The rain may be playing havoc for racecar drivers, but there’s been some great racing on-track across the province through the month of July. It’s why we need to think about what’s going on with the pure / bone stocks.
Sunset Speedway has hosted four separate nights of competition, resulting in a different driver reaching victory lane each night.
Nic Ramsay and Phil Givens each invading the regulars and being able to top them is no surprise. Both are veterans from across the province, and have visited victory lane at each track previously, with some big event wins. The bigger shock was learning Givens had not perfected a clean sweep at a single track for a long time – something that changed now.
After a strong start in the division in 2019, Matt Boyes was pinned as the early championship favourite for 2021, and that has not changed. However, having just a single win in four races is a bit surprising, though. Evidently, he was pegged as someone who should have multi-feature wins by now. By hey, we have two months to go so it’s still very well possible.
Besides, his team has been focusing on a three-car effort, with a pair of Bone Stocks and a Mini Stock. Those efforts have been just as fast as Boyes got his first career Mini Stock win, while John Bird got his first triumph – despite having to switch to the back-up car. Perhaps that’s the way the team should have gone from the beginning given the instant speed.
The list of possible first-time winners is huge, and Boyes’ winning often is gong to be a challenge as several others have come close and should break through.
Brandon Steele crossed the finish line first in a feature, but post-race inspection stripped him of the win. He came back a week later with a legal car just as fast, winning his heat. He should be visiting the room of doom once again.
There’s also Calvin Reesor, who started off the year with a runner-up. He had to switch to a pair of back-up cars the past two events due to his own mechanical gremlins, but the usual ride returning should bring back the speed.
There’s also been speed shown by both Jordan Owen and Aundrea Lusk, with the latter knowing what it takes to win a heat race.
Flamboro Speedway has been able to get in nine features, playing host to eight different winners with Jordan Morris the only repeat with the sweep on July 24. The bigger fact, is seeing how many first-time triumphs including Reece Bourgeois, Megan Mitchell, and Connor Ellis. The progress in watching each of these competitors from being back-half runners to contenders has been thrilling to watch, in riding the waves with them the whole way.
Scott Tonelli has shown continued improvement as a driver, as evident by a runner-up on Saturday and a third the week prior. Wayde Thorne drove a car that got wrecked the week prior to a third on Saturday. Eric Stewart ahs continued to develop as a driver to score a fifth on Saturday. Kyle Lucas won multiple features in 2019, and was on Mitchell’s bumper on Saturday, meaning this year’s triumph is coming. There’s also past division champion Bobby Mercer in the field.
Other drivers with top-five finishes this year include Matt Langford, Mark Lamont, Michael Neumeister, John Cote, Leo Labarbera, Chase Mitchell, Jo Lawrence, and Hailey McNicol.
Full Throttle Motor Speedway has seven features in the books, with Mark Merritt living up to his expectations after being second on the Ontario Pure / Bone Stock drivers to watch list. He has won five of those features, with no finishes worse than fifth.
Other drivers have come close, though, with Michael Peterson scoring a runner-up opening night with four top-five’s to follow suit. Connor Ellis was second on the fourth night, to go with six top-five’s this season. Jeremie Duguuy scored a runner-up in his lone Fun Stock appearance this year. Chad Jeffrey may factor in with a best-finish of third, too. Luke Dippel may factor in, as he got his first top-five of the year this past Saturday.
Delaware Speedway has not been as fortunately, with only two nights in the books for the Bone Stocks. Matt Lamont and Jason Lovie have ben victorious, with Lovie scoring a runner-up the night he did not win.
The possibilities of winners in the weeks to follow is endless, especially with a 75-lap feature scheduled for Friday. Craig Cole has two podium finishes, two top-five’s for Kris Lawrence, and Kris Fairweather placed fourth July 30. Other top-five finishers include Derek Moesker and Jordan Wilms.
It’s been all McNicol Racing at Grand Bend Speedway, with the team sweeping the five features that have been ran so far – three for Hailey McNicol, a pair of Zach Hatch.
Their strangle hold on victory lane may loosen, though, as Trevor Citchley placed third on the second night, and Kara Martin has posted results of third and sixth in her pair of appearances.
Peterborough Speedway has also only gotten a couple events in, with Ryan Oosterholt winning both of those races. Surprised? Nah, he knows what it takes to do so having won a couple championships over the years.
His reign over victory lane could come to an end soon, as Jacob Kelly has been second both nights of competition. Shawn Solomon was also third opening night after debuting his new ride last year at Flamboro Speedway with podium success, and Angelo Novis snagged himself a pair of top-five’s.