After 2 solid days of practice and qualifying, it was all about the main events for the 3rd day of the 2013 Autumn Colours Classic – presented by Lucas Oil Products – at Peterborough Speedway. A brief shower delayed the start by an hour, but that only served to heighten the level of excitement as action hit the racetrack.
A 50 lap Thunder Car feature kicked things off, with John Baker Jr. and Travis Hallyburton brought the field to the green flag. As Baker started to close on slower cars at the tail of the field, Oshawa’s Bob Kish lost the handle coming off the 4th turn and climbed the front stretch wall. The car was finished for the day, but the driver walked away under his own power. Baker and Joe Adams occupied the front row as the pack came back to green with 10 laps complete. Hallyburton started to challenge Baker for the top spot on the 15th circuit, but the 2012 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway champ wouldn’t surrender the spot.
Baker caught the back markers just past halfway, but with 27 complete the field was slowed again as Shawn Goggins coasted to a stop on the top side of the speedway. Before the field could come back to racing speed, another shower hit the area and the cars were parked on pit lane to allow the track drying crews to take over. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wouldn’t allow things to continue and track officials were forced to delay the balance of the show to an 11:00 start Monday, October 14th.
Action got rolling well, but was a red flag was displayed at lap 30 after a multicar incident in turn number 3. Crews quickly went to work on the rides of Paul Maltese and Goggins, while the #41x of Bruce Wheller was towed to the pits. Baker continued to pace the field on the restart, with some intense battles going on throughout the pack. Another yellow slowed the pace, as Jeff Bell tagged Dan Archibald on the back straight with 46 laps complete.
The field would chase the #63 of Baker in a 4 lap trophy dash coming back to the green, with Travis Hallyburton getting the lead from JBJ as the pack entered the 3rd turn. Baker tagged Hallyburton coming off turn 4 and sent the everyone scrambling. When the dust settled, Randy Rusnell would be the race leader, with Vaughan Lawrence, Ken Grubb, Cayden Lapcevich and Todd Davenport the top 5. A second red flag was displayed with 47 circuits complete as Jason Praysner, Archibald and Lane Zardo came together exiting the 4th turn. Zardo’s #46 ride ended-up on 2 wheels, wedged between Archibald and the retaining wall.
A 4 lap trophy dash saw Rusnell take the win, with Grubb, Davenport, Lapcevich and Willie Reyns completing the top 5.
75 laps would be the issue as the 28 car Limited Late Model field took to Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Oval for their main event. Chase for the Colours pole qualifying winner Ryan Kimball and former event champion Chris Mitchell would pace the field to the stripe. Before the entire pack could cross the line, the front runners were sent scrambling as Jason Parker tagged Kimball blocking the track at the first turn. All drivers rolled away under their own power, with the exception of Nick Roth who was finished for the day. Parker and Kimball were sent to the tail for the restart, without any laps complete.
Mitchell would inherit the top spot and took Andy Kamrath along for the ride on the restart. The scoreboard showed 7 complete when the yellow was displayed for a solo spin by Taylor Holdaway. 2 laps later, Shawn Chenoweth spun coming off the 4th turn. The machines of Craig Perry, Steve Foster, Adam Cuthbertson, Gord Shepherd and Nick Goetz would head to the pit area to have their crews check things over before the restart.
Kamrath would jump into the lead, but Mitchell wouldn’t go quietly. Stompin’ Tom Walters would follow the lead pair, waiting to a chance to take another position. Another yellow bunched the field with 27 complete as Frank Davey spun coming through turns 3 and 4. During the caution period, Kamrath pitted and rejoined the race as the field was coming back up to speed. With 28 laps down, Steve Adams and Steve Foster came together coming off turn #2. Walters, Mitchell, Dwayne Baker, Jason Witty and Marvin Freiburger would be the top 5 on the restart.
With 34 laps down, polesitter Ryan Kimball was tagged by Gord Shepherd in the 4th turn. The #41 of Holdaway and Chenoweth were also involved. All drivers were able to roll away under their own power. Race leader Chris Mitchell caught the tail-end of the field with less than 25 laps to go, with Baker running in his tire tracks. With just 10 laps remaining, Jason Witty spun by himself while lapping Cuthbertson, surrendering the 4th spot to Holdaway. In a late race charge, Dwayne Baker pushed past Mitchell to become the first back-to-back Limited Late Model Autumn Colours champion. Taylor Holdaway, Gord Shepherd and Tyler Liscum completed the top 5.
James Townsend and 2013 track champion Ryan Oosterholt brought the field of 25 Four Fun starters to the line for the 40 lap ‘A’ main. Todd Gow looped the #24 machine in turn 4 with just a lap complete to bring out the race’s first yellow flag. 23 laps were in the book, when Willow Barberstock spun exiting the 4th turn. The yellow flag came with Townsend holding a dominating lead.
With 32 laps down, Griffin Powell spun in the 3rd and was collected by the #29JR of Kenny Ohno. The clean-up crew was dispatched to the track to take care of a fluid spill, while the field was realigned. Townsend – the Chase for the Colours pole winner – was never challenged for the win. Jeff Scott, Kenny Ohno Sr., Andrew Massey and Malcolm MacDonald rounded out the top 5.
Just by showing-up for the Autumn Colours Classic, Brandon Watson clinched the 2013 OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model point championship. The only question that remained was whether or not the Stayner, Ontario speedster would continue his personal Peterborough Speedway win streak. Firing from the pole position starting spot by virtue of his Chase for the Colours win, the 20 year old was considered by many as a favourite for the checkered flag.
With 50 laps to work with, Watson and Andrew Gresel quickly broke from the pack, building almost a half a track’s advantage over 3rd place running Brad Corcoran with less than 10 circuits complete. 7 laps were down when the first yellow flew for a front stretch spin by Ed Bowlby. With 13 complete, the leaders caught the back of the field, putting the #57 of Craig Stevenson down a lap. Several drivers – including George Wilson, Corey Jones and Jim Bowman – used a lap 13 spin as the opportunity to head to pit lane for changes.
On the restart, Brad Corcoran and Brent McLean came together exiting the second turn. Wilson, Bowlby, McLean, Corcoran and Shawn McGlynn would head to the pits. McLean was finished for the day. After starting deep in the field, former series champion Glenn Watson moved into 3rd spot with 15 circuits complete. A pair of laps later, the caution flag flew when McGlynn cut a right front tire and headed pit-side. Tyler Hawn made contact with the #7T of Jeff Dunford, in an incident that also collected the ride of Shane Gowan with 31 laps down. Brandon Watson and Andrew Gresel still occupied the front 2 positions.
Contact on a restart caused damage to the rear bumper on race leader Brandon Watson, forcing the #9 machine to the pits. While some of the team members worked to solve that issue, the crew also took the opportunity to change tires before sending their driver back into battle. On lap 34, contact between NASCAR Canadian Tire Series star J.R. Fitzpatrick and Jesse Kennedy sent the field scrambling in the first turn and also collected Todd Campbell and Brad Corcoran, bringing out another caution flag. Andrew Gresel and Dwayne Baker would pace the field to back to the green.
Taking advantage of some excellent racing luck and using a little muscle, Brandon Watson had moved his way back to the 3rd position when Jeff Dunford got into the #77 of George Wilson on the 39th lap. With 45 down, Brandon Watson worked to the inside of leader Gresel, just seconds before Quinn Misener spun exiting turn 4 and John Owen slapped the turn 3 wall.
Just 4 laps remained to settle the score, but as the green flag waved, the battle between Derrick Tiemersma and Brad Corcoran came to a head on the front stretch and brought the Paul Davis Systems clean-up crew to the track to add some speedy dry to a fluid spill by the #19 of Bowlby. In what can only be described as an impressive feat, Brandon Watson scored the win, with Gresel 2nd. Glenn Watson, Dwayne Baker and Gary Passer finished out the fast 5.
The 50 lap Mini Stock ‘A’ main was next to tackle the tricky Peterborough Speedway oval and the show was slowed almost as quickly as it started when outside front row starter Doug Butler pounded the retaining wall after taking the green flag. Teammates Chris Mulders – the Chase for the Colours pole position winner – and Ryan Babin broke away from the pack, with Miles Tyson in tow. The trio held a commanding advantage for 17 green flag laps before Dan Britt slowed to a stop in the 3rd turn.
With 26 complete, Ryan Babin used the #34 of Kevin Strutt as a pick and took the top spot. Tyson moved into second, dropping Mulders back to 3rd. Only 10 laps remained when the #86 of Billy Schwartzenburg spun coming off the 4th turn to bring out the event’s second yellow flag. On the restart, Tyson – running in 2nd spot – couldn’t come up to speed and bunched the field again. That moved Tyler Junkin into the 3rd position, with Kyle Baker and Peter Moore 4th and 5th.
Babin held on for the win, with Tyler Junkin second. Kyle Baker, Mulders and Warren Paxton claimed positions 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Patience would be the key as the Pro Late Model teams followed front row starters Mike Bentley and Andy Kamrath to kick-off the 113 lap feature event. Bentley, Kamrath and Dan McHattie pulled away from 4th place Mark Watson in the early stages and were less than half a track away from the backmarkers before there were 15 laps complete. Slower traffic stayed to the inside of the track, as the lead lap machines freight-trained around the top lane.
2013 Peterborough Speedway track champion Craig Graham fought 2 battles as the lap counter rolled 30 complete. The Orono, Ontario runner struggled to stay on the lead lap with Bentley on his tail, while looking to gain the next position on the track. There were 35 laps in the record books when Brent Wheller went around with help from the front bumper of Ryan Kimball to bring out a caution period. Before the field could complete a lap under green, contact between Chris Mitchell and Jamie Cox saw the #22 car climb the 3rd turn wall. Both drivers were okay, but the track crew needed to tend to the scene before action could continue.
Mitchell was able to rejoin the fray as the field came back to green flag racing. Bentley was still in control, but Dan McHattie was sliding back through the pack. The #71 machine – a 2 time Autumn Colours Classic champion – was 6th, when Bryan Mercer and Shawn Chenoweth were involved in a first turn mishap to bring out another yellow flag with 37 circuits on the lap counter. Chenoweth was tagged by Gary Elliott after 46 laps to slow the pace on Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Oval.
After starting on the front row, Bentley and Kamrath were still running in their same positions when Chenoweth spun again on the back straight with 62 laps complete. Dan McHattie and Jason Shaw swapped the 3rd and 4th spots for a few laps, while Bryan Mercer worked his way up to 6th before Mat Box spun the 4th turn, producing a lap 83 caution. On a lap 87 restart, second place running Andy Kamrath buzzed the tires and bunched the field. Race officials rules that although a number of cars were involved, it was the #35 machine that caused the incident and all others – unless they had pitted – would get their race positions back.
Wheeling a dominant machine throughout the Pro Late Model dance, defending event champion Mike Bentley would lead all 113 laps, with Flamborough Speedway veteran Jason Shaw 2nd. Port Hope, Ontario’s Bryan Mercer salvaged the best of a frustrating weekend to finish 3rd in a race dedicated to the memory of his long-time spotter Shane Crombie. Dale Shaw and Peterborough’s Mike Wallace were 4th and 5th.
The 21st Annual Autumn Colours Classic concluded with a 50 lap feature event for the OSCAAR Open Wheel Modifieds. Chase for the Colours pole qualifying winner Gary McLean and Shane Stickel would bring the field to the green flag. 15 laps were complete when Dean Scott made contact with the turn 3 retaining wall and took his #19 pit-side for attention from his crew. That would see Gary McLean relinquish his dominating race lead. The driver of the #8 ride had been in control of the field since the start of the event.
With 17 down, the #14 of Dave Terry drifted high in the first turn and drilled the tire barrier driver’s side first. Luckily, the Terry was able to walk away unhurt, but the incident produced a red flag condition on the speedway. Because of time constraints, officials elected to use single file restarts and begin counting caution flag laps.
Gary McLean took off again following a lap 28 restart, with Brent McLean and Matt Barton in tow when Darren Kearnan went around in between turns 3 and 4 with 43 laps complete. Before the field could get rolling again, the #91 of Mike Westwood and Dave Osbourne came together.
Both cars would end-up on the infield grass and while Westwood would pull away under his own power, a steering issue on Osbourne’s machine meant he needed to be towed from the scene.
Brian McLean was on the receiving end of a tap from another runner and was sent spinning in the first turn. After a late race restart, the Gary McLean show continued, with the driver of the #8 machine leading every lap. Brent McLean, Matt Barton, Shane Stickel and Tommy Robb finished out the top 5. Gary McLean is the 2013 OSCAAR Open Wheel Modified Series champion.