Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SummerSlam: A Marathon of Excitement at CCS

Stittsville, ON – Sunday, September 14, 2014 – Kirk Mulligan – After a full day of rain on Saturday, Mother Nature finally gave up her wrath of wet weather on the Ottawa region.  Finally, Capital City Speedway’s (CCS) SummerSlam had arrived.  Following months of built up excitement and a season plagued with rain, the season’s main event had taken center stage.  Who would have known that many of CCS’s racing championships would hinge on the balance of this event.  The entire day consisted of racing from the regular classes of Late Model, Legends, Thunder, Mini Stock, 4 for Fun (4FF) and many special features.  The special feature events were appearances from the Quebec Vintage Stock Car Series, the Vintage Modifieds, the Dirt Sportsman Modifieds as well as a 100 lap enduro.  Added excitement for the fans was the addition of an additional Late Model feature.  The addition of the second feature allowed for the possibility of two main feature winners as well as a combined feature winner.  Also worth noting was the Legends class race.  This race was scheduled as a national qualifier race for the four Legend divisions: Grand Master, Master, Pro and Semi-Pro.  Finally, fans on hand were fortunate to see record car counts in all classes.

Similar to last week’s column, before we move on to the racing, I want to take this opportunity to thank those whom supported the track and donated prizes for the fans.  Firstly, CCS would like to thank Hunter McCaig of Rideau Auctions for donating another two kid’s bikes to be raffled off at intermission.  Congratulations to Chase St. Michael and Sierra Bradley for winning the bikes!  Other special thanks again this week goes out to the director of www.PoconoBusTrip.com, Scott McIssac, for setting up a grand prize raffle scheme and donating 2 grand prize tickets to the 2015 Nascar race at Pocono International Raceway.  On this night, Scott drew the grand prize!  Congratulations to Connie Young for winning the Nascar tickets! 

The entire day saw a total of 14 heat races.  After the heats, it was time for the 25 lap Quebec Vintage Stock Car Series feature race.  The pole positions consisted of Simon Gamache (car #6) and Lucien Rocheleau (car #68).  Rocheleau took the early lead in lap 1.  For the next five laps, Rocheleau, Gamache and Marc Verner (car #77) were running on a string.  All of sudden, the motor in the 1966 Chevelle of Michel Groleau (car #66) let go to bring out the caution.  After the restart Rocheleau regained the lead.  Rocheleau fended off challenges from strong runners Langis Caron (car #35) and Verner.  The leaders eventually approached lap traffic in lap 20 but that didn’t slow down Rocheleau.  Finally, after holding of a last lap challenge from Caron, Rocheleau went on to win the race.

The next race was the Enstone Construction 30 lap National Qualifier Legends feature.  Matt Haufe (car #7) and Brian Saunders (car #15) made up the front row.  These two drivers were pumped as a heated altercation had occurred between them in the first heat.  Haufe got off to the best start after the green flag dropped.  After lap 1, Haufe led with Saunders and Dave Riopelle (car #92) right behind him.  Saunders then pulled up beside Haufe.  The two drivers would drive side by side for the next 4 laps.  Saunders would eventually take over the lead in lap 8.  Haufe would then try to mount a comeback in lap 12.  However, in the same lap a visiting driver Verne Lafave (car #47) got loose and slammed into the wall in turn 4.  This accident would bring out a caution flag.  On the restart, Saunders again pulled out in front.  Riopelle followed Saunders and took over second place from Haufe.  Riopelle would then make his move and take the lead from Saunders in lap 14.  Saunders, Haufe and now Chris Zieren (car #51) battled for second, third and fourth spots in the next lap.  Haufe would then overtake second spot from Saunders in lap 18.  The excitement continued in lap 26.  As the four top cars went into turn 1, Haufe’s brakes would give out sending him straight into the wall.  Haufe was done for the night.  On the restart, Riopelle, Saunders and Zieren made up the top three.  But, before the green flag dropped, Saunders was seen turning into the pit area at the back entrance.  Unfortunately, Saunders had lost his brakes as well.  The race would continue and eventually see Riopelle win the race.  In this national qualifier, Riopelle, Zieren, Brad Haufe (car #17) and Rob Shannon (car #58) became the Master’s, Pro, Semi-Pro and Grand-Master champions, respectively.

The first of two Drummond’s Gas 25 lap Late Model feature was the next exciting feature.  Paul Dejong (car #88) and Sean Kennedy (car #14) made up the front row.  After the first lap was in the books Kennedy was leading by a nose.  However, at the back of the pack Chris Ferguson (car #08) and visiting driver Daniel Bergeron (car #7QC) were rubbing.  This resulted in Bergeron spinning into the infield to bring out the caution flag.  On the restart, Kennedy got a good jump out of turn 4.  Steve Munro (car #00) and Tim Kirby (car #10) were following hot on his heels.  Kennedy led for the next 10 laps.  Although on lap 13, Kennedy could not handle the pressure from Munro.  Kennedy managed to get loose on the back stretch and Munro slid by on the inside.  Kirby would follow Munro to take over second place.   Kennedy would slide to as far back as fifth spot.  Back at the front of the pack Munro was too strong for Kirby to catch him.  As a result, Munro went on to win yet another feature.

The following race was the Perkins Lumber Home Building Centre 12 lap Vintage Modified feature.  Pete Stapper (car #27) and points leader Denzil Billings (car #x22) began at the front of the pack.  Stapper came out of turn 4 poorly at the drop of the green.  The poor start allowed Billings to blow by on the outside.  This left Stapper and Paul Billings (car #B22) to do battle for second spot.  By the two to go mark, Stapper and Billings were challenging for the lead.  Denzil would fend off the challenges and hang on for another victory at CCS.

The Autovation Thunder Stock 20 lap feature race was up next.  Jean Leblond (car #08) and Keith Riddell (car #59) were the font runners in this race.  Leblond took the lead in the early going.  Visiting driver John Baker Jr. (car #63) raced his way to the front of the pack by lap 3.  Todd Musker (car #13) and Jessica Pasinetti (car #56) were quick to follow for second and third spots.  By the half way mark, Baker and Musker were battling for the lead.  In lap 15, Musker and Baker were no longer battling, they were side by side all the way around the track.  By lap 18, somebody had to give, as Musker squeezed by Baker on the outside.  Musker would hold off Baker and go on to win his second feature of the year.

The second of Drummond’s Gas 25 lap Late Model feature began with the reverse finishing order of the first feature.  That meant Ferguson and Bergeron would square off in the front row.  Ferguson took the the early lead in front of Bergeron and Kennedy.  Bergeron and Kennedy then battled over second spot for the next couple of laps.  On lap 6, the excitement would continue.  Ken Baird (car #2) ended up rubbing Ferguson the wrong way causing a multiple car wreck.  The field fell from 10 cars to 6.  The cars would restart the race only to see Bergeron suffer with a flat tire in turn 1.  Bergeron then left the racing surface and did not return.  On the restart Ferguson and Kennedy led the pack.  Ferguson eventually pulled out in front.  However, on lap 8 Ferguson drove too high into turn 4.  As a result, Kennedy, Dejong and Kirby slid by on the inside of the turn.  Dejong then challenged Kennedy and overtook the lead on lap 14.  Kirby would follow and repeat Dejong’s move in lap 15 to take over second spot.  Unfortunately, Kirby then raced too hard into turn 3 on lap 22 causing him to spin.  On the restart, the fans experienced a somewhat instant replay.  However, this time Dejong would come into turn 3 too hot and spin.  This left Kennedy and points leader Justin Holtom (car #17) to lead the field to a green white checkered finish.  On the final restart, Holtom pulled ahead of Kennedy and cruised to victory for both the second feature and the combined feature.  Congratulations Justin!

After all the carnage and excitement from the Late Model feature, it was time for the Stittsville Trailers 20 lap Mini Stock feature race.  Darryl Gow (car #44) and Cory Wilson (car #33) would pace the field.  Wilson would lead the field for 6 laps.  That is all it took for points leader Jason Moss (car #12) to catch and pass Wilson for the lead.  Dave Watchorn (car #97) and Nolan Gould (car #28) would follow Moss.  In lap 7, Derek Demont (car #7) hit the wall on the front stretch to bring out the caution.  On the restart, Watchorn would pass Moss for the lead.  Watchorn was on fire!  At the half way mark Watchorn was 6 car lengths ahead.  Needless to say, Watchorn would easily take home the victory.

The 4FF SFL Metal Works feature race was up next.  A total of 7 4FF cars were set to go in a 10 lap feature race.  The race began with points leader Sara Sproule (car #99) and Mike Atwell (car #72) in the front row.  New comer, (car #83) would blow past the front row and take the lead after lap 1.  (Car #83) would fend off challenges from Malcolm MacDonald (car #80) and hang on to win.

The ProFlow Plumbing Services Sportsman Modified 20 lap feature race was up next.  Heat winner Joey Evans (car #09) qualified for the pole position.  Similarly to previous weeks, Evans was phenomenal as his car just took off after the green flag dropped.  Evans would lead every lap and easily take home the victory.


Finally, the night was ended with a 100 lap Enduro.  There were a total of 38 entries in the race, 19, 4 cylinders and 19, 8 cylinders.  After all 100 laps were in the books, the race winners were Dave Quinton (car #78) and Jon Gifford (car #66) in the 8 and 4 cylinder classes, respectively.  It should also be noted that Gifford becomes the first 4 cylinder driver to finish before all of the 8 cylinder drivers in the same race. 


Up next, Saturday, September 27, 2014, is CCS Fall Fest.  The race day will feature a 200 lap Enduro and a 20 lap Chain race.  The races start time is still TBD!

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