thinking I was settling in for second place, I was giving him a whirl at times, and when I seen him slow up, I’m thinking, ‘this can’t be,’ ” Jones said about taking the lead from Glassford.
“When they said ‘green-white-checkered,’ I said to myself, ’settle down, let’s get this race over with and don’t let anyone get by,’ ” he said.
“I guess I was due,” Jones said with a smile.
Jones, whose career began in 1976 as a 15-year-old when South Buxton was still known as Raleigh Raceway, won both the Late Model and the Great Lakes Late Model championship races along with the points title in 2004.
It was his first feature win since June 19, 2010.
Hooker hung on for second, followed by Charing Cross’s Chris Ross, Chatham’s Erick Walker and Blenheim’s Reid Gill.
Glassford said the belt came off the fuel pump, costing him the win.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell, who wrapped up his second straight Late Model points championship two weeks ago, had motor issues before the race night. He dropped to the back of the field for the green flag and went to the pits, finishing 13th.
Leamington’s Joel Dick led all 30 laps to win his second Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified championship race in the last three years.
Dick held off a furious challenge from Chatham’s Louis Clements over the waning laps.
A pair of eight-time track champions - Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr. and Merlin’s Brad McLeod - finished third and fourth while Belle River’s Mario Toniolo rounded out the top five.
Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra clinched the Modified points championship with his fourth-place finish in the heat.
He started on the pole but was penalized two spots for jumping the original green and then pitted with a flat-tire on lap eight.
Hoekstra rebounded for an eighth-place finish.
In the night’s three non-points feature races, Merlin’s Steve Shaw won the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks, Kingsville’s Rob Quick the Tirecraft Mini-Mod and Blenheim’s Jeff Schives the Bombers.
Please check back later Sunday for expanded coverage.
All systems are go for tonight’s Championship Night for the Modifieds and Late Models at South Buxton Raceway.
The sun is out and a good breeze is blowing - both helping track workers to continue getting the racing surface, pits and parking lots ready for tonight’s racing action.
Although Chatham was hit by a sudden cloudburst around 2:15 p.m., that small, isolated system is moving to the east, far away from South Buxton.
The pits open at 4:30 p.m., the grandstand at 5:30p.m. and racing begins at 7 p.m.
Clinching his first career points title is inevitable.
But Darryl Hoekstra will be looking to double his pleasure on Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway.
The 31-year-old Chatham driver will lock up the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified points title by starting the 30-lap championship race.
“It would mean a lot to my dad and the entire race team,” Hoekstra said about becoming the 2013 Modified points champion.
His father Eugene is a seven-time points champion (1979-83 Street Stocks, ‘89 Late Model and ‘92 Pro-IMCA).
The Hoekstra would join the Brett Reaume (’85 Sportsmen, ‘04 Great Lakes Late Models) and his son Andrew (’07-08 Late Models) as the only father-son championship duos in the 42-year track history.
“It would be neat to win the championship race too, there’s not too many father-sons who have won championship races,” Hoekstra said.
Eugene has won eight championship races, including sweeps of the points and race six times, the last coming in 1992.
South Buxton Raceway will crown its 2013 champions in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds and Lube Tech/Great Canadian Oil Change UMP Late Models this Saturday night.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell has already wrapped up a second consecutive Late Model division championship as he takes a 121-point lead over Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford into the final night. The most points a driver can accumulate on a single race night is 97 by winning the feature and heat races.
Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra is on the threshold of his first Modified points championship in just his second full season of racing.
Hoekstra, who shared his ride with Louisville’s Jim Fletcher in 2011 before going solo last year, has a comfortable 80-point lead heading into Saturday.
He can clinch the points title by starting the championship race.
And a championship for Hoekstra will also be notable, as his father Eugene is an eight-time track champion.
The Hoekstra’s would join the Reaumes - father Brett and son Andrew - as the only father-son points championship duos in the 42-year track history. Brett won the 1985 Sportsmen and 2004 Great Lakes Late Model titles while Andrew won the 2007-2008 Late Model crowns.