posted August 20, 2001 12:08 PM
FOUR FIRST TIME 2001 WINNERS AT MERRITTVILLE
Thorold, Ontario … First time event sponsors Auto FX Graphics and Signs presented a thrilling race card that saw four first time 2001 winners at Merrittville Speedway August 18th. Leading the way were regulars Scott Wood and Pete Cosco in the 358 Modified and Sportsmen divisions. First time Dwarf Car feature winner was Ken Gamlen while in the first ever VSM Abrasives Southern Ontario Sprint event - Rick Wilson came home the winner. Repeat winners in the 6 division spectacle of speed were Ken Sargent and Darren Zumpe in the Pro and Street Stock divisions respectively.
Prior to race time fans of all ages enjoyed a special visit by the FRAM Special events Cruiser.
Larry Lampman was first to lead the 35 lap 358 Modified feature before a two early cautions before lap 6 slowed the field. Lap 7 had a new leader in second generation driver Todd Gordon. Gordon was the pacesetter until lap 15 when Lampman returned to top spot. Another caution slowed the field on lap 27. Scott Wood was the new leader after the restart but Lampman fought back regaining the lead on lap 30. Wood kept up the challenge and on the white flag lap - Wood was able to retake the stop spot en route to an emotional victory lane.
Lampman settled for second with Pete Bicknell charging home to take third from a 15th starting spot. Don Spatorico and early leader Todd Gordon closed out the top 5. Rob Krull, Ken Cosgrove, Greg Panunte, Dan Miller and Jamie Turner rounded out the top 10.
Lampman, Turner and Panunte were 358 Modified heat winners.
Pete Cosco was first to lea the 25 lap Sportsmen feature before a caution on lap 6 slowed the pace. Cosco returned to top spot until a lap 12 caution again slowed the event after Randy Chrysler slowed with a flat tire. Again on the restart it was Cosco out front until another caution on lap 23. In the two lap dash to the finish Cosco again held control of top spot for his first win of 2001. Garry Moreash came from 9th spot to take second while rookie Adam Ferri ran to a strong third. Chad Brachmann came from 18th to take fourth while Boyd MacTavish closed out the top 5. Tim Lipsitt, Jeff Leggat, Tim Jones, Randy Chrysler and Gary Kruchka rounded out the top 10.
Cosco, Wayne Conn and Jones were Sportsmen Heat winners.
In the first ever visit of the VSM Abrasives Southern Ontario Sprints Rick Wilson was first to lead the 20 lap event from his third starting spot. Immediately Wilson ran to a healthy lead before caution slowed the field when Warren Mahoney slowed with engine problems on lap 5. Wilson again set the pace on the restart with Tim Phillips in the runner-up spot. By halfway Ryan Coniam had taken over second spot but he could not catch the leader Wilson. By lap 18 the driver known as the Joyceville Jet lived up to his nickname as he had opened up a 5 second advantage. At the finish Wilson came home well in front for his first victory in 5 2001 SOS starts with point leader Coniam in second. Phillips, Curt Sherwood and Keith Dempster rounded out the top 5 while John Riegling, **** Mahoney, Mike Galajda, Dave MacLeod and Brad Knabs closed out the top 10.
Wilson and Coniam won the Signet Tools Heats while Coniam also won the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series Road to Indy Dash.
2001 Rookie Kellie Mason set the pace at the start of the 15 lap Dwarf Car Feature before Chris Rimmen took control on lap 3. While Rimmen was setting the pace out front, the driver on the move was Brewerton Speedway regular Ken Gamlen. Gamlen who started in 18th spot was into the top 10 by the third circuit. Gamlen made it to the runner-up spot just before the halfway point. Gamlen took control of top spot on lap 11 and cruised to the win. Wally Billing made a late race charge to take the runner-up spot with Dave Ackler in third. Bill Perry and Dave Russell closed out the top 5 with Scott Billing, Lee Webber, Jeff Johnson, Mike Green and Kellie Mason as the top 10.
Gamlen and Derek Breedin won the Dwarf Car heats.
Mike Ward - a 2001 rookie in the Pro Stock division - was first to lead the 15 lap feature. A lap 6 caution would slow his pace but when action resumed it was Ward out front again. Around the halfway point Ward was being challenged by veteran Jeff Dayman. Dayman took control of top spot on lap 8. With Dayman out front, Ken Sargent was now challenging Ward. With some two laps to go Sargent overtook Ward and set his sights on Dayman. On the final circuit Sargent found an advantage and led the field to the checkered with Dayman settling for second. Ward ran to a fine third place finish with veterans Steve Devos and Bill Bleich closing out the top 5. Rick baker, Dan Gilbert, Tom Green, Herb Hunter and Chris Ellis were the top 10.
Gilbert and Sargent were Pro Stock heat winners.
Jeff Cook was first to lead the 15 lap Street Stock feature. Cook continued to lead the pack with Darren Zumpe on the move to the front. Starting from 10th Zumpe ran quickly to the top 5 and by lap 5 was challenging Cook. Just before halfway Zumpe took control of top spot. With Zumpe out front his challengers soon were Mike Dooley and Kirk Wilson. Two late cautions would slow the race to the finish but when the checkered dropped it was Zumpe out front for the win. Mike Dooley and Kirk Wilson settled for second and third while Jason Harper and Richard Champigny closed out the top 5.
Cook and Wilson were the Street Stock heat winners.
Join us at Merrittville Speedway Saturday August 25th as the Pen Centre, Raceline Radio, CJRN 710 AM and Ed Learn Ford' Fastlane present Fan Appreciation Night. Racing will feature the 358 Modifieds, Sportsmen, 4 Cylinders, Pro and Street Stock divisions as well as a Small Car Demolition Derby. Gates will open at 5:30 with action starting at 7:30. For further information call 905-892-8266 or visit merrittvillespeedway.com