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.
It was ‘double the pleasure’ for Leamington’s Joel Dick and Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford on Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway.
Both drivers swept their division crowns by winning their season championship races and clinching points titles.
Dick already had the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds points title locked up going into Saturday’s races but had a battle on his hands with Belle River’s Mario Toniolo in the early goings before taking the lead with 10 laps to go and went on to win his second straight and third championship race in three years.
Toniolo held on for a second-place finish while Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra finished third.
Toniolo also finished second in the final points standings.
Glassford led all 20 laps to win his second career championship race in the Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models.
He went into the night with a slim two-point lead over Chatham’s Jim Jones atop the standings but emerged as the Late Model points champion for the third time of his career. Glassford finished 25 points ahead of Jones.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell, the two-time reigning points champion, finished second and Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis was third.
Chatham’s John Pinsonneault won the seventh Tirecraft Mini-Mod feature of the season for his ‘0′ car while Blenheim’s Trevor Jones finished second.
And with his second-place finish, Jones unofficially is the 2014 Mini-Mods season points champion one week before the division championship race.
Jones leads Pinsonneault, who moved into second in the standings, by 113 points - and the maximum a driver can accumulate is 105 points in a single race night.
Cottam’s Rob Quick, who went into the night second in points, fell out of the feature early and finished 17th, dropping to third in the standings, 118 points behind Jones.
Steve Shaw Jr. finished third and Dylan Wolters, the 14-year-old from Kingsville, was fourth for his third straight top-five finish.
Chatham’s Eric Vanderiviere won his second Tirecraft Sport Stocks feature of the season, with Merlin’s Steve Shaw second as the co-workers at Midas Auto Service Experts finished one-two on a night where their employer was a co-sponsor.
Chatham’s Eren Vanderiviere finished third as he will take a 52-point over Shaw into this Saturday’s championship night for the Sport Stocks in his bid for a fourth straight points crown.
Please check back later Sunday for expanded coverage.
Chatham’s Jim Jones and Leamington’s Joel Dick will both have front-row starting positions to defend their season championship race victories Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway.
Jones won the 2013 Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models championship race, the second of his career and first since 2004.
The veteran driver took the lead with two laps to go when the fuel pump belt fell off the leader Dale Glassford’s car.
Jones and Glassford will start on the front row on Saturday as the 2014 points title is also on the line between the two drivers.
Glassford carries a slim two-point lead over Jones as the points accumulated in the heat, pursuit and championship races all go toward the finals standings.