By Ryan Dyson
Friday May 26th at Delaware Speedway featured weekly racing at the half-mile with three divisions on the card including the Ground Masters Super Stocks, TransAxle V8 Stocks, and Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks. The evening also featured the first King of the Hill Spectators Race of the 2017 season.
Group qualifying began the evenings events, setting the lineups for the double feature races. The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks took to the track before the event to lock in their times. Steve Lovie set a new track record in qualifying with a 23.863 over Derek Moesker and Don Armstrong. The qualifying session came to an early end as a new registration, Justin Campbell, made significant contact with the outside wall and needed the flatbeds help off the track.
After a pair of NASCAR Pinty’s Series cars took to the track for practice ahead of next week’s Choko/Fast Eddie 250 Presented by Havoline, opening ceremonies kicked off what was a great night of short track racing. The TransAxle V8 Stocks ran their 3 minute group qualifying session where Jeremy Taggart scored the pole with a 21.968 over points leader Barry Watson and Nathan Taback in 3rd. Following the session the #73 of Jordan Morris and the 810 of Kyle Mezenberg had their times disallowed due to tech infractions. The Ground Masters Super Stocks ran their 3 minute session where Kathleen Green set quick time over Gary Adriaensen and David McCullough with a 20.739. The session ended when Jason Lidster suffered a mechanical failure off of turn 2. Unfortunately for Green she had an issue in tech and her time was disallowed.
The TransAxle V8 Stocks were up first in the rotation for their first 25-lap feature race with Cody Payne starting on pole beside Nathan Taback. Taback jumped to the early lead as Taggart followed through for 2nd with Barry Watson charging to 3rd. On lap 3, Jeremy Taggart moved past Taback for the lead as Watson followed through, moving the #46 machine back to 3rd. By the halfway point in the race the front two had distanced themselves from the field as Payne ran 4th ahead of Steve Book in 5th. On lap 16 there was a change for the race lead as Barry Watson advanced past Taggart, however it wasn’t easy as Taggart continued to pressure from behind. Barry Watson continued his streak with the win, remaining undefeated as Jeremy Taggart finished 2nd ahead of Taback, Payne and Book.
Jake Sheridan started on pole for the first of two 25-lap Ground Masters Super Stock feature races with Darrell Lake 2nd. Darrell Lake led the opening lap of the race until Sheridan pulled away on the inside. On lap 3 the first caution flag of the night came out as Gary Adriaensen went around in turn 4 while running in the top 5. On the restart, Darrell Lake slipped up in turn 1 allowing several drivers to move past before the caution flag came out once again on lap 6 as Trevor Collver came to a stop off of turn 2. Matt Robblee and Andrew Ferreira moved past David McCullough for 2nd and 3rd respectively on the restart as Sheridan opened up his lead. Sheridan would go on to win the race, continuing his dominance in 2017 as Matt Robblee and Andrew Ferreira finished 2nd and 3rd in the race.
The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks started their first feature race with Chris Medlinger on pole alongside Bill Brekelmans. Steve Lovie took the lead early and immediately stretched his legs on the field as drivers battled 3 and 4-wide behind. By the halfway point in the race, Lovie had opened up a large lead over Derek Moesker and Bill Brekelmans. The race went caution free and saw Steve Lovie return to victory lane over Derek Moesker and Craig Cole who finished 3rd.
The second round of feature races began with the TransAxle V8 Stocks as Trevor Sommers led the field to the green flag beside Shawn Fucile. Manuel Ferreira jumped to the early race lead as the field raced for positions behind going 2 and 3-wide at times. On lap 6, Barry Watson moved to the outside and into the race lead, while the best battle on the track was for 5th as Steve Book, Jordan Morris and Jeff Ferguson ran very close. The caution flag came out on lap 10 as Shawn Fucile spun off of turn 2, just as business was picking up in the mid pack. Nathan Taback moved into 2nd on the restart as him and Watson pulled away with Steve Book trailing. The caution came out on lap 21 as Jordan Morris went around off of 2, just as Manuel Ferreira slowed while running in the mid pack. Steve Book slipped past Taback for the 2nd position on the restart and would finish there behind Barry Watson, ahead of Taback who finished 3rd.
The Ground Masters Super Stocks began their 2nd 25-lap feature race with Brittany Beatty on pole beside Geoff Chant. On the start the field jumped 3-wide, and it did not end well as they stacked up with Matt Robblee getting the worst of it, losing the entire front bumper, resulting in a debris caution. On the restart, Gary Zwygers advanced to the lead over Trevor Collver and Derek McCullough as the field followed behind, racing very aggressive. On lap 9, Gary Adriaensen and Jamie Klumper got together off of turn 4, resulting in a massive crash on the front straightaway between the two. Adrianesen’s #55 machine made very hard contact with the inside wall, resulting in the car getting slightly airborne before coming back onto all 4 wheels and stopping in turn 1 ahead of a trail of fluid. On the ensuing restart Trevor Collver moved into the top position as Zwygers was shuffled back. By lap 15 the battle for the lead was heating up as David McCullough was pressing Collver from behind and Darrell Lake was trailing in 3rd. On lap 18 the caution flag came out as contact between Darrell Lake and David McCullough sent the #39 around. As a result of the contact the #77 of Lake was sent to the rear, setting up for a frantic finish with Collver out front, Ferreira 2nd and Jake Sheridan 3rd. On the restart, Collver held the top position until lap 22 when Jake Sheridan made a pass on the inside and went on to win over Andrew Ferreira, who was just 0.3 seconds behind. Gary Zwygers finished the race rounding out the podium position in 3rd.
The final race of the evening was the second 25-lap feature for the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks which saw Pam Mitchell start on pole alongside the #82 of Bob Stratford. Stratford jumped to the top position and would remain there as the top qualifiers raced their way through the field. The are stayed clean as the drivers went 4 and even 5-wide down the back straightaway numerous times. On lap 8 the caution flag came out for a stopped Don Hamilton in turn 1, setting up for a wild restart. The restart allowed Steve Lovie to assume the race lead with Derek Moesker moving into 2nd ahead of Matthew Miller in the #99. The caution came out once again on lap 13 for a stopped Jesse Rudd in turn 3. After a brief challenge from Moesker, Lovie pulled away once again to maintain the race lead. The best battle on the track was just inside the top 10 as 10-12 cars raced close for positions, swerving in and out of traffic. Steve Lovie would double down on the evening, winning back-to-back races with Derek Moesker 2nd and Chris Radder 3rd.
The King of the Hill Spectators Race saw race fans go around the track for 1 on 1 drag races with pickup trucks, sedans, hatchbacks and whatever else people wanted to experience on the half-mile. Ken from Woodstock won the event in his familiar Mustang beating out all the competition.
The next event at Delaware Speedway is the June 2nd-3rd doubleheader weekend with regular racing on the Friday night and the return of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series on the Saturday. Camping for the 2-day weekend is available, however is almost sold out. Advance tickets are on sale now for both days on www.DelawareSpeedway.com. Race fans have requested the return of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series for years and will have the opportunity to see Canada’s top touring series at its home for the first time since 2013.