A new format. A record car count expected. That just begins to describe this weekend’s 15th Annual Don Biederman Memorial that will be at Sunset Speedway.
In past years, the Don Biederman Memorial has featured a 75-lap feature. However, for the first time in OSCAAR Racing history, they will be running back-to-back nights. A unique format has been devised by series officials for the weekend to go with this historic event.
Instead of a typical double heat format, on Saturday, the OSCAAR Super Late Model drivers will take to the track for time trials. Depending how you place in time trials will determine where you start in one of the three heats.
Klotz Synthetics Qualifying Heat Line-Up (Based on Time Trial Results).
Heat 1: Pos. 1, Pos. 4, Pos. 7, Pos. 10, Pos. 13, Pos. 16, Pos. 19, Pos. 22, Pos. 25, Pos. 28, etc.
Heat 2: Pos. 2, Pos. 5, Pos. 8, Pos. 11, Pos. 14, Pos. 17, Pos. 20, Pos. 23, Pos. 26, Pos. 29, etc.
Heat 3: Pos. 3, Pos. 6, Pos. 9, Pos. 12, Pos. 15, Pos. 18, Pos. 21, Pos. 24, Pos. 27, Pos. 30, etc.
The top four from each heat will automatically transfer to the A-Main to determine the top 12 starting spots in the feature. The rest of the drivers will go to the B-Main, with the top eight transferring to the A-Main to determine starting spots 13 to 20.
“Two spots (position 21-22) will be left open as provisional for the drivers who currently sit highest in OSCAAR points who have yet to qualify,” OSCAAR PR released earlier this week. “The final two spots (position 23-24) will go to the two quickest drivers who have yet to qualify for the main event.”
On Sunday, there will be not be time trials. How you finished the feature on Saturday night will determine which heat and where you start (same breakdown as above). As the same with the day before, he top four from each heat will automatically transfer to the A-Main to determine the top 12 starting spots in the feature. The bottom half of the field will be determined the same way it was on Saturday.
The importance is having a strong time trial run and a good heat will be at it’s premium as there are expected to be 32 drivers are expected to show to try to make the 24 car field.
So who do you have to watch? Well, there are five drivers who have shown that they are strong via their previous race starts and testing sessions.
1. No. 70 Jeff Hanley
In any OSCAAR race that Jeff Hanley runs as part of his part-time schedule, he is always a driver that you have to beat. After all, his last OSCAAR Super Late Model start came at Sunset Speedway last September in the form of a win at the Velocity 250. He is also a four-time winner of the event (2008-2011).
2. No. 77 George Wilson
At the beginning of the season, George Wilson announced that he would miss the season due to other commitments. However, he has since stated that he will be attendance for the Don Biederman Memorial. Wilson is a driver that you have to watch as well because, like Hanley, he always is in contention to win. In the Velocity 250 in which Hanley won, there was contact between Hanley and Wilson for the lead that resulted in Wilson making heavy contact with the inside retaining wall.
3. No. 9 Brandon Watson
The defending series champion and current points leader, Brandon Watson, is a driver that you have to keep your eye on. He won last year’s running of the Don Biederman at Kawartha Speedway and has won the opening two events this season, one of those being Sunset. Nobody has been able to catch Watson so far this year so it’ll be interesting to see how he stacks up against the field this weekend.
4. No. 22 Glenn Watson
Glenn Watson is always upfront during the OSCAAR events, putting himself in position to win. After all, he is a four-time series champion. However, he has yet to win a Don Biederman Memorial. Does that change this weekend?
5. No. 27 J.R. Fitzpatrick
J.R. Fitzpatrick will be making his third start in the series after starting last year’s Velocity 250 and the Autumn Colors event at Peterborough Speedway. Since then, he has made a ton of changes to the car owned by Roy Passer and looked strong during some test laps at Sunset Speedway.
Beyond those five listed, there are many drivers that will be up front this weekend. Included but not limited to…….
2007 winner Derrike Tiemersma has had a strong start to the season with a third and a second to start off the season.
Rob Poole returns to the track that he called home during his Limited Late Model career, looking for another top five after scoring his first OSCAAR top five back in May at Sunset Speedway. He finished ninth earlier this year at Barrie Speedway.
Dwayne Baker will be making his second start of the season after finishing fourth back in May.
Jesse Kennedy will look to bounce back after having some bad luck at Barrie earlier this month.
While the race for the win may be one to keep an eye on, you also have to look at this year’s rookie of the year battle.
Kevin Cornelius will look for his second career OSCAAR Super Late Model top five after finishing fifth at Barrie Speedway in June. He was running third in the closing laps of the May event at Sunset Speedway, when a slip up would cause him to drop back to the seventh position.
Ethan Courneyea will be making his second OSCAAR start after a poor showing in the season opener. The Super Stock graduate found himself in a lap one wreck with Mike Owen.
Sean Cronan will look to bounce back after some tough luck that has hindered his performance in the opening events thus far. He was running top 10 at Sunset back in May, though mechanical problems took him out of the race.
Andrew Gresel will look for his second career OSCAAR podium finish after finishing third at Barrie. Gresel didn’t fair well in the season opener at Sunset Speedway as he was running a template body car due to his Super Late not being ready yet.
Rob Gibson will be making his first career OSCAAR start. Gibson makes the jump up to the Super Late model ranks after having success in Sunset Speedway’s Mini Stock division.
OSCAAR Modified competitor Brent McLean will be pulling double duty this weekend as he will be looking to start this weekend’s Super Late Model race at Sunset Speedway. Mechanical problems prevented him from starting the season opener back in May.