‘Mr. Excitement’ Unable to Holster ‘The Gun’ in Action Packed Affair
May 29th would see a mix of old and new play out in front of a packed Sunset Speedway crowd. The Mini Stock and Limited Late Model divisions would welcome a brand new winner to their ranks, while the Super Stocks would once again see Kyle ‘Wheely’ Donaldson dominate in the same fashion he has all season long.
The Owens Corning Mini Stocks have been a Nissan dominated class thus far in 2010. All 3 of their events have ended with a Nissan 240sx in victory lane, in the form of rookie Kevin Vande Beek (No. 51 Highland Collision Centre/Custom Steering Nissan) and defending champion Doug Butler (No. 10 South Barrie Collision/Jeff’s Towing Nissan).
But heading into the 25-lap A Main on May 29th, it seemed as though the deck had been shuffled considerably. Vande Beek would see the powerplant underneath his winning ride blow sky high in a qualifying heat, while Butler would find his #10 starting from deep in the 27-car field.
The division seemed destined to welcome a fresh face to 2010 victory lane, and from the drop of the green, a bevy of drivers made it clear they were looking for victory. ‘The King of Hearts’ Brian Love (No. 04 Fox’s Bakery & Deli/Tire Depot Honda) and Ben Melenhorst (No. 26 Tire Guys Nissan) would do battle early, with Melenhorst winning the exchange – opening a 10-car length lead over 2nd place in the process.
The former Barrie Speedway Mini Stock champion would catch the back-half of the field early, forcing the youngster to navigate lapped traffic for much of the first 15 laps.
While Melenhorst dealt with slower traffic, a steady stream of challengers were zig-zagging their way through the field, looking to add their name to the list of 2010 winners.
Leading the charge was 2009 Rookie of the Year Warren Paxton (No. 33 Blue Mountain Honda of Collingwood/CB Services of Newmarket Honda) and 2x 2010 winner Doug Butler.
Shortly past the halfway mark, Paxton would find a way past Melenhorst after a short side-by-side tilt.
With Butler and 2010 Rookie of the Year contender Ken Donaldson Jr (No. 03 Custom Steering Nissan) on his tail, Paxton would cruise to victory – his first in almost a full calendar year. Following Paxton across the stripe would be Donaldson, Butler, Dan `The Bandit` Britt (No. 41 Dr. Parts of Barrie/Douglas Ford Collision Centre Honda) and Rob Krystal (No. 99 Taurus Property Maintenance Honda).
After climbing from his winning ride, an elated Paxton explained, “This Blue Mountain Honda of Collingwood #33 was fast right off the trailer”.
“We’ve been changing a couple of things. Trying to get the car where we need it to be. We’ve definitely touched on something here, because this thing was great tonight. Alot of guys, myself included, felt the track was a little slick during practice, but we made the necessary adjustments and were fine from there on out”
When asked about how the heavy traffic influenced his choice of lane throughout the 25-lap affair, Paxton replied “The car was most comfortable in the second groove of the race track, although sometimes with the lappers you have to run up high, but as you saw...it was pretty good up there too”
While the Mini Stock division crowned its third winner of 2010, the Tim-BR Mart Super Stocks were still looking for a fresh face to infiltrate victory lane, as points leader Kyle ‘Wheely’ Donaldson entered the evening having won all 3 previous Super Stock races.
Donaldson (No. 53 Planet Recovery Co./Custom Steering Chevrolet) would roll off from the rear of the field, making a 4th straight victory a potentially tall task.
The first half of the 30-lap A-Main would see the returning Rick Walt (No. 99 Classic Pro Tube/The Frame Shop Chevrolet) lead, despite having his Monte Carlo nearly destroyed only 6 days earlier.
Walt would eventually be overtaken by long-time Sunset veteran Paul Maltese (No. 28 Graham Contracting & Landscaping/Presto Applicance & Repair Chevrolet), who would bring a train of up-and-comers to the top-5, including sophomore Ethan Courneyea (No. 71 Sergio’s Pizza/Simcoe Barge & Break Wall Chevrolet), Rob Morrison (No. 07 Steve’s Towing/Weld-It Creations Chevrolet) and – from the back of the pack – points leader Kyle Donaldson.
As Maltese brought the field to the race’s first caution of lap 16, Donaldson crossed the stripe in the runner-up position.
The ensuing restart would see the pair line up side-by-side, resulting in a battle that would bring the capacity crowd to its feet, with Donaldson supporters and detractors making their voices known.
After a trio of laps side-by-side, Donaldson would assume sole control of the lead, cruising to his 4th straight win of the season after the most spirited battle he had been faced with all season long.
For his efforts, Maltese would pick up a well-earned 2nd place, with Courneyea, Mark Adams (No. 51 Racin’ Stuff/Rankin’s Auto Chevrolet) and Morrison completing the top-5.
In victory lane, ‘Wheely’ was happy to notch another victory, but still interested in improving. “We weren’t completely happy with how loose the car was heading into the corners last week, we’ve improved it a bit, but as any driver or crew member could tell you....it can always be better”
When the topic of his spirited battle with Maltese arose, Donaldson gushed “Paul’s a real great guy. He’s awesome to talk to in the pits and he’s a really, really talented driver”
“These wins definitely aren’t getting easier, and as everyone starts figuring out this new track, it’s only going to get tougher”
Finally, when asked if his current win streak is beginning to present the possibility of a perfect season, Donaldson refuted, “I’m still not looking that far ahead. I’ve been racing a long time, and I know exactly how fast things can go bad”.
The CGC Sheetrock Limited Late Models didn’t even need a complete lap for the fireworks to fly in their 30-lap A-Main. Heading into the first corner of the opening lap, a dustup between Taylor Holdaway (No. 41 Holdaway Automotive/Snap-On Ford), 7-time Sunset champion Chris Morrow (No. 11 Morrow Electric/Douglas Ford Collision Centre Chevrolet) and 2x 2010 winner Brandon Watson (No. 9 Smart Exchange Propane/W. Gethons Pumping Chevrolet) would lead to Watson nosing his ride into the wall, with Morrow suffering right rear sheet metal damage.
Watson would make a quick stop on pit road, and though he would return to action, would be forced to restart at the very back of the 22-car lineup.
The ensuing restart would be much smoother, and would see sophomore Brandon Crumbie (No. 63 California Dave’s Autobody/Alliston Rads Chevrolet) snatch the lead immediately, fending off a hard charge from Robbie Inglis (No. 22).
Unfortunately for Crumbie, the Cinderella story would come to an end on lap-10, when the young upstart would back his ride into the turn-4 wall, after attempting to defend his lead against a surging Chris Morrow.
As the field returned to green, Morrow would control the top spot, and whilst battling Tony ‘The Gun’ Tiemersma (No. 7 tiemersmamotorsports.com Chevrolet) would carve through nothing but clean air, the two cars opening up a 5-car gap over the rest of the field.
Tiemersma, a winner earlier this season at Peterborough Speedway, would eventually pull up beside Morrow and, door-to-door, the two veterans would exchange the lead back and forth for the final 10-laps.
The turning point would come with only a pair of circuits remaining. Tire wear would appear to become an issue when Morrow, using the track’s inside groove, would begin to taper off, while Tiemersma maintained his torrid pace on the high-side of the 3/8s mile oval.
With Morrow’s nose nudged underneath his bumper exiting turn-4 for the final time, Tiemersma would claim his first Sunset Speedway victory of 2010.
With his helmet and safety restraints removed, Tiemersma took a deep breath, turned to the packed stands and sighed, “What a great battle!”
“I was worried about Chris on the inside, I knew he was fast, and man, it came right down to the end”
“I wasn’t really worried about my tires. I saw Chris kinda started to slow, but sometimes when you’re running the high-side it’s a little easier on your rubber”
When the question of setup arose, ‘The Gun’ explained, “We had a different setup in the car earlier today, for when it was hot, but changed it for the feature, and man did it work. I was real happy with it, we were quick right from the start, just like Peterborough [earlier this year]
On wether or not the win will lure Tiemersma into becoming a full-fledged regular, the victor’s answer was a simple one, “Nah. It’s almost cottage time.”
HEAT 1: Ken Donaldson Jr Queensville, ON
HEAT 2: Rob Krystal Holland Landing, ON
HEAT 3: Doug Butler New Lowell, ON
HEAT 4: Ben Melenhorst Stayner, ON
HEAT 5: Warren Paxton Holland Landing, ON
HEAT 6: Terry Clodd Holland Landing, ON
B MAIN: Shawn Ryan Holland Landing, ON
1) Warren Paxton Holland Landing, ON
2) Ken Donaldson Jr Queensville, ON
3) Doug Butler New Lowell, ON
4) Dan ‘The Bandit’ Britt Midhurst, ON
5) Rob Krystal Holland Landing, ON
HEAT 1: Jason Elliott Angus, ON
HEAT 2: Kyle ‘Wheely’ Donaldson Queensville, ON
HEAT 3: ‘The Loon Ranger’ Donny Brandon Barrie, ON
HEAT 4: Kyle ‘Wheely’ Donaldson Queensville, ON
1) Kyle ‘Wheely’ Donaldson Queensville, ON
2) Paul Maltese Innisfil, ON
3) Ethan Courneyea Lefroy, ON
4) Mark Adams Burlington, ON
5) Rob Morrison Barrie, ON
LIMITED LATE MODELS
HEAT 1: Jason ‘Bam Bam’ Witty Queensville, ON
HEAT 2: Bruce Rankin Mississauga, ON
HEAT 3: Brandon Watson Stayner, ON
HEAT 4: Keith McLeod Barrie, ON
1) Tony ‘The Gun’ Tiemersma Newmarket, ON
2) ‘Mr. Excitement’ Chris Morrow Anten Mills, ON
3) Stompin’ Tom Walters Bradford, ON
4) ‘The Bully’ Dwayne Baker Stayner, ON
5) Jamie Horner Bowmanville, ON
- ‘The Upgrade’ Rick Walt returned to action on Saturday night, despite his Monte Carlo needing a full 20-hours on the frame rack to straighten its damaged chassis after an incident on Sunday, May 23rd.
- Former Super Stock mainstay Rob Morrison returned to action, piloting the #07 normally driven by ‘Doomsday’ Danny Archibald. Morrison was acting as a substitute while Archibald served a 1-week suspension stemming from an on-track dispute at the conclusion of the Super Stock A-Main on Sunday, May 23rd
- Both ‘The Professional’ Rob Poole and Dario Capirchio were absent on Saturday evening. The pair were involved in a wreck in a qualifying heat race on Saturday, May 22nd that left both cars badly damaged.
- Mini Stock driver Bill Pearsall announced he will make his 2010 Super Stock debut in the coming weeks. Pearsall’s Monte Carlo was a former contender at Spencer Speedway in Williamson, NY
- 2009 Super Stock Rookie of the Year Runner-Up ‘Too Quick’ Kenny Britt made his 2010 debut on Saturday. The car sported a brand new 2009 Ford Shelby Mustang body. Designed specifically for Britt by Paint By Watson founder Josh Watson