Nine years separated Kyle Patrick from his first and second career feature wins at South Buxton Raceway.
It only took three weeks between wins number two and three.
The Tilbury native picked up his first career wingless victory in the Ontario Topless Sprints feature race on Saturday night at South Buxton.
It was actually back-to-back wins for Patrick, who hadn’t been behind the wheel of his No.33K Tilbury Tornado machine since his Aug. 2 Southern Ontario Sprints victory at South Buxton.
“That stat kind of rattled me a little bit, I had no idea it had been that long,” Patrick said, after being informed of the nine-year drought in his on-track interview.
“Being the stubborn bull that I am, I went back and looked it up and … holy cow, it was that long!” he said, with a smile.
Patrick said work has been so busy at the family-owned Patrick Welding business, he had to skip the last two race nights at Ohsweken Speedway, where he was fourth in the Corr-Pak Sprint standings earlier this month.
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“We’ve been really busy at work, which is good because that’s what makes this (racing) deal go,” he said.
“But it really didn’t skip a beat despite sitting idle the last couple of weeks,” he said of his car.
“The guys did a great job setting it up, and I’m getting more comfortable every time out,” Patrick said of his fourth time racing without the familiar sprint wing.
And just like his SOS victory earlier this month, when he made a dramatic two-car pass in one turn to take the lead, Patrick pulled off another brilliant move to go from third to first in Saturday’s OTS victory.
He was running third on a restart on lap four and got by St. Thomas’s John Watson for second coming out of turn two.
Patrick battled Warren Mahoney wheel-to-wheel for the next five laps before finally taking the lead.
And once in front, Patrick was unchallenged as he led the final 16 laps to pick up his third career South Buxton win.
“He had the line I wanted, I had to make do with where I was at,” Patrick said of his battle with Mahoney.
“I was getting more comfortable and was able to put some slide jobs on him getting into (turns) three and four,” said Patrick, who took the lead by running the high line around turn three and cutting under the leader coming out of four.
“He gave me one whale of a fight on the high side but I finally made one stick. He turned it back down underneath us and we banged wheels on the straightway, but he left me a ton of room and it was very clean racing.
“Once I was able to get up in his line, I knew we were going to be pretty darn good,” he added.
Patrick admitted he didn’t know how many laps were left when he took the lead.
“Twenty-five laps is like a life time when you’re up front,” he said.
“When you’re running second or third, you want it to be 40 laps, but I caught myself for a few laps looking at the flagman wondering, ‘when are you going to drop the white flag?’
“But I was able to put that out of my head, just concentrate on hitting my marks and keeping it smooth.”
Joe Bares, of Grand Rapids, Mich., got by Mahoney with three laps to go but had to settle for a second-place finish behind Patrick, a reversal of the June 14 OTS feature.
Watson finished fourth and Port Stanley Chris Durand was fifth.
Only eight of the 11 cars on hand Saturday started the feature, as a wild double-rollover crash three laps into the second heat ended the night early for Pain Court’s Tyler Hendricks and Newmarket’s Dick Mahoney.
Both drivers walked away a little sore but did not suffer any serious injuries - although their cars were heavily damaged.
Patrick hopes to return to Ohsweken this Friday, work-permitting, and possibly run some Saturday races in the region through the end of September.
“We didn’t have any plans on running for points at Ohsweken, and since that’s gone by the wayside, we can just go out try and pick up wins,” he said.
He is also considering running more wingless races in Michigan Traditional Sprints next year.
“These are a good bunch of guys and they pay well,” Patrick said, of his $1,300 payday.
- In a classy move, Bares walked through the gate and gave his second-place trophy to Ian Slager, a young fan who moved as close to the track as he could to take pictures of the drivers in their post-race interviews. “Are you a sprint fan?” Bares asked the young Slager. “How would you like to take this home?” he said, as he handed the trophy to the wide-eyed young fan.
- Bares also credited Patrick, his family and his race crew for helping him make repairs to his car after it was damaged in a crash States-side on Friday. “You won’t find any better people in this sport than the Patricks,” Bares told the audience.
- The audience feels the same way about Bares, a sheriff in Western Michigan, after witnessing his kindness to a young fan.
- Patrick also won his heat race on Saturday night as he finished with a total of four checkered flags (two featues, two heats), three second-place finishes and a fourth in his eight total races in the OTS and SOS at South Buxton this summer.
- Patrick was the only driver to compete in all four sprint nights. Two competed in three: Durand finished fourth in the June 14 OTS feature and fifth in the Aug. 2 SOS; Warren Mahoney was seventh in the Aug. 2 SOS and 13th in the July 5 SOS.
- The OTS finishes its season at Crystal Motor Speedway in Michigan on Sept. 13.
- The SOS concludes its season with a two-night championship weekend this Saturday and Sunday at Brighton Speedway.
- South Buxton has added a fifth sprint night with Ohsweken’s Crate Sprints coming to the Canadian Fall Shootout as a support class on Friday, Sept. 26. Hendricks, a rookie in the series, currently sits sixth in points. He hopes to have his mangled car repaired in time for this Friday’s action at Ohsweken, the final night before the Sept. 5 championship night.