If the last three years are any indication, patience will be the key in Saturday night’s Tirecraft Sport Stocks season championship race.
Patience, and running third in the late laps.
Crashes involving the leaders has allowed the third-place driver to win the last three Sport Stocks championship races - Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon the beneficiary the last two years and Merlin’s Steve Shaw in 2011.
Lozon went from third place to Victory Lane the last two championship races when Chatham’s Eren Vanderiviere and Shaw were involved in late-race crashes both years.
Last year’s incident came with eight laps to go in turn 2. In 2012, Vanderiviere and Shaw collided just a few hundred feet from the finish line.
In the 2011 championship race, Vanderiviere was battling Essex’s Gerald Martin for the lead when they tangled with eight to go, allowing Shaw to take the lead as he went on to win his sixth career championship race.
The two Tirecraft-sponsored divisions will take centre stage this coming Saturday night as they will crown their 2014 season champions.
Since winning the heat and feature on opening night on May 3 - and winning eight of the first 10 features this season - Joel Dick insisted points didn’t mean anything, just wins.
Dick put an exclamation mark Saturday night on a dominating season by winning both the season championship race and points title in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.
It was the Leamington driver’s second straight and third championship race victory in the last four years. He had already clinched his first career division points championship a week earlier.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Dick said about sweeping the Modified crowns.
“I’m not a points guy, but it’s cool being a champion.
“And it means a lot to win this championship race, we overcame a lot in the second half of the season,” he said.
When Dale Glassford had to take a night off in mid-July, he figured his shot at a third career points championship was finished.
He figured wrong.
The Ridgetown driver capped a tremendous season by winning his second career season championship race and also completed a remarkable comeback to win the Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models points title on Saturday night.
But he had a more pressing issue to deal with in Victory Lane.
“This is my wife’s birthday, and I forgot to get her a card,” Glassford said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
“I hope this makes up,” he said, handing his trophy to Laurie.
While Glassford is proud of all three championship winning seasons, his 2014 titles will be remembered as the most memorable to achieve.
“This one feels special because we earned it,” Glassford said of winning a third points crown.
His first title came in 2009 when he won both the points and championship race. He shared the 2010 points crown with Chatham’s Brad Authier.
“Sometimes you get a little bit lucky when you win one of these, but this one really feels special because we did it on our terms,” Glassford said.