By: Ashley McCubbin
Each week, I am going to try and put together five thoughts on something in relation to short track racing based on what happened on track. Some of these will be positive, and others will be….well, not as pretty. Hopefully there is lots to talk about this year.
Now a month and a half into the season, we’re starting to see who stands out in the St. Onge Recreation Super Stocks, and who could use a little work. So with that said, here are your five thoughts to consider this time around…..
1. Championship Battle Already Heating Up
While it looked as though Jordan Howse was set to dominate in the early stages this season, the points standings after four nights of competition say otherwise. Ryan Semple has taken the points lead after Saturday night, currently just one marker ahead of Jordan Howse, and nine ahead of Mike Weeda. Johnny Morrison sits only 14 points back in fourth, with Gerrit Tiemersma an additional two makers back. That means the top-five in points are separated by just 16 points.
You could also carry that back further, with Herb Walters only sitting 17 points behind in sixth, and Justin Holmes an additional 10 markers behind (27). Oh, and Saturday night’s feature winner Mile Tyson sits eighth, 39 back. Not too shabby at all.
With four heat checkered flags, and a feature full of three-wide competition each weekend, it’s only going to get even more interesting as we head into the middle point of the season. Needless to say, you are not going to want to miss a night.
2. Remember The Last Five Thoughts?
So when each of these editions come out, there is the duty of glancing back at the previous edition to make sure that we’re spreading the love to everybody. But before we do that, let’s clear up some things from there, shall we?
Dan Archibald was able to come back from the 19th-place finish at the beginning of the year to post a third in the second night of competition, and then wrecked across the line for an eighth on June 3. Notably, Sunset may not be treating him the kindest but he has been having success at Peterborough Speedway, pulling off the hat trick a couple weeks ago.
Following a runner-up on opening night, Johnny Morrison has proven that he’s not a one-night cracker-jack with a seventh in Race No. 2, and another two heat victories.
Miles Tyson has seemed to shake the bad luck – well, sort of. He either finishes up front really well, or finds himself deep in the field. He has a win and a runner-up , to pair with two finishes outside of the top-15. But I guess we can forget those other two finishes after his first career victory on Saturday, right? Stefan Semeraro has ridden the same wave of seas as Tyson, by the way, posting a fifth and a seventh to go with his pair of finishes outside of the top-14.
FYI, I was right that the car counts were going to improve as we went this season with 21 cars showing up on the second night. Sure, there were only 19 cars on Saturday but you can expect William Hughes to rejoin the fray soon as soon as he gets a new motor in his car.
3. Solid Results, Semple
It’s time for your interesting statistic of the season – there’s only one driver who has scored a top-five each night this season, and that’d be Ryan Semple. Now, it hasn’t come easy – just look at the past two weeks. A wreck in the early stages of the June 3 feature saw his crew bust their ass off on pit road so he could drive back up through there for a third-place finish. This past weekend, starting deep in the field resulted in taking the entire event to get up front, with a late-race pass to cross the line in fifth.
A pair of fourths, third and fifth – not too shabby of a start to the year. Now, consistency should be kept an eye on as we saw how that works last year in the Late Model division, thanks to Gord Shepherd. And truthfully, the results don’t mark a surprise. He scored two victories, six top-fives and 10 top-10’s last year, to go with five heat wins. The year before, he posted one feature victory and 10 top-fives. He’s actually been one of those drivers who have been part of the championship discussion, but not yet crowned. Will this year be his season?
By the way, just because you finish top-five each night doesn’t give you the best average to date. As it stands, he has an average finish of fourth – compared to Jordan Howse’s average of 2.5 with two wins, a second, and sixth. Needless to say, performance is a must to succeed here.
4. Holmes’ Rough Night
Debuting a brand new car, Justin Holmes came out of the gate strong with a ninth, followed by a pair of sixth-place finishes. However, Saturday night didn’t go as he envisioned, with mechanical problems derailing his race, handing him a 16th.
All eyes will be on the No. 400 entry to see if he can turn it around this coming weekend and match the results of last year, which saw him post five top-fives and 13 top-10’s.
5. Three Straight Different Winners
Jordan Howse. Gerrit Tiemersma. Miles Tyson. Do you know what spells? Three straight different winners in victory lane. That’s a third of the predicted nine different winners that was previously mentioned as an attainable goal. So, who is next?
Ryan Semple, Mike Weeda and Johnny Morrison – they’re all in the top-five in points without a win yet this year. They’ve proven they can contend up front, so now it’s time for their night to shine. We’ve talked about Semple and Morrison, but Weeda should be mentioned right alongside with no finishes outside of the top-10 this year, despite having the driver’s door ripped off the car on June 3.
Coltin Everingham is not in the point’s picture with having missed the first night of competition, but he has momentum on his side with back-to-back fourth-place finishes. After getting his first heat win of the year, is the feature right around the corner?
Herb Walters is figuring out what he needs in his car, with a pair of eighths to match a pair of fifths so far. It’d certainly be a fan favourite moment to see the Cheque Casher return to victory lane for the first time in a couple years.