By Randy Spencer / OntarioOval.com – To put it plain and simple, this Saturday’s finale to the Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modified race season is the biggest race in the careers of the top three contenders. A mere 3 points separates first from third. You know all three will be gripping that wheel just a little bit tighter than normal comes feature time.
Steve Trendell sits in first place with 549 points, Shane Stickel has 548 while Corey Jones is in third with 547. This is undoubtedly is one of the closest point races, if not the closest in the club’s 46 year history. It could very well come down to the final lap in the feature to decide the outcome. In 1999 going into the final race of the season, Gary Elliott and son David were separated by just one point with Gary eventually winning the title. The only differences, that was a two car race and there were 24 races as opposed to just 11 this year. But that doesn’t diminish in any way the great season the three drivers have put together this year and the magnitude of the Season End Championship race.
Trendell, who is in his 10th year racing with the club is by far the veteran of the three. 2012 has been Steve’s most consistent year with just on DNF. In his rookie season in 2003, Trendell got close but finished about 50 points back of the eventual winner, T.J. Wollsey. Going into the final race at Flamboro, Steve tells me he doesn’t feel any pressure. He came from 15 points back in the last two races to take over the points lead and he’s just going to go out, race his race and whatever happens, happens. Flamboro hasn’t always been good to Steve but this year he admits, he’s become a fan of it. He’s got a lot of experience and dad Dave turning wrenches and setting up the car so Steve will be hard to beat. He’s really come on of late and is on a roll.
The next two racers are in their third seasons with the CVM and are good friends and came up through the go kart ranks together. Shane Stickel and Corey Jones both echoed similar comments regarding each other. Jones told Ontario Oval in an interview earlier this year, “Corey and I started out by racing Karts against each other, and then went on to race Vintage Modifieds at the same time. It was a learning curve for both of us so we definitely helped each other out. No matter where or what we are racing it always seems like we cannot get away from each other on the track. This has made for some great racing between the two of us, but also some quiet rides home.” Shane, who is second in points, feels the pressure is equal on all three drivers. “It’s the biggest race of my career.” He also told me he’ll likely be nervous but he’s confident and it’s anyone’s race. Stickel has been leading the points race most of the season but being in the wrong place at the wrong time in races at Sauble and Varney recently has made the race close. I asked if it comes down to a last lap push, especially against his good buddy Corey, what will he do. “I’m not a dirty driver, I’ll push my limits and throw everything at it.”
Corey Jones has had a break out year after a disastrous 2011 campaign. This year he has a couple of wins including a feature win at Flamboro. He admits he’ll be nervous as well. It would be his first championship of any kind in racing and would mean a lot but whether he finishes first, second or third, it’s still been a great season. Corey feels no pressure however as he sits in third and has nothing to lose. He says it looks like he’ll be starting ahead of Stickel and Trendell so as long as he can keep the two guys behind him, he should be ok. All three drivers wanted to thank their families, crews and sponsors.
Steve Trendell’s sponsors- Ponderosa Nature Resort, Cambridge Truck and Auto, Oakville Automotive, Mark Simmons Primerica Financial Services and Flamboro Machine Shop.
Shane Stickels’s sponsors- MSD Machine Tools, Shelane Properties, Huron Fasteners, Abtech CAD/CAM, Paragon Collision Center, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, BkReinhart.com and Speedway Photos.
Corey Jones sponsors- RBC, LaFleche Roofing, MSD Machine Tools, Sweers Custom Painting, 6speed design, Accountable Automotive, Perth Auto Dismantlers, and Creative Edge.
Be part of the action and don’t miss one of the most exciting finale’s in the Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modified racing club’s history this Saturday at Flamboro Speedway. Heat races begin at 6:30pm with Feature race action getting underway at 8:00pm. No matter who wins, it will be the first championship for one of these three drivers. Good luck to all and may the best man win!!!