By Mike Bennett – South Buxton Raceway – Dale Glassford wasn’t happy with his new car, so he bought his old one back.
And the deal landed the Ridgetown native back in the Winner’s Circle at South Buxton Raceway for the first time in more than two months.
Glassford led all 25 laps to win the annual Don Hendricks memorial race for the Glencoe Auto Wreckers UMP Late Models on Saturday night, his first feature win since taking the first two checkereds of the season on May 5 and 12.
“I grew up watching Don and had the chance to race against him in his last year at the Ridge, so this is really special to win,” Glassford said after accepting the memorial trophy from the Hendricks’ family.
“It’s a big race for all of us in the Late Models because we really appreciate how the Hendricks family still sponsor a night and we all know how special it is to win a race honouring a legendary name like Don’s.”
Hendricks was one of South Buxton’s most popular and successful drivers, winning the very first feature race when the track opened on June 12, 1971. He died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 48.
Glassford, however, went into the night not knowing what was in store for him after making the swap with Wyoming’s Don Douglas to get his old car back.
“We started off all right in the new car,” Glassford said of his back-to-back feature wins to start the season. “But we banged it up a little with the 1A (Chatham’s Brad Authier) for a few weeks and something got out of whack with car, we just couldn’t get it back.”
Glassford had handling issues in the following weeks, spinning out on his own several times in heats and feature races.
“We’ve had some bad nights and were off quite a bit and I was getting awfully frustrated.
“It came down to either spending a lot of money chasing something that I didn’t know was wrong, or put the same money and get this car back.”
He contacted Douglas, who had yet to race the old car, “and we worked out a deal to get my old girlfriend back!” he laughed.
Glassford said he could tell in the heat race that his old girl was as good as new.
“We worked like a dog the last two weeks to get it ready because the Hendricks race was our incentive,” he said.
“We didn’t think we’d come out and set the world on fire, we just wanted to get back into being competitive with everybody.”
Glassford started on the inside pole, thanks to his dash win, and kept Leamington’s Justin Coulter at bay for the final 24 laps. Authier finished third, followed by fellow Chatham drivers Jim Jones and points leader Gregg Haskell.
“The car got better as the race went on, it felt really good after halfway,” Glassford said.
His only scare came on the final lap when he broke a rear brake line.
“I was going into the first corner and my pedal went right to the floor,” he said. “I was pumping the brakes like crazy down the straightaway, spilling oil everywhere but we got around the last corner and made it back.
“But it was a good thing there wasn’t one more lap,” he smiled.
His dash and feature wins give Glassford seven checkered flags in 10 weeks of racing.
Meanwhile, Chatham’s Louis Clements made amends for “giving one away last week” by winning his second career Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds feature.
Clements led the first eight laps before giving up the lead to Clayton Smith, of Taylor, Mich., on a restart.
“He (Smith) timed it perfect, but I knew if I stayed calm and got back to my groove on the high side, I’d be able to get back by him,” said Clements, who regained the lead for good thanks to a strong outside run in turn two on lap 11.
“I didn’t know how close he (Smith) was, I just concentrated on hitting my marks and running the groove that was working,” Clement said.
The two-time Sport Stocks champion said he tried to put any negative thoughts from last week’s disappointment out of his mind.
“I was pretty upset with myself, I gave one away as far as I’m concerned,” said Clements, looking back at last Saturday’s feature when he spun in turn three on lap eight while battling Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr. for the lead.
Dale Jr. went on to win his seventh feature while Clements finished ninth.
Clements, who also won the heat and dash, entered the night 12th in points with three checkered flags and three top-five feature finishes.
“I don’t why, I’ve always seemed to be a second half guy,” said the two-time Sport Stock champion, whose first Modified feature win came almost a year ago on Aug. 6.
“It’s a new car and it’s taken us some time to figure out exactly what I need and what works, but I think we’re there now,” Clement said.
“We’re starting to have some good weeks but we need to continue.”
Dale Jr. finished third and will pad the 65-point he had going into the night as second-place Joel Dick of Leamington scratched for the night and third-place Jim Fletcher of Louisville pulled off the track after one lap and placed 16th with a DNF.
Chatham’s Eric Vanderiviere finished fourth for a second straight week with Essex’s Gerald Martin rounding out the top five.
Dale Jr. won the other heat for his track-leading 18th checkered flag of the season.
Merlin’s Steve Shaw also won his third feature of the season in the Windride Sport Stocks, his first since back-to-back wins on June 2 and 9.
He started on the outside of the front row and led all 20 laps.
Points leader Eren Vanderiviere, also of Merlin moved into second on lap six and almost caught the leader in lapped traffic.
“It was kind like pulling up to Tim Hortons and ordering a double-double, and then get going again,” Shaw said about getting slowed by Chatham’s Jason Fox, Vanderiviere’s teammate.
“I did stall the motor when I had to hit the brakes, but it fired back up.
“The car was on a rail but once I lost the momentum, it didn’t handle as well after that,” Shaw admitted, but it was still good enough to hold off Vanderiviere in the waning laps.
Wallaceburg rookie Willy Vyse was third, followed by Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon and Wheatley’s Steve Clements.
Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano also returned to the Winner’s Circle for the first time since early in the season, winning his fourth Tirecraft Comp 4 feature.
DeSerrano won three straight features early in the season, his last coming on June 2, and finished second in two of the next three features as he opened a 41-point lead atop the points standings by late June.
But a pair of ninth-place finishes and scratching from last Saturday night’s feature dropped DeSerrano to third in the standings, 38 points behind Blenheim’s Shawn Jones.
“It feels good just to be able to make some laps instead of standing at the fence,” DeSerrano said with a laugh, referring to last week’s feature which he sat out because of an ignition box failure.
But everything was perfect under the hood of the DeSerrano machine on Saturday as he won his heat race and led the final 13 of the 15-lap feature to pick up his fourth win of the season and ninth over the last two years.
DeSerrano started in the second row and took the lead from Tilbury’s Ryan Beaulieu on lap three.
Cottam’s Rob Quick finished third, followed by Blenheim drivers Trevor Jones and Brett Hope.
South Buxton will host its fourth annual Tractor and Truck Pull this Friday, featuring the Southwestern Ontario Tractor Pullers Association.
The stock cars return to the track on Saturday for Autograph Night.
Both events start at 7 p.m.
Photos by James MacDonald / www.ApexOnePhoto.com
South Buxton Raceway
Saturday, July 28 Results
Includes car number in brackets and driver’s hometown.
Glencoe Auto Recyclers UMP Late Models
Don Hendricks Memorial Feature (25 laps)
1. Dale Glassford (60) Ridgetown
2. Justin Coulter (555) Leamington
3. Brad Authier (1A) Chatham
4. Jim Jones (34) Chatham
5. Gregg Haskell (RH21)
6. Mike Lewis (05) Wallaceburg
7. Jeff Jardine (28) Dover Center
8. Clinton Emery (22) Merlin
9. Mark Glassford (90) Goderich
2. M. Glassford
3. D. Glassford
1. D. Glassford
3. M. Glassford
Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds
Feature (20 laps)
1. Louis Clements (3C) Chatham
2. Clayton Smith (55) Taylor, Mich.
3. Jim Dale Jr. (00) Shrewsbury
4. Eric Vanderiviere (1A) Chatham
5. Gerald Martin (5) Essex
6. Brad Simpson (53) Rodney
7. Brad McLeod (43) Merlin
8. Darryl Hoekstra (36) Chatham
9. Jason Haskell (RH94) Chatham
10. Dan McIntyre (77) Windsor
11. Bill Profota (86) Tupperville
12. Emerson McIntyre (71) Windsor
13. Paul DeGoey (1D) Leamington
14. Mario Toniolo (14) Belle River
15. Brandon Coles (20D) Chatham
16. Jim Fletcher (36F) Louisville
17. Don Raes (21R) Chatham
DNS – Joel Dick (09D) Leamington
6. E. McIntyre
1. Dale Jr.
7. D. McIntyre
6. Dale Jr.
Windride Transportation Sport Stocks
Feature (20 laps)
1. Steve Shaw (17) Merlin
2. Eren Vanderiviere (29) Merlin
3. Willy Vyse (2) Wallaceburg
4. Tyler Lozon (66) Grande Pointe
5. Steve Clements (3C) Wheatley
6. Randy McKinlay (14) Chatham
7. Paul Gossmann (92G) Leamington
8. Bob Visnjic (95) LaSalle
9. Patrick Lajeunesse (98P) Essex
10. Jason Fox (93F) Chatham
11. Doris Lajeunesse (38) Essex
12. Brian Simard (50) Toronto
DNS – Rob Young (23) Kingsville
4. D. Lajeunesse
5 .P. Lajeunesse
2. D. Lajeunesse
6. P. Lajeunesse
Tirecraft Comp 4s
Feature (15 laps)
1. Denis DeSerrano (69) Cottam
2. Ryan Beaulieu (747) Tilbury
3. Rob Quick (18) Cottam
4. Trevor Jones (27T) Blenheim
5. Brett Hope (49) Blenheim
6. Shawn Jones (27) Blenheim
7. Rick Balasin (21) Chatham
8. Norm DeSerrano (96) Kingsville
9. Jamie St. Pierre (22S) Chatham
10. Shane Fryer (95) Cottam
11. Jerry Ramaut (91) Ridgetown
12. Steve Shaw Jr. (62) Merlin
13. Gerry Rivait (71) Tilbury
14. Randy McKinlay (26) Chatham
15. Brad Noland (18N) Cottam
DNS – Joel Desjardins (23D) Chatham
DNS – Brad Wonnacott (36) Chatham
1. Shaw Jr.
4. St. Pierre
1. D. DeSerrano
3. T. Jones
4. S. Jones
7. N. DeSerrano
1. T. Jones
2. S. Jones
3. St. Pierre
8. N. DeSerrano