On the opening weekend of the summer, the temperature reached near 30 degrees Celsius and the action on the track was as hot as the thermometer as Canada’s Toughest 3rd Mile Oval hosted the 2022 edition of the Autism Awareness Night, in support of www.cnaf.net.
First off-the-mark was a 20 lap ‘A’ main for the Battlefield Equipment Rental Bone Stock division that saw Sean Kennedy and Angelo Novis lead the field to the green flag. Kennedy showed no signs of a mechanical issue that limited his practice time as he took an early lead, with Jake Kelly in tow. A yellow flag near the halfway mark slowed the pace and gave the rest of the pack time to plan their attack of the leaders. Brad Lavalle moved into the runner-up spot on the restart, bringing a hard-charging Steve Finnegan along for the ride. Try as he might, Kennedy couldn’t hold Finnegan at bay but he did manage to maintain his streak of top 5 finishes, with a 2nd place effort. Lavalle, Kelly and Novis were next across the line.
Bailey Jacobs and Marlie Owen brought the KOD Disposal Super Stock teams from the staging area for their feature tilt. As soon as the pack crossed the start-finish line, it was like Jacobs had been shot out of a gun. His No. 60 ride – carrying new sponsorship from Beachwood Resort – was on rails as he led every lap in the caution-free run. Owen – who recently graduated with a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University – was 2nd, with Mark Gordon, Brandon Feeney and Paul Boundy next across the stripe.
With Chris Tubman and Shawn Solomon leading the way, the Jiffy Lube Mini Stocks headed for the green flag to kick-off their 20 lap feature. Solomon – the 2021 Bone Stock track champion who moved to the Mini Stocks during the off-season – took an early lead from the outside line. He was still in control of things as the field started to work through slower traffic with 8 laps on the scoreboard. Not even a yellow flag near the halfway mark could slow his charge as Solomon took the win over Tubman. Sunset Speedway regular Johnny Paradzinski, who was taking advantage of a night off at his home track was 3rd. Tyler Junkin and Brock Baker completed the top 5.
Former series champion Rob Warnes and rookie of the year hopeful Shane Pollock started on the front row as the Ontario Modifieds Racing Series tour, presented by GEN-3 Electrical marked its Peterborough Speedway return. Warnes took the lead early, with Pollock looking to steal the spot. Ben Gruntz moved into the runner-up position as the laps clicked away. The No. 95 machine was flawless at the front of the field, while spots were swapped behind him. At the checkered flag, Warnes claimed his first Peterborough win since 2016, with Gruntz, Tyler Bouillon, Pollock and Chad Strawn rounding out the top 5.
Bobby Cousineau and Steve Powell were on the front row for the home track Late Model 25 lap feature. From the drop of the green flag, it was an event that kept fans on the edge of their seats. In his first start of the year, Derek Lynch moved into the runner-up position and chasing new leader James Townsend, while Dan McHattie showed the strength of his new ride. After running green for 24 laps, a late race caution flag changed the overall picture. McHattie took his second straight victory, with Powell, Cousineau, Jacob Mercer and Tyler Junkin completing the top 5.
13 starters took the green flag in the Qwick Wick Fire Starter Can-Am Midget main event. The 25 lapper ran caution free, with Jeff Blackburn taking the win. Full race details can be found at www.canammidgets.com.
Sean Kennedy had a pair of Bone Stock heat wins, with Jake Kelly and Brad Lavalle taking the others. Mark Gordon and Brandon Feeney each had a preliminary round Super Stock win, while Tyler Junkin took a couple of Mini Stock victories. Defending track champion Jeremy Kelly and Ember Junkin shared the others. Dan McHattie and Bobby Cousineau split the Late Model opening rounds. Jeff Blackburn and Cory Whittam each scored a Can Am Midgets qualify heat, while Alex Cuzzilla and Chad Strawn had a pair of Ontario Modifieds Racing Series qualifier wins a piece.
All finishing positions are unofficial and subject to scoring review as well as post-race safety and technical inspection.
Bullring bullet points: Fans had a shot at another healthy 50/50 payday, as Angela Pickford of Baldwin, Ontario enjoyed a great night of racing a little more with her $610.00 win…It was a rough night for a trio of well-known local weekly racers. Kevin Strutt and Dan Demers both had their efforts in the Mini Stock division sidelined mechanical woes. Strutt said his No. 34 car ran great until its powerplant expired…Former Ontario Modifieds Racing Series Tour champion John Baker Jr. made hard contact with the turn 3 wall and needed help from friends and members of other crews to load his damaged machine into the hauler.
Saturday, July 2nd Peterborough Speedway celebrates the Canada Day Weekend with the year’s 2nd Double Toonie Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Pepsi. Spectator grandstand admission is just $4.00 for a show that features the local home track Bone Stock, Mini Stock, Renegade Truck, Super Stock and Late Model divisions. Pit gates open at 1:30, with grandstands unlocked at 4:00 and racing at 5:00.
Be sure to follow www.peterboroughspeedway.com and the track’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram social media platforms for upcoming news and information about the 2022 schedule.