Saturday marks the first trip in four seasons to Flamboro Speedway for the OSCAAR Super Late Models and the series’ return to one of Ontario’s most storied ovals for round six of the 2013 tour is full of anticipation. OSCAAR drivers made it clear over the off season they wanted to return to Flamboro and continue to diversify the tour schedule.
Ontario’s fastest asphalt series last competed at Flamboro’s 2010 Oktoberest, when Jeff Hanley took the checkered flag to the bank as part of a dominating season for the Georgetown, Ont. driver. Saturday, the series looks for its fourth different winner in six races.
A lot has changed in OSCAAR since 2010 with an entirely new set of stars doing battle with long-time series mainstays each week throughout the 2013 campaign.
Rookie driver Andrew Gresel (No.81) earned his first career OSCAAR victory last Saturday night at his home track, Sauble Speedway. Gresel led all 50 laps en route to the win. The Hepworth, Ont. driver goes from a track he knows well, to a track he has rarely raced on. Gresel is hoping to draw on his Sauble notes for Saturday’s race and should be competitive once again.
Fellow rookie Kevin Cornelius (No.17) has three consecutive podium finishes, and has yet to finish outside the top-ten in his McColl Racing Ent. chassis to start the season. Cornelius finished third one week ago and has been on the cusp of his first victory for several weeks, which has kept him at the top of the rookie standings. He’ll hope to surmount the obstacle this weekend, but is in tough with little experience at Flamboro.
Veteran Derrick Tiemersma (No.7) was among the drivers to last compete at Flamboro in 2010. Tiemersma has been nothing but consistent this year with five consecutive top-five finishes. After finishing second twice this season, Tiemersma is eager to get to Knightworks victory lane and should be in contention again tonight.
Series points leader Brandon Watson’s (No.9) worst finish this season came last week at Sauble – a fourth place result. If that’s a sign of things to come for the defending champion from Stayner, Ont. then the 20-year-old is in for a fantastic season. Brandon may lack the experience of some older drivers on tour, but his versatility should give him enough tools to be at the front come race time on Saturday.
Todd Campbell (No.07) had a strong run at Sauble last weekend with a brand new Chevy built engine under the hood. Campbell returns to one of his former home tracks this weekend and will have more experience to draw on then nearly any driver in the field. Look for him to get in to the top-five for the first time this season.
Like Campbell, Jim Bowman (No.63) is also a former Flamboro Late Model regular who returns home as well. Bowman missed last week’s event at Sauble and is in need of a strong run after a rough Biederman Memorial weekend last month. The Fergus, Ont. driver has been waiting for the return to his home track since his 2012 rookie season, and familiarity with the track should provide an excellent opportunity for the sophomore pilot.
Waterford, Ont.’s Shane Gowan (No.39) ran at Flamboro last season as well in the track’s Late Model division. Gowan has been off to a rough start this year, including a DNF last week, so the opportunity to change his luck at home comes at just the right time. Gowan looks for his first top-ten of the year this weekend.
The final race of the first half will provide a benchmark for a number of drivers as they continue through a stretch of six races in seven weeks. Preparation after a relatively clean race at Sauble for the field has largely been centred on setting the car up for Flamboro. The length of time between races levels the playing field.
Spectator gates open at 5:00pm before a 6:00pm green flag. Pit gates open at 3:00pm for competitors.
Tickets: Adult Admission: $21.25 +HST, Student Senior: $17.50 + HST, Children (12 & Under): $4.40 + HST. Family ticket (2 Adults, Up to 4 Children): $45.00 +HST. Pit Gate Admission: $35.
Directions: For directions to Flamboro Speedway, please visit: http://flamborospeedway.net/?page_id=60.
The OSCAAR Super Late Model tour is presented by a number of dedicated sponsors throughout Ontario, including: Knightworks Design, Hoosier Racing Tire, Klotz Synthetics Canada, Race2way.ca, Dave Franks Photos, Dickson Printing, Finishline Fabrication, McColl Racing Enterprises, McGunegill Engine Performance, Stefko Racing Engines, VP Racing Fuels, OntarioOval.com, RaceTime Radio, Inside Track Motorsport News, Jenco Equipment, Midas of Orangeville, Reinhart Trailer Sales, North Toronto Auctions, and South Shore Services.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)
Photo Credit: Dan Little Jr.