Andrew Reaume makes his return to South Buxton Raceway on Saturday, three nights after being a part of a historic night at Eldora Speedway.
Reaume finished ninth in a Late Model exhibition race on Wednesday, an auxiliary race to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mudsummer Classic.
The Blenheim native will make his first appearance of the season on his home track Saturday in South Buxton’s third attempt to run the Gord DeWael memorial race for the Lube Tech/Great Canadian Oil Change UMP Late Models.
Rain forced the postponement of the original June 1 memorial night date and the make-up date on July 6.
Three other memorial races are also on Saturday’s schedule.
Car Show Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Lube Tech; Special reduce prices Saturday night
Wednesday was a night to remember at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway for NASCAR’s first race on a dirt track in 43 years.
Austin Dillon won the Truck Series race, NASCAR’s first dirt race in any of its series since Richard Petty won a Grand National race at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Sept. 30, 1970.
While it was a momentous night for NASCAR and fans - including a number of local die-hards who made the five-hour journey - it was just another race for Reaume in his Late Model career.
“We were kind of secluded from the whole deal,” the Blenheim native said.
“We weren’t allowed to drive through the pits, we had to do all of our stuff in the little garage in turn three.
“It was pretty strict, definitely a NASCAR deal,” Reaume said.
He said the track was unusually dry for a Late Model race at Eldora, which hosts some of the biggest races on the UMP schedule.
“They had it set up for the trucks and they didn’t want it too dirty because they were worried about the (truck) windshields,” said Reaume, as Late Mole cars use screens in place of the reinforced glass.
“It was pretty well one lane, there wasn’t much passing, and if you had to restart on the bottom, guaranteed you were going to lose that spot,” said Reaume, who started the 20-car 25-lap exhibition in the eighth position and finished ninth.
Jacob Hawkins took the checkered flag, with other familiar names such as Tyler Reddick third, Dale Mcdowell fourth and Jeep Vanwormer 11th.
The field also had three other past South Buxton feature winners, including the 2008 Modified Summer Sizzler winner Jeff Babcock, who finished fifth, five-time Shootout winner Brian Ruhlman who finished 12th and last year’s UMP Late Model season championship race winner Brandon Thirlby, who was 17th.
Babcock also made the 30-car field for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, as he had overheating problems and finished 30th.
Reaume returns to his home track where he will drive Kirk Hooker’s No. 38 in the DeWael memorial.
The last time Reaume raced at South Buxton, he drove the same Hooker machine to his third career Late Model Shootout win last September.
“I was too young to remember watching Gord when he was racing with my father (Brett), I just knew him from being around the pits,” Reaume said of his memories of DeWael.
“I heard all the stories and I got along real good with.
“That’s why I want to definitely want to win, because Gord was a pretty cool guy,” Reaume said, a two-time track champion before taking his career to the Ohio circuit five years ago.
Another former track champion, Chris Ross of Charing Cross, will be in the field.
Ross, who is running a partial schedule in Ohio, had back-to-back two three-for-three sweeps at South Buxton on May 25 and June 8.
An expanded purse and extra pay on every lap of the 25-lap feature is expected to draw the largest car count of the season for the DeWael memorial, honouring the three-time track champion who died in January.
Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford will be gunning for his fifth straight UMP Late Model feature win in the DeWael memorial.
Glassford extended his feature win streak by winning last week’s Don Hendricks memorial race.
“I’m using up a lot of my good luck lately, so we’re going to go over the car extra hard this week, because next week’s going to be a special night too,” Glassford said after winning the Hendricks memoiral, looking ahead to this Saturday’s DeWael feature.
“There’s a handful of guys out here who, if they can get in the spot, can win on any night,” Glassford said of the South Buxton regulars.
“But when you get guys like Chris and Andrew coming in, they have great cars and they’re very serious about their racing.
“When you win against cars like that, you’re doing really good,” Glassford said.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell leads the UMP Late Model standings by 104 points over Glassford, who missed two nights this season.
The Tirecraft Mini-Mods will race in the fifth annual Cory Schives memorial, named in honour of the Blenheim teen who died in 2009, less than a week after his 17th birthday, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Blenheim’s Trevor Jones is the defending Schives’ memorial race winner.
The Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds will race in the Brian Outhouse memorial, named in honour of the long-time track worker who died in 2004.
Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr. won the Outhouse memorial race in 2012.
The Windride Transportation Sport Stocks will have the Len Bryden memorial feature, named in honour of the former track owner who along with his wife Peggy, changed the name to South Buxton when they took ownership in 1980 and operated the track into the 1990s.
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere is the defending Bryden race winner.
Vanderiviere, the two-time defending series champion, takes a 47-point lead over Merlin’s Steve Shaw atop the Sport Stocks standings heading into Saturday’s action.
The two drivers have combined to win all nine features in the class - five by Vanderiviere including four in a row before Shaw broke the streak with his fourth win last Saturday.
Darryl Hoekstra has opened a 58-point lead over Brian Speelman in a battle of Chatham drivers atop the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.
Hoekstra, who earned his second career feature win last Saturday, took over the points lead following the July 13 races.
Dale Jr., the two-time defending series and eight-time track champion, moved into fourth in the standings but is a distant 91 points behind Hoekstra.
Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano padded his Mini-Mod lead to 91 points over Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr., thanks to his fifth feature win of the season last Saturday.
Reduced prices are in effect Saturday, with $2 off the regular admission for adults, seniors and teens. Pit admission is $15 for Saturday, $10 off the regular fee.
As a prelude to Saturday’s racing action, several race cars will be display at Lube Tech, at 495 Richmond St. in Chatham, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.