Three drivers had perfect nights on Saturday at South Buxton Raceway
But a fourth driver had a perfect finish.
Jamie Collard pulled off a dramatic win in the Patriot Sprint Tour’s Canadian mid-season championship, catching the leader Chris Jones in the final corner and winning the sprint to the finish line.
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere, in the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks, and Cottam’s Rob Quick in the Tirecraft Mini-Mods, won feature races for the second week in a row to cap perfect three-for-three nights.
And Leamington’s Joel Dick also swept all three races in Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds, including his second feature win of 2013.
Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford won his second UMP Late Model feature in a race that Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis was making a bid to become the night’s fourth three-for-three winner. Lewis won the heat and dash earlier in the night.
Prior to Saturday, only two drivers completed three-for-three nights this season, and both did it twice – Denis DeSerrano (May 4 and 11) in the Mini-Mods and Chris Ross (May 25 and June 8 ) in the Late Models.
Photos by James MacDonald Apex One Photo; click on photos for larger views.
Collard steals PST mid-season crown away from Jones
Saturday night was a role reversal for Jamie Collard and Chris Jones.
Two weeks ago, Collard, from Burford, led every lap of a Southern Ontario Sprints feature at Brighton Speedway until the final corner when Chris Jones, from Demorestville, Ont., tried to steal the win at the line.
“I led the whole race and Chris Jones pulled up beside me in turn four … so it was a replay, except the opposite (roles),” Collard said, with a big smile, reflecting back to the June 8 race at Brighton in which he was able to hold off Jones to win by a margin of 0.016 seconds.
“Now I owe him again,” Jones countered after giving Collard a congratulatory handshake and shoulder-pat in the Winner’s Circle after Saturday’s Patriot Sprint Tour’s Canadian mid-season championship, a $3,000 victory for Collard.
Jones led from the drop of the green and was virtually unchallenged, even after caution flags waved on laps 12 and 20.
But Collard started to close the gap with under two to go and caught the leader going into turn three on the last lap.
“I got a huge run on him coming out of (turn) two and just had to give it all I had,” Collard said, describing his comeback.
“I didn’t brake much going into three, I just let it fly in there and it stuck. I can’t believe I got up beside him, I thought he had it,” Collard said.
“The car was getting a little loose, I was sliding and hit a bit of the cushion,” Jones said about losing momentum in the late laps.
While he was disappointed being denied the checkered and $3,000 first-place prize, he took solace in his strong run.
“We turned our season around, we’ve struggled all year so have a performance like this tonight is pretty impressive,” Jones said.
It was Collard’s first win at South Buxton, after racing here previously with the Northern Summer Nationals and Southern Ontario Sprints.
“We really struggled at this place before, but I think we’ve got it figured out now,” Collard said. “The track was awesome.”
Steve Poirier, from St. Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Que., Justin Barger, of Montrose, N.Y. and Tilbury’s Kyle Patrick rounded out the top five.
Patrick, who won his heat race earlier in the night, started seventh but was not able to move up to challenge the leaders.
Seventeen sprint cars were on hand for the show but only 16 started the feature as Dustin Daggett, a five-time winner at South Buxton, rolled his car at the drop of the green on the first heat race and scratched for the night.
Brantford’s Mitch Brown, who made the contact that ended Daggett’s night, went on to win the first heat while Justin Barger, from Montrose, N.Y., won the dash.
Barger and Daggett won Northern Summer National ‘A’ mains at South Buxton in 2012.
Vanderiviere shrugs off cold to continue his hot streak
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere found the perfect medication for a cold that dogged him all week – three doses of checkered flags.
The two-time reigning Windride Transportation Sport Stocks posted his first career three-for-three night as he won the heat, crack-the-whip and second straight feature race.
And in doing so, he moved atop the standings by two points over fellow Merlin driver Steve Shaw, who finished second in the feature and in his heat.
“To be honest, it’s a goal,” Vanderiviere said of winning a third straight points title.
“But my first goal is the most checkered flags,” he said, as Saturday’s collection gives him eight on the season – five over the last two weeks – one more that Shaw’s total of seven flags.
“I’m happy to take the lead and hopefully we’ll keep moving forward,” he said. “We were pretty far behind after that opening night flat tire and DNF.”
The invert after the crack-the-whip was a four, putting Vanderiviere on the outside of the second row to start the feature.
He moved into second place before the first lap was completed and passed Wheatley’s Steve Clements for the lead on lap four, bringing Shaw in tow.
Three cautions created an interesting scenario, as Vanderiviere chose the outside for restarts, as opposed to his usual preference on the bottom.
“I can run both top and bottom,” he said, in obvious reference to Shaw’s comments a week ago that he won the June 15 feature when Vanderiviere chose the bottom on restarts, leaving the top to himself.
“It took awhile to get around Steve (Clements), but once I cleared him on the bottom, I went back to the top and never went back (to the bottom),” Vanderiviere explained.
“It’s all about momentum and picking the best lane, and the top was the best lane tonight.”
He admitted choosing the top side for the restarts was to take away Shaw’s outside preference.
Once in front, Vanderiviere maintained a steady lead over Shaw, who was never able to mount a challenge against Vanderiviere.
After the race, Shaw’s crew discovered a push rod that was a half-inch shorter that it should be, after fearing they had cracked a piston.
Essex’s Doris Lajeunesse, Kingsville’s Rob Young and Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon rounded out the top five.
Clements won the second heat, his third checkered flag in two nights to equal his entire output for 2012.
Dick dodges early wreck en route to completing perfect Mod run
You couldn’t ask for a better night than what Leamington’s Joel Dick enjoyed Saturday at South Buxton Raceway
Dick, however, thought he could have done better than his perfect three-for-three night, including his second feature win of the season.
“It would have been cool to lead every lap,” said Dick, who led the final 15 of the 20-lap Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP feature.
Dick led every lap of the heat and dash preliminary races earlier in the night.
His shot at leading every lap, however, virtually ended when the invert following his dash win was an eight, putting Dick on the fourth row to start the feature.
Luck was on his side early when he was running in the ninth position and dodged a multi-car wreck on lap two that involved the cars running third through eighth.
“I saw sparks from (Brian) Speelman so I stayed a little bit high,” Dick described the crash. “I lifted and went in a little bit deeper than I wanted and thought, ‘this is going to be bad.’
“It was hard to see, but we were fortunate to get through it clean and unscathed,” said Dick, who restarted third after the carnage was cleared.
He took the lead three laps later splitting Chatham’s Louis Clements and Darryl Hoekstra coming out of turn two and led the rest of the way for his first feature win since May 25.
Hoekstra stayed with Dick for a few laps and challenged for the lead on the inside but could not make a pass.
“He had a great run underneath, I seen him in (turns) three and four and again in one and two, but I just held my line at the top because that’s where my car was running best,” Dick said of holding off Hoekstra.
“I wasn’t going down to the bottom (to block) because I had nothing down there, I knew the top was the way to go for me and it worked out well.”
Hoekstra hung on for his third second-place finish of the season.
Chatham’s Brian Speelman recovered from the second-lap incident to finish third. Speelman leads Hoekstra by 19 points atop the division standings.
Wallaceburg’s Drew Smith finished fourth followed by Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr., who twice had to get on the brakes to avoid multi-car collisions.
Merlin’s Joe Brosseau’s bid for a third straight feature win ended when he was involved in the second-lap crash and had to be towed to the pits.
Speelman and Brosseau won the other heats as 22 Mods were on hand for the night.
Glassford pushed to the limit to win UMP Late Model checkered
You couldn’t blame Dale Glassford for howling at the full moon over South Buxton on Saturday after holding off the wolves.
The Ridgetown driver won his second UMP Late Model feature of the season as he battled Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis for the first 13 laps and Charing Cross’s Chris Ross on the final circuit of the 15-lap race.
“That was awesome,” Glassford said.
“We were right on the edge … that was one of the hardest wins ever, but it was a lot of fun.”
Glassford and Lewis started on the front row and were virtually door-to-door at the start/finish line at the end of every lap.
It wasn’t until lap 13 when Glassford was finally able to pull away after Lewis glanced off the wall between turns three and four, where he not only lost his momentum but he also lost second place to Ross.
Ross, however, only had one lap to try and steal the win but Glassford hugged the bottom on the final lap to take the checkered.
“I could hear Mike and Chris all over me like wolves at the door,” Glassford said.
“They were going to have to go around me on the high side, I was sticking to my guns and wasn’t coming off the bottom.”
Glassford was impressed by Lewis, who won the heat and dash earlier in the night and was hungry for his first feature win since 2011.
“Mike was good, we fought him the whole night,” Glassford said of Lewis.
“I thought once I got in front a little bit, I might be able to get into a groove and go, but then he kept flying back on the outside and I’m thinking, ‘what the heck are you doing, you’re making this too close!’ ” Glassford laughed.
Glassford ran the bottom line where he found a good bite while Lewis was just as content to stay up top.
“I was getting a lot of momentum coming off (turns) two and four … until that wall snuck up on me,” Lewis said, as he settled for his third straight third-place finish.
Chatham’s Jim Jones and rookie Erick Walker rounded out the top five.
Rob Quick -ly heads home to celebrate victory with his wife
Rob Quick was in a hurry to get home.
“It’s my wife’s (Jacqueline) birthday, she stayed home so I have to get going and celebrate this with her,” the Cottam native said after winning his second straight feature.
He could have easily helped her blow out the birthday candles after blowing away the feature field.
Quick admitted he almost blew his chance for a three-for-three in his crack-the-whip win.
“I hit the wall, but my crew chief P.J. (Wolters) got it back together and we’re back in Victory Lane,” Quick said.
The veteran driver started on outside of row four after the invert of eight following his crack-the-whip win.
Quick moved into third on the third lap where he took the lead for good, passing Dresden’s Matt Sorrell on the high side and then shot down to the bottom to take the lead from Chatham’s Randy McKinlay coming out of turn.
Once in front, Quick’s chasers seemed to drop out one-by-one with mechanical issues, including Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano who ran second for four laps before pitting on lap 12 and posted his first DNF of the season.
Sorrell, the feature winner from two weeks ago, McKinlay and Merlin’s Jody Mason, the May 25 feature winner, all fell out of contention while running second to Quick.
Kingsville rookie driver Larry Hart moved into second with two laps to go but did not have enough time to mount a challenge.
Blenheim brothers Kyle and Brett Hope finished third and fifth, separated by Chatham’s Joel Desjardins, the only other lead-lap cars.
“We’ve got this old ’06 Warrior NAPA car running good right now, we should be running up front the rest of the season,” said Quick, whose three-for-three night gives him eight checkered flags on the season, three less than the points leader DeSerrano, who finished 12th.
DeSerrano and Sorrell won the other heats.
- Chris Ross and Brent Colby made a mad dash to get to South Buxton in time for the features. They were at Oakshade Speedway in Ohio when their program was rained out, but the cancellation came early enough for Ross and Colby to high-tail it back home.
- Their arrival created a season-high nine-car field for the UMP Late Model feature.
- Saturday’s attendance was much lower than expected, due to storms all across the area, as the box office phone started ringing around 5 p.m. with callers from Windsor, across Essex County and northern Chatham-Kent saying it was pouring rain in their areas. The radar didn’t look promising as race officials moved the program along as fast as they could until it was obvious the rain was going to bypass the track. However, seconds after Dale Glassford took the final checkered of the night, rain started falling briefly, accompanied by a huge lightning display in the northern skies.
- Ryan Bonner won his second straight Bomber feature and fourth of the season, with Jeff Schives running second for the fourth time. Dylan Bonner flipped over in the feature after hitting the light standard hill entering the infield racing surface.
- Brian Speelman’s third-place finish was his sixth top-five finish in six Modified features this season. Gregg Haskell was five-for-five in the Late Models going into the night before his streak ended with a seventh-place finish.
- Orval Grant, who makes the four-hour drive from Lima, Ohio on a regular basis throughout the season, won the 50-50 draw, worth approximately $890, from the Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers. “I love this place, I love the racing here,” Grant answered as to why regularly crosses the pond to enjoy racing at South Buxton.
- The TUSA Mod-Lites visit South Buxton this Saturday, with all five regular classes also in action. Secondary special prices are in effect - $15 adults (ages 17-59); $12 seniors (60-over) and teens (13-16), and $7 for kids (6-12).