Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Randy Rusnell wins Autumn Colours Thunder Car Feature

Following his domination at Sunset Speedway and the Velocity 250 victory, Randy Rusnell kept the ball rolling and capped off the season with a win in the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway.

When the feature started on Sunday, it was John Baker Jr. starting on pole with Travis Hallyburton beside him. The pair finished 1-2 in the Chase for the Colors event to lock into the front row. Joe Adams qualified third virtue of his heat finishes, followed by Randy Rusnell, Ken Grubb, Brad Collision, Todd Musker, Cayden Lapcevich, Vaughn Lawrence, Todd Davenport, Kevin Gallant, Rick Walt, Dan Price, Bob Kish, Jason Praysner, the 9, Dave Doucette, Willie Reyns, Howie Crowe, Bruce Wheeler, Paul Maltese, Garry Aubrook, Kenny McNicol, Craig Scott, Lane Zardo and Tyler Liscum. Cybalski transferred from the B-Main, followed by Dan Archibald, Shawn Goggins and Matt Spence.

Baker Jr. and Hallyburton ran side-by-side for a lap before Baker Jr. was able to slip by and take the lead. Hallyburton would fall to third when defending race winner Adams slipped by him for second. Wheeler made his way down pit road under green flag conditions for mechanical problems.

DSCF6978Rusnell slipped back a spot to fifth as Grubb was able to slip by before the first caution at lap 10 when Walt got into Kish. The 2013 Barrie Speedway Champion got Kish loose and Kish overcorrected, climbing the turn four wall. Kish had gotten into Walt the previous lap in the same corner.

With 40 laps to go, Baker Jr. led Adams, Hallyburton, Grubb, Rusnell, Lawrence, Davenport, Musker, Collision, Davenport, Praysner, Price, Doucette, Lapcevich, Crowe, Walt, Maltese, the red 9, Reyns, McNicol, Zardo, Archibald, Cybalski, Goggins, Liscum, Aubrook and Spence.

On the restart, Baker Jr. held down the lead while Adams slipped back after starting on the outside. As a result, Hallyburton moved into second followed by Rusnell, Grubb, Davenport and Lawrence while Adams was now sixth. With Davenport moving up, Musker dropped back to seventh followed by Collision, Praysner, Doucette and Lapcevich.

The second flew on lap 27 for Goggins having a problem. He would make his way down pit road for repairs and return to the track. The skies would then open up, resulting in the race being postponed to Monday.

When the race restarted on Monday morning with 23 laps to go, Baker Jr. started first followed by Hallyburton, Rusnell, Grubb, Davenport, Lawrence, Adams, Musker, Collision, Praysner, Lapcevich, Doucette, Reyns, Zardo, Walt, Gallant, Cybalski, the red 9, Archibald, Liscum, Price, Aubrook, McNicol, Spence, Scott and Goggins. Crowe would’ve restarted 11th, but he was unable to stay for the Monday restart.

The field would get three laps in before the red flag had to be displayed for a wreck in turns three and four involving

No. 55 Shawn Goggins
No. 55 Shawn Goggins

Maltese, Wheeler, Goggins, McNicol and Walt. Both Goggins and Wheeler found themselves climbing the wall. Everybody would be okay and the restart would get restarted.

By lap 42, Baker Jr. continued to lead ahead of Hallyburton and Rusnell while Lawrence had made his way by Grubb to move into fourth. Davenport ran sixth followed by Lapcevich, Adams, Collision, Doucette, Reyns, Praysner, Zardo and Walt.

There’d be a caution on lap 46 for the red 9 being spun by Archibald. The first restart wouldn’t go smoothly as Liscum bunched the field up, resulting in Praysner getting into Musker, stacking up the field and therefore causing Walt to go for a spin. The second attempt at a restart was no better as Hallyburton pulled ahead of Baker Jr. coming out of turn two, but in turn three, Baker Jr. would spin Hallyburton, resulting in a pile-up behind them.

With both drivers moved to the back of the field, Rusnell would be the new leader with four laps to go. Lawrence now ran second followed by Grubb, Lapcevich, Davenport, Adams, Doucette, Praysner, Reyns, Zardo, Price, Cybalski, Aubrook, Archibald, the red 9, McNicol, Liscum, Musker, Gallant, Hallyburton and Baker Jr.

DSCF7147The third restart would go smoother but the field wouldn’t last long under green as on lap 47, Doucette slowed the field up when he found some trouble. In trying to scatter around him, Archibald, Praysner and Zardo got three-wide, contact was made and the three of them found themselves in a wreck. Zardo got the worst of it as he would be stuck against the turn four wall, with his right side tires on top of it.

It just added to Zardo’s crazy weekend as during Friday’s practice, he had a right trailing arm break, followed by a driveshaft breaking, which in return, sent him into the turn three/ four wall and on his roof.

No fear, no worries – everybody was okay and once the wreck was cleared, we were set for the final three laps.

Randy Rusnell was able to escape the field on the restart and picked up his first career Autumn Colors Classic win. Ken Grubb finished second followed by Todd Davenport, Cayden Lapcevich and Willie Reyns. Dennis Cybalski finished sixth followed by Joe Adams, Vaughn Lawrence, Garry Aubrook and the red 9. Matt Spence finished 11th followed by Kenny McNicol, Dan Price, Rick Walt, Brad Collision, Dave Doucette, Tyler Liscum, Todd Musker and Kevin Gallant.

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