Friday, September 1st at Delaware Speedway played host to triple features for the Case ’N Drum Oil late Models as well as double features for the Demar Aggregates Trucks and Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks. The penultimate event of the regular 2017 points season for all but the Bone Stock division would not disappoint as drivers searched for ways to close gaps or maintain existing ones.
Group qualifying kicked off the night as drivers had just 2 minutes to lay down their fastest times. The Case ’N Drum Oil Late Models were up first for their session as Branden Verhoeven (#7) topped the charts, running a 20.048. Ray Morneau Jr (#03) and Jo Lawrence (#82) qualified in 2nd and 3rd respectively. In Demar Aggregates Truck qualifying it was Rick Verberne (#88) winning the pole with a 21.883 second lap time. In Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock qualifying, Bill Brekelmans (#007) was quickest with a 24.278 over Craig Cole (#5c) and Derek Moesker (#51).
The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock Consolation Showdown opening up the evening’s racing program as the last 12 qualifiers ran a 10 lap race, starting inverted from their qualifying order. Greg Francis (#11) took the lead early but it was short lived as Don Hamilton (#30) took the top spot on lap 3 and began to stretch his legs on the field. Hamilton took the win ahead of Mark Lamont (#60) and Greg Francis.
The first of three Case ’N Drum Oil Late features started with Brady Smith (#39) and Scott O’Connor (#23) on the front row. Troubles on lap 2 brought out the caution flag as Mike Hryniuk (#15) got loose off of turn 4 and Paul Geniole Jr (#38) had nowhere to go and the two hit. On the restart, Jo Lawrence powered on the high side to take the race lead and began to distance himself from second place runner Brady Smith. As 10 laps to go approached in the race, the battle for second began to heat up as Branden Verhoeven and Ray Morneau Jr caught Smith. On lap 17, Jo Lawrence blew up down the front straightaway while leading and the entire field piled into turn 1, destroying several cars. All but Brady Smith and Scott O’Connor were destroyed in the crash as points leader Branden Verhoeven, Wayne Pilkey, Ray Morneau Jr, and Jo Lawrence had their cars taken off the track with the assistance of Whitworth Towing. Brady Smith was declared the winner of the race as he was the only car standing after the melee in turn 1.
Rick Verberne led the field of Demar Aggregates Trucks to the green flag for the first 25 lap feature with Devon Bloemendal (#01) to his high side. Bloemendal took the race lead on the high side as the field fought the dusty turn 1 after the cleanup from the late Model race. Mickey Brdyges (#55) joined the battled up front as the front two battled hard. Verberne took the lead on lap 14 as the front three drivers stayed close and Bloemendal continued to search for a way back around. Mickey Brydges battled into the second spot on lap 22, however would lose it on lap 23 and fall short to Bloemendal and Rick Verberne, who scored the victory.
Brian Brooks (#36) and Ron Proulx (#19) started on the front row for the first Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock feature as a full field roared to life behind. Brooks maintained the race lead off the start as the field went three and four wide behind, with Craig Cole and Derek Moesker (#51) moving into the top three. Moesker took the lead on lap 9 as Brooks began to lose touch with him after a few laps. Craig Cole moved into second on lap 14 as the battle for fifth got crazy. Derek Moesker went on to win the race as Craig Cole and Brian Brooks rounded out the podium spots.
After a brief intermission the racing program resumed with the Demar Aggregates Trucks after track management elected to scratch the second two races for the Late Models due to not enough cars remaining after the big crash. The track will offer race fans in attendance 50% of admission next Friday night for the inconvenience. Connor Van Steensel (#71) and Lucas Manning (#66) started on the front row for the Truck Series race, another 25 lap event. Tyler Fortey (#97) led the opening 3 laps before Rick Verberne moved into the top spot. Lucas Manning worked hard to hold on to the second spot but was only able to do so until lap 13 when he fell to fourth as Brydges and Fortey moved past. The gap between Verberne and Brydges became noticeably smaller, however the #55 machine would run out of time and Rick Verberne made it a perfect night is his #88. Tyler Fortey finished third as Lucas Manning and Jim Weirsma (#77) rounded out the top five.
Brian Rockwood and Nick Drope started on the front row for the second Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock race. There was troubles on the opening lap as Matt Dope (#17) made friends with the tire at the end of the pit wall after getting heated with Bob Stratford (#82). On the restart there was more trouble as Jesse Rudd was sent to the outside and came to a stop against the turn 1 wall. After the race finally got going it was Nick Drope leading the way until lap 9 when Bill Brekelmans took the position away. The field stayed tight together in the opening half as the battle for second developed between Jordan Morris (#73) and Matthew Miller (#99). Derek Moesker moved into second on lap 17 and began to track down Bill Brekelmans. Moesker led lap 20 and worked to sweep the evening’s races. Moesker would score the victory after starting in the rear as Bill Brekelmans and Jordan Morris rounded out the podium positions.
The next event at Delaware Speedway is championship night on September 8th as the Case N’ Drum Oil late Models, Ground Masters Super Stocks, Demar Aggregates Trucks and TransAxle V8 Stocks settle their championship scores in a one night brawl. Event gets started at 7:30pm, advance tickets are available on http://www.DelawareSpeedway.com
By Ryan Dyson