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While the Tirecraft Sport Stocks post-championship Victory Lane picture was postponed by rain, Eren Vanderiviere posed for a pre-race picture to honour his sponsors - with Steve Shaw providing the 'photo-bomb.'

While the Tirecraft Sport Stocks post-championship Victory Lane picture was postponed by rain, Eren Vanderiviere posed for a pre-race picture to honour his sponsors - with Steve Shaw providing the 'photo-bomb.'

Eren Vanderiviere continued his reign - and then won in the rain.

The Chatham driver finally captured his first Tirecraft Sports Stocks championship race victory on Saturday night, taking the checkered flag just as severe weather hit the speedway, canceling the rest of the program.

“I didn’t know what was going on, I thought someone was driving through the infield,” Vanderiviere said, as visibility on the final two laps was reduced by swirling dust stirred up by a sudden wind gust.

“I took the checkered and put my window net down and got pelted by rain,” he said, as instead of a trip to Victory Lane, he headed for cover to his hauler.

“I finally win, and no celebration,” he laughed.

“I felt bad for my guys, they deserve their picture with the trophy for all the work they do. They’re the reason we won this,” said Vanderiviere, who also locked up his fourth straight points championship.

Vanderiviere led all 20 laps, winning the battle on the initial green and two restarts after cautions against his chief rival Steve Shaw, of Merlin.

“The car was perfect, sticking to the bottom,” Vanderiviere said.

“I’d see him (Shaw) entering the corners but wouldn’t see him coming off, so I was pretty confident I had a good run coming off the corners.”

Vanderiviere pulled out to good-size leads on an early nine-lap green flag run and quickly reestablished

command after a lap-10 caution.

“I don’t know how much of a lead I had on him, I just kept trying to hit my marks every time,” Vanderiviere said.

Eren Vanderiviere hugs the bottom forcing Steve Shaw to the high side of turns one and two early in the Tirecraft Sports Stocks season championship race.

Eren Vanderiviere hugs the bottom forcing Steve Shaw to the high side of turns one and two early in the Tirecraft Sports Stocks season championship race.

Kingsville’s Rob Young passed Shaw with three laps to go but couldn’t take advantage of two late single-file restarts to challenge for the lead.

“That Leitch Performance Engine was fast, it just kept getting faster and faster,” Young said of his good run.

“But I couldn’t get by Steve until he slipped up a little bit and that was the only chance I had.”

Like the week before when Young ran fourth behind Vanderiviere, he didn’t want to force the issue on Saturday.

“They were running for the championship, I didn’t want to do anything to mess them up,” he said of the Sept. 13 feature, won by Eric Vanderiviere.

“If I couldn’t pass them clean, I wasn’t going to try.

“I really enjoyed racing Steve. Eren and Eric, we raced hard side by side all year and I really enjoyed it,” Young said.

Shaw conceded that Vanderiviere had the best car on Saturday.

“Eren had the bottom covered, all I could do was get in behind him and follow him around until the next restart,” Shaw said.

The six-time championship race winner said he was able to get a run on the high side but couldn’t carry the momentum into the first turn.

“I could get a good run on the outside, but there’s just a big hole on the entrance to turn one and once you hit it, it upset the car too much,” he said.

“I had no choice but to just keep plugging away on the high side, hopefully miss that hole and maybe get lucky and get a good run on the backstretch.”

After he pushed up the track in three and four to allow Young to get by, Shaw was also under siege for third as Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon got a run on the inside.

Lozon, who won the last two championship races courtesy of skirmishes between Vanderiviere and Shaw, got in to one-and-two a little too hard and brought out the last caution, setting the stage for the wind-blown green-and-white checkered.

Chatham drivers Brent Colby and Eric Vanderiviere rounded out the top five while Chatham’s Jake Hooker finished sixth and Lozon rebounded to finish seventh.

Vanderiviere was in position to win the last three championship races but got caught up in late crashes each time to ruin his chances.

He admitted he was probably too worked up going in those races, as he changed his approach this year.

“Everyone kept saying to me all day, ‘come on, you’ve got to get pumped,’ but I just sat back, stayed calm and didn’t want to get too excited … and we did it, we finally did it!”

Colby and Lozon won the heat races.

Rob Quick turned his No. 18 Mini-Mod into a tribute to his father Bob, putting his number, paint scheme and logos from the 1939 Coupe he ran at local tracks in the late 60s and early 70s. Quick won his heat race, his 20th checkered on the season.

Rob Quick turned his No. 18 Mini-Mod into a tribute to his father Bob, putting his number, paint scheme and logos from the 1939 Coupe he ran at local tracks in the late 60s and early 70s. Quick won his heat race, his 20th checkered on the season.

Pit Stops

  • The Tirecraft Mini-Mods championship race was postponed by the rain.
  • The Mini-Mods championship race is rescheduled for this Friday night, as a part of the two-night Canadian Fall Shootout.
  • Points champion Trevor Jones, of Blenheim, will have his choice of inside or outside starting position for the championship race.
  • Chatham’s John Pinsonneault also earned a front-row starting position, as he finished five points ahead of Cottam’s Rob Quick.
  • Chatham’s Tim Mackenzie - driving for Darryl Lucio - Pinsonneault and Quick won the heats.
  • It was the 23rd checkered flag for Pinsonneault’s ‘Flying Zero’ machine and the 20th for Quick. Ironically, four of Pinsonneault’s checkereds belong to Mackenzie, including one of his seven feature wins.
  • And it was the second checkered in two years for Lucio’s No. 23, as Pinsonneault won a heat race as a sub driver in 2013.
  • The Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models and Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds non-points features, which were also rained out Saturday, will not be rescheduled.
  • Charing Cross’s Chris Ross won the Late Model heat while Merlin’s Joe Brosseau and Taylor, Mich.’s Clayton Smith took the Modified heats.
  • Tate O’Leary, the 12-year-old rookie from Port Lambton who won two Autotech Bombers’ features this year, won Saturday’s 10-lap non-points feature, as just six cars came out for the final race of the season for the class.
  • The Mini-Mods $1,000-to-win feature as a part of the Canadian Fall Shootout has been moved to Saturday, to allow for Friday’s championship race.
  • Friday’s Shootout schedule will also include hot laps and qualifying heat races for the UMP Late Models and UMP Modifieds will run qualifying heat races as well as heats and a feature for the Ohsweken Crate Sprints.
  • Saturday will be the big night, with the ‘A’ Mains for the Late Models ($3,000 to win) and Modifieds ($2,000 to win), while the Mini-Mods and Sport Stocks will both run $1,000-to-win features.
  • The draw for the Suzuki Quad from Bob’s Motorsports will be held Saturday, with ticket sales available both nights.
  • Amy Finn pocketed $470.50 from the Chatham-Kent Big Brothers Big Sisters in the 50-50 draw.
  • Saturday marked the 21st consecutive week of racing, although it was the four rain-shortened night of the season. By comparison, South Buxton ran 21 race nights in 2008-09 combined, as both seasons were marred by rainouts.
  • ‘For Sale’ season has already begun as Young sold his car to rookie Brad Bloomfield, who scratched from Saturday’s season championship.
  • Eren Vanderiviere said he will be back to defend his championship, hoping to join Brent Gibbons and Eugene Hoekstra as the only drivers in track history to win five straight season titles.
  • Vanderiviere, Young and Shaw will receive their top three championship race trophies on Saturday.

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