By Spencer Lewis - Defending Sunset champion Stompin’ Tom Walters (No. 47 McColl Racing Enterprise Chevrolet) captured the 27th title of his storied career on Sunday evening, becoming the first ever McColl Racing Enterprises Ltd. Late Model Tour champion.
The Bradford, ON native took top qualifier honours, rolling a ‘3’ on the invert, starting the 75-lap A Main from inside the second row.
Tony ‘The Gun’ Tiemersma would pace the field for the first 8 laps, but would eventually give way to Walters’ pressure. Walters – who entered the evening tied for 1st in the standings with fellow Sunset regular Dwayne Baker – would lead for nearly 50 laps after rocketing past Tiemersma, at times leading by almost an entire straightaway.
It wasn’t until a lap 49 caution for a Dario Capirchio (No. 03 Concept Auto/Innisfil Machine & Welding Ford) spin, that Walters found himself in danger. The lap 50 restart would see Walters and rival Baker (No. 48 St. Onge Recreation/Unitec Welding Supplies Chevrolet) take the green side-by-side, with the ensuing battle bringing the grandstands to their collective feet.
The veterans would battle tirelessly, with Walters finally gaining the advantage until a lap 57 incident on the front straightaway between heated Sauble Speedway rivals Jason Parker (No. 34 Chambers Towing/Sunvale Homes Chevrolet) and Andy Kamrath (No. 35 Culbert Insurance/Spira Fire Protection Chevrolet) brought the field back together.
The restart would once again see Walters and Baker restart side-by-side, only this time, Baker would find the rear of his Chevrolet kick sideways as the leaders exited turn-4. ‘The Bully’ would bounce off of the right side of Walters’ #47, coming to rest with the entirety of the 18-car field bearing down on him. With the help of some fancy manoeuvring, each driver managed to evade contact with Baker, though as the smoke cleared it became evident Baker’s mechanical woes would put an end to both his evening as well as his title hopes.
With Baker’s ride on the hook to the pits, it appeared as though the lead – and subsequently the win – would be handed to Walters. That is, until officials noticed the damaged scrub rail hanging off of Walters’ car after the contact with Baker. The points leader was ordered to take his Chevrolet to pit road in order to hammer the rail back into place, resulting in Walters restarting from the tail end of the field.
As Walters tore off of pit road to rejoin the field, early leader Tiemersma was awarded the top spot with 17 laps remaining.
Stompin’ Tom would turn in a worthy performance, charging from the tail end of the field to the runner up spot, but would not be able to solve Tiemersma as the laps ticked down. At the checkered flag, Tiemersma would capture his first victory of the 2010 McColl Tour season, Walters would cross in second to secure the championship, with Gord Shepherd, Al Inglis and Darin Malcolm completing the top-5.
When asked about his performance in victory lane, Tiemersma kept his tongue firmly planted in cheek, laughing, “Well, we figured we’d hang back a bit for those first 50-laps or so, you know, make it an interesting finish”
“In all seriousness we were a 3rd place car tonight. But I guess [Walters and Baker] were racing for points and not quite using their heads. They got together, and that gave us the spot. So we’ll take it”
“All I saw was a rear bumper coming towards me and I knew I needed to get out of the way”, shrugged Tiemersma when asked how much of the Baker-Walters contact he witnessed from right behind the battle for the lead.
‘The Gun’ would close out the victory lane celebrations by thanking his Tiemersma Motorsports team, along with Sunset Speedway, the fans and McColl Racing Enterprises.
In Tim-BR Mart Super Stock action, a litany of visiting drivers invaded Sunset Int’l Speedway in the search to be crowned the winner of the first annual Labour Day Rumble, but it was Sunset regular Matt Bentley (No. 21 Bev Thring Racecar Fabrication/Eramosa Autobody Nova) showing incredible patience and car control en route to his second victory of the year.
The Acton, ON sophomore overtook NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Star JR Fitzpatrick (No. 14 Cambridge Rigging Monte Carlo) – who was making his Sunset Super Stock debut – on a lap 19 restart.
Once Bentley cleared the former NCATS champion, he’d open up a near half-straightaway lead, before reaching lapped traffic. As Bentley was forced to manoeuvre through the sea of slower moving sheet metal, his half-straightaway lead would drastically decrease with each passing lap, as fellow sophomore ‘5 Second Delay’ Jay Cutting (No. 18 The Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub/Dave’s Muffler Shop Malibu) drew closer to Bentley’s rear bumper.
The turning point of the event would come with 5 laps remaining in the 50-lap A Main. Bentley, bobbing and weaving through lapped traffic, would arrive at the doorstep of a pair of slower cars battling side-by-side for position. As Bentley searched for a way past the moving roadblock, Cutting pulled alongside to challenge for the victory.
With Cutting now pressuring, Bentley was able to utilize one of the lapped cars as a pick, neutralizing Cutting’s challenge for the lead as the duo dive-bombed into the first corner.
Once clear of the lapped traffic, Cutting would look to once more pull to Bentley’s bumper, but would run out of time. At the checkered flag, Bentley notched victory number 2 of the 2010 season, followed by Cutting, defending track champion Flyin’ Frank Davey, the returning Dave Doucette and impressive freelancer Marty Monette.
In victory lane, surrounded by a very happy clan of family and crew, Bentley smiled, “I gotta admit, it was pretty tough to get through there. Those lapped cars didn’t make it easy, but somehow we were able to get down [keep Cutting behind us] and hold the lead”
“This is such a tough class. And to get my second win this season, its absolutely unbelievable. I want to thank all my supporters, my family, my crew and especially my uncle who has allowed me to drive this awesome racecar all season.”
“The playoff season’s coming up, and we’ll be representing Sunset at every opportunity!”
The 35-lap Owens Corning Mini Stock A-Main had some emotional undertones to it as the 23 cars took to the track.
Holland Landing, ON driver Terry Clodd (No. 35 shipcanada.ca/Rosstech Automotive Honda) entered the evening dedicating his efforts to his sister Jessie, who was returning to the speedway for the first time since a tragic off-track accident placed her in intensive care a month ago.
Clodd mentioned, prior to the drivers meeting, that there would be no better night to earn his first ever Mini Stock victory than at the Labour Day Rumble with friends and family – including Jessie – looking on.
The likeable sophomore would earn top qualifier honours after a pair of qualifying heat wins, and started the A Main 6th on the grid.
Clodd would find early leader Dave Glaze (No. 13 Simcoe Auto Recyclers/AKN Automotive Ford) only 8 laps into the race, sliding past to snatch the lead, as he looked to complete his first career hat trick.
The race would run flag to flag, with Clodd not facing a legitimate threat after capturing the lead on lap 9, bringing home his first ever Mini Stock win to a deafening chorus of applause from crew, family and fans alike.
In victory lane, Clodd found it difficult to express exactly how gratifying his first victory was, “I didn’t think it was possible. I just want to thank all my sponsors and every single person that has helped me out this season”
“This is unbelievable. To have my sister back this quickly after her tragic accident, this is all dedicated to her, everything I did tonight was for her” closed Clodd, his eyes watering slightly and voice cracking with emotion.
HEAT 1: DEAN CURRY SINGHAMPTON, ON
HEAT 2: TERRY CLODD HOLLAND LANDING, ON
HEAT 3: BRAD MARTIN PLAINVILLE, ON
HEAT 4: TERRY CLODD HOLLAND LANDING, ON
1) TERRY CLODD HOLLAND LANDING, ON
2) BRAD MARTIN PLAINVILLE, ON
3) ‘GIPPER’ DAVE GLAZE ANGUS, ON
4) RON GOODALL BARRIE, ON
5) DEAN CURRY SINGHAMPTON, ON
HEAT 1: ’5 SECOND DELAY’ JAY CUTTING HOLLAND LANDING, ON
HEAT 2: ‘TOO QUICK’ KENNY BRITT MIDHURST, ON
HEAT 3: MATT BENTLEY ACTON, ON
HEAT 4: MARTY MONETTE HAMILTON, ON
HEAT 5: ‘THE DEUCE’ DAVE DOUCETTE ANGUS, ON
HEAT 6: FLYIN’ FRANK DAVEY RIVER DRIVE PARK, ON
1) MATT BENTLEY ACTON, ON
2) ’5 SECOND DELAY’ JAY CUTTING HOLLAND LANDING, ON
3) FLYIN’ FRANK DAVEY RIVER DRIVE PARK, ON
4) ‘THE DEUCE’ DAVE DOUCETTE ANGUS, ON
5) MARTY MONETTE HAMILTON, ON
LTD. LATE MODEL
HEAT 1: KEITH MCLEOD BARRIE, ON
HEAT 2: AL INGLIS ORILLIA, ON
HEAT 3: JASON ‘BAM BAM’ WITTY QUEENSVILLE, ON
HEAT 4: STOMPIN’ TOM WALTERS BRADFORD, ON
1) TONY ‘THE GUN’ TIEMERSMA NEWMARKET, ON
2) STOMPIN’ TOM WALTERS BRADFORD, ON
3) GORD ‘THE SMOKE’ SHEPHERD ORO STATION, ON
4) AL INGLIS ORILLIA, ON
5) DARIN MALCOLM ANGUS, ON