Chris Jones led all 20 laps to win his second straight Southern Ontario Sprint race.
And had it not been for a few inches, it would have been the Demorestville native’s second straight trip to South Buxton’s Winner’s Circle.
Jones led the first 24 laps of the Patriot Sprint Tour’s Canadian mid-season championship on June 22, only to get beaten at the line by Burford’s Jamie Collard.
But in Saturday night’s SOS feature, Jones won by a healthy margin over Ohsweken’s Glenn Styres.
“Redemption is sweet!” Jones exclaimed after climbing off the back of his No. 11J machine.
“We came back here with virtually the same set up, we changed a couple of little things and the car was good,” he said.
Jones admitted the disappointment of losing the Patriot race at the line six weeks ago was still on his mind as he returned to South Buxton.
“We had a good run, the car got a little tight at the end and we lost it on the last lap,” he looked back to the Patriot race.
Jones started in the second row on Saturday but moved to the front when pole sitter Brad Lodge of Stouffville collided with Dick Mahoney of Newmarket between turns one and two.
On the restart, Jones slid in front of Naida before taking off and never slowed down until he parked his sprint in the Winner’s Circle.
“I got the jump and the car actually rotated too good and I got a little into the sloppy stuff,” Jones described the restart.
“I slid up a little bit in front of him (Naida), I didn’t mean to get into him, but I wasn’t lifting at that point,” Jones said.
“I got the lead and it was just hold on from there.”
While Jones drove away from the pack, Naida, Styres, Collard and Alton’s Keith Dempster battled for the next four positions for the remaining laps.
Jones said he had no idea how big of a lead he had over the battle for second as he worked his way through the lapped traffic.
“I couldn’t tell how close anyone was, but you never know, you have to be aggressively cautious around the lapped cars and do what you can,” he said.
Naida was running second when he got trapped behind a lapped car coming out of turn four, allowing Styres to move into second with five laps to go, but he didn’t have enough time to mount a challenge against Jones.
Naida hung for a third-place finish while Collard and Dempster rounded out the top five.
Tilbury’s Kyle Patrick, who started eighth, gained two spots to finish sixth.
- The race ended with two separate crashes at opposite ends of the track as the checkered flag was waving.
- Brantford’s Mitch Brown, Collard and Naida won the heats.
- Patrick was second to Naida in his heat.
- Styres won the SOS season opener on May 18 while Collard won on June 8 and Jones won on July 13, all at Brighton.
- The SOS schedule returns to Brighton this Saturday and will be at Ohsweken on August 16. The series makes eastern trips on back-to-back weekends later this month as they visit Brockville Aug. 24, Cornwall on Aug. 25 and back to Brighton on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
- Saturday’s race was the first for the SOS at South Buxton since 2009 when Ridgetown’s Adam West and Naida were the feature winners.
- West, whose car was severely damaged in the June 8 race at Brighton, served as the SOS race director on Saturday.