The clock is ticking and drivers in every division at Canada's Toughest 1/3rd- Mile Oval are looking to gain every advantage they can as they search for the 2013 track championship.
Saturday, August 17th the cars and stars at Peterborough Speedway thrilled a capacity crowd as the track hosted the year's third and final Fan Appreciation/Toonie Admission Night, presented by Pepsi.
The Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stocks rolled out for their 10 lap qualifying events with Ryan Oosterholt, Ryan Babin, Danny Benedict and Miles Tyson heading for the winner's circle.
Nearly a dozen Techtonix Open Wheel Modified machines signed-in for the show that would determine their 2013 point championship. Nick Lees, Darren Kearnan, Rob Warnes and current point leader Dwight Brown shared the trips to victory lane. The entry level Four Fun division – presented by Battlefield Equipment Rentals – saw Ray Schroer, Ryan Oosterholt with a pair and Griffen Powell win the heat races.
Paul Davis Systems Thunder Car preliminary rounds went to Tom Cormier, Steve Mayhew, Donny Beatty and Dan Price. Jarrit Stewart and Nicholas Ledson won the Ontario Legends heat races, with Cory Horner, Chris Mitchell with a pair and Dan McHattie grabbing the Vanguard Self Storage Late Model qualifiers.
As the crowd thinned from the autograph session, the Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stockers prepared for their 20 lap feature tilt, with Ember Junkin and Miles Tyson on the front row.
As the lap counter showed seven complete, the leaders caught the tail-end of the field and started working lapped traffic. Tyson surrendered the lead coming off the second turn, with Ryan Babin taking over the point and bringing Chris Mulders along for the ride. Babin put some distance on second place and held on for the win. Tyson was third, with Brandt Graham and Brandon Hannah completing the top five.
Twenty laps were on the agenda as the Techtonix Open Wheel Modifieds took the green flag for a feature race that would finalize their season standings. Randy Hollingsworth and Bill Pickford paced the field, but the yellow was quickly displayed without a lap complete for a flat tire on Chad Strawn's machine.
As the top three broke away from the pack, Dwight Brown saw the opportunity to pounce and took his No. 2 rocket three wide heading into the third turn. Within a couple of laps, the soft spoken speedster from Beeton, Ontario had worked his way to the lead and charged to Dart Heating and Air Conditioning Victory Lane.
Rick Warnes, Rob Warnes, Nick Lees and Darren Kearnan chased Brown across the stripe.
The Battlefield Equipment Rental Four Fun drivers were next to take to Canada's Toughest 1/3rd-Mile Oval, with the field lining-up behind Rob Gosse and Willow Barberstock.
Ryan Oosterholt and Andrew Massey wasted no time getting to the front, taking last week's feature winner James Townsend with them. The leaders successfully navigated through the back markers, until a yellow with 13 complete bunched the field. Townsend was able to slip into second on the restart, but couldn't do anything with Oosterholt. Massey was third, with Griffen Powell and Ray Schroer fourth and fifth.
Tom Cormier and 2013 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway track champion Howie Crowe brought the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Cars to the stripe for a 20 lap headline dance.
At the drop of the green, Crowe took the point with crowd favourite Dan Price in tow. After following Price for a handful of laps, Donny Beatty slipped into second. The race's first yellow slowed the pace with 15 complete when Matt Spence drifted high and off the track in the first turn. Spence and Cormier came together a lap later and contact during the yellow flag saw the No. 2 parked for the night. Crowe held-off Beatty for the win, with Price, Jeff Bell and Jamie Wager filling-out the top five.
Dave Riopelle and Nicholas Ledson paced the Ontario Legends field for their 20 lap feature.
Just by taking the green in the main event, Ledson clinched the 2013 series crown. 12 laps were in the record books when Cole Ledson slowed to a stop in the infield. As the field came to the yellow flag, Nicholas Ledson drifted high and made contact with the third turn wall.
The Paul Davis Systems clean-up crew took care of some fluid on the track and the field was stopped on the front stretch.
With Ledson unable to answer the call for the restart, Riopelle assumed the top spot and held it to the checkers. Bill Mason, Andy Warbutton, Jarrit Stevens and Duane Cinnamon followed the winner home.
The night's final feature event saw Craig Graham and Dan McHattie take the Vanguard Self Storage Late Models to the line. McHattie would use the outside front row starting spot to take an early lead, but contact between Mike Wallace and Scott Harrison would bring out a yellow with only two laps complete.
On the restart, Cory Horner moved into second and after some strong runs in his qualifying events, Chris took third. When Bryan Sudsbury spun in the third turn with eight complete, Graham had dropped to seventh.
Before a lap was finished under green, Horner and Mitchell went around in the first turn. The caution also collected Craig Graham. Adam Cuthbertson sent Dan McHattie for a wide ride through the front stretch grass with 14 circuits complete.
Through the closing stages, McHattie was in his own area code as the Cavan, Ontario veteran held on for the win. Darren Kearnan, Mike Wallace, Steve Foster and Graham finished the top five.