The weatherman was wrong again - but this time, South Buxton Raceway lost.
After South Buxton raced several times this year when the forecast called for rain, Saturday’s ’slight chance of rain’ turned into a steady downpour around 7:30 p.m. and never let up until well after 9 p.m.
But by the time it stopped, so had the night’s racing action after five races - two heats for Windride Transportation Sport Stocks and Tirecraft Mini-Mod plus the Bombers heat.
The Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds circled the track for a few laps, in hopes the rain would stop and we wouldn’t lose the track.
But the bid to save the track proved futile, as the Mods were eventually sent to the pits.
And after a 15-minute wait, and with the rain increasing in intensity, the race night was called.
James MacDonald ApexOne Photos (click on photos for larger views)
The four memorial races - which had already been victims of the season’s first rainout on June 1 - have been rescheduled for Saturday, July 27.
Saturday’s program began with an emotional pre-race ceremony honouring Rick Fryer, a 47-year-old Windsor native, and father of Shane Fryer who drove in the Comp 4 class the last two seasons, who passed away last week.
Fryer helped out many of the Essex County race teams over the years, starting as a 14-year-old working on Jerry Lewis’s race team at Checker Flag in Windsor.
Several of the teams he helped over the years - Tiffany Ellis, Doris and Patrick Lajeunesse, Gerald Martin, Rob Quick and Joe Brosseau - took part in the ceremony along with Rick’s children Becca, Ray and Shane, as they released balloons in his memory.
Ellis and Martin further paid tribute to Fryer with the numbers ‘08′ and ‘95′ respectively on their cars for the night.
However, only Ellis was able to race as she was unfortunately caught up in a wreck in the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks.
Martin’s Modified car never saw the track.
However, Tiffany’s father Jim Ellis picked up his first checkered flag since 2011 by winning the second Sport Stock heat race while Merlin’s Steve Shaw won the first heat.
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere finished third in the second heat race, ending his win streak at seven consecutive races.
Cottam’s Rob Quick won the second heat, his 10th checkered flag of the season in the Tirecraft Mini-Mods while Merlin’s Jody Mason won the first heat.
Blenheim’s Jeff Schives won the Bombers’ heat, running the last couple of laps in a steady rain as it proved to be the last race of the night.
Schives also made his debut in the Mini-Mods, driving Brad Wonnacott’s No. 36 as he was going to run in his brother Cory Schives’ memorial race later in the evening.
The Schives memorial race, as well as the Gord DeWael Late Model, Brian Outhouse Modified and Len Bryden Sport Stock memorial races, will all be run on July 27.
Saturday’s 50-50 draw was won by Carol Toth, sister of Gord DeWael, a $522.50 prize from the Chatham Sports Hall Of Fame. Not only was it an emotional time for Carol and the DeWael family to be at the track to honour Gord on Saturday, it was an even more poignant moment as Carol’s husband Dan passed away last week at the age of 67 after a lengthy illness. Carol and Dan are long-time fans at South Buxton.
This Saturday will be Mid-Season Championship Night in all five classes. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.
The Chatham-Kent Big Brothers/Big Sisters 50-50 draw from June 29 is still unclaimed. The winning ticket number is a 423863 on a green ticket, worth $709. If you have this ticket, please call Sherry Lemesurier (519-360-0371).