MILLGROVE, Ontario --- When you have a place figured out, it can shine through brightly, and that’s the case for J.R. Fitzpatrick as of late at Flamboro Speedway. He kept the wins rolling on Saturday night, scoring his fourth straight victory in the past three weeks.
This one is one of those that matters, though, being the first round of the Grisdale Triple Crown.
Fitzpatrick wasn’t the fastest car at the start of the evening, as Shane Maginnis laid down the quickest lap in qualifying at 15.072 seconds. Though come feature time, he was not the dominant force.
Behind the wheel of the No. 55 usually driven by Chris Howse, it’d be Fitzpatrick utilizing a third-place starting spot to move his way forward early, taking the top spot at the quarter distance mark. From there on, he held a decent gap over the field all the way to the checkered flag.
Billy Schwartzenburg led the opening laps of the event, crossing the finish line second, while Shane Maginnis made his way forward for third. Rick Burbridge and Mark Burbridge rounded out the top-five, followed by Ty Cavallin, James Horner, Kevin Gallant, Jordan Howse, Bill Zardo Sr., and Jake Gilbert.
Kevin Albers would not take the green flag in the event.
Canadian Vintage Modifieds
After picking up his first checkered flag of the season, it seems Ricky Willigar is now unstoppable, courtesy of another on Saturday.
The first feature saw him lead flag-to-flag after starting pole to capture the flag in front of TJ Masrhall, Mike Podd, Quintin Murdoch, and Scott Tonelli. Joe Arsenault continued to turn his early season bad luck around with a sixth, followed by Brian Pescetti and Rob Twitchett. Mike Westwood failed to finish following significant contact, as well as Steve Murdoch and Jae Pepin.
The second feature was a different story, though, with past series champion TJ Marshall turning a second row starting spot into a trip to victory lane, followed by Ricky Willigar, Mike Podd, Quintin Murdoch, and Joe Arsenault. Scott Tonelli was sixth in front of Brian Precetti and Rob Twitchett, while Steve Murdoch failed to finish. Notably, Mike Westwood and Jae Pepin did not take the green flag.
First Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CJkQ13lcrc
Ontario Pro Challenge Series
The Norris family kept their perfect season together, once again splitting the pair of features on Saturday.
Mike Norris was victorious in the first 20 laps, pacing the field flag-to-flag, with his father Tim Norris second in front of Peter Hattin, Tyler Di Venanzo, and Mike O’Connell. Travis Majurey was sixth, followed by Emma Norris and Ethan Fleet, while Devan Rayment did not take the green flag.
The second race saw Tim Norris lead flag-to-flag, with Devan Rayment making up for the first event with a runner-up performance in front of Travis Majuery, Tyler Di Venanzo, and Mike Norris. Emma Norris had one of her best runs to sixth, followed by Peter Hattin, Mike O’Connell, and Ethan Fleet.
First Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7DlfU7d0AQ
The diversity of division winners continues to grow in 2022, with a pair more earning checkered flags to give us five different straight winners.
The off-season hard work by Mike Gilmour and company paid off, as he took the lead on the second lap in the first feature and did not look back en route to the checkered flag. Bobby Mercer was second for his 10th straight podium, followed by Shawn Taylor, Mike Thomson, and Cole Quinton. Kaitlyn Wallace continues to shake her early season gremlins with a sixth in front of Cole Burrows, Roland Goodfellow, Mike Hooper, and Michael Kenny.
The invert played into Cole Quinton’s hands perfectly, as he was able to out-battle Shawn Taylor in the closing stages to score the victory. Mike Gilmour worked his way forward for a third, followed by Michael Kenny and Kaitlyn Wallace. Cole Burrows finished sixth, followed by Mike Hooper and Roland Goodfellow, while Mike Thomson and Bobby Mercer failed to finish.
First Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=007qd14A0Ao
A very familiar face to Flamboro Speedway fans won the first feature, while the track got to see another first-time victor in the second 25-lap affair.
Starting fifth, Gillian Hils took the lead at the halfway mark, and did not look back en route to winning in front of Gary Slama, Reece Bourgeois, Rick Van Kleef, and Alex Stewart. Chance Rogers was sixth, followed by Cameron Thomson, Eric Stewart, Kyle Lucas, and Teegan Ellis. Tyler Weale finished 11th in front of Moses Ruiz, Leo Labarbera, Nicole Givens, and Sarah Weale, while Mark Allan failed to finish.
The invert worked perfectly for Cameron Thomson, as he turned a front row starting spot into leading by Lap 3 and paced the field from there. Gary Slama backed up his first feature with another runner-up, followed by Reece Bourgeois, Gillian Hils, and Kyle Lucas. Eric Stewart continued his consistency with a sixth in front of Alex Stewart, Moses Ruiz, Teagan Ellis, and Leo Labarbera. Mark Allan rebounded from the first feature for 11th, followed by Nicole Givens, Sarah Weale, Rick Van Kleef, and Chance Rogers, while Tyler Weale failed to finish.
Second Feature Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBpiQ_epxZA
Southern Ontario Modified Association
The rebranded Pro 4 Modified division continues to showcase their talent, now having featured three different drivers in victory lane in four races.
Nick Aballe won the first race on Saturday, followed by Mark Lucas, Shannon Morris, Dan Pettit, and Ken Mercer, while Jarrett Nock did not take the green flag.
Mark Lucas won the second feature in front of Shannon Morris, Ken Mercer, Jarrett Nock, and nick Aballe, while Dan Pettit did not take the green flag.
First Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg024rVM7gg
Thanks to Ingrid Hartman for filming each week. Be sure to check out her videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/petalpower51/videos.
The next event at Flamboro Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, with the Don Biederman Memorial for the Ontario Outlaw Super Late Models, as they do battle for 75 laps to open up their 2022 season. They will be joined by the Canadian Vintage Modifieds, Mini Stocks, and Pure Stocks. The front gate will open for fans at 4pm, with the show set to kick off at 6:30pm.
Be sure to keep up with the latest by checking out Flamboro Speedway’s website at http://www.flamborospeedway.ca. You can also keep up via your favorite social networking website by following the speedway on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FlamboroSpdwy and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/flamborospeedway. Fans are encouraged to like the speedway’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Flamboro-Speedway-Authorized-Page-102328664646735/.
By: Ashley McCubbin