(Grand Bend ON) Fourteen London Drive Systems 4Fun teams assembled in the pit area of Grand Bend Speedway Saturday night for an opportunity to race the tight confines of the Bull Ring By the Beach and to collect some extra cash set out by speedway management to defeat one particular competitor.
Kenny McNicol Jr. had been unbeaten on the ¼ Mile tri-oval all season long and the invitation set forth to other 4Fun teams across the region brought out a plethora of race teams to collect the advertised bounty.
Justin Thibadeau and McNicol won the heat races set by random draw, and the 14 car field was set for the 30 lap Main Event. Mackenzie Hamilton (8) led the field to the green flag and charged our front to leasd the opening lap. Soon after Nathan Taback (64) wrestled the lead away from Hamilton and took command, followed by Steve Lovie (1) and Kenny McNicol (17). The large field meant lap traffic was going to be a challenge and soon the race leaders were knee deep in traffic. Mc Nicol was soon on the on the attack of Tabacks Flyer Neon and shot to the outside to make his move. The pair drag raced down the front straight and McNicol took the lead and dropped Taback back to second.
Inclement weather was looming, and moisture from the sky was starting to fall, as the race continued. A caution flag for Steve Dickson (76) brought the field together for a restart after spinning in in the infield grass. There were 6 cars on the lead lap including Bradley Marchand (28) Justin Thibedeau (14), and Alvin McNicol (49).
On the ensuing restart, McNicol took control once again, followed closely by Taback, and Lovie. The keaders were still going to have to duke out the balance of the race with severe traffic to work through. Jack VanHerk (07) lost power rounding turn 2 and was at the bottom of the racetrack when he made the hard right turn to the pit exit, right in the path of Mackenzie Hamilton who had no place to go and both cars sustained heavy damage.
As rain drops kept falling, the restart with only a handful of laps to go set up what will be talked about for some time. With the McNicol Bounty at hand, for the restart, it was up to Nathan Taback and Steve Lovie to mount a final charge. They raced towards the final laps, and McNicol had the lead entering turn 3 and 4, Taback found a different line to creep up on the back bumper and managed to find a way to get to McNicols inside corner as they came to the front straight away. The pair made contact with each other and the wheels touched and both cars went sailing towards the infield grass to bring out the race’s final caution with 3 laps to go. Steve Lovie inherited the lead and there were dollar signs in his eyes as he brought the field back to the green flag. Mc Nicol would line up 5th and Taback would line up 6th for the restart. When the race went back to green, all eyes were on McNIcol to see if he had anything left up his sleeve to recover. He managed to get by just one car and settled for third place when the checkers fell.
Steve Lovie went on to defeat McNicol and collect the $250 bonus for his efforts. 2nd place went to Bradley Marchand who over came stuggles of his own after crashing in practice and made unorthodox repairs in the pits pre race to straighten out his car.
In victory Lane, Lovie jumped to the roof of his car, and was thrilled to have put the car in victory lane for car owner Lou Fucile for the very first time. Lovie also said in victory lane “When those two start wrecking in front of me, I knew it was 3 laps to go, and I knew I had it. I just let that 64 do the dirty work, and I take home the money!”
The drama was not over however, in post race inspection 2nd place Bradley Marchand, and 3rd place Kenny McNicol were both found with non OEM Stock suspension components. Penalties will be announced later this week.
The next London Drive Systems 4Fun event is Saturday August 16. They will share the bill with the Mike ^ Terri’s NoFrills JCAR Mini Trucks $1000 Race.
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