For some racers, just cracking the Autumn Colours Classic starting grid is a career-worthy accomplishment. At the annual Chase for the Colours Pole Qualifier – Sunday, July 3rd – Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval gave teams in the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun, Jiffy Lube Mini Stock, Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car and Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model divisions the chance to lock-in front row starting spots for what has become known as the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing.
Main event action got underway with a 25 lapper for the Battlefield Equipment 4Fun teams, as Matthew Vanderbelt and Phil Givens brought the field to the green flag. An early yellow flag for a multi car incident on the backstretch slowed the pace and eliminated several drivers. Defending track champion Ryan Oosterholt spent a number of laps looking for a way around Givens, but despite tucking inside as the pair came off the 4th turn, he couldn’t steal the win. The invader earned the Autumn Colours Pole, with Jeremy Kelly, Griffin Powell and Colin Parks following the lead duo across the line.
Colton Everingham and Dan Archibald paced the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car pack to the line in a 40 lap feature tilt. Archibald took an early lead, with a hungry field in his rear-view mirror. Matt Bentley was pressuring the frontrunner and took over the top spot with 10 laps on the scoreboard. Archibald kept trying to regain the point, but Bentley held off his every attempt. Tyler Liscum chased the pair to the stripe, with Everingham and Peterborough Speedway regular Bailey Jacobs 4th and 5th.
With 30 laps to decide the issue, Tiffany Vanderbelt and Tyler Junkin led the way as the Jiffy Lube Mini Stocks hit Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval to battle for the front row for the Autumn Colours Classic. On the drop of the green flag, James Townsend grabbed 3 spots on the inside line and had the lead just a few circuits later. Once in control of the field, the #42 machine never relinquished the lead. Brandon Hannah and Charlie Smith followed Townsend to the checkered flag. Despite losing several spot early, Junkin rebounded to finish 4th, with Ryan Oosterholt rounding out the top 5 finishers.
Mark Gordon and Rick Spencer-Walt were on the front row as the Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Models rolled from the staging area. Gordon put his #52 into the lead, but Spencer-Walt took over the spot – bringing Tyler Betts along with him – with 11 laps complete. Just when it looked like the Late Model feature would be the 3rd to go caution-free, the yellow flag waved with 29 complete. Several quick incidents saw a number of drivers look for the coveted inside line on the restart, but Spencer-Walt would never waiver. Betts, Gordon, Paul Maltese and Steve Foster completed the top 5.
Earlier in the show, Colin Parkes, Ryan Oosterholt, Jake Kelly and Jeremy Kelly took the 4Fun qualifying heats with Matt Bentley, Tyler Liscum, Howie Crowe and Dan Archibald capturing the Thunder Car preliminary rounds. Tyler Junkin, Brandon Hannah, Gerrit Tiemersma and Ryan Oosterholt won the Mini Stock openers and Rick Spencer-Walt, Steve Foster, Paul Maltese and Tyler Betts earned Late Model heat race checkered flags.
Bullring Bullet Points: Tom Coyle of Cobourg, Ontario wrapped-up the Canada Day holiday weekend with a $607 payday in the 50/50 draw. Former Peterborough Speedway Late Model track champion Craig Graham came out of ‘retirement’, looking for a prime Autumn Colours Classic starting spot. Steve Foster also made his first start of the season…A number of drivers elected to take advantage of the show-up points made available to all track regulars.
Saturday night action returns to the tight, tricky bullring on Mount Pleasant Road, west of the Liftlock City with the next Fan Appreciation/Toonie Grandstand Admission Night – presented by Pepsi – July 9th. On track, fans will see the Battlefield Equipment Rental 4Fun, Jiffy Lube Mini Stock, Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car, Earl Ireland Auto Sales Late Model and INEX Ontario Legend classes. There will also be a fan appreciation autograph session at intermission.
Full schedule details, along with up to the minute news and results are always available at www.peterboroughspeedway.com, by liking the track on Facebook or following it on Twitter. You can also download the free Peterborough Speedway app on your Smartphone.