After coming close throughout the season, everything came together for A.J. Emms as he scored his first career feature victory in the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway.
The cautions came early as on the opening lap of the first heat, Brian McLean had a mechanical issue, resulting in him spinning Ryan Babin and collecting Brent McLean. Luke Gignac picked up the win ahead of Duan Cinnamon, Brent McLean, Gary Elliott, Connor James and Babin.
The second heat featured a pair of cautions as Adam Hagen spun off of turn four on Lap 1, while Robert Warnes spun Mark Gordon in turn four on Lap 3. A.J. Emms picked up the win ahead of John Harper, Gordon, Cole McFadden, Warnes, Randy Hollingsworth and Hagen.
Cory Horner won the third heat ahead of Stu Robinson Jr., Gary McLean, John Baker Jr., Alex Lees and Dan Price.
The fourth heat saw a quick caution due to Hagen getting into the backstretch wall. Robert Warnes picked up the win ahead of Elliott, James, Dick, Brian McLean, Cinnamon, Hollingsworth and Hagen.
The fifth heat saw Gordon’s weekend unfortunately end early as the motor went up in smoke. John Baker Jr. picked up the win ahead of Lees, Emms, Harper, McFadden and Horner.
Gary McLean won the sixth and final heat ahead of Brent McLean, Robinson Jr., Gignac, Price and Babin.
Come feature time, it’d be Gary Elliott starting pole ahead of Alex Lees, John Baker Jr., Gary McLean, John Harper, Brent McLean, Cory Horner, Luke Gignac, A.J. Emms, Duane Cinnamon, Cole McFadden, Stu Robinson Jr., Robert Warnes, Connor James, Dan Price, Brian McLean, Ryan Babin, Ryan Dick, Randy Hollingsworth and David Balych.
The feature started off with a spin on the front stretch by Cinnamon.
The second attempt to start the race went cleanly with Elliott putting the No. 36 Lincoln Electric, Quaker State, Timber Green Landscapes Ltd., JDS Insurance, Grind Stone, PPG, Oakville Trailers, Uptown Sports, Permatex, Metal Coaters and Creative Edge Modified out front ahead of Gary McLean and Baker. McLean then got alongside Elliott on Lap 3, putting the No. 8 McLean Industrial Design and Fabrication Ltd., and McLean Farms Modified out front.
Elliott now ran second ahead of Baker Jr., Lees, Brent McLean and Harper. McLean moved up into fourth on Lap 5, with Harper, Horner and Emms following him through a lap later. Robinson Jr. then moved into eighth on Lap 8 ahead of Gignac and Lees as McFadden went for a spin. McFadden returned to the track two laps later, stopping on the backstretch which drew the caution. The officials weren’t comfortable with the move, telling McFadden his day was over.
Gary McLean got a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Baker Jr., Brent McLean and Elliott as Harper and Horner raced side-by-side for fifth. Harper got the spot on Lap 13, bringing Emms through with him. Hroner now ran seventh ahead of Gignac, Robinson Jr., Brian McLean, Warnes, Lees, Price, James, Dick and Cinnamon.
Harper was then able to slip by Elliott for fourth on Lap 23, bringing Emms through with him before the second caution flew for Price spinning in turn four. Lees and Babin both used the caution as an opportunity to head down pit road for adjustments.
Gary McLean got a good restart ahead of Baker Jr., Emms, Brent McLean and Horner. Harper now ran sixth ahead of Robinson Jr., Elliott, Warnes and Gignac. James ran 11th followed by Brian McLean, Cinnamon, Dick and Price. The second caution then flew at Lap 28 for an incident in turn four involving Gignac, Warnes and Brian McLean. Under caution, both Lees and Babin made a trip down pit road.
Gary McLean got another good restart ahead of Baker Jr., Emms, Horner, Robinson Jr. and Harper. Hroner was then able to get by Emms on Lap 31, moving into the third position. Emms now ran fourth ahead of Robinson Jr., Harper, Brent McLean, Elliott and Brian McLean. The third caution then flew on Lap 34 for Brent McLean spinning Harper, followed by a spin by Price.
The restart saw Cinnamon go for his second spin of the afternoon as Gary McLean pulled out front of Baker Jr. and Robinson Jr. However, the green flag action was short lived as the fourth caution flew on Lap 37. Harper and Babin both spun, collecting Hollingsworth, Gignac, Brian McLean, Harper, Dick and Elliott in the process. With 13 laps to go, Elliott led Baker Jr., Robinson Jr., Elliott, Emms, Horner, Warnes, Price, Lees, Balych, Cinnamon, James, Harper, Brent McLean, Hollingsworth and Babin.
Gary McLean got another good restart as Robinson Jr. moved into second ahead of Emms with Baker Jr. now running fourth ahead of Elliott and Horner. The fifth caution then flew on Lap 39 as a result of Price and Cinnamon going around on the backstretch. Under caution, McLean broke something suspension in the left front, resulting in him having to go off the track. As a result, Stu Robinson Jr. took over the lead behind the wheel of the No. 68 Near North Construction, Matco Tools and Bourque Transmission Modified.
The restart resulted in a big pile-up in turn two which was started by contact between Robinson Jr. and Elliott, collecting Balych, Baker Jr., Brent McLean, Lees, Babin and James. As a result of Robinson Jr. being an involved car and sent to the back of the field, Emms took over the race lead. Notably, the incident allowed time for Gary McLean to fix his car and he was able to return to the track without losing a lap in the process.
Emms got a good restart to put the No. 14 Sunshine Super Wash – Orillia, Davenport Subaru, Creecher’s Design, Klotz Canada, Artech Promotional Wear – Orillia, Bromley Automotive, and TSS Top Shops – Barrie Modified out front ahead of Warnes and Harper, but the caution flew for the seventh time due to debris on Lap 41.
With the race going over it’s time limit, they would begin to count caution laps. The restart came on Lap 41 with Emms continuing to lead ahead of Warnes, Harper, Brent McLean and Balych. Gary McLean worked his way up to sixth by Lap 44 ahead of Baker Jr. and Babin. Unfortunately, his run through the field had a hiccup as he and Balych made contact in turn one, collecting Babin and resulting in the eighth caution.
A.J. Emms got a good restart to pick up the race victory ahead of Robert Warnes, Brent McLean, John Harper and John Baker Jr. Gary McLean finished sixth, followed by Alex Lees, Duane Cinnamon and Gary Elliott.
As a result, the three drivers moving on to Flamboro Speedway’s Frostoberfest with a chance at the OSCAAR Modified Championship will be A.J. Emms, John Harper and Gary McLean. Whomever finishes the highest of these three drivers at Flamboro will be the champion.