By Clayton Johns, with Eric Uprichard
Jason Witty (No. 19) won an eventful 75-lap Limited Late Model invitational at Sunset Speedway on Father’s Day Sunday.
Witty was the benefactor of a major incident between Dwayne Baker (No. 48) and Tom Walters (No. 47) with two laps to go in the scheduled 75 lap race.
The Queensville, Ont.-based driver was running fourth at the time of the incident, but the top three cars were involved. The incident yielded a red flag on lap 73 and with rain clouds beginning to sprinkle, the race was called complete two laps shy of the intended length and Witty was declared the winner.
Walters took the lead from Mike Bentley (No. 51) on lap 20 and led until he spun in turn two after contact with Bentley on lap 60, who had continued to run second.
After Walters was forced to restart as the last car on the lead lap, he had worked his way back to second.
The story of the night, however, was the incident between Walters and Baker at the closing of the race.
The field was set for a three-lap dash following a caution for Frank Davey (No. 49) who spun in turn four.
On the ensuing restart, with Baker leading the field to green and Walters on his outside, the two raced side-by-side down the backstretch. Walters had the advantage off turn four on the outside. As the pair approached the start/finish line, Baker made contact with Walters, sending him spiraling towards the inside wall.
Chris Morrow (No. 11) was collected in the incident, as both he and Walters suffered heavy damage to the front end of their respective cars.
It was unclear whether Baker intentionally turned Walters towards the wall or whether Walters may have thought he was clear of Baker and moved to the bottom line to block the driver of the 48.
Regardless, both Walters and Morrow suffered heavy damage. It appeared as though most of the damage to Baker.
The race featured several lead changes prior to the incident which ultimately handed the win to Witty.
Bentley got by Morrow on lap 16 using the outside, but just four laps later Walters stole the top spot from Bentley.
Two early race cautions at lap four and lap 14 slowed the field. Nick Goetz (No. 24) spun to cause the first, while Goetz would nudge Mike Brown (No. 2) to cause the second 10 laps later.
Caution would fly again three laps later when Thane Woodside (No.5) got mixed up in turn four.
The race would then run under green flag conditions for 40 laps within which Walters would lap all but eight cars. The caution came out on lap 57 when Gary Elliott (No. 36) went around in turn four, erasing a full straightaway lead for Walters over Bentley.
It was three laps following the ensuing restart when Bentley and Walters made contact, sending them to the back and handing the lead to Baker before the aforementioned drama began with 15 to go.
Witty’s win marks his third in his last three starts at the Innisfil, Ont. oval, dating back to June 8.
Unofficial Results: Limited Late Model 75-Lap Feature (Top-Ten) 1. 19 Jason Witty 2. 10 Gord Shepherd 3. 41 Taylor Holdaway 4. 51 Mike Bentley 5. 11 Chris Morrow 6. 47 Tom Walters 7. 48 Dwayne Baker 8. 73 Ryan Kimball (-1 Lap) 9. 35 Andy Kamrath (-1 Lap) 10. 95 Anthony Simone (-1 Lap)
26 drivers started the 75-lap A-Main.
Matt Bentley (No. 21) battled back from a mid-race pass to earn the victory in the 50-lap Super Stock invitational at Sunset on Sunday evening.
Bentley benefited from a lap 40 restart when he restarted outside the front-row. With Cayden Lapcevich (No. 76) leading the field to green, the two drivers made contact in turn two as Lapcevich moved up the racetrack. Lapcevich would get the worst of it, suffering a flat right-rear and losing the lead he had earned six laps earlier.
The exciting battle for the lead developed from lap 22 to lap 34 between race leader Bentley, Lapcevich and Lane Zardo (No. 46). Lapcevich tracked down Bentley, but the duo had to maneuver around the lapped car of Tommy Morrison (No. 83).
Lapcevich eventually moved his way under Bentley with Zardo in tow. Zardo made it around Bentley as well before a caution on lap 39 for debris re-racked the field. Another caution on lap 40 after Ryan Semple (No. 11) spun in turn four would pit Zardo and Lapcevich against one another for the final ten laps.
Disaster struck for Zardo on the restart as the third-year super stock driver suffered a flat left front tire, resulting in another caution with 10 to go. Zardo would wind up fourth.
Lapcevich and Bentley would go head-to-head on the restart, but contact entering turn one sent Lapcevich spinning in turn two. Bentley, who was on the outside, was the recipient of the contact rather than the donor and would keep his spot.
Kevin Albers (No. 27) also suffered a flat left front as a result of the incident.
Unofficial Super Stock Results
1. 21 Matt Bentley, 2. 39 Travis Hallyburton, 3. 1 Donny Munce, 4. 46 Lane Zardo, 5. 40 Donny Beatty, 6. 07 Dan Archibald, 7. 11 Ryan Semple, 8. 83 Tommy Morrison, 9. 27 Kevin Albers, 10. 48 Coltin Everinham, 11. 09 Dan Price (DNF), 12. 34 Cayden Lapcevich (DNF), 13. 72 Randy Rusnell (DNS)
Billy Schwartzenburg (No. 86) used an outside line pass with 9 laps remaining to get by Justin Holmes (No. 400) for an impressive victory in the 30-lap Mini Stock invitational at Sunset Speedway.
Schwartzenburg started at the front of the pack, but spent the early portion of the race hunting down Holmes who started outside the front row.
Charlie Smith (No. 9) drove through the field as the Barrie Speedway regular earned the final spot on the podium.
The first of two caution flags flew on lap 4 when Doug Butler (No. 10) got into Ken Townsend (No. 21) and Brandon McFerran (No. 64) in turn three.
The caution would fly again on lap 7 when Townsend went in to turn three heavily as he tried to battle his way back through the field, but tagged a pair of cars in the process.
Danny Benedict (No. 54) and Mike Getliff (No. 15) rounded out the top-five.
Unofficial Mini Stock Results (Top-Five) 1. 86 Billy Schwartzenburg 2. 400 Justin Holmes 3. 9 Charlie Smith 4. 54 Danny Benedict 5. 15 Mike Getliff
27 drivers started the 30-lap feature.
Late Model Qualifying Results
Position: Car Number, Driver, Time (Seconds)
1. 51 Mike Bentley 14.846
2. 47 Tom Walters 14.875
3. 19 Jason Witty 15.024
4. 48 Dwayne Baker 15.050
5. 11 Chris Morrow 15.057
6. 95 Anthony Simone 15.070
7. 24 Nick Goetz 15.085
8. 37 Marvin Freiberger 15.106
9. 70 Gord Shepherd 15.118
10. 41 Taylor Holdaway 15.120
11. 40 Kerry Micks 15.122
12. 17 Josh Stade 15.138
13. 8 Jason Parker 15.148
14. 46 Billy Zardo III 15.157
15. 44 Steve Laking 15.273
16. 36 Gary Elliott 15.305
17. 49 Frank Davey 15.306
18. 14 Thayne Hallyburton 15.319
19. 73 Ryan Kimball 15.322
20. 79 Cory Horner 15.347
21. 2 Mike Brown 15.398
22. 35 Andy Kamrath 15.406
23. 02 Shawn Murray 15.415
24. 5 Thayne Woodside 15.465
25. 10 Ernie Fumerton 15.553
26. 81 Britney Gresel 15.698
Photo gallery by Eric Uprichard / www.SpeedwayPhoto.ca