Friday, August 8, 2014

Thunder in the Pines: Roaring and Rowdy Racing at CCS

Stittsville, ON – Wednesday, August 6, 2014 – Kirk Mulligan – Before I begin with this week’s race report, I just want to correct and apologize for some information that I have mistakenly reported in the last couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that I have been falsely identifying the points leader in the Late Model division.  It should be noted that Justin Holtom (car #17) has been and is the Late Model points leader.  In fact, Justin has been the points leader for the entire season in this division.  This is quite an achievement!  Furthermore, I can’t remember the last time someone of his age and experience has achieved such an accomplishment.  I am not even sure if our hall of famer, race director, Tim Dorning, knows of someone to have completed this immense and consistent task.   With this matter acknowledged, I would gratefully ask that in any future event where I have mistakenly reported something, I would appreciate if it was indicated to me immediately so that repetition of an issue can be avoided. 

Getting back to racing, it was the famous thunder in the pines this past Wednesday night at Capital City Speedway (CCS)!  The speedway was fortunate to have two main sponsors on this night, Ottawa Valley TreeExperts and Dymon Self Storage.  The night included the regular classes of Late Model, Legends, Thunder, Mini Stock and 4 for Fun (4FF).  The night also featured an appearance from the Sportsman Modified class as well as a 100 lap Enduro.  Similar to last week, this week’s racing again saw record car counts and record prizes for the fans!  Several new drivers were on hand for this week’s event.  Long time CCS racer, Bob Williams (car #11 formerly car #72), was back in his new thunder car.  This week also saw the return of Casey Cavanagh (car #49) after a vicious accident two weeks ago.  Cavanagh will be driving Jessica Passinetti’s backup car until the damage of his own vehicle is repaired.  Keith Riddell (car #59) was also back after a couple of weeks of absence.  The Legend class saw new drivers Chris Zieren (car #51) of Ottawa, ON., and Bob Broad (car #18) of Napanee, ON.  This was the first visit to CCS this year for both Zieren and Broad.  I also want to mention that Zieren is currently the points leader in the Legends class at Evans Mills Speedway in Evans Mills, NY.  Another note in the Legend class was that former veteran driver Brent Egan was standing in for points leader Kevin Foisy (car #57).  In the Mini Stock division, Danny Benedict (car #54) of Orono, ON., hauled his car to CCS for his first ever visit.  Benedict currently runs at Peterborough and Sunset speedways on a regular basis.  In fact, he was fresh off a feature win at Peterborough Speedway last Saturday night.  Other Mini Stock car news happened just after practice.  Points leader Jason Moss (car #12) had some transmission issues.  That car had to be put onto trailer for the night.  However, rookie driver Brandon Scott (car #86) graciously gave up his ride so that Moss would not lose any valuable points.  The Late Model division saw the addition of new driver Stephane Poirier (car #18) from Orleans, ON.  This was Poirier’s first visit of the season to CCS.  Finally, as a special treat, Rod Sauder of Marmora, ON., was on hand at CCS with his Super Modified (car #33).  Sauder currently runs the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) circuit on a regular basis.  Sauder put on quite a demonstration for the fans both before the race night and during intermission.  This car was amazing!  Sauder was attaining speeds close to 130 mph around the 3/8 asphalt oval. 

On the fan side of things, I want to thank for the fourth week in a row Hunter McCaig of Rideau Auctions for donating another brand new kids bicycle.  The bicycle was again raffled off at intermission.  Congratulations to Serena Provost for winning the bicycle!  The night also featured the annual Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) golf ball toss.  Golf balls were sold and registered for 5 dollars each.  The prize for the closest golf ball to the target was $100 dollars.  All of the remaining proceeds were to be donated to CHEO.  Thus at intermission, the purchasers of the golf balls were all allowed on to the front stretch to make the toss.  The target for the toss was a small ice cream cup located near the center of the infield.  Congratulations to Kathy Simon for winning the toss!  Dymon Storage was also auctioning off 3 rides around the track in their sporty, mustard colour and electrically driven Tesla car.  Again the proceeds were to be donated to CHEO.  Steve Flood won the first auction with a top bid of $43.  The second auction was won by Tyler Jordan after bidding $55.  Finally, the last auction was won by Nathalie Martin of Moncton, NB., after bidding $70.  Thank you so much to everyone for your generous bidding!  CCS would also like to thank Brad and Connie Young for assembling and raffling off 2 Pocono Prize Packages. Congratulations to Jordyn Horner and Danica Yuill for winning these amazing racing souvenirs!  Lastly, a special thanks goes out to the director of, Scott McIssac, for setting up a complex grand prize raffle and donating 2 grand prize tickets to the 2015 Nascar race at Pocono International Raceway.  Scott will be drawing 3 raffle finalist tickets from each of the next 5 race nights.  After he obtains the 15 finalists, there will be a grand prize draw at SummerSlam for the Nascar tickets.  Congratulations to Brad Young, Peter Limlaw and Marg Morgan for being selected as this week’s 3 raffle finalists!

This week again saw a lot of prizes given away, however, this was not to overshadow the racing.  The heat races were full of excitement and the stage was definitely set for a thrilling night of feature racing!  The Drummond’s Gas 20 lap Late Model feature was up first of the list.  The race began with Paul Dejong (car #88) and Chris Ferguson (car #08) in the pole positions.  The racing was door to door and hub to hub!  Unfortunately, by lap 5 someone had to give as Tim Kirby (car #10) got into the rear bumper of Ferguson.  Ferguson spun and the caution flag flew.  On the restart, Dejong had a new challenger, Steve Munro (car #00).  In fact, Justin Holtom was also present lurking behind Dejong in third spot.  It wasn’t long before Dejong lost the lead to Munro.  Furthermore, Holtom moved into second position on lap 7.  The race was going well until lap 10, when Ferguson accidentally dumped Sean Kennedy (car #14) on the front stretch.  The two drivers would do battle again on lap 13 resulting in them both receiving a black flag.  For those whom are not familiar, a racer receiving a black flag is equivalent to the driver being disqualified.  Meanwhile, Munro and Holtom were battling for the lead.  However, out of nowhere came Tim Kirby on the outside line.  Kirby flew by Munro and Holtom!  Kirby’s car must have been set up perfectly to stick that way to the outside line.  After Kirby passed by, Holtom followed to pass Munro for second place.  Kirby would ultimately hang on and cruise to victory.


The ProFlow Plumbing Services Sportsman Modified 12 lap feature race was up next.  Heat winner Joey Evans (car #09) paced the field.  Points leader Dana Aikens (car #8a) started on the outside of the front row.  However, Evans was phenomenal as his car just took off after the green flag dropped.  After lap 5, Evans had over a 5 car length lead.  The remaining four cars appeared as if they were on a string for the remainder of the race.  However, this night belonged to Evans as he easily took home the victory.

This weeks Enstone Construction 10 lap Legends feature consisted of the highest car count of the season!  The race started with the announcement that the race teams of Brian Saunders (car #15) and Brent Egan/Kevin Foisy (car #57) would be donating their driver payouts to CHEO.  That was a wonderful gesture!  Brad Haufe (car #17) and Steve Yendall (car #1) made up the front row.  This race had a slow start.  It was not until the fourth restart before we successfully recorded a lap.  After lap 1, Matt Haufe (car #7) and Saunders were battling for the lead.   Haufe eventually took the lead.  However, the lead was quickly lost.  On lap 5, Haufe got loose in turn 2 and from out of nowhere Chris Zieren (car #51) slid by on the inside lane.  Saunders seized the moment and followed Zieren.  This was a familiar site for Zieren and Saunders.  In fact, the two battled last Saturday at Evans Mills speedway.  On that occasion Saunders had won the feature.  Saunders was looking for the repeat win.  The next couple of laps saw Saunders all over the back bumper of Zieren.  Zieren was doing everything he could to hang on to the lead.  But, miraculously on the final turn of the race, Saunders put the pedal to the metal and passed Zieren on the inside.  Saunders took the victory for the second time in a week from Zieren!

The Autovation Thunder 10 lap feature race was up next.  Before I begin, I just wanted to mention that I was approached before the race by points leader Neil Leblond (car #88).  Leblond explained to me that the night before he had a dream.  Leblond dreamt that he had won this week’s feature race and that his picture was all over the front page of the CCS website!  Wow, what a vision!  This made me eager to see how this feature race was going to pan out.  Keith Riddell (car #59) and Casey Cavanagh (car #49) made up the front row at the beginning of the race.  The second row consisted of the blossoming rivals Leblond and Jessica Pasinetti (car #56).  After the first 3 laps, Leblond and Pasinetti were battling for top spot.  Unfortunately for Pasinetti, Leblond was firing on all cylinders as he began to pull away from the field by lap 5.  By the end, Leblond had finished the race victoriously and lived the dream!

In the Stittsville Trailers 10 lap Mini Stock feature race, Derek Demont (car #7) and Cory Wilson (car #33) paced the field.  Wilson pulled out to an early lead after the drop of the green flag.  Unlike most weeks, Jason Moss (car #12) and Nolan Gould (car #28) were not factors in this race.  The ultimate factor in this race proved to be visiting driver Danny Benedict (car #54).  After lap 3, Benedict had moved from ninth to third position.  This race was loaded with excitement!  Cars were going into the corners three wide.  In turn 3 of lap 4, Benedict and “Dentman” Dave Watchorn (car #97) moved to the front of the pack and battled for the lead.  The two drivers were on a string for the remainder of the race.  This night would see visiting driver Benedict take home the checkers.  I hope this is not the last we see of this surprising visitor!

The final regular class feature of the night was the 4FF SFL Metal Works race.  This race was an 8 lap affair.  The race began with rookie Joann Blais (car #81) starting in the pole position.  Although, this was not the enduro race, cars were all over the speedway.  In fact, on lap 5, Malcolm “Pops” MacDonald (car #80) even took a shortcut through the infield to get to the pits.  After all was said and done, this night belonged to Blais as he went on to win this feature event. 

Finally, the night was ended with a 100 lap Enduro.  There were a total of 33 entries in the race.  Unfortunately, due to the City of Ottawa noise bylaw, the race was cut short at 58 laps.  The race winners were Dave Quinton (car #78) and Milton Dennie (car #25th) in the 8 and 4 cylinder classes, respectively.

This coming week, Wednesday evening, August 13, 2014, is Strongco night.  The race night will feature Late Models, Legends, Mini Stock, Thunder and 4-For-Fun divisions.  Also in town is the special feature Vintage Modifieds.  In addition, it’s fan appreciation night!  The races will start at 7:15 pm sharp!  Regular general admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 for teens (13-16) and as always children 12 & under are free.

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