Delaware Speedway

OPEN THOUGHTS: Holy Late Model Finish! at Delaware Speedway

Open Thoughts is pretty self-explanatory – it’s where you get to hear my opinion on what I’ve seen and witnessed. Please note it is my opinion, and mine alone so you’re obviously free to disagree. This is all about encouraging discussion about racing. 

This edition focuses on the racing at Delaware Speedway, from the dramatics of the Late Models and Bone Stocks, to my very clear, open thoughts on the new time stamp rule for the V8 Stocks. 

Excitement was in the air on Friday night at Delaware Speedway, and for a good reason for plenty of what happened throughout.

Notably, when the original announcement came out, I questioned the track on just repaving the outside groove. However, seeing the late models the past two weeks, it makes perfect sense. It is coming in oh so well with the moves, from the late-race restarts to the last lap on Friday.

The Late Models obviously stole the headlines, thanks to Jaden Chapman and Ray Morneau. A last lap move by the No. 03 to go to the outside almost paid off, as he came up mere inches of clearing the No. 13 for the top spot. Now imagine if Morneau made the move a lap earlier, even perhaps a couple corners. Perhaps it would have been the story of the season in showcasing what they have done.

Seeing Chapman score the victory was not a surprise, given the speed he showed last week before his mechanical issues. Call it a good way to rebound.

Of course, it was not without issues throughout, including an incident between Patrick Freel and Connor Pritiko. While Pritiko may have been blamed for driving over the door of the No. 18, you cannot pile it on his shoulders as Freel’s decision to come down and block resulted in what happened. You’d think people would know blocking at a half-mile is a big no-no.

The Bone Stocks got off to a rough start, and it had you wondering whether a time limit may need to be implemented with four cautions with just four laps in the books. But, was it a really surprise when you had that big a field on the track? Given all the concerns about counts province wide, seeing 40 cars register for a single night is highly impressive.

Beginning stages aside, it turned into very impressive feature by the checkered flag in seeing battles throughout the whole field. As Kris Lawrence said, “We know we’re just entry level, but we hope to be the show for you guys.”

Lawrence ultimately picked up the victory in dominating fashion, after failing to score a win last season en route to the championship. Beyond being a great driver, the driver of the No. 28 continues to win the hearts of everyone with fielding five or six entries at a time, as well as putting initiatives together to help grow the division.

His brother, by the way, certainly proved his worth with Jo Lawrence driving from 20th to a runner-up finish. Now if only there was a caution in the final 10, we could have seen what he had for Kris.

There’s also a shout-out to be given to Flamboro Speedway regular Alex Stewart, as we’ve progressively watched him improve as a driver since his beginnings in 2021. He was strong tonight with a runner-up in the heat, followed by running top-five for a while en route to 11th. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget Wayde Thorne had this car on it’s roof just a couple weeks ago.

Let’s be frank – the V8 Stocks are not my cup of tea, and for one simple reason. I’ve never been a fan of lap time rules for divisions, and that includes this new hit a certain lap time and get black flagged, all because someone dominated last year.  It’s why when the announcers said “I don’t want to call it a gimmick,” all I can say is if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, you get the idea.

For someone whose been a fan of racing, battles, and going as fast as you can with what you have, being “blackflagged for going too fast on the last lap” just doesn’t sound right at all. I mean, a great battle between the top-two as witnessed shouldn’t be ruined by a time rule.

Actually, while the commentators were saying “they’re having one heck of a race for these drivers,” all I could wonder was if they were  running side-by-side, trying to push each other to break the time barrier but stay side-by-side to try and get the win. I mean, I can take another set of words out of their mouth in saying “it’s like it’s scripted,” and it is because they set a time they cannot go quicker than them so therefore they’re going right to that time to stay in the battle for the lead without going over. This is how you script the races close ladies and gents.

That said, Jordan Morris’ car looked beautiful as ever and is another fine example why the OSCAAR Hot Rods are becoming everyone’s favourite division – but we’ll save that for another night.

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