His car was overheating, he was mired in traffic and the white flag was on the speedway.
The last place Jeff Schives thought he would wind up was in Victory Lane.
The 19-year-old Blenheim driver pulled off a stunning win in Saturday’s Autotech Bombers season championship race, with the help of a last-lap crash between the leaders.
Chatham’s Chris Ellerbeck and Blenheim’s Shawn Hope traded paint on the last lap before finally crashing just a few yards from the start finish line.
Schives, who had just moved into third place, drove past the leaders but was met with a yellow caution flag instead of the checkered as he crossed the line.
One down, four to go.
Jeff Schives was crowned the 2014 Autotech Services Bombers season points and championship race winner on Saturday night. (See other post on the Home Page).
This Saturday, we’ll be crowning the champions in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds and Westside Performance UMP Late Models.
Leamington’s Joel Dick unofficially locked up the Modifieds points championship with his seventh-place finish in a feature that was halted after nine laps because of unsafe track conditions. Chatham’s Louis Clements was awarded the win.
Dick exited Saturday with a 109-point lead over Belle River’s Mario Toniolo, with 105 points the maximum a Modified driver can accumulate in a single race night.
The Westside Performance UMP Late Model points race, however, will go right down to the final lap of the championship race.
Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford leads Chatham’s Jim Jones by two points going into Saturday night - thanks to Glassford’s sixth feature win of the season and Jones’ third-place finish.
Jones is the defending championship race winner.
Meanwhile, the Tirecraft sponsored divisions both saw their leaders win features on Saturday night to pad their leads with two race nights remaining, including the Sept. 20 championship night.
Chatham’s Eren Vanderiviere won his sixth feature and posted his first three-for-three sweep of the season to open a 60-point lead over Merlin’s Steve Shaw in the Tirecraft Sport Stocks.
Blenheim’s Trevor Jones leads Cottam’s Rob Quick by 83 points - an increase of 62 points over the last two race nights - following his fourth feature win in the Tirecraft Mini-Mods.
Photos by James MacDonald ApexOne Photo (Click on ‘Multimedia’ icon for his complete photo collection from Saturday night).
The road to Victory Lane in Saturday’s Autotech Service Bombers season championship race goes through Blenheim.
Two Blenheim drivers have dominated the class this season at South Buxton Raceway - Jeff Schives in the first half and Shawn Hope in the second.
Schives won six of the first 11 features while building as big as a 117-point lead atop the standings.
His lead over Chatham’s Chris Ellerbeck has been reduced to 54 points but he only needs to start the championship race to clinch the Bombers points title.
The second half of the season has belong to Hope, whose feature last Saturday was his fifth in the last seven weeks.
Hope has also won five heat races in the same time span as his 14 checkered flags in total are tied with Schives for the most in the division.
Schives will be going for his second straight championship race victory. He finished second to Blenheim’s Dylan Bonner in the point standings in the inaugural Bombers’ season.