By Randy Spencer (P.R. Flamboro Speedway) – There is nothing like opening night in any sport. In racing, the paint schemes are new and everyone starts at zero and all have a good a chance of any at being champion. And this year Bennett Chevrolet Flamboro Speedway made some big changes. The drivers spoke and Flamboro listened. The two main things were getting a race director and transponders and for the most part both were up and ready. Doug Leonard who has been a long time race director at Ohsweken and Merrittville Speedways. Many may have known his dad Brock who was a long time pit steward and tech inspector at Flamboro and Ohsweken Speedways. The other thing was transponders. Everything was set up and several drivers had the transponders but some issues out of the tracks hands have delayed the arrival of all the units. We are hoping this will be resolved this week. These two additions will definitely improve the race experience for drivers and fans alike.
Racing got underway shortly after six with the Pure Stocks first up for the first of their two twenty lap features. Ashton Reekie and Eric Crow led the field to the first green of the 2017 season. Reekie led lap one and he and Crow battled traded the lead back and forth for several laps. Mark Thorne in the 16 would be the new leader by lap 10 as he battled with Crow and assumed the lead. From then on the real battle was for second through fifth as Thorne started to distance himself from the pack. Crow came home second followed by Andy Wheller, Ross Winters Jr. and Leo Labarbera.
The Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks were next. Billy Schwartzenberg was back behind the wheel of a Mini Stock. His normal ride is the Late Model mainly in the APC series. Billy the Kid lined up along side Michael Kenny to take green. The 24 of Blair Mayhew had some early problems and tagged the wall out of four. Schwartzenberg batted the 03 of Jake Gilbert for several laps door to door. Nice to see Gilbert back in the car after he was unable to finish the season after he severely hurt his hand. The two continued to battle until a caution came out when the 72 of Rich Schwartzenberg and Mr. Excitement Blair Mayhew got involved when the upper/lower control arm on the front right end broke on the 24 out of four. Another caution on lap 17 as Kyle Istead went around in four. Billy Schwartzenberg held off Gilbert and Allie Ditner to pick up the checkered flag.
Another change was to the name of the Thunder Cars, now known as the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks. Nineteen cars have been registered but only six have made it out on this night. Chris Howse and defending champion Shawn Arnott were on the pole. Howse led lap one. The 31 car, normally raced by Kevin Gallant, saw Brandon McFerran behind the wheel. McFerran will race the car when Gallant is off racing in the Lucas Oil Sportsman series. McFerran was on Howse’s bumper and tried to bump and run but was unable to make the pass. Arnott got by McFerran out of four on lap 16 and that’s the way they came across the line on lap 20, Howse first followed by Arnott and McFerran.
The final race before intermission was for the Pro Four Modifieds. Aaron Turkey and Dan Nanticoke were up front for the first 15 lap feature. Dan Nanticoke was the leader and the 91 of Mike Westwood was close behind. The two raced bumper to bumper for several laps. A caution came out and Westwood was put back two spots for jumping the initial start. Nanticoke broke awat and won the feature followed by Brian Nanticoke and Westwood.
Intermission saw the first King or Queen of the Hill. Nine people signed up and lots of excitement and a spin highlighted the one on one races. Cole from Orangeville was the last man standing and took home the $100 prize. The next King f the Hill is July 22nd, don’t miss your chance to be the champion!!
Round two of features got underway with Ashton Reekie and Courtney Scott on the pole. Scott was the early leader and began to breakaway from the pack and soon had a full straightaway lead as the rest of the pack battled it out behind her. The 43 of Kevin Heist was second and did everything he could to hold off the 50 of Ross Winters Jr. On lap nine, Winters got by Heist to take over second. Andy Wheller was right there as well with Doug Moir and Mark Thorne as they all were bumper to bumper and door to door. It looked like a certain win for the 10 of Scott and she was heading through three and four when the 14 of Elijah Hawrylyshyn spun and she tried to avoid and around she went. She got it going but the caution flew and a green white checkers finish would be the way this would end. Since she spun she had to take up her spot at the rear of the field. Such a shame, such a great race and that would have been her first feature win. On the restart, Winters Jr. was the leader followed by Wayde Thorne, Moir and Wheller. As the pack battled out of four on the last lap Wayde Thorne was the new leader and they all were banging and Thorne came across first then Winters and Wheller came across the line sideways with Wheller crossing by a nose to take second followed by Winters, Moir and Mark Thorne. Several other cars were involved coming across the line with an exciting end to the 21 lap second Pure Stock feature. Some harsh words and hard feelings will make for an exciting set of features next week so don’t miss it.
The second Mini Stock feature had Kyle Istead and Michael Kenny up front for this one. Shawn Taylor back from missing the last part of the 2016 season and picked up where he left off and led the first ten laps. The 84 of David Gallinger and 45 of Kaitlyn Wallace got tangled down the front stretch and that brought out a caution on lap ten. On the restart, Taylor’s troubles from last year seemed to reappear as he lost power on the start and slowly made his way to the pits. He tried to make it back out but went straight to the infield. Russ Aicken ws the new leader with Billy Schwartzenberg close behind. He tried to pass on the inside out of four unsuccessfully. He kept on Aicken’s bumper throughout followed closely by Ditner and Gilbert but Aicken would cross the line first.
The Super Stocks were led to green by 13 year old rookie Carson Nagy and Nick Troback. Nagy made the move up to Super Stocks from Mini Stocks after older brother Hudson graduated to the Late Model series. Troback led lap one and would hold off the rest of the field leading flag to flag to pick up the checkers.
The final race of the night was for the Pro Four Modifieds. Gillian Hils and Linc Erison were on the pole. Hils pulled away and and started to build a sizeable lead. The “Rockwood Rocket” Mike Westwood got by Erison on lap four and was closely followed by Dan Nanticoke. By half way Westwood and Nanticoke were closing the gap and gaining quick and on lap 11Westwood and Nanticoke got by Hils putting her back to third. That was how they ended up Westwood followed by Dan Nanticoke and Gillian Hils.
That brought to a close opening night of the 2017 season. This year promises to be the best one in a long time. You won’t want to miss a single night of action. Check the website for all the news, updates and schedule at http://www.flamborospeedway.ca
Make plans to join us next Saturday as the Grisdale Late Models make their 2017 debut. They will be joined by the Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks, the Ray’s Auto Centre & Towing Super Stocks, the Pure Stocks and Pro Four Modifieds. Pits open at 4pm, Grandstands at 5pm with racing underway at 6pm.
Thanks to Derek Smith of http://www.racepulse.com for all the photos and to Ingrid Hartman for the race videos.
Pure Stock Feature #1 : #16 Mark Thorne, #83 Eric Crow, #23 Doug Moir, #90 Andy Wheller, #50 Ross Winters Jr., #42 Leo Labarbera, #43 Kevin Heist, #10 Courtney Scott, #25 Curtis Young, #26 Ashton Reekie, #48 Steve Deleeuw, #61 Paul Ditner, #14 Elijah Hawrylyshyn, #6 Wyde Thorne (NF)
Pure Stock Feature #2 : #6 Wayde Thorne, #90 Andy Wheller, #50 Ross Winters Jr., #23 Doug Moir, #16 Mark Thorne, #43 Kevin Heist, #83 Eric Crow, #42 Leo Labarbera, #10 Courtney Scott, #26 Ashton Reekie, #48 Steve Deleeuw, #61 Paul Ditner, #14 Elijah Hawrylyshyn, #25 Curtis Young (NF)
Mini Stock Feature #1 : #86 Billy Schwartzenberg, #03 Jake Gilbert, #61 Allie Ditner, #71 Russ Aicken, #84 David Gallinger, #88 Jake Watson, #76 Shawn Taylor, #07 Michael Kenny, #79 Kyle Istead, #72 Rich Schwartzenberg, #22 Rodney Rutherford, #7 Matt Young, #45 Kaitlyn Wallace, #55 Taylor Thring, #24 Blair Mayhew (NF), #77 Mike Hooper (NF), #5 Matt Dean (NS)
Mini Stock Feature #2 : #71 Russ Aicken, #86 Billy Schwartzenberg, #03 Jake Gilbert, #61 Allie Ditner, #88 Jake Watson, #07 Michael Kenny, #72 Rich Schwartzenberg, #84 David Gallinger, #79 Kyle Istead, #22 Rodney Rutherford, #7 Matt Young, #55 Taylor Thring, #45 Kaitlyn Wallace, #76 Shawn Taylor (NF), #77 Mike Hooper (NF), #24 Blair Mayhew (NS), #5 Matt Dean (NS)
Super Stock Feature #1 : #55 Chris Howse, #76 Shawn Arnott, #31 Brandon McFerran, #73 Nick Troback, #63 Carson Nagy, #38 Bobby Mercer
Super Stock Feature #2 : #73 Nick Troback, #63 Carson Nagy, #31 Brandon McFerran, #76 Shawn Arnott, #55 Chris Howse, #38 Bobby Mercer
Pro Four Modified Feature #1 : #15 Dan Nanticoke, #9 Brian Nanticoke, #91 Mike Westwood, #68 Aaron Turkey, #93 Dan Petit, #23 Linc Erison, #8 Gillian Hils, #63 Mark Lucas (NF)
Pro Four Modified Feature #2 : #91 Mike Westwood, #15 Dan Nanticoke, #8 Gillian Hils, #9 Brian Nanticoke, #68 Aaron Turkey, #93 Dan Petit, #23 Linc Erison, #63 Mark Lucas (NF)