Delaware Speedway’s 2nd annual Splash Bash Cancer Drive was a huge success as race fans had the chance to make a donation and throw water balloons at the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks as they raced. The evening featured racing from the Ground Masters Super Stocks, Demar Aggregates Trucks and the Bone Stocks, all in a double feature format.
As per the usual weekly format the event kicked off at 6:45pm with group qualifying sessions for all three series in attendance. The Ground Masters Super Stocks were first to time trial as Gary Adriaensen set the fast time with a 20.834 over David McCullough and Darrell Lake. The drivers were about 2-tenths of a second off the current track record in their session. The Demar Aggregates Trucks were up next for their session with Rick Verberne topping the charts, clocking in at a 21.712. Devon Bloemendal and Tom Zagorodny trailed Verberne in the session. The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks were last in the lineup and there was troubles early as Cole Howard hit the outside wall in turn 1. Bill Brekelmans would time in fastest with a 24.210 over Craig Cole, the man who was upside down just one week ago.
The Ground Masters Super Stocks first of two 25-lap features kicked off the night with Andrew Ferreira starting in the pole position. Matt Robblee emerged with the lead after lap one but it would not last long as David McCullough moved past just a lap later. The field stayed on the same straightaway as the mid-point in the race approached with Darrell Lake pressuring Robblee for the 2nd spot. Gary Adriaensen was forced to the infield as the field was getting ready to go green and rejoined the race 2 laps down, but was passing cars throughout the race proving he would be a threat come time for feature race two later on in the program. Off of turn 4 on lap 16 Lake was able to move into 2nd as both him and Robblee slid off of turn 4. With just 5 laps to go the gap began closing rapidly on the race leader, meanwhile the race for 3rd got heated once again as Ferreira and Sheridan pressured Matt Robblee. Just as the white flag was about to fly the caution flag would come out as Trevor Collver went around in turn 3. This would setup a green-white-checkered finish, an exciting way to end the first feature of the program. In one of the wildest finishes of the season David McCullough would take the win over Andrew Ferreira and Darrell Lake.
Lucas Manning started on pole beside Tom Zagorodny in the opening Demar Aggregates Trucks feature race, a 25 lap event. Manning would hold the lead in the opening segment of the race as the drivers ran 2 by 2in the front rows. Rick Verberne and Devon Bloemendal put on a show for 3rd, pushing and shoving each other back and forth as halfway came in the race, all this while Manning continued to lead. With less than 10 laps to go Verberne closed the gap on Zagorodny and searched for a way around, much to the liking of Lucas Manning’s rearview mirror. Verberne and Zagorodny began leaning on each other, allowing Manning to stretch his legs just a little bit more as he searched for his first career Truck Series win. Rick Verberne gave it all he had but it was not enough as Manning would go on to win his first ever race in thrilling fashion. Zagorodny would finish third with Bloemendal and Mickey Brydges rounding out the top 5.
Round 1 of the Splash Bash was up next in the event as race fans lined up with water balloons and readied their arms for launching. Derek Moekser started on pole with Craig Cole on the outside of the first row. Moesker led Bill Brekelmans early in the race as drivers were pelted with water, this as a big battle developed for the spots in the mid field. On lap 10 Brian Rockwood went around in turn 3 as he was battling in the top 10. He would get the car pointed in the right direction and get going as the race resumed under green flag conditions. The laps ticked away as the field continued to race clean with Moesker pacing them. Moesker would take the checkered flag in the race over Bill Brekelmans and Craig Cole in 3rd.
Derek McCullough, a new father, started on the pole for the second Ground Masters Super Stock event alongside Trevor Collver. There was trouble early in the event on lap 1 as Kathleen Green and Gary Adriaensen tangled and went hard to the inside wall. Derek McCullough held the lead after the restart and would hold off a charging Jake Sheridan until lap 7 when he was passed by the #52. On lap 11 Derek McCullough sent Darrell Lake around after Lake passed him for 2nd, resulting in the #38 being sent to the rear. On lap 14 McCullough went around after contact with Darrell Lake, setting up another restart after more drama. Sheridan held the lead after the restart while Robblee and David McCullough rand 2nd and 3rd. Darrell Lake drove back into the top 5 by lap 23, an impressive march through the field since the restart. On the last lap David McCullough moved Matt Robblee for 2nd, allowing Andrew Ferreira to slip into a third place finish with Robblee falling to 4th. Jake Sheridan won the wild race that saw lots of drama and heated moments.
The second Demar Aggregates Truck feature began with Tyler Fortey on the pole with Rick Verberne beside him. Verberne assumed the lead off of the start as Bloemendal moved into 2nd and worked to close the gap. By the halfway point in the 25 lap race, Lucas Manning, who scored his first win earlier in the night, had cut the gap in half to the second place truck of Devon Bloemendal. The battle for 2nd and the battle for 4th both fully developed by 5 to go, while Rick Verberne continued to pull away from the field. On lap 23 Manning’s truck let out a big puff of smoke on the front straightaway and then he spun into turn 1 after slipping in his own oil. The driver did a great job to keep it out of the wall however once it came to a stop the #66 machine went up in flames. The driver was able to get out okay and the safety crew doused the flames quickly. The caution would setup a green-white-checkered finish, the second one on the night. Rick Verberne would hold on for the win as Tom Zagorodny finished 2nd and Devon Bloemendal in 3rd.
Dan Francis led the field to the green for the second Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock event with Don Hamilton starting alongside. Dan Francis led the opening lap before Bob Stratford assumed the lead. On lap 8 Bill Brekelmans took over the race lead as the water balloons continued to fly and hit cars as they raced. The field spread out into several pockets of cars after the halfway point with Mark Shephard running 2nd behind Bill Brekelmans. Brekelmans would take his 007 to victory lane for the 2nd time on the evening, finishing ahead of Shephard, David Rockwood, Derek Moesker and Bob Stratford.
Next week racing resumes at Delaware Speedway with the Case N’ Drum Oil Late Models, TransAxle V8 Stocks, Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks and the Ontario Legends Series. A full card featuring an extra division will get started at 6:45pm with qualifying and opening ceremonies beginning at 7:30pm. Advance tickets can be purchased on http://www.DelawareSpeedway.com
By Ryan Dyson