Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Results from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario -- Royal Distributing was on hand to help the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway fans and competitors transition into their off-season pastimes last Saturday, September 8. Four class champions, from the homegrown Lucas Oil Pure Stocks, the Bob’s Towing Thunder Cars and the Late Models, as well as the Speedway-based Techtonix Open-Wheeled Modifieds, were declared.
Lucas Oil Pure Stock
For a youngster who had never turned a wheel in competition before, Willy Howells made his mark in the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway history books this year.
Rolling up five race victories (4 features/1 heat) this year, along with a string of top three finishes, the driver of the #19 Sandford Racing Engines/Durham Corporate Place Honda Prelude not only claimed the 2012 Lucas Oil Pure Stock championship, but he was also declared the series’ Rookie of the Year’ and was presented with the fan voted, Most Popular Driver Award.
And probably no one was more surprised than Howells himself.
“We didn’t have any expectations this year, we were hoping for maybe a top five result,” said Howells. “After our second win, we were thinking maybe top three, but after we got our third feature, we thought the championship might be in our reach, so we aimed a little higher and worked even harder.”
Corey Hayward (#70 Algonquin Property Services/Superior Transmissions Prelude) outscored all of his Pure Stock rivals in race wins with 21 checkered flags (5 features/16 heats) but also endured more than his fair share of problems. Still, Hayward held on for second place in the year-end tally, finishing just in front of Jeff Vanderbelt (#33 Attention to Detail Automotive Integra).
Bob’s Towing Thunder Car
Only one word was needed to describe John Baker Jr.’s Bob’s Towing Thunder Car race season, and that would be ‘dominant’. The Oshawa driver rolled up 28 checkered flags this year (10 features/18 heats) on his way to the 2012 championship, his fifth at the Speedway. So strong was the #63 Marksman Club of Oshawa/Fotheringham Bookkeeping Impala that ‘JBJ’ secured the title in the penultimate round of the schedule.
Spending countless pre-season hours refitting his former Sportsman class mount for the Thunder Car division, Baker stated that the work paid off as the car “fast right out of the box”.
“We had to change the engine and transmission, the track width, the ride height, the springs and shocks and put a Camaro clip on it,” explained Baker. “But it was worth the effort. I know it can be frustrating when one driver dominates, but I know everyone did the best they could with what they brought to the track. My hat’s off to everyone who came out week after week.”
Dale Wood in his #10 Monte Carlo earned his second heat race victory of the season on the last night of the schedule, securing his overall, runner-up result.
With only 12 points separating leader Kyle Donaldson from his primary challenger Darren Kearnan heading into the final night of competition, the Late Model title was far from decided. However, with Donaldson’s twin wins in the 10-lap heat dashes, and the premature end to the season, it was ‘Wheely’ Donaldson aboard his #53 Custom Steering/Downtown Rug Impala SS claiming the Late Model title.
“I haven’t raced here in a while, so it took a couple of weeks to get back in the groove,” admitted Donaldson. “But once we got the setup we wanted, everything was perfect. This track lends itself to clean, hard racing, and that’s what makes it fun.”
His amazing record of 26 race victories this year (7 features/19 heats) was an obvious factor in his year-end result, but a blown motor in the latter part of the season allowed Kearnan (#55 Herrington Mobile Mechanics/ProTech Custom Exhaust Chevy) to stay close to the front.
“We really had nothing for Kyle this year; we were down on power to him. We’ll do our homework and come back and try again next year,” said Kearnan.
Techtonix Open-Wheeled Modifieds
It was a familiar sight for the Speedway faithful, as Dwight Brown and Darren Kearnan went head-to-head this year in search of the Techtonix Modified crown.
In the five feature races completed (of the six race schedule) Brown took home the trophy on four occasions to Kearnan’s one feature victory. But the two were literally inseparable on the track, with Kearnan in his #46 TTR Transport Modified scoring a trio of runner-up results, in each case finishing immediately behind Brown’s #2 Bourque Transmission Chevy.
“It’s always fun racing with Darren,” stated Brown. A lot of the time it was between the two of us, but as the season went on, some of the other guys I hadn’t expected to see around me got a whole lot faster.”
The driving duo of Brad Stevenson and Brian Strawn (#77) finished in third place overall, while Rob Warnes (#95) pipped veteran Bill Pickford in the final night of racing for fourth place overall.