Knowing he had to outrun his championship contending opponents, Gary McLean took it one step further and outran the whole field en route to scoring the OSCAAR Modified Frostoberfest victory, picking up the 2016 OSCAAR Modified Championship.
Luke Gignac won the first heat ahead of A.J. Emms, Ryan Dick, Dan Price, Brian McLean and Rob Di Venanzo.
Gary McLean won the second heat ahead of John Harper, Brent McLean, Gary Elliott, Mike Westwood and David Balych.
Come feature time, Ryan Dick started pole ahead of Luke Gignac, Brent McLean, Gary McLean, A.J. Emms, John Harper, Gary Elliott, Dan Price, Brian McLean, Mike Westwood, David Balych and Rob Di Venanzo.
The feature didn’t start off cleanly as there’d be contact in turn four with Price and Balych. Balych was done for the event, while Price was able to continue.
The second attempt to start the event went cleanly with Gignac putting the No. 99 PBS Motors & Pumps, Wolseley Canada, Dave Wiggins Custom Exhaust, OTD Building Supplies, Fox’s Bakery and Deli, TSS Top Shops, Wix Filters, Heritage Heating Contractors, Duckworths Fish and Chips Orillia, Saniflo, and Dwinnel’s Family Movers Modified out front.
Gary McLean quickly moved into second ahead of Emms, Elliott, Dick and Brent McLean. Harper then slipped into seventh ahead of Westwood, Price and Di Venanzo.
Unfortunately, Gignac’s strong run came to an end on Lap 5 as a broken throttle linkage caused him to slow, eventually pulling into the infield.
As a result, Gary McLean took over the race lead, putting the No. 8 McLean Industrial Design and Fabrication Ltd., and McLean Farms Modified out front. Emms moved up into second ahead of Elliott, Dick and Brent McLean. Harper moved up to sixth ahead of Westwood, Price and Di Venanzo. Price was able to gain some ground, though, passing Westwood for seventh on Lap 8.
Gary McLean then led the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory and the 2016 OSCAAR Modified Championship. It marks McLean’s fifth straight series championship.
“It feels pretty good,” he said post-race. “Realistically, we’re not really all that interested in racing in the points – we just love to come race and whatever happens, happens.”
Knowing the competition he was faced for the championship, including having Emms on his tail through the second half of the event, McLean said his team was focused on one goal throughout the day.
“You know that you have to go out and win as against these guys, you’re not going to get the job done,” he said. “I guess that’s what the Chase format was designed to do – you had to run up front, get the job done – and the guys unloaded the car today with the mentality that it was going to be good enough to get the job done.”
A.J. Emms finished second, followed by Gary Elliott, Ryan Dick and Brent McLean. John Harper finished sixth, followed by Dan Price, Mike Wetwood, Rob Di Venanzo and David Balych.
By Ashley McCubbin