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.
*deep breath* *deep breath* Okay, are you calmed down now? Good, because I don’t know if I can do the same. The last two weeks for the Super Stocks have been highlight reel worthy – from three-wide on the last lap, to the closest finish of the year. Now we’re set to ramp it up with a notch with the Short Track Playoffs? Oh boy……
I guess I better get this out sooner than warranted, then. So without further-a-do, here are your five thoughts to ponder…..
Remember when…..the first edition of Five Thoughts…. for the St. Onge Recreation Super Stocks came out in June? Needless to say, some of those predictions played out as planned. How? Let me remind you….
I predicted a battle for the championship – Jordan Howse ruined that as he got a good gap on top of the points standings – scoring eight feature wins with no results outside of the top-six all year long, along with 16 heat victories. Ryan Semple effectively got himself a good gap ahead of third to remain second in the points, thanks to some consistency with three straight top-fives to close out the season. So yes, we were wrong – but hey, there was a sizable fight for third through sixth in points. Chris Allard got the spot, but by only 13 points ahead of Herb Walters, with Justin Holmes just 10 back of Walters. Oh, and Everingham was right in the thick of it, too, just 49 points behind Allard. Yep, we had a battle – just not where we predicted. Half the credit, please?
But in the same respect, I will say this here – Semple lived up to his end of the bargain – consistency all year long, as expected.
When Dan Archibald started the year, he didn’t start out that well – but yes, as mentioned in the August reminder, the return was stronger with a victory and a pair of fifths. He then added a 10th and a seventh to that, finding himself with some contact along the way. Nothing new though, right? Either way, he has momentum on his side with consistency and speed entering both the Velocity 250 this weekend.
So Johnny Morrison was a highlight in June for a good start to the season, followed by being another highlight for a victory on July 15. So since August 18 when we released the second edition, he scored a seventh, a third and an 13th. That 13th – well, he was battling for the lead on the last lap and all heck broke loose. At least he made the highlight reel for the year, though.
Miles Tyson was also a highlight in the first edition with his first career victory on June 13, but didn’t find much luck after that with a 14th and a blown motor. He returned to Sunset Speedway on Saturday night, placing 13th in what he dubbed a test session. He should be good to go, though.
Stefan Semeraro continued to ride the roller coaster that we dubbed him as being on in the first edition all year long, but completed the year with seven straight top-10’s, including a third. If you want to look at someone to win early next year, here’s someone to put on the list now. (Remind me in 2018, please).
Justin Holmes started the year rough, but he transitioned to the good side of the coin with a pair of runner-ups in the course of three weeks mid-season. Unfortunately, his last four races of the year saw him fail to place inside the top-nine.
Remember when…..the second edition of Five Thoughts…. for the St. Onge Recreation Super Stocks came out in August? Needless to say, some of those predictions played out as planned as well. How? Let me remind you….
The initial prediction sheet at the beginning of the year said that there’d be nine different winners. When the August edition was released, we had eight names on the list – Johnny Morrison, Ryan Semple, Dan Archibald, Jordan Howse, Miles Tyson, Gerrit Tiemersma, Jade Franklin, and Coltin Everingham. Ladies and Gentleman, we have hit our mark perfectly, thanks to Mike Weeda becoming the ninth different winner on the final night of the year. Do I get bonus points for saying Weeda would be the ninth in August, too? By the way, as stated – we could’ve easily hit over the mark, thanks to the likes of Brandon Passer, Chris Allard, Herb Walters, and Justin Holmes. Next year, right?
Speaking of Passer, we mentioned in the August issue that he was “finding his groove,” and I can confirm that remained to be the case. He was one of the three drivers involved in the thrilling battle for the win, three-wide on the last lap, two weeks ago at Sunset Speedway. He also closed out the campaign with a runner-up and a fifth. Playoff sleeper pick? Here you go, as he won an invitational at Sauble Speedway already this year.
Dustyn Mombourquette was tabbed as the “most improved driver” – but that may have been a jinx. While he posted eight feature top-10’s leading up to the nod including three top-fives, he failed to score a top-10 in the final three nights of competition. Sorry buddy.
Gerrit Tiemersma was listed as someone that “needed a strong finish” as his summer was just ugly, despite starting the year real strong. Does six straight top-10’s, including a third, fit that bill?
Flying under the radar…… There’s been a lot of drivers mentioned in just two editions of Five Thoughts….., so I have to ask the question – how could we forget about Coltin Everingham?
Debuting a brand new car out of the Streamline Race Products shop, he’s been one of the most consistent drivers to watch this year. After missing the first night of racing and scoring a 14th on night two, he scored nine top-fives and 13 top-10’s in the following events, including a runner-up this past Saturday night. Oh, and he won two features.
This is someone that should be on your radar to watch entering the post-season. Why? Well, look at those statistics – he’s been quick at Sunset Speedway all year so check off Velocity 250. He made at trip to Flamboro Speedway once this year to get a feel for the car and that’s when they were still learning, so he has laps there over some – check off Frostoberfest. He also ran up front at Sauble Speedway’s invitational – check off knowing how to get it done in a big field. On top of all that, he took a decent car and ran well at Autumn Colours, the biggest event of the year. Now you’re sending him back to Peterborough Speedway in a way stronger piece? Like I said, put him on the radar.
Doing a lot with a little…… The Late Model division, it was about recognizing a small family team under this category. Let’s do that again as Chris Allard, and his parents have impressed the heck out of everybody.
With one of the smallest budgets in the division, they made it work and scored a third-place points finish. Allard was solid on a weekly basis, scoring five top-five’s and 10 top-10’s. While he didn’t win a feature, I wouldn’t be surprised if he closed out the year with a playoff win, or won next year’s season-opener.
Velocity 250 is going to be interesting….. The event has been run for seven years now. While Sauble Speedway regular Marvin Freiburger took the inaugural edition, home track drivers have ruled the roost since. Lane Zardo won in 2011, followed by Randy Rusnell the next two years, then Cayden Lapcevich for the following two years, before Matt Bentley last year. Now, it’s easy to say that one of Sunset Speedway’s own will be victorious again by just reading the names throughout this very article. But, they’re not going to go unchallenged.
Sauble Speedway regular Ken Grubb is always quick in any trip that he makes to Sunset Speedway, running right with the top-five cars with ease as he puts himself in the conversation for the victory. Don’t be surprised if the ‘ol Ford gets the job done.
2017 Peterborough Speedway Champion Anthony DiBello will return to Sunset as he ran the full schedule in 2016, scoring three top-fives and eight top-10’s. With experience on his side, he may have the speed to get the job done this year.
Kenny McNicol was part of the conversation for the win at Sauble Speedway’s invitational before an incident late in the going. He won Delaware Speedway’s Great Canadian. You have to consider him as part of the conversation entering this week in that respect.