Tommy Catalano Wins the ROC Sportsman Modified 75
Delaware Speedway’s annual Great Canadian Race Weekend, a staple in the Ontario short track scene, officially kicked off on Friday, September 15th with a massive card of racing. The Race of Champions Sportsman Modified Series headlined the night with a 75 lap race. The Ground Masters Super Stocks welcomed a fleet of invitational drivers for their two day event as the Demar Aggregates Trucks, TransAxle V8 Stocks, and Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks also joined the racing program.
Group qualifying for all the weekly divisions opened up the historic race weekend as the lineups were set for the first round of feature races. The Ground Masters Super Stocks were first as 20 cars made the call for qualifying. Darrell Lake (#77) topped the charts with a 20.737, ahead of Kathleen Green (#16) and Matt Robblee (#51). In the Demar Aggregates Trucks it was Rick Verberne (#88) on top of the board with a 21.858 as Tom Zagorodny (#77) and Mickey Brydges (#55) trailed. Barry Watson (#45) set fast time in TransAxle V8 Stock qualifying with a time of 21.777. Derek Moesker (#51) bettered Jamie Klumper (#7) and Bill Brekelmans (#007) in qualifying for the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks.
The Race of Champions Sportsman Modifieds were up first following opening ceremonies as they took to the track for group qualifying sessions. Two groups of eight were released onto the track for a green-white-checkered session to set lineups for the heat races later on in the program. Shawn Nye (#51) and Tommy Catalano (#54) set fast times in the two sessions, which seeded the 10 lap heat races. Catalano’s time of 19.567 was the fastest overall.
The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks took to the track for the first race of the night with Derek Moesker and Jamie Klumper on the front row. The field of 38 cars strong roared to life off of turn four and were three and four wide before the start line. Moesker led the opening circuit as Craig Cole (#5c) moved into second and began to close the gap. On lap seven there was trouble as a few cars got together on the back straightaway and crashed, resulting in the caution flag coming out. After the restart, Bill Brekelmans moved into the third spot as David Rockwood (#90) began to pressure him from behind. The battle for fifth heated up by the halfway point as several cars including Jordan Morris (#73), Bon Stratford (#82), and Ben Davey (#07) began battling. Derek Moesker would work his way through lapped traffic to score the win with Craig Cole and David Rockwood rounding out the podium spots.
The Race of Champions Sportsman Modified heat races were up next in the program with the #51 machine of Shawn Nye leading the field to green for the first 10 lap battle. Right away there was trouble as Amy Catalano (#64) and Dave Kozlowski (#36) went around on the front straightaway. Somehow the field managed to avoid contact and they restarted once again. Scott Wylie took over the race lead on lap two, after a brief side by side battle up front. Wylie would win the heat race over Nye and Deitz (#84). The second 10 lap heat race started with Tommy Catalano on the pole alongside Patrick Emerling. Catalano led the opening circuits of the race and would go on to win as the field got single file behind with Emerling finishing behind.
The TransAxle V8 Stocks 20 lap feature race was next in the racing program with Manuel Ferreira (#8) and Dustin Hardy (#21) on the front row. Paul Fothergill (#33) took the lead early on in the race and just as Barry Watson started pressuring for the spot, the caution flag came out for Steve Book (#64) and Dustin Hardy tangling in turn 1. The restart allowed Steve Arrand to take over second, and just a lap later challenge for the top position. The front three drivers raced close, even looking three wide a few times as the laps began to tick away. On lap 10, Barry Watson took over the race lead as Steve Arrand slowed and entered the infield with an issue. Watson would score the victory as Paul Fothergill and Dustin Hardy rounded out the top three spots.
The Demar Aggregates Trucks took to the track for their 20 lap main event with Mickey Brydges and Rob Windis (#29) starting on the front row. Winds led the opening laps as the field raced side by side behind. The caution came out on lap four when Tyler Fortey came to a stop off of turn two with front end damage. On lap 10, Rick Verberne used a lapped truck as a pick to take the race lead while Windis worked hard to fend off Zagorodny. On lap 16 there was heartbreak for Tyler Fortey, who went hard into the inside wall on the front straightaway while racing the leaders, after returning to the track just a few laps prior.
Kenny McNicol Jr. and Matt Robblee led the field to the green flag for the 25 lap Ground Masters Super Stock Invitational race with a full field chasing behind. McNicol led the race early as Darrell Lake and Gary Adriaensen (#55) trailed behind. On lap 8 there was a caution as the back bumper of Adam Swales (#18) flew off onto the racing surface. After the restart, the field got single file quickly as McNicol Jr. pulled to a sizeable gap quickly. On lap 13 there was a caution as David McCullough (#39) went around in turn one after contact between him and Gary Zwygers (#93). Just after the restart, on lap 15 the caution flag came out once again as Brandon McFarran (#31) went around and into the front straightaway wall. The caution came out once again on lap 16 as Jaden Chapman (#13) and Brad Collison (#13x) were collected in a turn two altercation. The race finally got into a rhythm after the ensuing restart with McNicol Jr. once again pulling away from Lake and Sheridan (#52). On the last lap Jake Sheridan moved into second but it was all Kenny McNicol Jr. upfront as he would win the 25 lap event. Darrell Lake, Gary Adriaensen, and Andrew Ferreira (#9) rounded out the top five.
Tommy Catalano would lead the field to the green flag for the Race of Champions Sportsman Modified 75 lap main event as a field of hungry drivers chased behind in hopes of becoming the inaugural winner. Right away it was Tommy Catalano leading the field with Scott Wylie chasing behind. The first caution came out on lap nine when Ryan Dick went around in turn four. The field stayed double file after the restart before the caution came out again on lap 11 for Neil Deitz going around in turn two. After the restart, the best battle on the track was for fifth between Connor Sellars (#00), Andy Jankowiak (#41), and Justin Demelo (#82). As the halfway point approached it was still Tommy Catalano in the race lead with Scott Wylie and Patrick Emerling in the top three. There was a caution for a slow car on lap 31, with the restart allowing Emerling to move into the runner up spot and shortly after he began pressuring for the race lead. The caution came out on lap 40 for a mandatory fuel stop as all cars came down pit road.
Tommy Catalano led the field back to the green flag for the final 35 laps of the Great Canadian 75 for the Race of Champions Sportsman Modified Series. Just after the restart, there was trouble on the front straightaway on lap 43 as Justin Demelo was pinched into the outside wall and collected Shawn Nye. After the restart, the top two cars of Catalano and Emerling had checked out on the field. The race would go green to the end as the front two continued to race hard. Tommy Catalano would hold on to score the victory as Patrick Emerling and Andy Jankowiak rounded out the podium finishers.
Ken and his familiar Mustang took the King of the Hill Spectators Race after beating a Jeep SRT in the finals, winning 2-0 in the best of three.
The Great Canadian Race Weekend continues tomorrow, September 16th, as the APC Series takes over the facility as the headline event where it will crown its third champion in as many years. All the weekly divisions return for more racing action including the 50 lap Ground Masters Super Stock invitational. Everything gets started just before 3:00pm, advance tickets remain on sale on www.DelawareSpeedway.com
Race of Champions Sportsman Modified 75 feature results:
1. 54 – Tommy Catalano 2. 07 – Patrick Emerlie 3. 41 – Andy Jankowiak 4. 44 – Scott Wylie 5. 00 – Connor Sellars 6. 64 – Amy Catalano 7. 82 – Justin Demelo 8. 9 – Neil Hopkins 9. 48 – Sam Fullone 10. 94 – Neil Deitz 11. 27 – Jake Veron 12. 36 – Dave Kozlowski 13. 88 – Ryan Dick 14. 51 – Shawn Nye 15. 90 – Mark Hamacher 16. 74 – Sherri Hogan 17. 1 – Barry Newman (DNS)
Delaware Speedway local results HERE
Article by Ryan Dyson, Delaware Speedway PR – www.DelawareSpeedway.com