By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
With a collection of hardware waiting to be handed-out, Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Oval rewarded the efforts of a stellar field at Peterborough Speedway’s annual awards banquet, held at the Ranch Resort Banquet and Conference Centre in Bethany.
The night’s activity began with the ‘State of the Speedway’ address by track owner and promoter J.P. Josiasse. With new corporate and divisional sponsors, increased car and crowd numbers, 2013 was one of the most successful seasons in a number of years. Long hours and hard work behind the scenes by a strong team paid-off in a big way and helped build the Peterborough Speedway brand in the motorsports community.
His last title may have been 7 years ago, but 3 main event wins and consistent finishes from the first green flag to the final checkered allowed Craig Graham to reclaim the champion’s seat at the Vanguard Self Storage Late Model table. The 41 year old from Orono, Ontario carried a comfortable, but not commanding lead into the final night of action and used a conservative strategy to clinch the crown. Cory Horner was named the Late Model field’s rookie of the year and most improved driver, while Chris Mitchell picked-up the most sportsmanlike driver honours and Bryan Sudbury’s #29 machine captured the best appearing car award.
The Thunder Car division returned to regular action in 2013 at the tight bullring west of the Liftlock City, with backing from the restoration specialists at Paul Davis Systems. Beaverton, Ontario veteran Donny Beatty earned the first championship of the new era with a solid showing on the final night of the campaign. Beatty – who has yet to announce his 2014 plans – dedicated the season to the memory of his brother. Brad Lavalle won the Thunder Car rookie of the year award, with Anthony DiBello named the division’s most sportsmanlike and most improved driver. The #53 of Matt Spence was picked as the best appearing car.
There is nothing in the Peterborough Speedway rulebook to prevent a driver from running 2 different cars in 2 different classes and that loophole played perfectly into the plans for Ryan Oosterholt. The Blackstock, Ontario runner – a proud member of the Farm Bro Race Team – was able to earn the track championship in both the Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stock and Battlefield Equipment Rental Four Fun divisions. James Townsend was named the Four Fun field’s rookie of the year, with Willow Barberstock the most improved driver. Griffin Powell captured the most sportsmanlike driver award, while Andrew Massey’s ride was named the best appearing car. In the Mini Stock division, Chris Mulders was honoured as rookie of the year, with Oosterholt the most sportsmanlike driver. Brandt Graham took the most improved driver award and Ryan Babin’s name appeared on the best appearing car award.
What they may have lacked in numbers, the Moi Parry Spring Service Renegade Track field certainly made up for with their on-track performance. 3-wide battles for the win and the occasional swapping of paint were a regular events for the pick-up pack, with Bill O’Hara’s consistent runs paying off with the track championship. Jack Dallin was named the division’s rookie of the year and also collected the best appearing car award. The most sportsmanlike and most improved drivers in the field were Stephen Bierworth and Rob Harwood, respectively.
The top runners in the Peterborough Speedway Enduro Series were Shane Richards, Bob Richards and Steve Lavoi in the 8 cylinder division. Charlie Pederson, Cameron Pederson and Tyler Junkin topped the 4/6 cylinder pack.
Top 5 Point Standings by Division:
Vanguard Self Storage Late Models – 1). Craig Graham, 2). Chris Mitchell, 3). Bryan Sudsbury, 4). Cory Horner, 5). Jack Horner
Paul Davis Systems Thunder Cars – 1). Donny Beatty, 2). Matt Spence, 3). Dan Price, 4). Anthony DiBello, 5). Brad Lavalle
Battlefield Equipment Four Fun – 1). Ryan Oosterholt, 2). James Townsend, 3). Andrew Massey, 4). Griffin Powell, 5). Ray Schroer
Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stocks – 1). Ryan Oosterholt, 2). Chris Mulders, 3). Ryan Babin, 4). Brandt Graham, 5). Kevin Strutt
Moi Parry Spring Service Renegade Trucks – 1). Bill O’Hara, 2). Jack Dallin, 3). Tyler Junkin, 4). Stephen Bierworth, 5). Andy McCann
Fans can follow Peterborough Speedway on Facebook or Twitter and look to www.peterboroughspeedway.com for the latest updates and off season news.
Photo attachment: Don Meskis, Peterborough Speedway.
The 2013 Peterborough Speedway track champions, (left to right) Charlie Pederson, Shane Richards, Ryan Oosterholt, Donny Beatty, Craig Graham and Bill O’Hara at the annual awards banquet.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
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