Friday, July 28th at Delaware Speedway featured a full card of racing as the Case N’ Drum Oil Late Models returned and ran triple features. The TransAxle V8 Stocks and Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks ran twin 25-lap features and a King of the Hill Spectators Race rounded out the evening’s festivities.
On track action kicked off with group qualifying for all three divisions, the first being the Case N’ Drum Oil Late Models. Drivers were let loose for a 3 minute session to post their best lap. Brandon Verhoeven topped the speed charts with a 20.131, bettering Scott O’Connor and Shae Gemmell. In TransAxle V8 Stock qualifying Barry Watson set the quick time ahead of Jeremy Taggart and Nathan Taback with a time of 21.909. The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock Series was last in the order as Derek Moesker went fastest with a time of 24.300 over Brekelmans and Craig Cole.
Shae Gemmell started on the pole position for the opening 25 lap feature race for the Case N’ Drum Oil Late Models alongside Scott O’Connor. Right away there was trouble as Craig Marche went over top of Gary Adriaensen in turn 2, leaving a damper on Adriaensen’s Late Model debut. On lap 4 Branden Verhoeven pulled alongside Gemmell and made the pass for the race lead as the drivers behind all stayed close and battled hard. Lap 13 saw the race’s second caution flag as Brady Smith spun to avoid causing a crash entering turn 1. The restart developed a great side by side battle with Verhoeven and Gemmell, however just 2 laps after the restart Verhoeven pulled away. Mike Hryniuk Jr spun on lap 17 to bring out the races third caution flag and reset the field once again. The restart saw the caution come out once again as Craig Marche went around in turn 1, setting the field for yet another double file restart. Contact between Gemmell and O’Connor on lap 21 allowed Brady Smith to thread the needle and move into 2nd position, this just before O’Connor had a tire go down entering turn 3 and went into the outside wall. Brady Smith attempted the bump and run with 2 laps to go, however Verhoeven held off for the victory. Shae Gemmell, Wayne Pilkey and Kris Lawrence rounded out the top 5.
Manny Ferreira and Kyle Mezenberg started up front of the first TransAxle V8 Stock feature, a 25 lap event. Steve Book took the lead right away as Jeremy Taggart followed through and vegan to pressure. Taggart took over the lead on lap 7 as Barry Watson slipped past Book and into the runner up position. As halfway came and went, Watson moved to the high side and the two fought hard. Nathan Taback and Steve Book battled briefly between laps 14 and 16 before Taback drove his #46 into the 3rd position. Taggert closed the gap by 5 to go as he drove the wheels off his #11, even smoking the tires numerous times. A slip from Taggart on lap 22 allowed Watson to drive to the victory as Taback rounded out the top 3 finishers.
The #07 of Ben Davey and the #5c of Craig Cole started on the front row of the 37 car field for the opening Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock feature. Right away there was trouble as Derek Moesker lost power on the front straightaway and cars scrambled to miss him. Unfortunately not all were able to as Shane Saker was sent hard into the outside wall along with Matthew Miller. Craig Cole held off Bill Brekelmans after the restart and began to distance himself as David Rockwood worked to close the gap while running in 3rd. The battle for 4th was heated as 5 cars raced inches apart just before the caution came out on lap 10 for Matt Langford going around in turn 3. On the ensuing restart Cole missed a shift and Brekelmans assumed the top position before the caution came out again on lap 12 as Mike Ebert lost a wheel on the front straightaway. David Rockwwod went around while running in the 2nd position on lap 13, resulting in another caution flag. Lap 18 saw more trouble as Don Yorke turned Kyle Neumeister entering turn 3, bringing out the caution flag. Craig Cole would pressure Brekelmans after the restart however the #007 would hold him off to score the victory. The two finished ahead of Ron Proulx, Don Armstrong and Jordan Morris.
Gary Adriaensen started on pole for the 2nd Case N’ Drum Oil Late Model feature beside Brady Smith. Smith moved to the lead right away as Adriaensen was shuffled back to 5th. The field stayed close together running nose to tail before a bump and run from Branden Verhoeven on Jay Doerr on lap 14 moved the #7 machine into 2nd. Mike Hryniuk Jr spun on lap 16 bringing out the caution flag and setting up a new race for the second half as the field was bunched back up for a restart. The restart proved disastrous as Craig Marche and Lloyd Rawlings tangled entering turn 1 and Rawlings’ #69 car made very hard contact with the outside wall. After a lengthy red flag for cleanup the race resumed and Smith and Verhoeven battled side by side. Verhoeven would get the better of the battle and go on to score another victory as Smith, Pilkey, Doerr and Lawrence rounded out the top 5.
Jeff Ferguson and Barry Watson led the field to the green flag for the 2nd TransAxle V8 Stock feature ahead of Taggart and Taback. Barry Watson took the lead off the start as Jeremy Taggart made a bold 3 wide pass for 2nd and began to erase the margin between the two. The battle for 3rd between Steve Book and Nathan Taback developed and continued for many laps as the two raced side by side. Book won the battle and Taback then had to fend off Kyle Mezenberg. Watson would go on to win the race over Taggart and Book as Taback and Mezenberg rounded out the top 5.
Silver Geiger and Jesse Rudd started up front for the 2nd Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock feature, another 25 lap event. Rudd led the opening few laps before a caution came out on lap 2 as contact between Chappell and Proulx sent Proulx around, also collecting Don Tomlinson. The restart was disastrous as several cars in the mid pack got loose and Craig Cole went up and over Shane Saker, flipping the #5c. Cole’s machine slid on its roof for a long-distance on the back straightaway before hitting the inside wall head on, while upside down, stopping the car. Cole was able to walk away from the scary crash thankfully, however his race car was battered and bruised. After the race restarted Bill Brekelmans checked out on the field as the field raced 3 and 4 wide behind. Brian Rockwood trailed in the 2nd position with his brother, David Rockwood, a distant 3rd as the halway point came. Don Yorke passed Morris for the 4th position on lap 17 before the caution flag came out on lap 18 for a stalled car. Yorke passed for 3rd as the race resumed with Brekelmans continuing to lead. Brekelmans would win the race over Brian Rockwood, Don Yorke, David Rockwood and Jordan Morris.
The final feature race of the night was the 3rd Case N’ Drum Oil Late Model feature with Gary Adriaensen starting on pole. Jay Doerr gained the lead early as Branden Verhoeven moved into 2nd within the first 5 laps of the race. The gap for the lead was eliminated by lap 10 as the battle for 4th also raged on with Shae Gemmell holding off Pilkey, Adriaensen and Lawrence. Contact sent Gemmell around in turn 1 on lap 15 setting up a 10 lap dash to the end. On the restart Brady Smith slipped past Jay Doerr for the lead and after a brief battle Branden Verhoeven also advanced past. Smith would hold off Verhoeven for the win as Verhoeven fell one spot short of a clean sweep. Doerr would bring his #43 home 3rd.
The next event at Delaware Speedway is Friday August 4th for the 2nd annual Splash Bash Cancer Drive, an event where race fans can throw water balloons at the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks as they race. The evening will also see the Ground Masters Super Stocks and Demar Aggregates Trucks racing. The event starts at 7:30pm and advance tickets can be purchased on www.DelawareSpeedway.com
By Ryan Dyson