MILLGROVE, Ontario --- It came down to a tie-breaker, but J.R. Fitzpatrick ultimately punched his ticket for Canadian Short Track Nationals at Jukasa Motor Speedway, virtue of his performance on Saturday night at Flamboro Speedway on Bennett GM night.
The Grisdale Race Products Late Models ran a pair of 30-lap features, with the best average finish determining who got the coveted ticket. Fitzpatrick won the first feature, with Shawn Chenoweth second – with a reverse order to the second feature. Therefore, as a result of picking up the first checkered flag on the night, Fitzpatrick was awarded the provisional for the event this coming weekend.
On the drop of the green flag for the first feature, it’d be Jake Gilbert grabbing the early lead ahead of Shawn McGlynn, Mark Burbridge, Kevin Albers, and David Gallinger.
Burbridge moved up into second on Lap 3, bringing Albers through with him. McGlynn now ran fourth, as Chenoweth and Fitzpatrick battled for fifth. Fitzpatrick got the spot on Lap 5, ahead of Chenoweth and Gallinger.
The contact would start on Lap 6, with Mike Klotz, Mike Westwood and Chad Corcoran going three-wide off of turn two, bouncing off of each other. Corcoran got the blunt of it, sliding through the backstretch grass, ultimately taking him out of contention. There’d be no caution for the incident, as Gilbert continued to lead ahead of Burbridge, Albers, Fitzpatrick, and Chenoweth.
Fitzpatrick would get alongside Albers for third on Lap 10, completing the pass a lap later. Chenoweth followed through for fourth, bumping Albers back to fifth. The first caution then came out on Lap 18 for Pirie going around in turn two.
Gilbert got a good restart, with Fitzpatrick moving up into second ahead of Chenoweth before the second caution on Lap 19 for Westwood going around. As the field checked up under the yellow flag, Albers would spin Mark Burbridge around on the backstretch; both drivers continued no issue. The restart brought forth the third caution, as Gallinger made significant contact with the frontstretch wall.
The second attempt was clean, with Fitzpatrick grabbing the lead, as Chenoweth moved into second a lap later ahead of Gilbert, Mark Burbridge, and Albers.
The field remained unchanged through the final 10 laps, with J.R. Fitzpatrick picking up the win ahead of Shawn Chenoweth, Jake Gilbert, Mark Burbridge, and Kevin Albers. Chris Howse finished sixth, followed by Rick Burbridge, Tyler Di Venanzo, Tanner Pirie, and Shawn McGlynn. Mike Westwood finished 11th, while the following drivers failed to finish – Bill Pearsall, David Gallinger, Carson Nagy, Mike Klotz, Chad Corcoran, and Gary Elliott.
The second feature did not start off smoothly, with Tanner Pirie and Chad Corcoran getting tangled up together on the backstretch on Lap 1. The restart was not any smoother, with Shawn McGlynn and Mike Klotz both going around on the backstretch.
The third attempt to start the race went smoothly with Mark Burbridge holding the lead ahead of Tyler Di Venanzo, Chris Howse, Kevin Albers, Shawn Chenoweth and J.R. Fitzpatrick. Chenoweth would pass Albers for fourth on Lap 4, bringing Fitzpatrick through with him.
Albers would then go for a spin on Lap 5, followed by Westwood spinning a lap later. Neither incident brought out the caution, but the yellow flag was displayed on Lap 8 when McGlynn and Jake Gilbert spun in turn two.
Burbridge held serve on the restart, with Chenoweth up to second ahead of Fitzpatrick and Tyler Di Venanzo. The yellow flag resurfaced, though, this time on Lap 10 for Mark Burbridge spinning Chris Howse in turn two. At the same time, Klotz made contact with the outside turn three wall.
The first attempt at a restart would be called back due to Chenoweth jumping. The second attempt was clean, with Chenoweth taking the lead as Fitzpatrick made contact with Rick Burbridge. Burbridge was able to hold onto the second spot, with Di Venanzo alongside Fitzpatrick for third. Fitzpatrick got third, passing Burbridge for the second on Lap 13. Di Venanzo would fall back to sixth, as he was passed by Albers and Mark Burbridge over the next three laps.
Fitzpatrick would begin to reel Chenoweth in, as the pair weaved through lap traffic. As the laps wound down, they caught up to the back of Westwood and Carson Nagy, who were side-by-side for 10th. This would allow Fitzpatrick to draw alongside Chenoweth, but he was unable to clear him.
Shawn Chenoweth would beat J.R. Fitzpatrick by half a car across the finish line, with Rick Burbridge in third, followed by Kevin Albers and Mark Burbridge. Tyler Di Venanzo finished sixth, followed by Chris Howse, Jake Gilbert, Shawn McGlynn, and Carson Nagy. Mike Westawood and Bill Pearsall rounded out the top-12, while Mike Klotz, Chad Corcoran, Tanner Pirie and Gary Elliott failed to finish. David Gallinger did not take the green flag.
Second Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2ibyEzPlMo
Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds
Norman Newman won the first heat ahead of Dale Reinhart, AJ Emms, Luke Gignac, and Anthony DiBello. Jase Cornell finished sixth, followed by Ken Hayward, Wally Wilson, and Craig Scott, with Mark Hamacher failing to finish.
Andy Kamrath won the second qualifier ahead of Jason Bowden, Jason Keen, Gary Elliott, and Jeff Showler. Brad Pearsall finished sixth, followed by Chad Strawn, Craig Downey, and Bryan Batty.
The third heat did not start off smoothly, with Strawn and DiBello making contact off the front row on the start, stacking up the field. With everybody jumbling for positions, contact happened mid-pack, with Batty and Cornell wrecking in turns one and two. Chad Strawn picked up the win ahead of Reinhart, Kamrath, DiBello, and Elliott. Wilson finished sixth, followed by Hamacher, with Batty and Cornell failing to finish.
Jason Keen won the fourth qualifier ahead of Gignac, Emms, Showler, and Pearsall. Hayward finished sixth, followed by Newman, Downey, Bowden, and Scott.
Off the drop of the green flag, A.J. Emms held the lead with Andy Kamrath quickly moving his way up to second ahead of Norman Newman and Jason Bowden. However, the caution came out on Lap 3 for contact between Jason Keen and Anthony DiBello, with DiBello spinning across the infield grass. At the same time, Bryan Batty would go around on the backstretch.
Emms got a good restart ahead of Kamrath and Newman, with Dale Reinhart up to fourth ahead of Bowden. Kamrath’s climb to the front was complete on Lap 7, as he’d take over the top spot ahead of Emms, with Newman still third ahead of Reinhart, and Bowden. Reinhart continued to move forward, passing Newman for third on Lap 9.
The leaders would reach the tail of the field with 10 laps on the board, set to begin lapping cars. Unfortunately, that did not pan out well for Kamrath, as contact with Craig Scott would send the No. 89 around for the second caution at Lap 12. Under the yellow flag, Chad Strawn headed pit side with a broken shock mount. As a result, Emms would be scored the leader with 29 laps on the board ahead of Reinhart, Newman, and Bowden.
The restart would produce the third caution, with Bowden going around in turn four courtesy of contact with Luke Gignac. With both drivers moved to the tail for the restart, that’d bump Keen up to fourth ahead of Brad Pearsall. Emms got a good restart ahead of Reinhart, Newman, Keen, and Pearsall, with Kamrath back up to eighth before the fourth caution on Lap 15 for Hayward making contact with the turn three and four wall.
Emms got another good restart, with Reinhart still second ahead of Newman, Pearsall, and Downey. The race would hit a snag when on Lap 21, Jase Cornell (driving Jeff Showler’s car) had something let go, dropping fluid behind him as he went up into the turn three wall. Batty and Wally Wilson would ultimately end up in the trail of fluid, sliding through as they made contact with the outside wall themselves.
Thankfully, all three drivers were okay – but done for the event. Between the delay in cleaning up the mess, along with the track’s curfew, it’d be announced under the red flag that the event would be shortened from its scheduled distance of 40 laps to 30 laps.
Emms got a good restart ahead of Reinhart and Pearsall, with Reinhart passing Newman for fourth on Lap 23. Craig Downey ran sixth, though was passed a lap later by Kamrath for the position. Kamrath continued to move forward in the final laps, passing Newman for fourth with five laps to go.
A.J. Emms led the rest of the way en route to the win ahead of Dale Reinhart, Brad Pearsall, Andy Kamrath, and Norman Newman. Craig Downey finished sixth, followed by Luke Gignac, Jason Keen, Gary Elliott, and Jason Bowden. Mark Hamacher finished 11th, with the following drivers failing to finish – Jase Cornell, Wally Wilson, Bryan Batty, Ken Hayward, Craig Scott, Chad Strawn, and Anthony DiBello.
Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJa6_EYt0so
Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods
The first 20-lap feature got off to a messy start, with Rodney Rutherford taking the early slide through the grass. There’d be no caution, as Rutherford was able to get keep going. Meanwhile, Adrian Foster snagged the lead off the green flag ahead of Nick Clarke and Tyler Hawn. Hawn would then move into second on Lap 3, bringing Paul Senior through with him.
The rest of the feature ran single-file, despite drivers challenging each other for positions throughout. Adrian Foster crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified post-race. Tyler Hawn would be credited with the win ahead of Paul Senior, Nick Clarke, and Steve Book. Bob Parsons finished fifth, followed by Steve Mayhew, Rodney Rutherford, and Dan Rothwell.
In the second feature, Rodney Rutherford would jump out to the early lead, essentially pacing the field the rest of the way en route to the victory. The battle for second was close throughout, with a couple bumps traded, as Steve Book held off Paul Senior for the spot. Adrian Foster crossed the finish line in fourth, but was once again disqualified. Tyler Hawn was credited with fourth, ahead of Nick Clarke, Steve Mayhew, and Dan Rothwell, while Bob Parsons failed to take the green flag.
Second Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4lzhYuslho
Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprints
Jaden Riddell won the first heat ahead of James Stanley, Katherine Summers, Brad Holmes, and Owen Elliott. Brian MacDonald finished sixth, while Ryan Battilana and Sophie Horton failed to finish.
Daniel Hawn won the second qualifier ahead of Rob Summers, Rob McCall and Kevin Taylor. It’d be a heat full of mechanical issues, though, with Brody Rickwood, Tyler Cullen and Dylan Little failing to finish, while Gary Triska did not take the green flag.
James Stanley won the third heat ahead of Riddell, Battilana, Horton, and Elliott. Holmes finished sixth, followed by MacDonald, with Katherine Summers failing to finish.
Daniel Hawn went for the daily double ahead of Rob Summers, Taylor, McCall, and Cullen. Little finished sixth, while Rickwood failed to finish and Triska did not take the green flag.
Come feature time, the troubles began before the green flag, with Brody Rickwood pulling off due to a broken chain. The race also got off to a messy start, with Kevin Taylor spinning in turn three on the opening lap. That would not bring out the caution, but Brian MacDonald going around in turn four on Lap 2 would do the trick.
The restart would bring more trouble, with Jaden Riddell going around in turn four. He would get it back going without issue, as James Stanley led the field on Lap 3 ahead of Daniel Hawn, Ryan Battilana, Rob Summers, and Rob McCall. Sophie Horton would make her way by McCall for fifth on Lap 7, with Hawn making the move past Stanley on Lap 10 for the lead. Battilana continued to run third ahead of Summers and Horton.
With the front runners spread out weaving through traffic, the feature appeared to be set to go green to the end. However, that would not be the case. Riddell would spin off of turn two with 10 laps to go, bringing out the caution flag. Horton would come around, and make the evasive action to avoid hitting Riddell. Unfortunately, she caught a piece of wall, tipping over Pro Sprint on its side. Thankfully, she was uninjured in the incident. Under caution, Battilana headed into the pits, done for the event with a blown motor.
Hawn got a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Stanley, Summers, McCall and Riddell. Riddell continued to move his way forward, passing McCall for fourth on Lap 21. However, that would not last, with him going around for a third spin and third caution on the last lap.
Daniel Hawn got a good restart, scoring the victory ahead of James Stanley, Rob Summers, Rob McCall, and Jaden Riddell. Brad Holmes finished sixth, followed by Katherine Summers, Tyler Cullen, Owen Elliott, and Kevin Taylor. Brian MacDonald was the first driver failing to finish in 11th, followed by Ryan Battilana, Sophie Horton, Dylan Little, and Brody Rickwood. Gary Triska did not take the green flag.
Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aRJ5CBQAm8
McClurkin Properties Cambridge Pure Stocks
The first feature started off with some bumping and banging, as Mark Thorne would give Dylan Sharpe a bump heading into turn one. This would allow Thorne to grab the early lead ahead of Sharpe and Andy Wheller. Wheller would move into second on Lap 3, with Bobby Mercer following suit two laps later. Sharpe now ran fourth ahead of Dale Lucas.
Wheller would track down Throne for the lead, getting beside him on Lap 6, completing the pass a lap later. Thorne now ran second ahead of Mercer and Sharpe, with Lucas and Leo Labarbara side-by-side for fifth. Labarbera would pass Sharpe for fourth on Lap 9. Labarbera looked to continue moving forward, getting alongside Mercer for third on Lap 15. But the caution came out two laps later for Gamble going around in turns three and four. Under the yellow flag, Wheller was docked two spots for jumping the initial start, handing the lead back to Thorne.
Thorne would get a good restart ahead of Labarbera, as Wheller and Mercer battled for third. Wheller got the spot on Lap 18, with Givens following suit a lap later.
Mark Thorne picked up the checkered flag ahead of Leo Labarbera, Phil Givens, and Bobby Mercer. Andy Wheller finished fifth after slowing as he came off of turn four with a mechanical problem, ahead of Dale Lucas, Kyle Lucas, Dylan Sharpe, Jimmy Hooper, and Jared Bodner. Jeff Kells finished 11th, followed by Courtney Scott and Brian Gamble.
In the second feature, Jeff Kells would grab the lead off of the start ahead of Dylan Sharpe, but the caution came out on Lap 2 for Kyle Lucas getting spun in turn two, collecting Leo Labarbera and Phil Givens. Jimmy Hooper got a good restart, taking over the lead ahead of Kells, Mark Thorne and Dale Lucas, as Jared Bodner battled Sharpe for fifth. Bodner got the spot, but was passed by Bobby Mercer two laps later.
Mercer would get alongside Lucas for fourth on Lap 8, with Thorne moving into second a lap later, bringing Mercer, Givens, and Lucas through with him. Mercer continued to move forward, taking over the second spot on Lap 11, bringing Givens through with him as Thorne battled Lucas for fourth ahead of Kells.
Mercer’s climb to the front would be complete on Lap 14, as he used the lap-car of Gamble as a pick, moving into the top spot. Givens followed him through, bumping Hooper back to third ahead of Thorne, and Dale Lucas. The battle for third got interesting on Lap 17, with Thorne tagging the back of Hooper. Lucas joined in the fun a lap later, bumping the back of Thorne, with Thorne bumping Hooper once again. This would allow Thorne to make his way by, bringing Lucas, Kells, and Labarbera through with him.
Bobby Mercer picked up the win ahead of Phil Givens, Mark Thorne, Dale Lucas, and Jeff Kells. Leo Labarbera finished sixth, followed by Jimmy Hooper, Jared Bodnar, Dylan Sharpe, Kyle Lucas, and Courtney Scott. Brian Gamble finished 11th, with Andy Wheller not taking the green flag.
Second Feature Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZCEB_Z7g2M
Thanks to Ingrid Hartman for filming the feature videos. Be sure to like her channel on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6fAn1rLsk_0FWitF4dpApw.
Special thanks to Derek Smith from RacePulse.com and Peter Anderson for the photos.
The action continues this Saturday, August 31 with the Canadian Vintage Modifieds, Klotz Auto Repair & Engine Machine Shop Mini Stocks, McClurkin Properties Cambridge Pure Stocks, and Pro 4 Modifieds in action.
Of note, the demolition derby has been cancelled for Saturday, August 31, with a King/Queen King of the Hill race being run in its place. Spectators are welcome on-track to race whatever they drove to the speedway that night, with $500 to the winner. Fans will race each other for one lap, with eliminations taking place until there’s just a winner remaining. Those participating are asked to bring a helmet for their safety, please.
The pit gate opens at 4pm, followed by the front gate opening at 5pm with racing starting at 6:30pm.
Admission prices, along with the full schedule for Flamboro Speedway this season can be found on the track’s website at http://www.flamborospeedway.ca. Be sure to keep up with the latest by following the speedway on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FlamboroSpdwy and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/flamborospeedway.
By: Ashley McCubbin