All of the night’s action was sponsored by North Wellington Co-Op, who also hosted a BBQ for their staff in the fourth turn viewing area.
This was a big night for our Kids Club. In addition to the many regular prizes and our weekly bike draw, our first bike race of the year was held. Kids of all ages took to the high banks, competing in various age groups. The distances ranged from the front stretch, to a full two laps for the oldest age category. Congratulations to all of the winners! Our bike draw was won by three year old Kasey Peterson of Clinton, as sponsored by North Wellington Co-Op. The winner of a wooden checker board courtesy of Durham Furniture was Kenny Ritchie of Southampton. Special thanks also to Super Street Stock #2 Ed Peterson and the Top Dog Express Racing team, consisting of Super Street Stock #78 Randy Clements and Limited Late Model #78 Ben Peterson, for their additional prizes donated to the Kids Club free draws.
The Trains division started the night with six teams taking to the high banks. However, their lone qualifying heat race ended with only three teams remaining after various mechanical woes, including two different lost tires, forced the other three teams to leave the track. Thankfully, all of the repairs were made in time for the feature race. From the start of this race, the Fireball 500 team from Listowel were in control as they built up a substantial lead and then just cruised around. The best racing in this division so far this season was the three way battle for second place between #94 Markdale Salvage Crushers of Owen Sound, #468 Trailer Park Boys of Walkerton and #619 Checkers or Wreckers from Hanover. These teams all fought for the same piece of track for almost half the race, often three wide! Finally the Crushers were able to power into second place and tracked down Fireball 500. Just as they were trying to figure out how to make a challenge for the lead, Fireball 500 went to the high side to pass #177 Mothers of Mayhem from Mount Forest while diving into the first turn. However, the Mothers of Mayhem couldn’t make the corner and slid up in front of Fireball 500, getting the two teams locked together and bringing out a caution. Once all of the cars were separated, the Crushers found themselves in first place and held on the rest of the way to the checkered flag. Fireball 500 bounced back to claim second place while Checkers or Wreckers wound up in third place. The Markdale Salvage Crushers also won the qualifying heat race.
The Stock Four division ranks were bolstered with the return of a family team that hasn’t raced the high banks in over two seasons. But from the results on this night, it was apparent that #05 TJ Bryk of Orangeville didn’t forget the fast way around the track as he was able to sweep both the qualifying heat races and the feature race. Bryk wasn’t exactly handed the victories as the Varney Motor Speedway regulars did some fast driving as well. In the feature race, Bryk bolted from his front row starting position into the lead. Both #34 Lance Hotchkiss of Durham and #27 Alvin Ward of Caledon started further back in he field and needed several laps before they were clear of traffic and had a chance to track down the leader. Unfortunately for Hotchkiss and Ward, the laps wound down before they were able to mount a serious challenge on Bryk. At the finish line, Bryk was the winner, with Hotchkiss in second and Ward in third place. As mentioned, Bryk won both qualifying heat races.
The level of competition in the Street Stock division continues to grow as the season moves along. On any given night, it is almost impossible to predict the winners for each race. For the feature race this night, #49 Larry Young of Hanover was able to take advantage of a pole position to start the race and take the early lead. Charging through the pack was #61 Chad Eden of Durham, who caught Young before the halfway point in the race. Eventually, there was a freight train line of racers all fighting for position as #3 Gary Atkinson of Hanover and #64 Larry Cameron of Brampton joined in. Surprisingly enough, even with a little bit of contact between racers, no one was able to complete a pass. Atkinson dropped out on the last lap with engine troubles, leaving Young to record his first feature win of the season. Right behind for second place was Eden, with Cameron moving up to third on the last lap. The qualifying heat races were won by Young, Eden, #05 Kevin Moore of Walkerton and #58 Bill Cole of Walkerton.
The Super Street Stock division feature race was very similar to the Street Stock race in that there was a fast group of single file cars at the front of the pack. After a slight bump and run, early leader #48 Dwight Roxburgh of Grand Valley was left on the high side while #24 Pam Chagnon of Clinton, #2 Ed Peterson of Clinton and #16 Jamie Jarvis of Hanover all slid past to the inside. Peterson put the pressure on Chagnon to take over the lead for several laps, but ended up dropping back a car length or two for the remainder of the race. As the checkered flag waved, Chagnon was the winner, with Peterson in second and Jarvis in third place. The qualifying heat races were won by Chagnon and Jarvis.
The Limited Late Model division was up in numbers for the second week in a row. With almost a month into the season, the top drivers have been able to fine tune their sleek race machines and this has made for some great racing action on the high banks. On this night, it was rookie sensation #34 Jason Tremble of Durham starting from the pole position and maintaining the early lead. Sticking right to Tremble’s bumper, although on a slightly different racing line, was #19 Brian Wilson of Guelph. Wilson could stay right with Tremble on the stretches, but Tremble’s machine worked just a bit better through the corners. Eventually, #98 Steve Smith of Durham caught the front paid and put the move on Wilson for second place. As the laps wound down, Smith dogged Tremble, but the rookie did a perfect job of holding his line and went on to win yet another feature race. Smith had to settle for second place, while Wilson crossed the line a strong third place. The qualifying heat races were won by Smith and #35 Tim Tolton of Guelph.
The All Pro Modified division feature race was really never in question as #88 Glen Coulson of Holstein led wire to wire. Coulson bolted off the front row and had built up a substantial lead before the first of two cautions slowed the field when #2 Dale McArthur of Durham and #4 Aaron McLean of Conn, running second and third at the time, spun off the second corner. With his lead evaporated, Coulson went back to work with the restart and pulled away from the rest of the field. The lead was again taken away when McLean spun #12 Justin McLellan of Mount Forest, putting both drivers to the back of the pack for the restart. The final laps were all Coulson, as he cruised en route to the win. The race for second was won with a good race by #5 Dave Hassel of Georgetown, while #1 Ted Patterson of Mount Forest crossed the finish line in third place. The qualifying heat races were won by Coulson and McArthur.
Next week’s racing action on the high banks of Varney Motor Speedway includes regular racing for the Limited Late Model, Super Street Stock, Street Stock and Stock Four divisions, plus a return visit from the JCAR series and our first King of the Hill competition of the season. The qualifying heat races for the JCAR series will start at 4pm, with regular racing starting at 7pm sharp! For more information, a complete schedule, driver profiles and much, much more, please visit the track website at www.varneymotorspeedway.com.