Mother Nature caused a delay of almost a week, but the 30th annual APC Autumn Colours Classic, presented by Toronto Motorama finally saw its ‘A’ main events take the green flag Saturday, October 14th at Peterborough Speedway.
Doug Butler and Karl Sault brought the 24 car SwitchTire Mini Stock field to the line in a 67-lap headliner, in memory of Melissa Bullen and Matt Spence. Butler took the early lead, with Sault close behind. The pack was running some solid laps and started to catch the tail-end of the field with only 6 circuits on the scoreboard. Shawn Taylor moved into the runner-up position as the leaders worked through traffic until a yellow flag for an issue on the backstretch with a dozen laps complete slowed the pace. Ryan Babin was turning some solid laps in his No. 89 machine, with the leaders holding about a straightaway’s advantage with 22 laps on the scoreboard. A pair of yellow flags – with 39 and 47 laps complete – brought the field back together and gave Taylor a shot at the leader. After being content with 2nd spot, he worked his way around Butler to take the win. Will Gibbons, Bobby Mercer and Jacob Sutcliffe completed the top-5.
Front row starters Danny Benedict and Treyton Lapcevich brought the field of close to 20 KOD Disposal Late Model teams to the line for the Electric City 167. With James Horner looking to find a way past, the lead duo set the early pace as the pack started putting backmarkers a lap down with 11 laps on the scoreboard. Working through traffic, Benedict – a graduate of the Peterborough Speedway Mini Stock ranks – showed the strength of his No. 54 piece, building a 3-car length advantage on Lapcevich. Ryan Kimball – the 2023 hometown track champion – took over 3rd spot following a lap 28 caution, with the lead duo still taking the quick way around. A trio of yellow flags may have slowed the overall race pace, but the No. 54 and No. 0 cars were still in control: now by over a straightaway. Track officials chose to use a lap 86 caution as the mid-race break. Lapcevich took the lead on the ensuing green flag, with he and Benedict battling side-by-side before the No. 54 regained the lead and held-on for the win that saw him named 2023 Autumn Colours Classic champion. Lapcevich, Gord Shepherd, Lane Zardo and Bobby Cousineau completed the top 5.
Front row starters Tyler Hawn and Rick Spencer-Walt showed the way as the OSCAAR Hot Rod Series runners hit the track for a 30-lap feature tilt. Hawn held the hot hand from the drop of the green flag, but Spencer-Walt wasn’t about to let the No. 2 car out of his sight. The lead duo was joined by AJ Emms as they started to catch the back of the pack. With the exception of an early-race yellow flag, the 30-lap affair ran caution-free with Hawn picking-up the checkered flag. Spencer-Walt, Emms, Luke Gignac and Connor Ellis were next across the line.
With Wayde Thorne and Chris Allard leading the way, the Battlefield Equipment Rental Bone Stockers left the staging area for their 40-lap main event. Thorne took the early race lead, with Phil Givens moving into the runner-up spot. Allard was looking to close the distance on the lead duo as the field started to put racers at the tail-end of the field a lap down with about a dozen laps complete. The potent No. 0 ride took over the race lead in traffic and survived a caution flag just past the halfway mark to take the win. Kyle Neumeister, Allard, Thorne and Spencer Riddell followed Givens across the stripe.
Shawn Chenoweth and TJ Edwards brought the OSCAAR Modifieds to the Great Canadian RV green flag for a 40-lap feature event. Chenoweth, who has always had strong runs at Peterborough Speedway took the lead from the drop of the green flag. He was in control of the headliner until an incident in the 3rd turn slowed the pace with a dozen laps on the scoreboard. On the ensuing restart, the top-3 runners broke away with a 7 to 8 car length advantage over the 4th place car. As the laps wore on, the driver of the No. 35 ride left no doubt as to the race’s outcome as Shawn Chenoweth picked-up the win over Edwards, Bryan Batty, Tyler Liscum and AJ Emms.
The 2023 Autumn Colours Classic concluded with a 50-lap Jiffy Lube Super Stock ‘A’ main that saw Gord Shepherd and home track favourite Paul Boundy on the front row. With a pair of side-by-side parade from the top-6 starters to open the show, fans knew the track’s promotional team had saved the best for last. Shepherd and local fan-favourite Marlie Owen held the top 2 spots once things settled-down, but the first 7 cars in the field were still running nose-to-tail as the pack started putting slower traffic a lap down. Recently crowned track champion Miles Tyson moved into the 2nd spot at the halfway point and took the lead with 31-laps complete. Just as it looked like it would be a caution-free showcase, a yellow flag waved with only 3 laps remaining. Tyson held-on for the win, with Marlie Owen, Shaun McWhirter, Shepherd and Gerrit Tiemersma rounding-out the top-5.
Bullring bullet points: With inclement weather forcing the Autumn Colours Classic finale outside of its traditional Thanksgiving Weekend timeframe for the first time in recent history, the Saturday, October 14th make-up date – with almost 400 scheduled laps of green flag racing – went off without a hitch. The program started at 1:30 and was complete before 7:00…Around the track, spotters reported a few light raindrops three-quarters of the way through the final feature event…The night’s display by Supernova Fireworks lit-up the sky just as the Super Stock field was coming to the checkered flag.
Be sure to keep tabs on www.peterboroughspeedway.com and the track’s social media platforms for the latest Peterborough Speedway news and information.