SAUBLE BEACH, Ontario — After placing outside the top-10 at Sunset Speedway, Brandon Watson was back in familiar territory at Sauble Speedway – sitting in victory lane.
Admittedly, it was not an easy night for the driver of the No. 9 Shear Metal Products Late Model, as he called it a roller coaster night afterwards. After all, the double header started with an 11th in the AP Emissions 75 presented by Quaker State.
“Our first race, I thought we had a pretty decent car, just couldn’t make it any moves stuck behind people side-by-side,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “So it was tough to make any moves. I don’t know if we ran out of tires or what, but it felt okay at the start but was loose at the end. We weren’t able to make much out of the first race, unfortunately.”
Crediting both his own crew and the guys from McColl Racing Enterprises, he says the adjustments made between events paid off, as the car felt pretty good in the early stages of the Stewarts 75. However, the one-groove nature of Sauble proved for tough sledding.
“With the side-by-side racing, we didn’t get to make any moves off the start,” he commented.” You’d pass a guy, then the caution comes out, you restart, and it’s just frustrating going there. The guys up front were getting into a little bit, and we were able to make up some spots with just guys taking themselves out of the race and get some positions on restarts – and you would, and then you’d get a restart where you’d get stuck in a lane that didn’t move or you didn’t make the right calls on moves there.
“It was tough battle there even in the second race trying to get spots. You look up and there’s 10 cars ahead of you, then you get a good restart and there’s just six, and then you look up and there’s 10 cars again in front of you. It was tough and you really had to keep your head on; it was a little frustrating.”
Stuck outside the top-five through the first half, Watson was able to move his way forward after the halfway mark, through a slew of back-to-back restarts with about 20 laps to go. A restart allowed him to move into second, and begin reeling in Matt Pritiko for the top spot.
“We then slowly rolled in on the 21, and noticed he was slowly getting loose,” he said. “Just gave him a little bump there in one and two, and were able to get by him, and put couple cars lengths on him, and run away with it with less than 10 to go.”
Watson will now carry an eight-point advantage over Treyten Lapcevich to Flamboro Speedway, a track that he won at early this season following a series of late-race battles.
“It’s going to be good,” he said. “We had a little luck there and other stuff going on, but our car was okay (last month). It was pretty good for most of the race, but got loose towards the end. Hopefully we got that figured out.
“It will be similar to this track. There may be some carnage again. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good race overall with some cars getting taken out – the first race was good, but the second race got a little out of hand. Hopefully at Flamboro we can all pick it up and race together, and not draw as many cautions and wreck as many cars, because I know all these cars are really expensive. It’s just tough to come out week after week and wreck some cars. Hopefully like I said, we can tighten the car up a little bit for Flamboro.
“I know we came out of there with a win last time, but we had to work pretty hard. So hopefully we come out with another and have the car handling a little bit better.”